Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

[pib] National Gopal Ratna Award, 2024

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: National Gopal Ratna Award

Why in the News?

  • The National Gopal Ratna Award (NGRA) 2024 has been awarded by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
    • The awards are conferred annually on National Milk Day, which is celebrated on 26th November.

What is the National Gopal Ratna Award (NGRA)?

  • NGRA is an initiative under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission, launched by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  • Objective: The award aims to promote the conservation and development of indigenous bovine breeds, which are crucial for the sustainability of the dairy sector in India.
  • Categories: NGRA is awarded in several categories:
    • Best Dairy farmer rearing indigenous cattle/buffalo breeds.
    • Best Dairy Cooperative Society (DCS)/ Milk Producer Company (MPC)/ Dairy Farmer Producer Organization (FPO).
    • Best Artificial Insemination Technician (AIT).

Other aspects of the Award

    • Special Recognition: In recent years, a special award category has been included for the North Eastern Region (NER) states to encourage dairy development activities in these regions.
  • Nomination and Recognition: Nominations for the NGRA are submitted online through the National Award portal.
  • Award Details:
  • NGRA 2024 will confer awards in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranks, and one Special Award for the NER States in each category.
  • Cash prizes for Best Dairy Farmer and Best DCS/FPO/MPC categories:
    • Rs. 5,00,000/- (1st rank)
    • Rs. 3,00,000/- (2nd rank)
    • Rs. 2,00,000/- (3rd rank)
    • Rs. 2,00,000/- (Special Award for NER).
  • Best AIT category: Certificate of merit and a memento, without any cash prize.

Back2Basics: Rashtriya Gokul Mission

Details
About
  • Implemented for development and conservation of indigenous bovine breeds since December 2014.
  • Continued under the umbrella scheme Rashtriya Pashudhan Vikas Yojana from 2021 to 2026 with a budget of Rs.2400 crore.
Nodal Ministry Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying
Objectives
  • Enhance productivity of bovines and increase milk production sustainably using advanced technologies.
  • Propagate the use of high genetic merit bulls for breeding purposes.
  • Enhance artificial insemination coverage by strengthening the breeding network and providing services at farmers’ doorsteps.
  • Promote indigenous cattle & buffalo rearing and conservation in a scientific and holistic manner.

 

PYQ:

[2015] Livestock rearing has a big potential for providing non-farm employment and income in rural areas. Discuss suggesting suitable measures to promote this sector in India.

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Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

An Animal Protection Bill that must be moved in June

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Issues in PCA 1960

Why in the News? 

Presently, Croatia has imposed stricter penalties for acts of cruelty, especially the abandonment of domestic pets. Countries across the world are reforming their animal cruelty laws and enhancing punishments for animal cruelty.

On punishment theories:

  • Inadequacies in the PCA Act (1960): The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA Act) is the primary legislation criminalizing various forms of cruelty towards animals in India.
  • Failure to Achieve Objectives: Despite being in place for several decades, the PCA Act has failed to achieve its main objective of preventing cruelty to animals effectively.

Theories of punishment suggest that punishment serves three main goals:

  • Retribution: Retribution refers to punishment imposed to avenge the crime committed.In the context of animal cruelty, retribution could involve imposing punishment on perpetrators to seek justice for the harm inflicted on animals.
  • Deterrence: It aims to prevent future crimes by imposing punishment that dissuades both the perpetrator and the general public from engaging in similar behavior.
  • Reformation or Rehabilitation: It focuses on reforming the behavior of the perpetrator to prevent future offenses.

Issues in PCA 1960 : 

  • Bail and Non-Cognisable Offences: Many offences under the PCA Act are bailable and non-cognisable, allowing accused individuals to seek bail easily and preventing immediate police action without court permission. This delays justice and hampers effective enforcement.
  • Inadequate Fines: The fines prescribed under the PCA Act have remained unchanged for over 130 years, rendering them insignificant and failing to act as a deterrent against animal cruelty. In many cases, fines are as low as ₹10, which does not reflect the seriousness of the offenses.
  • Discretionary Sentencing: The law grants courts discretion to choose between imposing imprisonment or a fine on offenders, even for severe cases of animal cruelty. This leniency allows perpetrators to evade appropriate punishment, undermining the deterrent effect of the law.
  • Lack of Rehabilitation Measures: The PCA Act lacks provisions for alternative forms of punishment such as community service, which could help reform perpetrators and address the root causes of animal cruelty.

Steps taken by Government:

  • In November 2022, the Draft PCA (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was published by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying for public comments. Despite widespread public support for the Draft Bill, it was not tabled in Parliament.
  • The Draft Bill includes significant amendments to the 1960 Act such as the inclusion of the five fundamental freedoms for animals, enhancement of the punishments and the amounts of money to be paid as fines for various offences, and addition of new cognisable offences.

Way forward 

  • Legislative Reforms: Need to table the Draft PCA (Amendment) Bill, 2022 in Parliament for consideration and enactment.Enhance penalties and fines for animal cruelty to reflect the seriousness of the offenses and act as a deterrent.
  • Promotion of Public Awareness: Launch campaigns and awareness programs to educate the public about animal welfare and the consequences of cruelty.

Mains PYQ 

Q Discuss the significance of the lion and bull figures in Indian mythology, art and architecture. (UPSC IAS/2022)

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Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

The poultry industry needs urgent reforms

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: H5N1 Virus

Mains level: Scale of spreading H5N1 virus

Why in the news?

The current outbreak of H5N1 was a disaster waiting to happen, as experts have been sounding alarm bells on the unsafe conditions at industrial livestock production for more than 10 years now.

Scale of spreading H5N1 virus:

  • Global Spread of H5N1 in humans: The H5N1 virus has spread globally, affecting various species including humans, polar bears in the Arctic, and seals and seagulls in Antarctica.
  • In India Spread of H5N1 in humans:  The first H5N1 patient was reported in Maharashtra in 2006. An outbreak in December 2020 and early 2021 spread across 15 States
  • Human Fatality Rate: As per WHO, the fatality rate for H5N1 among humans is estimated at 52%, with 463 deaths recorded since 2003 out of 888 diagnosed cases.
  • Transmission from Birds and Contaminated Environments: Almost all human infections with H5N1 are linked to close contact with infected birds or contaminated environments, emphasizing the importance of biosecurity measures.
  • Spread in other species: This pathogen has crossed many species barriers, causing mortality among the polar bears in the Arctic and seals and seagulls in Antarctica.

Causes for the spread of H5N1 (avian influenza or bird flu) infection:

  • Contact with infected birds: Humans can contract H5N1 if they come into direct contact with the body fluids, such as saliva, respiratory droplets, or feces, of infected birds.
  • Poultry Trade and Movement: The transportation and trade of infected poultry, poultry products, and crowded live poultry markets provide an environment for the virus to spread between birds and potentially to humans.
  • Antibiotic Resistance: The 269th Law Commission of India Report in 2017 highlighted evidence from the Tata Memorial Centre regarding the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics in poultry farming, leading to antibiotic resistance due to unhygienic living conditions.
  • Environmental Factors: Factors like proximity to bodies of water, reduced rainfall, and presence near major highways have been associated with increased risk of H5N1 outbreaks. These environmental conditions may facilitate the spread of the virus.

