No land to grow fodder crops, says NIANP director

No land to grow fodder crops, says NIANP director

Lack of availability of agriculture land and increase in number of unproductive cattle is affecting fodder crops across the country.

India, which has around 500 million livestocks and 650 million poultry, has uneven distribution of livestock and feed resource across agro-climatic zones, said National Institute of Animal Nutrition & Physiology (NIANP) Director Dr C S Prasad.

Briefing reporters, on the eve of Global Animal Nutrition Conference on April 20 here, he said though India is the largest producer of milk, quality remains poor.

“India has 12.5 per cent of cattle population and nearly 56.7 per cent of buffaloes are in India. Animal nutrition is critical in livestock productivity as feed cost accounts to around 70 per cent which is recurring. There is need to improve quality and quantity of cattle feed,” he added.

Another major challenge is change in climatic conditions as there was greater physiological stress on livestock which needs strategies that are climate resilient and sustainable, he said.

By 2050, there would be 34 per cent increase in human population (1.7 billion) and demand for milk will increase to 186.2 metric tonne (MT), 18.7 MT of meat and 306 billion eggs per year.

With such growing demand, meeting nutritional requirement of animals would be a great challenge, he observed.

On crop waste being turned into fodder by NIANP, Dr Prasad said 70 per cent of pineapple fruit is wasted during processing. As pineapple fruit residue (PFR) is high in moisture and sugar, the institute has developed silage method to preserve PFR and feed cattle. The institute generates 15-17 tonne of PFR in Sirsi (North Kanara) region which can feed up to 1,000 cattle per day.

Similarly, red spectrum lighting in poultry shed has enhanced egg production up to three per cent and decreased aggression in birds. Areca sheath is also used as dry fodder.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox