Pashu Sandesh, 08 Jan 2023
Department of Animal Husbandry came into existence as a separate department in Agriculture Ministry on 1st February 1991 through the merger of two wings of the Department of Agriculture namely Animal Husbandry and Dairy development. Later fisheries wing of the Department of Agriculture was transferred to this department on 10th October 1997 and is named the "Department of Animal husbandry Dairying" and fisheries. Later on the 5th of February 2019 a separate department of fisheries is formed by carving out the Fishery from the department of Animal husbandry Dairying and fisheries.
The Present "Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying"(DAHD) was created on 14th June 2019 as one of the departments under the newly formed ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and dairying which was formed in May 2019 by prime minister Narendra Modi in his second term.
From its formation in 1991 till May 2019 the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying came under the purview of the Agriculture Ministry and is tagged as an “allied” sector of Agriculture in the Government corridors. While In reality it is often treated as an orphaned or stepney sector by the Agriculture ministry. The policies and incentive structure of the Agriculture ministry were highly skewed in favour of crop cultivators.
As per the economic survey 2021-22 animal husbandry sector grew at a compound annual growth rate of 8.5% during 2014-15 to 2019-20, which is six times more than the growth of the crop sector during the same period. The survey further states that the animal husbandry sector has been the major driver of overall growth in the agriculture and allied sector. With milk as the single largest commodity and the dairy sector employing more than 8 crore farmers directly, the animal husbandry sector contributes 28% of the overall Agriculture GDP and 4.5% of the national GDP.
Despite of growing significance of the economy and food & nutritional security of the country Animal Husbandry sector has been largely neglected when it comes to budgetary allocation. In the financial year 2022-23, the budget allocated for the animal husbandry sector was Rs 4,288 crore which is 0.11% of the total budget of GOI, while the budget allocated for the Agriculture sector was Rs 1,24,000 crore which is 3.14% of the total budget of GOI. Considering the 28% contribution of the Animal Husbandry sector in the overall GDP of agriculture, this sector should get 28% of the Agriculture budget, which comes to 34,720 crores.
When we look back at the data of the last three years, anyone can say that the Animal Husbandry sector is not getting the share it deserves.
In the financial year 2019-20 the budget proposed by the department was Rs 3,532 crore and allocation at the budget estimate was Rs 3,342 crore at the revised estimate, it was Rs 3180 crore.
In the financial year 2020-21 the budget proposed by the department was Rs 8,396 crore and allocation at the budget estimate was Rs 3,704 crore at the revised estimate it was Rs 3,007 crore.
In the financial year 2021-22 the budget proposed by the department was Rs 7,372 crore allocation at the budget estimate was Rs 3,599 crore and the revised estimate was Rs 3,053 crore.
The standing committee of Parliament on Agriculture Animal Husbandry and food processing in its report for 2022-23 recommended the ministry of finance increase the allocation of funds to the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) in keeping with the contribution of the sector to the GDP.
The creation of a separate ministry created a flutter and hope for a better future for the farmers associated with the Animal Husbandry sector and for fulfilling Modi's dream of a 3 trillion economy. But even after 3 years of its creation it seems Department is yet to realise its full potential both by the politicians, bureaucracy and Finacial advisors. Bureaucracy needs to up its ante and make sure the funds released for the Animal Husbandry Sector are utilized well and create scope for further increase in the Budget with a strong sense of urgency. Hope this discussion reaches the right Heart and Mind and we could hope for a better future for Animal Husbandry.