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FEED & FODDER REQUIREMENTS FOR MILK PRODUCTION IN INDIA  

Livestock production is backbone of Indian Agriculture and source of employment in rural areas for centuries.  This sector has been the primary source of energy for agriculture operation and major source of animal protein for the masses.  Therefore India has been house to major draught, milch and dual-purpose breeds of cattle.  Our whole system of rural economy has revolved around livestock production. 

However, there has been a rapid change in the way agriculture operations are carried out like;

-     Agriculture production i.e. cropping system, water resources, diversification of crops, intensification of agriculture

-      Increasing use of mechanical power V/S bullock power

-      Transformation from sustenance farming to market oriented farming

-       Changing food habits 

All this has its impact on animal husbandry practices including breed character requirements of Indian farmer and thus their feeding. 

India is house to 15% world cattle population and 16% of human population to be sustained and Progressed on 2% of total geographical areas. Due to ever increasing population pressure of human, arable land is mainly used for food and cash crops, thus there is little chance of having good quality arable land available for fodder production, until milk production is remunerative to the farmer as compared to other crops. 

1.  Scenario of feed and fodder requirement & availability: 

There is tremendous pressure of livestock on available feed and fodder, as land available for fodder production has been decreasing.  Scenario of feed and fodder availability till 2025 is as below: -

(In million tones)

 

Year

 

Supply

 

Demand

Deficit as % of demand

(actual demands)

 

Green

Dry

Green

Dry

Green

Dry

1995

379.3

421

947

526

59.95 (568)

19.95 (105)

2000

384.5

428

988

549

61.10 (604)

21.93 (121)

2005

389.9

443

1025

569

61.96 (635)

22.08 (126)

2010

395.2

451

1061

589

62.76 (666)

23.46 (138)

2015

400.6

466

1097

609

63.50 (696)

23.56 (143)

2020

405.9

473

1134

630

64.21 (728)

24.81 (157)

2025

411.3

488

1170

650

64.87 (759)

24.92 (162)

 

Source:  Draft report of the working group on animal husbandry and dairying for five-year plan (2002-2007, Govt. of India, Planning Commission, August – 2001). 

According to another estimate by NDDB for an expected production of 86 million of milk by the end of 9th plan, annual requirement of green fodder will be to tune of 1064 million T and dry fodder to tune of 585 million T.  The current availability, however if estimated at 570 million T and 400 million T respectively. 

2. FeedProduction:  

(in million tones)

 

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Concentrates available

41.96

43.14

44.35

45.63

48.27

Concentrates required

117.44

120.52

123.59

127.09

130.55

Concentrate Deficit

64.27

64.21

64.12

64.10

63.03

 

Source:  Draft report of the working group on animal husbandry and dairying for five-year plan (2002-2007, Govt. of India, Planning Commission, August – 2001). 

The most common livestock feed resources are: - 

1. Crop reduces (Straw, stoves, haulms etc)

2. Grass land, alpine, sub-alpine, pasture land

3. Community lands, Common property resources, wasteland

4. Cultivated fodder

5. Forest lands

6. Cut and carry grasses

7. Novel unconventional feeds, top feeds, famine feeds

8. Coarse grain

9. Oil meals

10. Cereal bran, hulls, husks

11. Agro products

12. Fish meals

13.Bone meals 

Source:  Draft report of the working group on animal husbandry and dairying for five-year plan (2002-2007, Govt. of India, Planning Commission, August – 2001).

 It is obvious from the table that deficit in green and dry fodder is increasing every year, while for concentrate gap almost static.  But this gap is critical and is going to determine the type of animal and husbandry practices to be followed. 

