Forecast of yet another normal monsoon year is indeed a good news and will help Indian livestock sector in multiple ways”, said B Soundararajan, Chairman of CLFMA of India, the apex association representing the dynamic animal protein industry in India.
“The news itself boosts the confidence of the industry stakeholders. What we need to be watchful is the spatial and temporal spread of the monsoon across the country during the Kharif season. Indian agriculture still depends on monsoon as half of the cultivable area is fed by seasonal rains. With a 97 percent normal rainfall, we expect production and thereby availability of feed raw materials such as maize will improve which in turn will make them more affordable too”, he added.
“Livestock sector is the biggest consumer – nearly 70 percent – of feed grains such as maize, which are primarily Kharif crops. The animal protein sector certainly benefits from year-round availability of sufficient volumes of good quality feed grains. Hence, we need to ensure not only yield is improved but also storage and distribution of harvested crops” said Soundararajan.
“We lose about 40 percent of our fresh produce as waste – both on and off farm – which deserves critical and urgent action in terms of investments in infrastructure such as warehouses, cold storage facilities, among others. With the ever-growing population, we can’t remain oblivious to the issues. Recent announcements in the budget 2018-19 on the infrastructure funds for livestock and fisheries sector are great initiatives and CLFMA commends the support and focus by the government on the sector” he further said.
“We must promote responsible use of water and other inputs to all the stakeholders in the food chain. Be it crop or livestock production, water must be considered a precious resource” he further added.
Soundararajan concluded with a special emphasis that a normal monsoon is as good as our ability and intent to store and utilise water judiciously. “Our future generations will not have the luxury with regard to water as we or our earlier generations had. As a nation dependent on agriculture, it is imperative for us to focus on improving our water use efficiency through new technologies such as micro irrigation and other relevant innovations”.