Regulation: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has classified poultry units with more than 5,000 birds as a polluting industry that requires compliance and regulatory consent to establish and operate.

Way Forward:

  • Draft Rules for Welfare: The Law Commission 269th recommended a set of draft rules for the welfare of chickens in the meat and egg industries, aligning with existing laws and international best practices for animal care, waste management, and antibiotic use.
  • Weaknesses in Draft Rules: The Draft Rules for the egg industry released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in 2019 were criticized for being weak and tokenistic, failing to meet the recommendations of the Law Commission.
  • Need for Oversight and Enforcement: Given the reclassification of the poultry industry as a highly polluting ‘orange categoryindustry by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), strict oversight for compliance and enforcement of environmental regulations is essential.

Mains PYQ:

Q What is the basic principle behind vaccine development? How do vaccines work? What approaches were adopted by the Indian vaccine manufacturers to produce COVID-19 vaccines? (UPSC IAS/2022)

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Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

Criollo: Cattle Breed that can withstand Climate Change

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Criollo Cattle Breed

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

Irish researchers discovered that Criollo cattle are well-adapted to Climate Change due to their ability to thrive in hot and humid conditions, which they have developed over many years.

About Criollo Cattle Breed

Details
Origin Latin America, particularly in regions such as Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America
Historical Context
  • Criollo cattle trace their roots back to the arrival of Spanish cattle in the Americas during the 15th and 16th centuries.
  • Initially brought from La Gomera in the Spanish Canary Islands, adapted to diverse environments.
Physical Appearance
  • Small to medium-sized cattle with a compact body structure
  • Adapted to various climates, including tropical and subtropical regions
  • Short, sleek coat, often in various colors such as black, brown, or red
Adaptability Known for their resilience and ability to thrive in harsh environments

Well-suited to extensive grazing systems and low-input management practices

Disease Resistance Developed natural resistance to various diseases prevalent in their native regions, such as tick-borne illnesses and parasites
Economic Importance
  • Valued for their ability to utilize low-quality forages and adaptability to diverse environments
  • Serve as a sustainable source of meat and dairy products for local communities

 

PYQ:

2016:

What is/are unique about ‘Kharai camel’, a breed found in India?

1. It is capable of swimming up to three kilometres in seawater.

2. It survives by grazing on mangroves.

3. It lives in the wild and cannot be domesticated.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Practice MCQ:

The Criollo cattle breed has recently found mention in the news for its:

(a) Breeding Capacity

(b) Nutrients-rich Milk

(c) Adaptability to Climate Change

(d) Life Expectancy

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How to bring about White Revolution 2.0

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: White Revolution 2.0

Mains level: Reason behind the need of White Revolution 2.0

Why in the news?

The government’s latest Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) for 2022-23 shows milk emerging as India’s top food spend item, both in rural and urban areas

Key facts as per survey-

  • The monthly value of milk and dairy products consumed by an average person in rural India, at Rs 314, was ahead of vegetables (Rs 203), cereals (Rs 185), egg, fish & meat (Rs 185), fruits (Rs 140), edible oil (Rs 136), spices (Rs 113) and pulses (Rs 76).
  • The HCES data reveals the same for urban India: Milk (Rs 466), fruits (Rs 246), vegetables (Rs 245), cereals (Rs 235), egg, fish & meat (Rs 231), edible oil (Rs 153), spices (Rs 138) and pulses (Rs 90).

The challenges as per the latest Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES)-

  • Rising Milk Prices: Over the last five years, the all-India modal price of milk has surged from Rs 42 to Rs 60 per liter, with a notable increase from Rs 52 to Rs 60 in the past year alone. This upward trend in milk prices poses a challenge for consumers in terms of affordability.
  • Inflationary Pressure: The increase in milk prices is attributed to inflationary pressures, impacting consumer demand. Higher prices may lead to reduced consumption or shifts to alternative products, affecting the dairy industry’s revenue and profitability.
  • Increased Input Costs: The cost of fodder, feed, and raw materials/ingredients has risen significantly. Dairies are compelled to raise procurement prices paid to farmers to offset these increased input costs. Consequently, consumers bear the brunt of these cost hikes through higher retail prices for milk and dairy products.
  • Pass-through to Consumers: To mitigate the impact of rising input costs, dairies pass on the increased procurement prices to consumers, leading to further price hikes in milk products. This pass-through mechanism exacerbates the financial burden on consumers already grappling with inflated prices.
  • Impact on Farmers: While increased procurement prices may benefit farmers initially, they may face challenges in sustaining dairy farming operations if input costs continue to escalate. Balancing the interests of farmers, consumers, and the dairy industry becomes crucial amidst these challenges..

How can that be achieved?

  • Use of Sex-Sorted Semen (SS) technology: The use of sex-sorted semen increases the probability of female calves being born to over 90%, compared to the 50:50 ratio with conventional semen. This technology ensures a higher proportion of future milk-producing cows, enhancing the productivity of dairy herds.
  • Increased Adoption: Dairy cooperatives like Amul are actively promoting the use of sex-sorted semen among farmers. In 2022-23, Amul performed 2.86 lakh artificial inseminations (AIs) using sex-sorted semen out of a total of 13.91 lakh AIs, constituting 20.5% of the total. The cooperative aims to raise this ratio to 30% by 2024-25.
  • Enhanced Conception Rate: Roughly one-third of artificial inseminations using sex-sorted semen lead to conception. This high conception rate, coupled with the assurance of female calves, contributes to a more efficient breeding strategy, resulting in a larger population of milk-producing cows.
  • Long-term Impact: By increasing the number of female calves born through sex-sorted semen technology, dairy farmers can anticipate a higher yield of milk-producing cows in subsequent generations. This proactive approach ensures the sustainability and growth of the dairy industry by maximizing milk production efficiency.
  • Cooperative Initiatives: Dairy cooperatives play a pivotal role in facilitating the adoption of advanced breeding technologies among farmers. Through initiatives like Amul’s targeted use of sex-sorted semen, cooperatives contribute to improving the genetic potential of dairy herds and enhancing overall milk yield per animal.

Taking to farmer/ significance of Breeding Centre-

  • Establishment of Bovine Breeding Centre: Amul inaugurated a Bovine Breeding Centre in Mogar, Gujarat, in March 2020, to breed a nucleus herd of superior bulls and cows for artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer (ET) technologies.
  • Objective of the Centre: The primary objective of the centre is to produce high-quality semen and in vitro-fertilised embryos, stored at ultra-low temperatures, for use in AI or transferring into farmers’ animals.
  • Breeds and Milk Yield: The centre has produced various breeds, including exotic (such as Holstein-Friesian and Jersey), HF-Gir and HF-Sahiwal crossbred, and indigenous Gir, Sahiwal, and Murrah buffalo breeds, with varying milk yield capacities ranging from 3,000 to 12,000 liters per year.
  • Utilization of Male and Female Genetics: Through AI and sex-sorted semen, the centre exploits male genetics, while IVF-ET technology focuses on harnessing the female genetics of donor cows.
  • Adoption by Farmers: Amul has extended IVF-ET technology to farmers, with successful pregnancies and calvings recorded. Member unions of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation have also embraced these advancements, with farmers like Bhavnaben Chaudhary experiencing the benefits of higher-quality breeds through IVF-ET, leading to better milk yields and economic returns.
  • Preference for Specific Breeds: Farmers like Bhavnaben Chaudhary choose breeds like Kankrej for their higher fat and solids-not-fat content, despite lower yields, to ensure better prices and lower feeding and maintenance costs.

