Skip to main content

India may have to import milk in five years: Increasing pressure on pastures leads to sharp shortage of fodder

By Our Representative
Would India, which boasts of having the largest cattle population of the world, be forced to import milk in the next four years, thanks to increasing shortage of fodder supply? It would seem so, if a recent investigation on “rising pressure on land” leading to reduction pastures is any guide.
The investigation, carried out by Gangadhar S Patil, founder of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters, says that “spurred by rising incomes, a growing population and changing food preferences, the demand for milk and milk products will grow to at least 210 million tonnes by 2021–22, a rise of 36% over five years.”

To meet this demand, he adds, the milk production must grow by 5.5% per annum, and to boost milk yield, “India would need to generate 1,764 million tonnes of fodder by 2020” though “existing sources can only manage about 900 million tonnes of fodder–a shortage of 49%. ”
Green fodder between 1995 and 2025
The investigation by Patil, published in a top data analysis site, says, “In the decade to 2015, milk production went up 59% from 92 million tonnes to 146 million tonnes in 2015. But fodder shortages may knock India off its position as the world’s top milk producer.” India contributes nearly 17% of global production). ”
According to him, “The milk productivity of India’s livestock is less than half (48%) of the global average: 987 kg per lactation compared to the global average of 2,038 kg per lactation”, adding, “Currently, all three types of fodder are in short supply – green (63%), dry (24%) and concentrates (76%).”
Pointing out that “only 4% of total cultivable land in India is used for fodder production, a proportion that has remained stagnant for the last four decades”, Patil says, “Considering the demand for milk, land under fodder production needs to be doubled, according to a December 2016 report of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture. ”
Quoting from the Parliamentary Committee report, Patil says, “Major portions of grazing lands have either been degraded or encroached upon”, adding, things have also gone worse because of the availability of crop residues, the largest single source of fodder, thanks to “increasing pressure on land and the replacement of traditional cereal crops, especially coarse ones.”
Dry fodder between 1995 and 2025
On the other hand, he says, “Given the importance of food and cash crops, it is very unlikely that the area under fodder cultivation will increase substantially”, adding, with predictions India may need to “resort to significant imports from the world market”.
According to Patil, as feed cost constituting “about 60-70% of operating expenses on dairy farms”, those who would suffer most would be small and marginal farmers, who constitute “nearly 70% of India’s milk producers.
“The contribution of livestock to the incomes of landless and small farmers ranges between 20-50%, and the poorer the family, the greater the potential of dairy farming’s contribution to livelihood”, he adds.

Comments

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).