Animal Husbandry and Veterinary doctors have a major role in doubling farmers’ income. It is now unanimously accepted at all levels that the farmers’ income can be doubled only by integrating Animal Husbandry activities with Agriculture. Animal husbandry is an integral component of Indian agriculture supporting livelihood of more than two-thirds of the rural population. The veterinarian is committed professionally and morally with the rural community. Veterinary professionals disseminate their knowledge to the community as a whole to improve the quality of life. In our country, veterinary service literally means the difference between life and death not only for animals but also for humans as majority of our poor population depends on animals for food, income, social status or cultural identification, companionship, security, where there is nothing more important than taking care of the animals that allow adults to work, families to earn and children to eat. Veterinarians intervene in different ways in getting their household improved through technology injection and innovation in their livestock rearing by providing them technical, financial and moral support.
One of the major policy initiatives of the National Democratic Alliance government in the agricultural sector is that of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022. This is a laudable objective and, therefore, has generated a lot of academic and popular interest. Official recognition of the distress and the agrarian crisis came in the form of a NSSO (National Sample Survey Office) survey in 2003, which reported that 40% of Indian farmers disliked farming as a profession due to its low profits, high risk, and the lack of social status and, therefore, would like to leave it at the first opportunity .They were continuing to farm in the absence of opportunities outside agriculture.
In India, the farmers maintain different enterprises for their complimentary and supplementary nature and for ensuring sustainable livelihood from time immemorial. After the advent of green revolution in late-1960s and economic liberalization in early-1990s, the farmers gradually started focusing on a few enterprises due to several imposing factors including shrinking farm sizes, fluctuating commodity prices, livelihood diversification and shortage of labour during peak agriculture season. It had a severe impact on food and nutritional security of millions of poor farm households. Although suggestions are pouring in from veterinarians and agriculture experts and leaders of organization for strengthening the income base of farmers, the government cannot implement them entirely due to compulsions from socio-economic and political considerations. However, the Government of India has made an announcement about Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022. Experts are judging the options and strategies for achieving this enviable target. One of the options is to evaluate the potential of age-old integrated farming system (IFS) in enhancing income of farm families within the reasonable time period.
Doubling farmer’s real income by2022isgoal established by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India who is challenging the status quo of all involved stakeholders. Productivity and production increases in agriculture alone will not ensure doubling farmers’ income. Meeting market demands requires a shift in mindset from “Farm to fork/plate” to “Fork to Farm”. Secondly, market- intelligence must be made available to producers using innovative partnerships and communication technologies.
In this mission of doubling the farmer’s income by 2022, the veterinary fraternity has huge role to play. Without active participation of veterinarian, India can’t think of accomplishing this herculean task. It is Animal husbandry department and its work force mainly veterinarians who can guide our livestock farmers to enhance their animals productivity thereby making the livestock enterprises more profitable.
Some of the important points which veterinarians can suggest and implement it through livestock farmers in order to achieve this mission-''Doubling the farmers’ income'' are:
Animal Husbandry and related activates have shown a tremendous growth and holds the key to doubling the income of the Farmers. Since Government would be focusing on the Animal Husbandry sector, the role of Veterinarians automatically becomes of paramount importance.
About the Author:
Pramod Prabhakar and M.K.Bharti
Animal Husbandry, MBAC, Agwanpur, Saharsa
(BAU, Sabour, Bhagalpur)