UPSC IAS Exam: Animal Husbandry in India

A Civil Services aspirant should try his/her best to prepare every burning topics of National and International importance for the UPSC IAS Exam. There is huge possibility of asking questions from such topics in Civil Services IAS Prelims as well as in IAS Mains Exams. So, in a regular interval, we are trying to provide such study materials which are more informative and very much helpful for the Preparation of Essay and General Studies Papers of UPSC IAS Mains Exam.

Created On: May 6, 2016 17:38 IST

IAS Exam preparation serves as a turning point in the candidate’s life irrespective of his or her selection in the Civil Services. IAS Preparation changes the life of the candidates, his perspective and the outlook towards life. Such changes in an aspirant’s life could only be possible if he/she is studying and experiencing the various issues of the society. The aspirants should think and develop his/her views towards the issues which are affecting the mass population of the country.

Here, we have provided such article on Animal Husbandry, one of the important components of Indian Agriculture sector. A huge population is engaged in this sector and also contributing in the National Income of the country.

What is Animal Husbandry

Animal Husbandry is a branch of agriculture, which comprises of controlled cultivation, management, upkeeping and production of domestic animals (like cattles, horses, sheeps etc.) which includes improvement in the qualities considered desirable by humans by means of breeding, genetics, behavior and qualities. Animals are domesticated, bred, maintained and raised for utility (e.g., food, leather, medicines, fur), sport, pleasure, and research.

Animal husbandry is actually the science of looking after and breeding animals — mostly those that are used in agriculture and allied activities, to provide products, foods, for research purposes or as domestic pets. This covers a wide range of activities which includes care and grooming, nurturing pets, livestock raising, accommodation, management and hygiene. This study also overlaps with many other disciplines of science, such as agriculture, veterinary science, zoology, environmental sciences andgenetics.

In the era of sustainable development of world, the perpetual food supplies is of imminent importance. However, theimpacts of such supplies can be very dear to the long-term survival of human beings and all domesticated species.Therefore, utmost care must be taken to ensure that agricultural methods remain in harmony with the environment. Breeding ofanimals requires ample care and concern for the impact of genetic modification, pollution, and hybridization on the species. The moral aspects of breeding animals in captivity,cross hybridization, unknown genetic effects etc.have also become matters of greater concern as humankind advances in awareness of its responsibility toward the environment and all living things.All these have well been take care of in the aspect called Animal Husbandry.

How it is helpful

Human being depends on animals, largely for food and labor. Animals provide milk, meat and eggs as food and they do a lot of heavier work for man like ploughing, carrier, transportation in difficult terrain etc. In order to get ameliorated outputs and better results, these domestic animals have to be looked after properly and better high yielding breeds of the animals have to be developed. All these can be a realistic possibility only through proper implementation of animal husbandry. Hence, the practice of animal husbandry is useful to us in following ways:

1. It contributes to poverty elevation through increased household income.
2. It is an integral part of crop farming and contributes significantly to household nutritional security.
3. Better breeding and practices like artificial insemination provide us with better yieldwith the same input boosting the GDP of a country
4. Animal Husbandry also gives way out to researches and development of agriculturesustainable food practices conforming to the environment
5. Animal husbandry provides livestock production, which helps as food and various life use products.Me examples of these products have been given below:

  • Dairy Products: Mammalian livestock can be used as a source of milk and dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese, butter, ice cream, etc.
  • Meat: It is the production of a useful form of dietary protein and energy.
  • Land management: The grazing of livestock is sometimes used as a way to control weeds and undergrowth. For example, in areas prone to wild fires, goats and sheep are set to graze on dry shrub which reduces the risk of fires.
  • Fibre: Livestock produce a range of fibre/textiles. For example, sheep and goats produce wool and deer and sheep can make leather.
  • Labour: Animals such as horses, donkey and yaks can be used for mechanical energy. Prior to steam power, livestock were the only available source of non-human labour. They are still used for this purpose in many places of the world, including ploughing fields, transporting goods and military functions.
  • Fertilizer: Manure can be spread on fields to increase crop yields. This is an important reason why historically, plant and animal domestication have been intimately linked. Manure is also used to make plaster for walls and floors and can be used as a fuel for fires. The blood and bones of animals are also used as fertilizer.

Govt Schemes related to Animal Husbandry

The government schemes mainly comprises of various acts, rules and missions. These are mainly covered in Maritime zones of India act, The veterinary council act, fisheries act, Some of the missions related to this are described below:

National Livestock Mission

The National Livestock Mission (NLM) has commenced from 2014-15. The Mission is designed to cover all the activities required to ensure quantitative and qualitative improvement in livestock production systems and capacity building of all stakeholders. The Mission will cover everything germane to improvement of livestock productivity and support projects and initiatives required for that purpose subject. This Mission is formulated with the objective of sustainable development of livestock sector, focusing on improving availability of quality feed and fodder. NLM is implemented in all States.

The National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBD)

NPBBD has been initiated in February 2014 by merging four ongoing schemes of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in the dairy sector, viz., National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding (NPCBB), Intensive Dairy Development Programme (IDDP), Strengthening Infrastructure for Quality & Clean Milk Production (SIQ & CMP) and Assistance to Cooperatives (A-C).  This has been done with a view to integrate milk production and dairying activities in a scientific and holistic manner, so as to attain higher levels of milk production and productivity, to meet the increasing demand for milk in the country. The Scheme has two components
(a) National Programme for Bovine Breeding (NPBB) and
(b) National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD).

How an Alternate source of Income

Animal Husbandry sectors have been playing vital role in providing the alternate source of income in Indian economy. By helping earn farmers through livestock raising, mixed farming and dairy development, animal husbandry enhances the socio-economic status of the people. These sectors supplement family incomes and generate gainful livelihood in the rural sector, particularly, among the landless laborers, small and marginal farmers and women. The assertion of Animal husbandry acting as an alternate source of income can be evident from following points:

  • These act as the best insurance against the vagaries of nature like drought, famine and other natural calamities.
  • Animal husbandry sector acts as a huge source of employment generation. The total employment in Animal Husbandry and Fisheries is around 5.80%.
  • It supplements the income of farmers and laborers by selling milk and meat, though in small amount, but round the year.
  • Livestock raising and livestock ranching acts as the backward as well as forward linkages of the agriculture, multiplying the prospects of income.


With increasing population, persistent rise in food inflation, unfortunate rise in farmer's suicide and majority of the Indian population having agriculture as the primary occupation, the practice of animal husbandry is no more a choice, but a need in contemporary scenario. Its successful, sustainable and skillful implementation will go a long way in ameliorating the socio-economic condition of lower strata of our society.  Linking the animal husbandry with food processing industry, agriculture, researches & patents has all the possible potential to make India a nutritional power house of the world. Animal husbandry is the imperative hope, definite desire and urgent panacea for India as well as the world.`

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