Dear Finance Minister, please listen to us Vets

Pashu Sandesh, 21 June 2019

With the new Government in the form of Modi 2.0 and at the helm of Economic affairs, the dynamic Nirmala Sitaraman, things are looking rosy and not just glimmer of ray but the whole sunshine showering upon the Indian Economy its time for the reforms for the betterment of Animal Husbandry Sector which has the tremendous potential to transform the lives of its stakeholders. New ideas are needed especially when the first union budget of the new government is around the corner.

Dr A. T. Kumbhar a Retired IAS Officer and a Vet who worked as the Commissioner of the Animal Husbandry in the Maharashtra Government, has written a letter to the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, sharing his ideas and views which he has accumulated over the years while serving the Animal Husbandry Department. 

Here is the letter for everyone to read, dwell upon and share so that more views could be generated for the betterment of Animal Husbandry department. 


Honourable Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitaramanji 

Govt of India

New Delhi. 

Subject: Reasonable Budget Provision for new Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries (AHDF) Dept. 

Respected Madam,

On Feb 1, 2019, Honourable Piyush Goyalji announced separate ministry for Fisheries and I was a bit upset as it should have been independent AHDF. But Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modiji did it by appointing separate Minister for AHDF dept. Its long-standing demand and dream of veterinarians like me which is fulfilled by Honourable Modiji. Many many thanks to Honorable PM and BJP for this historic decision and justice. Madam, we expect justice from you for this most important but deprived department which plays a vital role in doubling farmer’s income, improving the health of people and huge employment opportunities. 

I give here a brief account of the importance of this department.  


In food grains, we have achieved surplus production by exploiting all possible means of seed development, fertilizer use, irrigation and technology. There is a little scope to exploit further crop yield potentiality and soil potentiality limiting crop generated income. 

AHDF depart has a lot of potentiality for exploitation and income generation by a livestock Revolution as expected by Dr Swaminathan Committee (Ref. Fourth Report 2006) Many studies on farmer suicides prone areas ( eg. Dr Narendra Jadhav in Maharashtra) revealed that those owning livestock didn’t tend to suicide. Recent Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income (DFI) under the chairmanship of Dr Ashok Dalwai in its Fourteen Volumes, also repeatedly pointed out that ‘livestock’ is a ‘savior’ and income generating factor for farmers. 

Its Growth rate is always on the rise.
Out of total Farmland households, almost 85% are marginal (less than 1.0 Ha. ) and small (less than 2 Ha.) households comprising more than 12 crores are really needy families. Recently Govt of India has announced Rs. 6 thousand under PM Kissan Samman Yojana in three instalments of which of Rs. 2000 is deposited in their accounts. 

Apart from them, there are landless labours comprising around 4 crore households who are also dependent on livestock raising. 

a. b. c. OR 

I suggested here per household package of: 

2 to 4 good Milch Cows/ buffaloes
5 to 10 Goats/sheep/pig unit
20 – 25 Desi chicken/duck/layer birds 

100 Broiler unit And/ OR 

100 improved variety of white leghorn layers 

This will help in many ways to the family. All the above three may not be possible for a single household and they can be given freedom of choice.

How this package will help? 

Milk will be available to children, pregnant women, youths, old people at home. Surplus milk will be sold in the market or co-operatives.

Eggs will be available daily for consumption to family members and surplus can be sold daily. 

Goat milk is at par with mother’s milk and can be consumed by family and may be sold in the market with ‘goat milk’ brand fetching a higher price. The mature kids selling will give income in the nick of time and also on a regular basis. Sheep milk -cheesemaking will be a highly profitable enterprise of channelized properly. 

Above package will help not only to generate substantial, sustainable income but will also help improve health and immune system of each inpidual member of family preventing diseases and reducing expenditure on medicines as milk, chhachh, curd, butter, ghee, eggs, chicken meat, goat milk will be available at home. 

If a proper chain is developed to market above produce under the leadership of Collector/ DM of the districts the villages will develop beyond our dreams and Gandhiji’s dream will be fulfilled in his 150th Birth celebration.

To achieve the above thing I bring some facts to notice:


Our milk production in 2017-18 was 176.4 million tons with per capita availability of 374gms/ day ( 2017-18Annual Reports of AHDF Dept & NDDB). In fact, the availability of milk is arrived at by simply piding total milk by population. But the question is ‘ Kya harek Bhartiya itna doodh pita hai?’ Is every Indian drinking so much milk daily? No! not at all. Almost 60% of milk is consumed by the upper middle class and rich families. Lower middle-class households cannot afford for half a litre daily and poor households cannot afford for even 200 ml milk daily. They just buy milk to colour the tea. If we make available at least 400 ml per inpidual (as recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad) we will require double than present production. If we take into account the adulterated milk in the market then the real requirement of pure milk will be many folds.
To satisfy the above need we need high quality of milch animals - cows and buffaloes. Under NDP-1 program (2011-12 to 2018-19) GOI AHDF & NDDB has taken good imitative through a breeding policy of getting Superior Genome Merit (SGM) / High Genome Merit (HGM) bulls production. Also, efforts are made through Pedigree Selection, Embryo Transfer (ET), Artificial Insemination (AI). Also under Rashtriya Gokul Mission two centres are established to exploit indigenous germplasm.
All the above attempts will not satisfy the actual requirement of the present and future. A war footing efforts and multiplication of production unit is a must. For that huge allocation is necessary. 

