Animal Husbandry

Animal Feed Industry in India: Status, Importance and Challenges

Updated on 09th April, 2024, By Arpit Srivastava
Animal Feed Industry in India: Status, Importance and Challenges
The availability of feed and fodder is the must for the success of any animal husbandry schemes aiming to increase per animal productivity in India.

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Like food is critical for the sustenance, well-being, and growth of humans, animal feed is vital for the proper development of livestock in India. A balanced fodder rich in vitamins and carbohydrates helps increase per animal productivity and the resultant animal by-products like milk, meat, and eggs. Feed and fodder contribute up to 50% to livestock productivity and production.

Further, healthy livestock means more avenues for profitable livestock farming. Also, if we have to double farmers' income, then the focus should be increasing fodder availability because 44% of the agricultural land is held by small and marginal farmers who own 80% of the livestock assets.

Current Status of Animal Feed Sector in India

Feed production in India on a commercial and scientific basis started in 1965. The year saw the setting up of animal feed plants in northern and western India. Today, India is the fourth largest producer of animal feed globally. Along with China, the USA, and Brazil, India contributes 50% of the global feed consumption.

According to IMARC research on the Indian animal feed market, the industry is estimated to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.2% between 2024 and 2032 and reach INR 1,964.8 billion by 2032.

Composition of Animal Feed in India

Animal feed includes green grasses, hay, cereal grains, and silage crops. It also consists of the by-products of food crops like pineapple bran, brewers' bran, and sugar beet pulp.

In India, most animal feed comes from crop residues such as rice, wheat, and hay. If we look at the composition of overall animal feed resources in India, then 71% of the contribution comes from crop residues, 23% from green fodder, and 6% from concentrated feeds. See the graph below:

Structure of Animal Feed Market in India

The animal feed market structure in India is made up of three broad categories. These are poultry, cattle, and aqua feed. If we talk of the share of each in the overall animal feed market, then according to the Yes Bank Research, poultry dominance is seen with a 55% contribution. It is followed by aqua feed at 14%, and cattle feed at 11%. The Other's share is 20%. See the graph below:

Issues facing Animal Feed Industry in India

The animal feed sector in India is facing several issues that have impacted the overall productivity of the available livestock, thus affecting Indian agriculture, economy, and rural livelihoods. Some of the issues are:

Availability of Fodder

The demand-supply gap in the fodder sector in India is glaring. The supply of animal feed has always been short of the standard requirement.

According to the 19th Livestock Census data, the fodder requirement is 583.66 Metric tonnes of dry fodder and 883.95 Metric tonnes of green fodder. However, the estimated production is 355.93 metric tonnes of dry fodder and 664.73 metric tonnes of green fodder.

Availability of Cultivable Land for Fodder Crops

Fodder crops are plants grown and harvested to feed the animals. These include silage (preserved under anaerobic conditions), forage (cut green grasses) and hay (dehydrated green fodder).

The total area under fodder cultivation is 9.13 million hectares. Of this, Sorghum (Kharif crop) and Berseem (Rabi crop) occupy 54% of the total cultivated area under fodder production.

Furthermore, cultivable land for growing fodder is declining in India. The area under fodder production has not increased in the last four decades. It has remained stagnant at 4% of the gross cropped area.

As a result, India has a mesh shortfall of about 64% of feed, 61.1% of green fodder and 21.9% of dry crop residues.

Quality of Feed and Fodder

The feed and fodder production in India is not only low in quantity but also low in quality. It is a major cause of low animal productivity.

Further, to meet the full genetic potential of livestock, proper feed with adequate nutritional content, such as vitamins, carbohydrates, and fat, must be fed to animals.

In fact, the low quantity and quality of fodder has raised the problem of feed security for over 500 million livestock in India.

Schemes for Animal Feed Sector in India

To address the issue of the availability of feed and fodder in India and favour the animal feed sector, the Indian government has launched several schemes. These are:

Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF): Under the scheme eligible entities can avail loan up to 90% of the project cost for setting up an animal feed manufacturing unit. Besides, the government provides an interest subvention of 3% for a period of two years.

Livestock Insurance Scheme: This scheme protects cattle rearers and farmers from losing their farm animals due to death. It provides insurance cover for up to 2 animals per beneficiary for a period of 3 years, and the government bears the 100% cost.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission: Launched in 2014, this mission aims to conserve and develop the country's indigenous bovine breeds.

National Livestock Mission: The NLM scheme seeks to generate employment through the development of entrepreneurship in selected livestock and poultry. It provides a capital subsidy of 50% for setting up a livestock and poultry farm project.

Frequently Asked Questions on Animal Feed Industry in India: Status, Importance and Challenges

1. What is animal feed industry?

Animal feed industry deals with increasing the feed and fodder for animals.

Animal feed industry in India is valued at more than INR 1,000 billion in 2023.

The three types of animal feeds are cattle feed, poultry feed and aqua feed.

Animal feed industry helps sustain the livestock of India and livelihoods of rural India.

Arpit Srivastava
Published By
Arpit Srivastava
Arpit holds a B.Tech degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Babu Banarasi Das Northern India Institute of Technology. He is a professional content writer having skillset of writing top quality research based content for various niche and industries. With over 7 years of experience, he holds expertise in writing SEO-friendly content on a wide range of topics related to agriculture, tractors, and farm implements. In his free time, he loves to explore new places, try different cuisines, and play sports like cricket and badminton.
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