The Indian minister of state for agriculture and food processing Tariq Anwar spoke today at a seminar on feed and fodder management. Speaking at the event, Anwar stated that maintaining the present growth rates in the livestock industry together with filling the local demands for animal feed while at the same time not compromising on food security and any further assignment of land and water for the purpose of producing feed, would be a major challenge for the industry.
The minister urged for better feed and fodder management as a way for the industry to tackle the problem.
Anwar stated that the key driving forces for the development of the feed and fodder industries in the future would be focused on productivity enhancement, a shift to semi-intensive and commercial production systems, optimum utilization of common property resources, including the forests; and convergence with other flagship schemes of the government like MNREGA, RKVY, Integrated Watershed Management Programmes, etc.
With India's growing population and increasing urbanization rates, the livestock industry is experiencing strong growth with strong demand for meat from its population. But this is causing stress on the land, in a country where which contains 17.4% of the world's population, 10.7% of the world's livestock population, but only 2.29% of the world's land area.
Anwar said Indias current availibility of feed resources were: 360 million tonnes of dry fodder, 619 million tonnes of green fodder, and 54 million tonnes of concentrates. Deficits in these feed resources were 25%, 20% and 32% respectively, with these deficits growing every year.
Suman Jyoti Khaitan, President of the PHD Chamber, stated "there is need to promote fodder crop production through improved agronomic practices and use of improved seed on the limited area of land. Subsequently the need for innovations like hydroponics has come. This may really address the problem of land limitation."