Day 31 – Q 2. In terms of global competitiveness, the livestock sector of India leaves a lot to be desired. Do you agree? Substantiate your views. 

  • IASbaba
  • July 15, 2020
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Agriculture, GS 3, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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2. In terms of global competitiveness, the livestock sector of India leaves a lot to be desired. Do you agree? Substantiate your views. 

वैश्विक प्रतिस्पर्धा के मामले में, भारत का पशुधन क्षेत्र कई मामलों में पीछे है? क्या आप सहमत हैं? अपने विचारों की पुष्टि करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to express their views on competitiveness of  livestock sector of India on global scale. It also expects students to substantiate their views  by giving examples. 


India is the highest livestock owner of the world. The overall contribution of livestock sector in total GDP is nearly 4.11% as per the 19th livestock census of 2012. Livestock provides livelihood to two-third of rural community.


The farmers in India maintain mixed farming system i.e. a combination of crop and livestock where the output of one enterprise becomes the input of another enterprise thereby realize the resource efficiency. Apart from providing  food and non-food items to the people, livestock sector has a prominent role in farmer’s economy. 

  • Livestock sectors growth  has multidimensional potential. For instance, Operation Flood, launched in 1970, helped dairy farmers direct their own development, increased milk production (“a flood of milk”), augmented rural incomes and ensured reasonable prices for consumers.
  • It provides self-employment to millions of people especially rural households.

It has contributed significantly to the empowerment of women and has increased their income and role in society. So, it’s one of the prominent keys for poverty reduction.

  • The livestock products such as milk, meat and eggs are an important source of animal protein to the members of the livestock owners. It is producing about 95.22 billions of eggs, 7.70 million tonnes of meat in a year.
  • The value of output of livestock sector at current prices was Rs 9,17,910 crores at current prices during 2016-17 which is about 31.25% of the value of output from agricultural and allied sector.
  • Inclusive Growth: Livestock is more equitable than that of land. Small farmers possess more than half of the country’s cattle as against 24% of land.

Here, we have observed that Indian livestock sector has tremendous growth and export potential, but despite this Indian livestock sector lacks in some aspects to meet some global standards and compete with the global livestock sector economy due to following reasons:

  • The Frequent outbreaks of diseases like Food and Mouth Diseases, Black Quarter infection, Influenza etc. continue to affect Livestock health and lowers the productivity.
  • Crossbreeding of indigenous species with exotic stocks to enhance genetic potential of different species has been successful only to a limited extent.
  • The sector will also come under significant adjustment pressure to the emerging market forces. Though globalization will create avenues for increased participation in international trade, stringent food safety and quality norms would be required.
  • Livestock sector did not receive the policy and financial attention it deserved. The sector received only about 12% of the total public expenditure on agriculture and allied sectors, which is disproportionately lesser than its contribution to agricultural GDP.
  • The sector has been neglected by the financial institutions. The share of livestock in the total agricultural credit has hardly ever exceeded 4% in the total (short-term, medium-term and long-term). The institutional mechanisms to protect animals against risk are not strong enough.
  • Access to markets is critical to speed up commercialization of livestock production. Lack of access to markets may act as a disincentive to farmers to adopt improved technologies and quality inputs. 

Measures to promote livestock sector:

  • Increasing commercialization of livestock products by improving technologies, increasing market connectivity, processing and storage centre, training etc.
  • Cross breeding of indigenous species with exotic stocks to enhance genetic potential of different species. e.g. Artificial Insemination  mission.
  • Develop and conserve indigenous breeds of bovine population & enhance milk production and  make it more remunerative to the farmers by infusing more funding in to missions such as Rashtriya Gokul Mission & Gokul grams.
  • Ensure quantitative and qualitative improvement in livestock production systems and capacity building of all stakeholders giving impetus to missions such as National Livestock Mission.
  • To appreciate innovations coming from the villages & to expand the dairy sector in India new start ups needs to be encouraged by launching initiatives such as Animal Husbandry Start up Grand Challenge.


As we know from the experience of Operation flood that if steps are taken in the right direction then desired outcome can be achieved. Hence, we can say that Indian livestock sector can compete with the global livestock sector as it has tremendous potential for its growth and development provided the lacunas are addressed.

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