Animal nutrition/ lowering the cost of producing milk at the farm-gate

  • Feeding Cost Reduction: Intervention is necessary to reduce the feeding costs of animals by cultivating high-yielding, protein-rich green fodder grasses. This reduces reliance on expensive compound cattle feed and oil-meal concentrates.The focus of White Revolution 2.0 would clearly have to be on lowering the cost of producing milk at the farm-gate
  • Introduction of Total Mixed Ration (TMR) Plant: Amul is establishing a 30-tonnes-per-day TMR plant at Sarsa in Anand. TMR will comprise dry and green fodder, concentrates, vitamins, and mineral mixtures, providing animals with a ready-to-eat mashed form of nutrition.
  • Benefits of TMR: TMR will save farmers the cost of purchasing and storing fodder separately, as well as the effort of administering it alongside cattle feed. It offers a convenient and cost-effective solution for animal nutrition.
  • Sourcing Fodder: The plan involves sourcing fodder from farmer producer organizations (FPOs), whose members will cultivate maize, jowar, hybrid napier, or oat grass and prepare silage for use in the TMR plant.
  • Focus on High-Yielding Grasses: Farmers will focus on cultivating high-yielding grass varieties rich in protein content, which are essential for maintaining the health and productivity of dairy animals.

Conclusion-

To ensure a sustainable White Revolution 2.0, measures such as the adoption of advanced breeding technologies, the establishment of breeding centres, and focus on animal nutrition are crucial for enhancing milk production efficiency and economic viability.

Mains question for practice-

Q- Discuss the role of advanced breeding technologies, establishment of breeding centers, and strategies for reducing feeding costs in ensuring sustainable milk production to achieve White Revolution 2.0.(250 words)

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Foot and Mouth Diseases in Cattles

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)

Mains level: NA

fmd

Why in the news

  • The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has affected around many milch cattle in Uttar Pradesh.

What is Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)?

  • FMD is a highly contagious viral disease of livestock that has a significant economic impact.
  • The disease affects all cattle, swine, sheep, goats, and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.
  • Intensively reared animals are more susceptible to the disease than traditional breeds.
  • It does not affect horses, dogs, or cats.

How does it spread?

  • It is a Transboundary Animal Disease (TAD) that deeply affects the production of livestock and disrupts regional and international trade in animals and animal products.
  • It is caused by is an aphthovirus’ of the family Picornaviridae.
  • There are 7 strains (A, O, C, SAT1, SAT2, SAT3, and Asia1) which are endemic in different countries worldwide.
  • Immunity to one type does not protect an animal against other types or subtypes.

Implications of FMD

  • FMD is characterized by fever and blister-like sores on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats, and between the hooves.
  • The disease is rarely fatal in adult animals, but there is often high mortality in young animals.
  • The disease causes severe production losses, and while the majority of affected animals recover, the disease often leaves them weakened and debilitated.

Policy moves to prevent FMD

  • FMD Mukt Bharat Abhiyan (2016-17): Launched under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) during, it is a program to cover all the states which were not covered under the six-monthly vaccination scheme.
  • National Animal Disease Control Programme (2019): It aims to control of Foot & Mouth Disease and Brucellosis by vaccinating 100% cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population for FMD and 100% bovine female calves of 4-8 months of age for brucellosis.

PYQ:

Q. Livestock rearing has a big potential for providing non- farm employment and income in rural areas. Discuss suggesting suitable measures to promote this sector in India. (2015)

Practice MCQ:

With reference to the National Animal Disease Control Programme, consider the following statements:

  1. It aims to control of Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis by vaccinating 100% cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population.
  2. For brucellosis it would vaccinate 100% bovine calves of all age.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

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FAO publishes first national report on AMR Surveillance in India’s fisheries, livestock sectors

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Antimicrobial resistance

Mains level: Read the attached story

In the news

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) jointly published the surveillance data of the Indian Network for Fishery and Animal Antimicrobial Resistance (INFAAR) for 2019-22.
  • This report marks the first comprehensive analysis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) trends in India’s fisheries and livestock sectors.

About INFAAR

  • Network Formation: INFAAR, established under ICAR, comprises 20 laboratories, including 17 ICAR Research Institute Laboratories, one Central Agriculture University Laboratory, one State Agriculture University Laboratory, and one State Veterinary University.
  • Collaborative Support: Technical assistance from FAO and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) enhances INFAAR’s capabilities for data collection and analysis.
  • Expansion Goals: INFAAR aims for further expansion to encompass more laboratories and enhance surveillance coverage.

Antibiotic Use and AMR Trends

  • Impact of Antibiotics: Antibiotic usage in food animal production contributes to AMR development, necessitating surveillance to inform policy decisions.
  • Production Systems: Three key aquaculture systems—freshwater, brackish-water, and marine—were surveyed, covering diverse environments.
  • Panel of Antibiotics: Antibiotics tested included amikacin, ampicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, aztreonam, cefotaxime, cefepime, cefoxitin, ceftazidime, chloramphenicol, co-trimoxazole, enrofloxacin, gentamicin, imipenem, meropenem, and tetracycline.

Surveillance Methodology

  • Sample Collection: Samples collected from 3,087 farms spanning 42 districts in 12 states of India, including fish or shrimp tissues and pond or seawater samples.
  • Bacterial Isolates: A total of 6,789 bacterial isolates were analyzed, including 4,523 freshwater, 1,809 shrimp, and 457 mariculture isolates.
  • Resistance Profiles: Resistance profiles were analyzed for Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species (CONS), Escherichia coli, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio sp., and Aeromonas species.

Key Findings:

(1) Resistance Patterns in Fisheries Sector

  • Species Specific Resistance: Isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species exhibited high resistance against penicillin across all systems.
  • Variation across Environments: Freshwater fish showed notable resistance to ciprofloxacin, while marine samples demonstrated higher resistance to cefotaxime.
  • Shrimp Aquaculture: Notable resistance against ampicillin and cefotaxime was observed in shrimp samples, indicating a concerning trend.

(2) Resistance Patterns in Livestock Sector

  • Animal Origins: E. coli and Staphylococcus isolates from cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, pig, and poultry were characterized for AMR profiles.
  • Poultry Resistance: Poultry-origin isolates exhibited higher resistance rates across various antibiotics compared to other food animals.

(3) Multidrug Resistance Analysis

  • Emergence of MDR: Approximately 39% of aquaculture-origin E. coli isolates and 15.8% of poultry isolates exhibited multidrug resistance (MDR).
  • ESBL and AmpC Producers: Detection of extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and AmpC type β-lactamase producers underscores the complexity of AMR challenges.

Key Recommendations by the Study

  • Baseline Data: The report provides foundational data for understanding AMR trends and evaluating intervention effectiveness.
  • Judicious Use: High resistance to critical antibiotics underscores the importance of prudent antibiotic use in food animal production.
  • Policy Implications: The findings will inform policy and decision-making for AMR containment in India’s fisheries and livestock sectors.

Conclusion

  • The INFAAR surveillance report sheds light on the evolving landscape of antimicrobial resistance in India’s fisheries and livestock sectors.
  • By highlighting resistance patterns and advocating for responsible antibiotic usage, this initiative paves the way for effective AMR containment strategies and sustainable agricultural practices.

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PM Matsya Kisan Samridhi Sah-Yojana (PM-MKSSY) launched

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: PM-MKSSY details

Mains level: NA

Introduction

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Kisan Samridhi Sah-Yojana (PM-MKSSY), a sub scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, for the micro and small enterprises operating in the fisheries sector.

About Pradhan Mantri Matsya Kisan Samridhi Sah-Yojana

Details
Total Investment Rs. 6,000 crores
Duration 4 years (FY 2023-24 to FY 2026-27)
Funding Model 50% public finance (Rs. 3,000 crore, including World Bank and AFD financing) + 50% from beneficiaries/private sector (Rs. 3,000 crore)
Implementation Scope All States and Union Territories in India
Target Beneficiaries
  • Fishers, aquaculture farmers, fish workers, vendors
  • Micro and small enterprises, SHGs, FFPOs, startups in fisheries and aquaculture
Employment Generation
  • 1.7 lakh new jobs
  • Special emphasis on employing 75,000 women
Major Components
  • Formalization of fisheries sector
  • Adoption of aquaculture insurance
  • Support for microenterprises
  • Adoption and expansion of safety and quality assurance systems
Digital Platform National Fisheries Digital Platform for 40 lakh small and micro-enterprises
Insurance Incentive One-time incentive for purchasing aquaculture insurance, covering at least 1 lakh hectare of aquaculture farms
Performance Grants
  • Microenterprise grants up to 25% of total investment or Rs.35 lakhs (whichever is lower) for general category
  • Up to 35% or Rs.45 lakhs for SC, ST, and women-owned enterprises
  • Village Level Organizations and Federations grants up to 35% of total investment or Rs.200 lakhs
Project Management Establishment of Project Management Units (PMUs)
Background Achievements
  • Fish production increased by 79.66 lakh tonnes
  • Shrimp production from 3.22 lakh tonnes to 11.84 lakh tonnes
  • Shrimp exports from Rs.19,368 crore to Rs.43,135 crore
  • Employment and livelihood opportunities for about 63 lakh fishers and fish farmers
Challenges Addressed
  • Formalization of the informal sector
  • Crop risk mitigation
  • Access to institutional credit
  • Safety & quality of fish sold by micro & small enterprises

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Interim Budget mentions Blue Economy 2.0

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Blue Economy

Mains level: Read the attached story

Introduction

  • The Interim Budget presented by Finance Minister underscores the importance of promoting an environment-friendly ‘blue economy’ for sustainable development.

Understanding Blue Economy

  • Definition: The blue economy encompasses economic activities related to oceans, seas, and coastal regions, with a strong emphasis on sustainability.
  • Global Perspective: The European Commission defines it as a wide range of established and emerging sectors linked to ocean resources, while the World Bank emphasizes the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth and livelihoods.

Significance for India

  • India’s Coastal Abundance: With its extensive coastline, diverse marine resources, and tourism potential, India stands to benefit significantly from the blue economy.
  • Balancing Growth: The blue economy seeks to achieve economic growth while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems.

Budget Proposals

  • Restoration and Adaptation: A scheme focusing on climate-resilient activities, restoration, adaptation measures, and integrated coastal aquaculture and mariculture will be launched.
  • Integrated Aquaparks: The budget outlines plans for setting up five integrated aquaparks to boost aquaculture productivity.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY): PMMSY will be intensified to double exports to Rs 1 lakh crore and generate 55 lakh employment opportunities.

India’s Blue Economy Policy

  • Blue Economy 2.0: The budget introduces the concept of Blue Economy 2.0, building upon a draft policy framework released in July 2022.
  • Policy Framework: The framework encompasses various aspects such as marine resources, coastal planning, tourism, fisheries, aquaculture, trade, technology, infrastructure, and international engagement.

Global Engagement

  • G20 Summit: India, as the host of the G20 summit, prioritized blue economy discussions, emphasizing its significance on the global stage.
  • Responsibility and Collaboration: India recognizes the importance of responsible artificial intelligence and sustainable ocean governance in the context of the blue economy.

Conclusion

  • India’s commitment to promoting the blue economy aligns with global efforts for sustainable development.
  • The Interim Budget’s proposals aim to harness the potential of India’s coastal resources while preserving the marine ecosystem, fostering economic growth, and creating employment opportunities.
  • This strategic shift underscores India’s dedication to responsible and inclusive development.

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Punganur Cows: The Rare Dwarf Breed Making Waves

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Punganur Cows

Mains level: Not Much

Punganur Cows

Introduction

  • On the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, Prime Minister made headlines by feeding Punganur cows at his residence in New Delhi.
  • His gesture not only symbolized a cultural tradition but also shed light on this unique cattle breed.

About Punganur Cows

  • Origin: Punganur cows hail from the Punganur municipality in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district.
  • Dwarf Stature: These cows are exceptionally small, measuring just 70-90 cm in height, with an average weight ranging from 115-200 kg.
  • Distinctive Features: They are known for their broad foreheads, short horns, and are ideal for small-scale dairy and organic farming.
  • Milk Yield: Punganur cows are recognized for their rich milk production, yielding 3 to 5 liters of milk daily.
  • Temple Use: Many temples in Andhra Pradesh, including the renowned Tirupati Thirumala Temple, use the milk of Punganur cows for Ksheeraabhishekam (milk offerings to deities).
  • Varied Costs: The cost of these cows ranges from Rs 1 lakh to 10 lakhs, depending on factors like purity and health.

Nutrition in Punganur Cow’s Milk

  • Presence of Gold: Notably, the milk from Punganur cows contains an element identified as ‘Au’, the chemical symbol for gold.
  • High-Fat Content: Punganur cow’s milk boasts a high-fat content of eight percent, in contrast to 3 to 4 percent in other indigenous breeds.
  • Nutrient-Rich: This milk is rich in Omega fatty acids, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, offering significant nutritional benefits.
  • Medicinal Value: The milk is believed to possess medicinal properties, contributing to overall health.

Resilience and Adaptability

  • Drought-Resistant: Punganur cows exhibit remarkable resilience, with the ability to thrive on dry fodder like grass, straw, and hay.
  • Docile Temperament: They have a calm and manageable temperament, making them easy to handle.
  • Disease Resistance: These cows are resistant to common diseases and parasites, adding to their appeal.

Breed Protection Measures

  • Threat of Extinction: At one point, Punganur cattle faced extinction due to a shift towards hybrid cattle for higher milk production.
  • Mission Punganur: In 2020, the Andhra Pradesh government initiated ‘Mission Punganur’ with an allocation of Rs 69.36 crore to boost the cattle population using IVF technology.
  • Enhancing Reproduction: The mission aimed to enhance reproductive efficiency, with plans to produce 8.5 offspring from each cow within five years.
  • PMO’s Involvement: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is also part of the conservation efforts, rearing a group of Punganur cattle.

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2024: Celebrating the International Year of Camelids

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Camelids

Mains level: Read the attached story

camelids

Central Idea

  • The United Nations has declared 2024 as the International Year of Camelids. This declaration aims to highlight the crucial role of Camelids in the lives of people globally.

About Camelids

  • FAO’s Statement: According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Camelids significantly impact millions of households in over 90 countries.
  • Species Included: Camelids encompass alpacas, Bactrian camels, dromedaries, guanacos, llamas, and vicuñas.
  • Role in Food Security and Economy: These animals contribute to food security, nutrition, and economic growth, particularly benefiting Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Importance of Camelids

  • Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals: Camelids play a vital role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations.
  • Source of Nutrition: They provide milk and meat, essential in combating hunger.
  • Fibre Production: Camelids produce fibre used for clothing and shelter.
  • Transportation and Agriculture: They serve as a means of transportation and produce organic fertilizer for agriculture.
  • Adaptability: Known for their ability to survive in harsh conditions, Camelids are significant in regions like the Andes and arid lands of Africa and Asia.
  • Climate Change Awareness: Camelids symbolize resilience and can help raise awareness about climate change.

Goals of the International Year of Camelids 2024

  • Awareness and Investment: The year aims to increase awareness of Camelids’ untapped potential and advocate for more investment in this sector.
  • Advocacy for Research and Innovation: The initiative calls for enhanced research, capacity development, and the adoption of innovative practices and technologies in the Camelids sector.

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Private: First yak domesticated 2,500 years ago near the Brahmaputra in Tibet

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Domestication of Yak

Mains level: NA

yak

Central Idea

  • The oldest known record of yak domestication by humans was found in Bangga, a settlement in the Shannan prefecture of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, China.
  • Shannan, bordering Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, is traversed by the Brahmaputra river (known locally as Yarlung-Tsangpo).

Yak Domestication: Key Findings

  • Dual Domestication: Around 2,500 years ago, the inhabitants of Bangga domesticated not only yaks but also taurine cattle, a variety common in Europe and temperate Asia.
  • Hybrid Production: The study revealed that the Bangga residents produced hybrids by crossing yaks with taurine cattle.
  • Taxonomic Classification: Yaks, domestic cattle, and aurochs (ancient cattle ancestors) are categorized under the genus Bos.

Bangga: A Fossil-Rich Settlement

  • Elevation and Significance: Situated at about 3,750 meters above sea level, Bangga is one of the earliest known agro-pastoral settlements in southern Tibet.
  • Systematic Excavation: It is the only site in the region with a wealth of animal remains that has been systematically excavated in recent decades.

Research Methodology and Findings

  • International Research Team: The study involved archaeologists from Washington University in St. Louis, US, among others.
  • Bone Analysis: Over 10,000 mammal bone pieces were examined, with 193 specimens identified as belonging to the genus Bos.
  • Genetic Analysis: Five well-preserved Bos bones underwent whole-genomic sequencing, revealing one yak and four female taurine cattle.

Surprising Presence of Taurine Cattle

  • Unexpected Discovery: The presence of taurine cattle near the Indian subcontinent, predominantly home to Zebu cattle, was unexpected.
  • Possible Migration Route: The taurine cattle likely reached central and eastern Tibet from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) via the Silk Route and northern Tibet.

Current Status of Yaks and Their Importance

  • Domestic Yaks: An estimated 14 to 15 million domestic yaks exist in the highlands of Asia, including Indian Himalayan regions like Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Wild Yaks: Wild yaks, never domesticated, are classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with only 7,500 to 10,000 mature individuals remaining.
  • Hybrid Use: Himalayan and Tibetan Plateau communities utilize Dzo (male hybrids) and Dzomo (female hybrids), bred from cattle and yaks.

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Gujarat declares ‘Ghol’ as State Fish

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Ghol Fish

Mains level: NA

ghol

Central Idea

  • The Gujarat government’s decision to declare the ‘Ghol’ as the state fish highlights its uniqueness and economic value.

About Ghol Fish

  • The Ghol fish or the Blackspotted Croaker, is a significant species in marine fisheries.
  • It belongs to the family Sciaenidae and is scientifically known as Protonibea diacanthus.
  • It is commonly found in the Indo-Pacific region, ranging from the Persian Gulf to Indonesia and north to Japan.
  • The Ghol fish is characterized by its robust body, brownish color, and the presence of black spots on its sides.
  • It has a large mouth and a slightly protruding lower jaw.
  • This species can grow quite large, with some individuals reaching up to 1 meter in length and weighing around 25 kilograms.

Economic Value of Ghol

  • The Ghol fish is highly valued, especially for its fish maw (dried swim bladder), which is a delicacy and used in traditional medicines, particularly in East Asian markets.
  • The fish maw is believed to have various health benefits and is often used in soups and stews.
  • It can fetch high prices in the market, sometimes as much as Rs 25,000 per kilogram.

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Freemartins in Animal Husbandry

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Freemartinism

Mains level: NA

Central Idea

  • In the realm of animal husbandry, a phenomenon known as Freemartinism sheds light on the extraordinary diversity found in cattle.

Freemartinism: A Unique Phenomenon

  • Freemartins are sterile female cattle born exhibiting characteristics of both sexes.
  • This phenomenon arises when a male and a female twin develop within the same uterus, occurring in approximately 90% of twin pregnancies in cattle.
  • The exchange of blood between the male and female foetuses during gestation plays a pivotal role in Freemartinism.
  • Freemartinism is primarily attributed to the sharing of cells carrying the Y chromosome from the male twin with the female twin.
  • Y chromosome triggers the development of male reproductive organs in the male foetus, while the female foetus, influenced by male hormones, undergoes incomplete development of its reproductive system.
  • Freemartins possess underdeveloped or non-functional reproductive tracts, rendering them incapable of reproduction.

Agricultural Significance

  • In agricultural settings, identifying freemartins is crucial to enhance reproductive efficiency in cattle breeding.
  • Farmers often utilize physical and behavioural traits to identify freemartins, subsequently removing them from the breeding herd.
  • This culling strategy helps improve the overall breeding program by ensuring that non-reproductive cattle do not contribute to the herd.

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India’s milk crisis

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: India's Milk Production

Mains level: Milk crisis in India, factors behind and consequences

What’s the news?

  • India, the world’s leading milk producer for decades, faces a concerning dilemma as milk prices soar to all-time highs.

Central Idea

  • India is grappling with an unprecedented milk crisis, despite accounting for a quarter of global milk production. In 2021–22, the country produced a staggering 221 million tonnes of milk, as reported by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). However, the situation on the ground paints a different picture, with milk prices reaching record highs.

