Dairy farming is a profitable business. It provides an excellent opportunity for self-employment of unemployed youth. It is also an important source of income generation to small/marginal farmers and agricultural labourers. India is the largest milk producer of the world. The demand of milk & milk product is increasing rapidly. There is immense scope of dairy farming in our country. The increasing cost of feed ingredients and its seasonal variability can be reduced by undertaking fodder cultivation. The white revolution of 70’s had made stunning land marks in the India milk production situation. As India is the major milk producer of the world and milk can be manifested as the number one farm commodity. Rural affluence by dairy farming is the calamitous need of the hour. In recent times livestock production has taken a new twist by venturing itself on commercial basis. The higher production impending of the cross bred animals and its economic sustainability has its mainstay on shrewd balanced feeding round the year. At the moment the chronic scarcity of feed coupled with the pitiable quality of fodder is widely regarded as the major constriction in animal production. It has been estimated that with the present feed and fodder resource it is possible to meet only 46.6 per cent of animal needs, which in turn resulted in 50 per cent of the required production. It is crucial to say that in the recent system of exhaustive livestock production, increasing concentrate feeding has increase the milk production cost and substantially decreased the profits of farmers. The increasing cost of feed ingredients and its seasonal inconsistency also adds to the gravity of the situation. Certain agri-by-products also have a detrimental effect on animal health and reproduction.Green fodder is the crucial components of feeding high yielding milch animals to obtain required level of milk production. The present fodder crop area of 8.3 million hectare cannot be increased due to increasing pressure on cultivated land for food and commercial crops. The sustainability of dairy industry in India largely depend on the quality of herbage based animal feed and fodder. To produce the targeted quantity of green fodder the best option is to maximize the fodder production per unit area and per unit time. High yielding fodder crops and fodder crop sequences are important to harness year round fodder production. At this juncture intellectual stimulation and economic rewards are essential to attract and to retain youth in dairy farming for sustainable development. This could be achieved only by generation of meaningful and viable technologies and transferring the same for adoption by the millions of rural folk.

Economic Affairs, Quarterly Journal of Economics| In Association with AESRA

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