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

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.