The price surge

  • The Department of Consumer Affairs reveals a sharp 18.08 percent increase in the average retail price of milk over the past two years.
  • A liter of milk, once priced at Rs 49.18 in 2021, now costs upwards of Rs 58. This dramatic price rise, commencing in 2022–23, has been the chief driver of food inflation across the nation, as highlighted by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

Underlying factors behind India’s milk crisis

  • Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD):
  • One of the primary factors contributing to the milk crisis is the outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) among cattle and buffaloes.
  • This disease, first reported in Odisha in 2019, has since spread to almost all states in India. Between July 2022 and 2023, more than 3.2 million cattle and buffaloes contracted LSD, with 0.2 million of them succumbing to the disease.
  • LSD has not only caused significant mortality but has also led to a substantial drop in milk production, ranging from 20 to 50 percent, depending on the breed.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic Impact:
  • The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on India’s dairy sector. During the lockdowns, many farmers reduced the size of their herds in response to disrupted milk demand.
  • This exodus of dairy farmers, even during the flush season from October to March, when animals naturally produce more milk, has affected the country’s overall milk production.
  • Fodder Inflation:
  • Dairy farmers who continued their operations despite the pandemic faced an acute shortage of dry fodder in 2022. This shortage was partly caused by a decline in wheat stocks due to an unusually hot March in 2022.
  • As a result, farmers have been grappling with steadily rising fodder prices, affecting both the quantity and quality of the feed provided to their cattle.
  • Changing Preferences:
  • Dairy farmers are increasingly opting for crossbred cows over buffaloes.
  • While buffalo milk typically has a higher fat content (7–10 percent), crossbred cows have a higher milk yield, averaging 8.52 kg per day in 2021–22, compared to a buffalo’s average of 5.96 kg per day.
  • This shift in preference has led to a significant increase in the population of crossbred cows, while the population of female buffalo and indigenous cows has grown at a slower rate.
  • Cost Considerations:
  • Buffaloes tend to be more expensive than cows, with the average cost of a good-breed buffalo ranging from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.
  • In cases where dairy farming experiences losses, it becomes challenging for farmers to recover their investments.
  • Additionally, buffaloes have been perceived as less productive compared to cows in certain scenarios, particularly when it comes to maintaining consistent milk production.

Hidden Crisis: Artificial Insemination

  • Role of Artificial Insemination:
  • Artificial insemination plays a pivotal role in enhancing milk production in India.
  • While the adoption rate of this technology in the country is around 30 percent, it has led to the development of high-yield crossbreeds and improved indigenous breeds.
  • These high-yield animals significantly contribute to the overall growth of the dairy sector.
  • Missed artificial insemination:
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns and restrictions had a profound impact on the practice of artificial insemination.
  • Between 2020 and 2022, as lockdowns and movement restrictions were imposed, India likely missed conducting approximately 16.84 million artificial insemination.
  • This represents a significant setback in efforts to improve breed productivity.
  • Impact on Milk Production:
  • The missed artificial insemination have had a cascading impact on milk production.
  • Before the pandemic, India was steadily increasing its adoption of artificial insemination, with over 80 million insemination conducted in 2019–20.
  • However, the subsequent drop in insemination numbers means that India potentially missed the chance to add 2.97 million high-yield female cattle to its livestock inventory between 2020 and 2022.
  • Economic Consequences:
  • Each missed artificial insemination results in both milk loss and additional maintenance costs until a successful conception occurs.
  • The estimated loss per missed conception is approximately Rs 7,948.50. This loss quickly accumulates, resulting in a national loss of Rs 824 crore in just the month of April 2020.

Far-reaching Consequences of India’s Milk Crisis

  • Economic Impact: The sharp rise in milk prices coupled with supply constraints can lead to reduced incomes for dairy farmers, potentially pushing many into financial distress.
  • Food Inflation: As milk and dairy products are dietary staples for a considerable portion of the population, their increased prices can strain household budgets and lead to higher food costs for consumers.
  • Nutrition and Food Security: Milk is a vital source of nutrition, particularly for children. Rising milk prices can reduce access to this nutritious food source for vulnerable populations, potentially affecting the nutritional status and food security of millions.
  • Rural Livelihoods: Dairy farming serves as a primary source of income for numerous rural households in India. The ongoing crisis directly impacts the livelihoods of these families, causing economic instability and necessitating alternative income sources.
  • Agricultural Productivity: Dairy farming often complements crop production, so disruptions in the dairy sector can have ripple effects on overall agricultural performance.
  • Global Trade: As one of the world’s major milk producers, India’s domestic dairy challenges can have implications for the global dairy market. Disruptions in production and trade can impact international dairy prices and trade dynamics.

Way forward

  • Disease Control: Implement robust disease control measures, including vaccination programs, quarantine protocols, and veterinary support, to prevent the further spread of diseases like lumpy skin disease (LSD) affecting livestock.
  • Fodder Management: Develop strategies to increase fodder production, conservation, and distribution to ensure a consistent supply for dairy cattle and buffaloes, addressing challenges posed by fodder shortages.
  • Artificial Insemination Programs: Renew the focus on artificial insemination programs to recover from the setbacks caused by missed insemination during the pandemic. This includes technology adoption, training for insemination technicians, and incentives for farmers.
  • Genetic Improvement: Continue efforts in genetic improvement through artificial insemination to boost milk production, focusing on enhancing the productivity of high-yield dairy cattle and buffaloes.
  • Price Stabilization: Consider measures to stabilize milk prices, potentially involving price support mechanisms or policies to balance supply and demand.
  • Government Policy Review: Assess and update existing government initiatives in the dairy sector as necessary, making policy adjustments to address evolving challenges faced by dairy farmers.

Conclusion

  • India’s dairy sector, once a beacon of success, now faces multifaceted challenges that threaten its stability.  As the nation endeavors to restore its dairy glory, policymakers, researchers, and farmers must collaborate to navigate these challenging times and secure the future of India’s dairy industry.

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Northeast’s Mithun gets ‘Food Animal’ Tag

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mithun/Gayal

Mains level: NA

mithun

Central Idea

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has recently recognized the mithun as a ‘food animal,’ opening doors for its commercial use.

About Mithun

  • The Mithun, also known as the Gayal (scientifically Bos frontalis), is believed to have evolved from the Indian Gaur or bison.
  • It was first described in 1804 by Aylmer Bourke Lambert.
  • It holds significant cultural and socio-economic importance among tribes like the Nyishi, Apatani, Galo, and Adi in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Its habitat spans Northeast India, Bangladesh, northern Myanmar, and Yunnan, China.
  • It is often referred to as the ‘cattle of the mountain.’
  • The gayal serves as the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix I.

Recognition as a ‘Food Animal’

  • This move has sparked efforts to help farmers and tribal communities benefit economically from the sale and processing of mithun meat.
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has introduced the M-ANITRA app, facilitating the registration of Mithun farmers as both “buyers” and “sellers” to engage in competitive trade.
  • Mithun farmers from various villages in Northeast India have been participating in training programs conducted by organizations like the ICAR-National Research Centre on Mithun.
  • Farmers are adopting practices to protect mithun, including enclosures, night shelters, and vaccinations.
  • Mithuns, when sold as meat, can fetch high prices, with an average selling price of Rs 300 per kg.
  • The opportunity to commercially sell mithun meat is generating excitement among farmers.

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Progress track: PM Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: PM Matsya Sampada Yojana

Mains level: Read the attached story

matsya sampada

Central Idea

  • In 2020, as India’s fisheries sector was gearing up for a transformation through government-initiated reforms, the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to disrupt progress.
  • However, PM Modi turned this crisis into an opportunity by launching the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, specifically targeting the fisheries sector.
  • This initiative breathed new life into the sector, with a substantial allocation of ₹20,050 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), making it the largest-ever investment in Indian fisheries history.