Meat and eggs: 

Its fact that almost 70% of Indians are non-vegetarian. 49% of meat is from poultry. Total egg production in 2016-17 was 88139 million and annual per capita availability was just 69 eggs.
Even vegetarians prefer eggs and egg-based products. If all youths in colleges and hostels, school children, all tribals were given daily 2-4 eggs it will be a great protein supplement. So there is a scope to multiply the poultry industry. 

In the case of meat total production was 7385.61 thousand tons (2016-2017) which means just 15 gm /day/capita availability. Due to the ban on cattle slaughter, there is a scope and need for more goat/sheep/pig/poultry meat production.

Here also we don’t have a sufficient number of quality high genome merit animals. Government of India and state governments implement many schemes of distribution of milch animals, sheep/goats/ pigs to BPL and backward class households. Since we are lacking good quality HGM animals these schemes have not succeeded to the expected level. 

In short-

To make ample milk, eggs, meat and fish availability we need a MASSIVE BREEDING PROGRAMME on a war footing which will give fruits after 20-25 years of continuous research. 

Livestock development is totally dependent on feed and fodder. During droughts, we make desperate efforts to open cattle camps leading to allegations of corruption scams after spending thousands of crores of rupees. We can use this money to establish FFCI. 

Every district and pision headquarters should have huge warehouses stocking sufficient silage (which lasts for 1 1⁄2 years and it is nutritious), chauffed dry fodder bales which will supply like ration to dairy co-operatives, which in turn will supply to farmers in exchange of supply of milk. So then there is no direct money involved at the farmer level. Sufficient stock of dry fodder bales and silage can be made to cater the need of coming 2-3 years. Silage can be distributed at concessional rates to BPL families. This solves the problem of storage space of marginal farmers and farm labourers. The farmer can daily take away the required quantity of feed and fodder for cattle and goats. Similarly for feed ingredients, mostly maize and various cakes, separate godowns shall be constructed and it should be supplied to poultry and cattle feed manufacturers who may be private or co-operative with a rider of price check. 

Farmers should be encouraged to produce fodder and the government should buy it from them. Instead of sugarcane if we keep compulsory 50% land for fodder (green and dry) and food grains like maize, jowar etc, production it will give multiple cropping benefit and more money per acre of land with huge savings of water. 

This FFCI will act like a Revolutionary measure to tackle poverty and produce more milk, eggs and meat.
To produce silage, dry fodder bales and feed the co-operatives should be given incentives and loan at a low-interest rate. This will be a “ZERO LOAN” business to farmers so there won’t be any question of loan waiver schemes. States can have their own – “Feed And Fodder Corporation of _____ State” which will help tackle issues at ground level.

Contract farming is advocated by Dr Swaminathan and quoted Anuradha Desai Chairperson of ‘Venkateshwara Hatcheries’. Practically in Maharashtra and in India, many entrepreneurs are doing poultry contract farming business well-giving job opportunities to lakhs of youths and households. 

These entrepreneurs shall be given benefits of FFCI with subsidized loan facility who will, in turn, will transfer the benefit to farmers keeping him “Loan Free”. Layer and Broiler industry is doing well. It's possible in dairy/ goatary/ piggery if private dairy owners/ industries are given proper assistance with assurance to uplift the farmers in the vicinity. 


Year                     Total provision   Agriculture dept    AHDF Dept 

                              Rs. Crore             Rs. Crore(%)         Rs Crore(%)

2016-17 (AE)             44,500            42,642 (95.83)        1858 (4.17) 

2017-18 (RE)             50,264            40,097 (95.69)        2167 (4.31)

2018-19 (BE)             57,600            54,500 (94.62)        3100 (5.38) 


Source: PRS Legislative Research, Feb 22, 2018 

Madam, above fact, reveals that Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries dept was totally deprived of its legitimate right to massive research in Breeding and Fodder and Feed development. Our Veterinary Universities (barring some like Rajasthan University) are on a ventilator of Rs 100-200 crore per annum. How can they carry on massive research programs in basic developments and processing units?. Each university must get a minimum of Rs. 500-1000 crore with the condition of development of at least 2-3 indigenous pure breeds of cattle, buffalo, poultry, goat and sheep in time bound programs. Also, they should be asked to give real entrepreneurship training to students. At present many universities and colleges have zero breeding stock on the campus. Our students come out with a theory and then try their luck practising in some private firms. Every veterinarian must be given an opportunity to get trained, at least short courses, in countries like New Zealand, Holland, etc. Postgraduate scholarship for abroad education shall be made available in hundreds per year. Our Training to farmers is many times for the sake of numbers and very very few turns to entrepreneurship.

Madam, to have ‘ Livestock Revolution’ and boosting farmers income you are requested to make provision with Rs. one lakh crore for AHDF.

Thanking you

Yours faithfully 

Dr A. T. Kumbhar                                                                              Mob. 9322133520

(Ret. IAS, LLB, MVSc.)                                                                                    B-902, Shanti Vaibhav CHS, Plot 11A, Sect. 42A, 

Ex. Commissioner of Animal Husbandry                                                           Navi Mumbai.400706 

 Govt. of Maharashtra