3.   Livestock Population: 

The above requirements have been worked out on the projected livestock population (equivalent to adult cattle unit) as below: - 

Projected livestock estimates when converted into adult cattle unit (ACUs) massing are of their expected age profiles are as under: - 

Year

Cattle

Buffalo

Sheep

Goat

Equine

Camel

Total

1995

180.5

82.8

4.0

9.2

0.5

0.9

278.0

2000

187.1

87.7

4.1

9.9

0.4

1.0

290.0

2005

192.2

92.6

4.2

10.5

0.3

1.0

30 1.0

2010

197.3

97.5

4.3

11.2

0.3

1.0

312.0

2015

202.3

102.4

4.4

11.8

0.1

1.1

322.0

2020

207.4

107.3

4.5

12.5

0.1

1.1

333.0

2025

212.5

112.2

4.6

13.2

0.1

1.1

344.0

 

The estimated livestock population was converted to ACUs assuming that 350 kg of body weight =1 ACU in cattle, 450 kg=1 ACU in buffalo, 10 goats=1 ACU, 10 sheep=1 ACU. 

Source:  Draft report of working group for X plan for AHCD, Planning Commission, August 2001. 

 4.   Quality of feed & Fodder: 

Livestock rearing in India is changing with the requirement of time as is also evident that demand for milch breed of cattle is going up as compared to dual or draught breed.  Population of indigenous breed like Haryana, Nagori, Khilar i.e. dual & draught purpose breeds has declined more than milch breeds.  In this globalize / market economy dependent agri-economy, milk production has to compete for growing fodder on good or able land.  Thus milch animals have to be of high productivity and reproductive efficiency. 

4.1.  Role of cultivated fodders:

i)     Feed & fodder cost constitute about 60-70% of cost of milk production thus cultivated fodder has an important role in meeting requirement of various nutrients & roughage in our country to produce milk most economically as compared to concentrates 

ii)    It needs feed, which not only meet nutrient requirement but fills the rumen to satisfy the animal. 

iii)   In view of microbial digestion system, feeds have to meet requirement of cattle maintenance, production and requirement of microbes to promote digestion. 

4.2.Cultivated fodder crops have a place of importance for feeding of ruminants in view of the following aspects: - 

a)   In view of the peculiar digestive system, provided by nature, ruminants need feeds, which not only meet their nutritional requirements but also fill the rumen and satisfy the animal.

b)   In view of microbial digestion system the feeds have to meet requirements of the animal, its production as well as the needs of microbes for promoting digestion.

 

c)   The fodder crops meet these requirements very effectively and hence are important for ruminant production system. As evident from reports that mixed with coarse roughages, like wheat straw, its intake and digestion are improved. 

4.3.Fodder crops provide all the critical elements like highly digestible protein, carbohydrates, fats and minerals. Green fodders are a very good source of B-carotene (precursor of vitamin A).  

i)     Common cereal fodder crops like Maize, Sorghum and Oats are rich in energy and the leguminous crops like Lucerne, Berseem & Cowpea are rich in proteins.  

ii)    Leguminous crops, like Berseem, Lucerne & Cowpea, are a good source of major &micro minerals, so critical for rumen microbes as well as animal system 

iii)     Fodder cultivation has been traditional in most parts of the country since farmers feel that the fodder crops have some factor, which keeps the animal healthy and productive. And hence since generations farmers have marked out certain varieties and crops for fodder production and cultivate these, depending on availability of land and water. 

4.4.    The green fodder crops are known to be cheaper source of nutrients as compared to concentrates and hence useful in bringing down the cost of feeding and reduce the need for purchase of feeds/ concentrates from the market. 

4.5.    The stage of harvest of crop has profound effect on the nutrient contents of the fodder crop. The moisture and nutrient contents of the crop decreases and fiber content increases with maturity and hence harvesting at proper stage is crucial. 

4.6.    Fodder production programme should aim at selecting crops and varieties, which produce highest quantities of ' Nutrients per unit of land and time period' and hence a continuous search for improved varieties is crucial. 

i)  Grasses like Hybrid Napier and Guinnea grass are known for high yields and their new varieties produce good quality fodder. These grasses being perennial and high yielding are useful. 

ii)  Shrubs and small trees (like Gliricidia, Desmanthus, Leucaena, Sesbania spp.) are very good and cheap source of protein and minerals and can be introduced between farm plots and have multipurpose utility. 