About PM Matsya Sampada Yojana

Aim To catalyze the Blue Revolution in India’s fisheries sector.
Investment Rs. 20,050 crores over five years (FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25) as part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Package.
Fish Production Increase fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonnes by 2024-25.
Export Earnings Raise fisheries export earnings to Rs. 1,00,000 crore by 2024-25.
Income Doubling Double the incomes of fishers and fish farmers.
Post-Harvest Losses Reduce post-harvest losses from 20-25% to about 10%.
Employment Generation Generate substantial employment opportunities in the fisheries sector.
Aims and Objectives 1. Sustainable and equitable fisheries development.

2. Increased productivity through diversification.

3. Modernizing the value chain. 4. Income doubling.

5. Boosting exports.

6. Ensuring security for fisheries communities.

7. Effective management.

Implementation Components Central Sector Scheme and Centrally Sponsored Scheme with active state participation.
Implementation Approach Structured framework and cluster-based approach for optimal outcomes

Key Achievements of PMMSY

  • Broad Development Spectrum: PMMSY addressed critical gaps in the fisheries value chain, spanning fish production, productivity, quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure, and marketing.
  • Strategic Priority Areas: The initiative strategically focused on various key areas, including marine fisheries, inland fisheries, fishermen’s welfare, infrastructure development, post-harvest management, cold water fisheries, ornamental fisheries, aquatic health management, and seaweed cultivation.
  • Empowering Youth: PMMSY encouraged young entrepreneurs to venture into fisheries, fostering technological innovation and youth engagement. Notable success stories include young women in Kashmir rearing cold water rainbow trout and aquapreneurs in Nellore becoming successful exporters of biofloc-cultivated shrimps.
  • Expanding to Non-Traditional Areas: The program expanded fisheries activities to non-traditional regions, converting saline wastelands into productive aquaculture zones in landlocked states like Haryana and Rajasthan.
  • Empowering Fisherwomen: PMMSY empowered fisherwomen to explore alternative livelihoods, such as ornamental fisheries, pearl culture, and seaweed cultivation. The establishment of the ₹127 crore Seaweed Park in Tamil Nadu exemplifies this forward-looking approach.
  • Infrastructure and Research: The initiative supported the establishment of 900 fish feed plants, 755 hatcheries, and invested in research and genetic improvement of Indian White Shrimp, specific pathogen-free brood stock development, and domestication of tiger shrimp.

Impact on India’s Fisheries Sector

  • Global Recognition: India has risen to become one of the world’s top three countries in fish and aquaculture production and stands as the largest shrimp exporter globally.
  • Investment Growth: The government’s commitment to the fisheries sector is evident, with recent announcements of ₹6,000 crore as a sub-scheme under PMMSY, totalling investments exceeding ₹38,500 crore over the past nine years.
  • Record Production and Exports: India achieved record fisheries production of 174 lakh tonnes in 2022-23, marking a significant increase. Shrimp production alone surged by 267% from 2013-14 to 2022-23, reaching 11.84 lakh tonnes. Seafood exports doubled from ₹30,213 crore in 2013-14 to ₹63,969 crore in 2022-23.

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What is the Amul versus KMF controversy?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Anand Model

Mains level: India's dairy sector

amul

Central idea

  • Amul, the country’s largest dairy player, announced on April 5 that it would supply milk and curd through e-commerce portals in Bengaluru.
  • The announcement was met with opposition from Kannadigas, who saw it as an attempt to threaten the iconic Nandini milk brand of the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF).

Political Controversy

  • The Amul vs. KMF row turned into a political tool in poll-bound Karnataka.
  • Dissenting sections expressed fears that Amul would eat into the market of Nandini and pose a threat to its business in the state.
  • The ruling government was accused of attempting to privatize the milk sector and “finish off” a home-grown product.

A quick backgrounder

  • Both Amul Dairy and KMF are successful examples of adopting the three-tiered ‘Anand’ model of dairy procurement.
  • Farmers supply milk to dairy cooperatives at the village level, which is then procured by milk unions at the district and state levels.
  • There are 16 district milk unions in Karnataka supplying milk to the dairy cooperatives.
  • KMF provides competitive prices to dairy farmers.
  • KMF corners most of the market share for surplus milk provided by farmers in the state.

Anand Model of Dairy Procurement

  • It is a system of milk collection and distribution pioneered by the Amul cooperative in Anand, Gujarat, India.
  • This model has revolutionized the dairy industry in India by providing a fair price to dairy farmers, eliminating the need for middlemen, and improving the quality of milk.
  • Under the Anand model, farmers are organized into dairy cooperatives, which collect and market their milk.
  • The cooperatives are managed by the farmers themselves and are supported by the infrastructure and marketing expertise of the Amul cooperative.
  • The farmers are paid a fair price for their milk, which is based on its quality and quantity, and they receive regular payments for their milk.

Why are people protesting?

  • Overpricing: The pricing difference between Amul’s toned milk and Nandini’s toned milk was highlighted, with Amul’s milk priced at ₹54 per litre and Nandini’s at ₹39 per litre.
  • Unhealthy competition: KMF’s online presence in the state could create unhealthy competition with Amul’s online presence, despite the pricing difference, according to the federation.

The turf war

  • The KMF is the second-largest milk cooperative in India after Amul.
  • While Amul and KMF compete in neutral regions like Mumbai, Nagpur, Goa, Hyderabad, and Chennai markets, they have not clashed on home turfs.
  • Karnataka is a milk-excess market that meets the needs of the state and exports surplus to other states.
  • KMF plans to write to the National Dairy Development Board, requesting it to direct Amul not to venture into the Bengaluru market and concentrate on milk-deficient states.

Clarification by Amul

  • Amul clarified that it was launching its fresh milk and curd only for a niche market through e-commerce channels and not through the mass market distribution network.

 


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Fishing Industry: India and Sri Lanka Needs a Boost

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Blue economy overview, Matsya Sampada Yojana and other such initiatives

Mains level: Blue economy, India's fisheries sector

Central Idea

  • The neglect of the fishing industry by India and Sri Lanka has resulted in an ongoing dispute over fishing rights in the Palk Strait. Developing the fishing industry could help resolve the conflict and boost the economies of both countries.

Fishing Industry

What is Blue Economy?

  • Origin of the concept: Gunter Pauli’s book, “The Blue Economy: 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs” (2010) brought the Blue Economy concept into prominence.
  • A project to find best nature inspired and sustainable technologies: Blue Economy began as a project to find 100 of the best nature-inspired technologies that could affect the economies of the world. While sustainably providing basic human needs potable water, food, jobs, and habitable shelter.
  • Inclusive approach and objective: This is envisaged as the integration of Ocean Economy development with the principles of social inclusion, environmental sustainability and innovative, dynamic business models
  • Environment friendly maritime infrastructure: It is creation of environment-friendly infrastructure in ocean, because larger cargo consignments can move directly from the mothership to the hinterland through inland waterways, obviating the need for trucks or railways

Indo-Sri Lankan dispute over fishing rights in Palk Strait

  • Maritime boundary agreement: The maritime boundary agreements signed in 1974 and 1976 allowed fishermen of both nations to fish in each other’s waters as they traditionally did.
  • Absence of physical demarcation: Lack of physical demarcation of maritime boundaries resulted in Indian fishermen encroaching into Sri Lankan waters during the civil war.
  • Rising conflicts: The Sri Lankan fishing community sought to reclaim their rights after the end of hostilities, leading to conflict with Indian fishers. Sri Lankan Navy’s intervention has resulted in arrests and even fatal shootings of Indian fishermen.

