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Diversification Towards Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Horticulture

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Diversification is the process of transferring an economy’s income sources away from a single source and toward an increasing number of sectors and marketplaces. It has historically been used as a tactic to promote positive economic growth and development. Diversification into other activities is vital because it would provide people in communities with long-term livelihood options and also provide ecological equilibrium. Diversification adds to the exchange of experiences and possibilities in the creation and distribution of economic resilience metrics, techniques, and instruments.

Due to the unfavorable climate of India, farmers suffer crop losses every year, so their dependence on agriculture is reduced in recent days, in this situation, these diversifications provide a boost to self-employment and the new generation’s export capacities. Animal husbandry, fisheries, and horticulture also provide alternate sources of income as well as a reduction in traditional agriculture’s over-dependence.  

Animal husbandry

Animal husbandry pertains to the upbringing, breeding, and raising of animals for meat, fiber, eggs, milk, and other food products. Animal husbandry is the practice of producing livestock and selective breeding. The livelihood of a vast number of farmers is dependent on this sector. India has an abundance of cattle. The care and production of livestock that is helpful to people, such as buffaloes, cows, pigs, horses, cattle, sheep, camels, poultry, goats, etc. is referred to as animal husbandry. It now includes poultry farms and fisheries under its purview. Our country’s livestock sector increased at an 8.15 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2014-15 to 2019-20

Role of Animal husbandry in farmers’ economy:

  • A mixed crop-livestock agricultural system with mostly cattle, goats, and fowl is common. The family’s income, food security, transportation, and nutrition are all improved through livestock rearing.
  • The world’s largest dairy development program was Operation Flood initiated by Dr. Verghese Kurien. It was a major project of India’s National Dairy Development Board(NDDB), which began on January 13, 1970. It was established in India with the objective of increasing milk output and organizing dairy farmers to enhance their profits through cooperative models since the farmers benefited much from milk production. It aided India’s transformation as the world’s largest milk producer.
  • The creation of high-yielding animal breeds is aided through cross-breeding. This boosts the production of milk, eggs, meat, etc.
  • Farmers are guaranteed a reasonable price and income from milk, eggs, and meat supply to urban markets under the government’s scheme. Between 1960 and 2002, milk output increased considerably. Many states have formed cooperatives to ensure that farmers receive a fair price and a consistent income for supplying milk to urban markets.
  • Sheep, for example, are efficient grass-to-meat and wool converters. Also wool and other products are gaining traction as significant diversification industries.

In FY 2015-16, the gross value of output from this industry was 8,123 billion rupees. Many small and marginal farmers found dairy farming to be a valuable source of additional income and employment. India now possesses the world’s largest dairy herd (cows and buffaloes), with over 304 million animals, and is the world’s leading milk producer, with 112.5 million tons produced in 2009–2010.


The fishery can refer to either the business of growing or harvesting fish and other aquatic life or the location where such business is conducted. The fishery is a significant business in India because it employs millions of people and helps the country’s food security. Fisheries play an important role in a country with a coastline of over 8,000 kilometers, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 2 million square kilometers, and abundant freshwater resources.  

Role of Fisheries in farmers’ economy:

  • Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture contribute significantly to employment creation and development.
  • Employment in fisheries adds to the country’s food security.
  • Fish has long been recognized for its medicinal and therapeutic properties. Fish’s therapeutic qualities are used to prevent and treat heart disease, arthritis, asthma, and a variety of other ailments, allowing humans to maintain their general health.
  • Fish is used in the manufacturing of animal feeds, notably fishmeal, as well as for direct human consumption. Non-food products account for around a quarter of global fish production, with the majority being processed into fishmeal and fish oil.

Currently, fisheries and aquaculture contribute 1.07 percent to the national GDP, whereas agriculture and related sectors provide 5.30 percent, with an average annual value of the output of rupees 31,682.50 crores over the Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-2007). Fishing is a large sector in India, employing 14.5 million people. India is the world’s second-largest producer of aquaculture and third-largest producer of fisheries. Fisheries account for 1.07 percent of India’s total GDP.


Horticulture is the cultivation of plants in gardens for the production of food and medicinal compounds, as well as for aesthetic and comfort reasons. Horticulturists grow flowers, fruits, and nuts, vegetables, and herbs, as well as decorative trees and lawns. Farmers are drawn to horticulture, particularly vegetable growing, because of the better remuneration offered by the sector.  

Role of Horticulture in farmers’ economy:

  • Fruits, vegetables, tuber crops, flowers, medicinal and aromatic plants, spices, and plantation crops are among the horticulture crops grown in India. These crops are essential for providing food and nourishment as well as long-term employment prospects.
  • India has become a world leader in the production of a variety of fruits and is the world’s second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables. High-density plantation of some dry fruits and fruits like Walnut, Apple, Cherry, Flowers, etc. will increase the farmers’ income.
  • Horticulture crops and natural products are more laborious to change in rude and ominous climate conditions, and the vegetables dramatically help the pay of little and negligible ranchers. The water utilization is at a low level in the crops of horticulture, definitely diminishes the yield disappointment hazard or chances, and can happen in more modest ranches.
  • Flower picking, nursery care, hybrid seed production, and tissue culture, fruit and flower propagation, and food processing are highly remunerative work alternatives for women in rural locations.
  • Medicinal plants are beneficial for curing human illnesses and play a significant part in healing.

The time frame somewhere in the range of 1991 and 2003 is alluded to as the Golden Revolution in India. It is identified with the expanded creation of nectar and cultivation which was the fundamental goal of this horticultural unrest. Cultivation creation in India has dramatically increased generally from 146 million tons in 2001-02 to contact the figure of 314 million tons in 2018-19. Then again, the creation of food grain stretched out from 213 million tons to 285 million tons all through a similar period.

Initiatives are taken by the government in these sectors:

The government has given its approval to the implementation of a Special Livestock Sector Package that includes a number of initiatives. By modifying and realigning different components of the Government of India’s programs for the next five years, beginning in 2021-22, in order to further stimulate growth in the livestock industry and therefore make animal husbandry more remunerative to the country’s 10 crore farmers. This package calls for the Central Government to provide Rs.9800 crore in assistance over a five-year period in order to leverage a total investment of Rs. 54,618 crore.

The Rashtriya Gokul Mission’s revised and realigned scheme component is critical for the development and conservation of indigenous breeds. Also, because most low-producing indigenous breeds are with tiny and marginal farmers and landless laborers, they can help improve the economic status of the rural poor. RGM’s goal would be to bring high-quality breeding inputs to farmers’ doorsteps. RGM must be used in order to increase milk output and bovine productivity, making dairying more profitable for the country’s impoverished farmers.


Like other sources of diversification, Animal husbandry, fishing, and horticulture can able to contribute huge for the economic development of farmers. In comparison to farming, which only has two major cropping seasons each year, these activities are also more sustainable. The success of Operation Flood has demonstrated that dairy farming may assist farmers in becoming more successful. 

Limited public-sector investment and poor, inefficient support services aggravate the challenges of growth in these sectors. Programs and initiatives are frequently poorly conceived and targeted, resulting in inefficient and fragmented development of these sectors. Livestock policies are frequently incoherent, with ill-defined aims and little or no evaluation of their potential impact. Evidently, an effective policy and planning framework is required to maximize development resources while also providing the essential support and economic climate for a country’s livestock resources to reach their full potential. As a result, employment will rise and rural income will rise, potentially raising the total GDP of the economy.

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Last Updated : 21 Oct, 2021
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