4.7.   In case surplus fodder is available in some season it can be stored in form of silage or hay for lean season. 

4.8.   Leguminous crops like Lucerne and Berseem are useful in promoting ruminal development in calves. 

5.  Role of common property resources in meeting feed requirement of livestock: 

It has been tradition in India to have community pasture land in each village, which has been an important source of feed for cattle particularly of weaker sections like landless / small / marginal farmers.  Each family has equal access to these resources in the village.  In the past, group of villagers were taking care of such lands and maintaining them, but after abolition of this system, these properties became no body’s property and are now in denuded condition and encroached upon by influential or sold by pachayats to mobilize resources.  Various type of natural CPR is as below: - 

5.1.   Natural CPRs:

These are nature-gifted and include:

a)   Land resources:

 

i) Gochar (plot of land left vacant for livestock grazing)

ii) Banjar (degraded and wastelands, under individual or group ownership but used as resting place by livestock of the community).

iii) Gaura (plot of land where milking of milch cattle is done)

iv) Khaliyan (land where all the members of the community store their crop produce together)

v) Nistar (land reserved &SSS left vacant for fairs, haat market, cultural ceremonies etc).

b)   Forest resources:

 

1) Kakad bani (plot of land with vegetative cover specially between two village boundaries)

2) Devbani (plot of forest land left by the community in the name of god and used only in the vent of natural crisis / disaster)

3) Rakhabani (plot of forest land left by consensual decision of the community used as the last resort)

4) Devaranya (plot of forest land for god)

5) Waal (forest land owned by zamindars or temples, may be used for cultivation)

6) Beed (mostly private dense forests used by the community at the time of crisis)

7) Rundh (private dense forests which could be used by the community after paying taxes)

 

c)     Water resources:

 

These include ponds, tanks, bunds, checks, wells, canals, rivers, rivulets etc.  

These CPR, are important for livelihood and income generation of poor people in all the states as is evident below: - 

Extent of dependence of poor and wealthy households on CPRs in dry land India:

(In million adult cattle)

 

State

 

Household category

CPR contributions

Income %

Fuel supplies %

Animal grazing %

Days of employment per household

Andhra Pradesh

Poor

17

84

0

139

Wealthy

1

13

0

35

Gujarat

Poor

18

66

82

196

Wealthy

0

0

0

0

Karnataka

Poor

20

0

83

185

Wealthy

3

0

29

34

Madhya Pradesh

Poor

22

74

79

183

Wealthy

2

32

34

52

Maharashtra

Poor

14

75

69

128

Wealthy

1

12

27

43

Rajasthan

Poor

23

71

84

165

 

Wealthy

2

23

38

61

Tamil Nadu

Poor

22

0

0

137

Wealthy

2

0

0

31

 

Source: Integrated Watershed Management by Rajesh Rajora 

CPRs contribute and allow considerable access to all users, but not all the sections of the rural community are equally attracted by these potentials and opportunities. 

The proportion of poor households dependent on fuel, fodder and food items from CPR’s ranged between 84-100% in different villages.  In general, the rural poor obtain the bulk of their fuel supplies and fodder from CPR’s.  Income from CPR’s account for 14-23% of household income from all other incomes and they form an important source of income and employment, especially during the periods when other opportunities are almost non-existent.  CPR’s complement private farming by providing crop inputs, sustaining animals and are especially predominant in drought.  

In India current land use provides 12 million Ha area under permanent pasture and grazing lands which is lying as wasteland.  Out of 75 million Ha area under forest, half is lying at the last stage of degradation.  Similarly, different surveys have pointed out 155 to 175 million ha as wastelands.  These land resources are vital for fuel and fodder production. 

In a project promoted by BAIF, an area of 320 ha has been brought under silvipasture system through community participation in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan, which has produced on an average 1.2 to 1.8 Ton / Ha of grasses in bad to average rainfall year.  In addition to above there will be production of fodder tree leaves and pods. Thus there is great potential to meet feed & fodder shortage through this natural resource.  Even if 50% of this land is brought under silvipastural system, there is potential to produce 200 million tons of dry matter to meet shortage of feed. 

