Digital Power for Livestock Sector

Pashu Sandesh, 19 March 2024

On 2nd March, the Prime Minister dedicated the Bharat Pashudhan Livestock Data Stack to the Nation. This remarkable addition to India’s impressive array of Digital Public Infrastructure has already been in use for the last few months, across the entire country, by nearly four lakh field workers in the Animal Husbandry Sector. This will set the ground for Pashu Aadhaar and collate records of Services provided.

Through the App, the field workers upload important information related to animal transactions like vaccinations, artificial inseminations, fresh animal registrations, changes in ownership, and even e-prescriptions, disease reports, milk recordings etc. are uploaded, tracked, monitored, on a real-time basis using the unique ID number or Pashu Aadhaar assigned to every animal. At present, over 15.5 crore entries have already been uploaded, and about 16 lakh entries are being added each day.

The Livestock Sector has a vital role to play in the rural economy. It has a GVA share of about 5% and a total Growth Rate of about 7.93 %, and a Market Size of Rs 15.63 lakh Cr. The addition of this new stack will consolidate the sector from the current situation of disorganized and fragmented growth. With no visibility and reliable source of information, the Bankers and insurers shied away due to lack of trust. With an end-to-end ERP usable live data sets, all activities can be tracked, monitored, and eventually monetized for the benefit of the farmers as well as the processing industry. This New Scheme of AHIDF providing current subvention has already made processing of applications seamless with end to end digital transaction capability. This will also address the long-standing issue of traceability through the National Digital Livestock Mission.

The new stack design allows API sharing at any level within the bounds of the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) and can be used by State Governments to converge with their other datasets and activities, for disease surveillance and monitoring and early warning systems in the case of zoonotic diseases. Traceability of dairy and livestock products would foster a better expert regime. Large farms and organizations will also use this for their internal operations with add-on services such as IOT devices. With the help of this robust data, disease-free zones can be established in high-production areas in the first instance, and exports can be enabled.

The Prime Minister also at the same time launched the Pashupalak App. It will empower the farmers to be able to access all free and paid livestock-related schemes/services. For instance, every time a cow is given an FMD vaccination under the National Animal Disease Eradication Programme, the vaccinator uploads the information on the stack, and she can see it from her app too. The entire history of the animal, from calving to the first lactation, from every illness episode and treatment provided can be viewed and even shared with insurance companies bankers etc. The farmer can even mark the animal for sale so that other buyers can see it and negotiate with the farmer.

The farmer also has other important information at her fingertips like contact details of all nearby Al technicians, availability of good quality semen straws to IVF services, educational videos on ethno veterinary medicines, safe milking etc., rational balancing calculator and social community features, thus, eliminating the information asymmetry that has plagued the livestock farmers.

The government has already started the MVUs, with centralised call centres. Now all can be accessed through the veterinary services toll-free call centre 1962 through a single button, which is already available in 18 states and will soon be rolled out across the country, thus ensuring maximum utility of the 4335 Mobile Veterinary Units already sanctioned.

The upcoming livestock Census, due to be undertaken later this year, will also take place on the Bharat Pashudhan Interface, ensuring an accurate and up-to-date count for focused planning of future initiatives.

The availability of ready accountability and transparency through the Bharat Pashudhan will also permit better spending towards the pressing problem of stray animals. Animal shelters and goshalas can now track information like no. of animals, their feed, how they are taken care of etc. all on this interface, encouraging both Governments and private persons to fund these activities.

Finally, the accurate database of animals and farmers will allow the rollout of DBT-based schemes, the use of e-Rupi to farmer transactions, the use of AI and many more applications providing a platform for phenomenal growth.