6.  Use of agriculture waste straws to meet nutrient and feed requirement:

Cereal and legume crop straws have been traditional source of feed for Indian livestock.  These straws have not been valued much in the past but with competitive milk production, its importance as source of feed has gone up tremendously.  Therefore, there has been greater emphasis and efforts to enhance nutritive value of these straws with  methods of treatment like: - 

i)                    Urea treatment

ii)                   Alkaline treatment

iii)                 Amonia treatment

iv)                 Thermal treatment (steam pressure treatment) 

Though different methods of treatment have been developed but have not been taken or adopted by farmers yet.

 Now there is emphasis on, treating straws with biological agents like fungi.   

However, it should be clear that no toxic residues must be left by these substances, which are harmful to the ruminant and rumen microbes. 

The net effect of any treatment is a result in reduction in rigidity of cell structure and swelling of cell walls, so that electrolytes and cellulslytic enzymes from rumen microbes can penetrate these cells.  These microbes can then colonize the vegetal matter and decompose it more quickly because hydrolysis has already taken place. 

7.   Feed Supplements:   

Similarly, lot of work has been done to provide supplemental feed to not only cattle through urea / molasses block but it also enhances nutrient supply to rumen microbes.  Thus making it more efficient to digest forage.  Most common supplements consist of: 

i) Urea strategic ingredient

ii) Molasses

iii) Mineral

iv) Fibrous feed

v)  Cementing material

If all the treatments are given with recommended dosages, rumen microbes has been found to be efficient to convert these feed into nutrients without any residual effect on cattle rumen microbes and milk.

 8.   Future Policy Directions: 

Changing agriculture production practices, globalization of economy, market oriented production system, decentralized / democratic form of governance etc, have its impact on livestock production system in the country.  Its production may be milk, dung urine, it has to compete in economic terms for allocation of resources of production with other competing options of crops.  Secondly, in India agriculture and livestock has been a livelihood issues and not only economic issue, for many families specially landless, small and marginal farmers etc.  Therefore our policies should ensure both these aspect.  Following policies may be focused in future. 

i) Look for good indigenous milch breeds of cattle particularly for semiarid / arid climates, upgrade these breeds through recent techniques as animal husbandry is main activity in such areas 

 

ii) Adopt intensive and well-defined mile stones to achieve growth in productivity of indigenous breeds in such areas. 

 

iii) Adopt breeds / cross breeds in areas commensurate with productivity of land i.e. in case of high agriculture production area, cross breeds with high milk potential will be able to compete with agriculture crops 

 

iv) In future when need for fat is going to go down and cheaper fats are likely to come from different countries it is certain that cow milk production will be preferable to buffalo milk. 

 

v) There should be focused programme on regeneration, promotion of silvipasture or Gochar, revenues and wastelands, which will not only meet shortage of feed and fodders but will give equal access to poor and improve environment also.

 

vi)  There is need to promote fodder crop production through improved agronomic practices and use improved seed. Extension in this sector is totally neglected because it is part of animal husbandry department for which it has never been a priority.  Thus we should look into the possibility of attaching it to agriculture department

 

vii) Promotion of techniques of treatment of straws and feed supplements as entrepreneurial activity than treatment at farmer level.

 

viii) Though more than 120 varieties of cultivated fodder have been developed but seeds are not available because it is trapped in vicious cycle of lack of demand due to lack of extension, which inhibits production of seed etc.  Thus this cycle need to be broken through proper extension.

 

ix) Presently research has been mainly conducted on cultivation of green fodder in irrigated areas but focus has to be given to dry land fodder or partially irrigated fodder crops.

 

x)  Extension to promote balance feed, feeding chaffed feed and proper storage of fodder to avoid losses need also to be emphasized.

  

SHRI RAMESH RAWAL

SR. VICE PRESIDENT

BAIF DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH FOUNDATION

109 MAHAVIR BHAVAN C-2 KARAMPURA COMPLEX

NEW DELHI- 110015

 
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