Neglect of the fishing industry by India and Sri Lanka

  • India’s marine fishery: India’s marine fishery has been dominated by the artisanal sector, which can afford only small sailboats or canoes to fish for subsistence.
  • Lack of investment: India’s fisheries are being transformed into a commercial enterprise, but lack of investment in a deepwater fleet results in most fishing taking place in coastal waters, leading to competition with neighboring countries.
  • Underexploited resources: Rich resources in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone remain underexploited, with much of the catch from India’s fishing grounds taken away by better-equipped fishing fleets of other Indo-Pacific countries indulging in illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing.
  • Growing tensions: Neglect of the fishing industry has resulted in dwindling fish stocks, rising fuel costs, and growing tensions between India and Sri Lanka.

Development of the fishing industry

  • China: China has mobilized its fishing industry to meet rising demand for protein in the Chinese diet and is now a fishery superpower.
  • India: India needs to invest in a deepwater fleet to exploit rich fishing grounds in its Exclusive Economic Zone and compete with other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • India must focus on modernisation: India should focus on mechanization and modernization of fishing vessels, developing deep-water fishing fleets, building a DWF fleet around the mother ship concept, and developing modern fishing harbours.

PM Matsya Sampada Yojana

  • PM Matsya Sampada Yojana is a scheme launched by the Government of India in 2020, with the aim of boosting the fisheries sector in the country. The scheme has a total outlay of Rs. 20,050 crores and is implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25. The scheme is focused on four key areas of intervention, which include:
  1. Development of infrastructure and modernization of the fisheries sector: This involves the creation of new fishing harbours, fish landing centres, cold chain facilities, and other related infrastructure.
  2. Fisheries management and regulatory framework: This involves strengthening the regulatory framework for fisheries and aquaculture, promoting sustainable fishing practices, and conserving marine biodiversity.
  3. Fisheries post-harvest operations and value chain: This involves promoting the processing and value addition of fish and fishery products, and improving market access for fishermen and fish farmers.
  4. Aquaculture development: This involves promoting the development of inland fisheries and aquaculture, including the creation of new fish farms, and supporting the adoption of modern technologies for fish farming.

Conclusion

  • Neglect of the fishing industry by India and Sri Lanka has resulted in an ongoing dispute over fishing rights in the Palk Strait. Developing the fishing industry could help resolve the conflict and boost the economies of both countries. The government’s Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana could be used to form an Indo-Sri Lankan Fishing Corporation to provide a huge boost to the fishing industries of both nations and remove an unwanted irritant in bilateral relations.

Mains Question

Q. It is said that fishing industry has been overly neglected by India and Sri Lanka. Development of the fishing industry is crucial to boost the economy for both the countries. Discuss.

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Purse Seine Fishing Gear: A Questionable Fishing Method

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: SEZ, EEZ ,UNCLOS

Mains level: UNCLOS and Sustainable fishing practices

Fishing

Central Idea

  • The Supreme Court of India has allowed purse seine fishing gear to be used for fishing beyond territorial waters (12 nautical miles) and within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (200 nautical miles) of Tamil Nadu, subject to certain restrictions. However, the interim order is primarily concerned with regulating fishing through administrative and transparency measures rather than addressing conservation measures and obligations mandated by the UNCLOS. The use of purse seine fishing gear poses a threat to traditional fishermen and endangers the livelihoods of these fishermen.

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Fishing

What is Seine fishing gear?

  • Seine fishing gear is a type of fishing equipment used to catch fish in large quantities.
  • It consists of a long net that is suspended vertically in the water with the help of floats and weights. The net is then hauled through the water by two boats, which are called seine boats. The boats move towards each other, pulling the net between them and trapping fish in the process.
  • Seine fishing can be done in various ways, including purse seining, beach seining, and boat seining, among others.
  • The type of seine fishing gear used depends on the size of the fish being targeted and the location of the fishing activity.

About United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

  • Law of the Sea treaty: UNCLOS is sometimes referred to as the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty. It came into operation and became effective from 16th November 1982.
  • Defines rights and responsibilities with respect to oceans: It defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.
  • It has created three new institutions on the international scene: International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, 2. International Seabed Authority, 3. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf

Fishing

Conservation and conventions

  • Sovereign rights of coastal states: Under Articles 56.1(a) and 56.1(b)(iii) of UNCLOS, coastal states have sovereign rights to ensure that the living and non-living resources of the EEZ are used, conserved and managed, and not subject to overexploitation.
  • Coastal states discretion: Access to the zone by foreign fleets is also solely within the coastal state’s discretion and subject to its laws and regulations.
  • Total allowable catch in EEZ: In order to prevent overexploitation, coastal States must determine the total allowable catch (TAC) in the EEZ (Articles 61(1) and (2) of UNCLOS) in light of the best scientific evidence available.
  • Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) 1993: The crux of the SBT is TAC and distribution of allocations among the parties to the SBT, which are very relevant from the angle of conservation of general fishery.

Did you know?

  • The rise in occurrence of jellyfish indicates rising ocean water temperature.
  • Presence of jellyfish in the area indicates the reduction in the fish population.

Fishing

What are the concerns over the move?

  • Regulation is not sufficient: Merely restricting the purse seiner to fish on two days Monday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (in the Court order) is not sufficient without regulating the fishing methods used.
  • Insufficient catch for traditional fishermen: International legal efforts are gradually moving in the direction of abandoning the use of large-scale pelagic nets. The huge size of the purse seine nets (2,000 metres in length and 200 m in depth) allows maximum catch for the purse seiners, in turn leaving behind insufficient catch for traditional fishermen.
  • Efforts under TAC might face scientific uncertainty: TAC and the catch quotas are aimed at putting sustainable use into practice among fishermen and maintaining maximum sustainable yield (MSY). The efforts to implement TAC and catch quota might face scientific uncertainty relating to safe limits to ensure MSY.

Way ahead

  • The Court’s final judgment needs to look into non-selective fishing methods by purse seiners resulting in the by-catch of other marine living species (which could include, many a times, endangered species) a potential ground for trade embargo.
  • The top court should seek guidance from the obligations arising from the multilateral and regional conventions which are meant to bring in sustainable fishing practices over a certain period of time, thereby allowing a common resource such as fish to be naturally replenished.

Conclusion

  • Despite the best conservation measures and regulation of fishing methods adopted by the authorities, it will be a challenge in dealing with the limitless character of the seas which renders a common resource such as fish available for exploitation by all. The theory of Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, which says ‘Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all’ should convince all “fishermen, especially the purse seiners of Tamil Nadu, that they must cooperate in complying with conservation measures.

Mains question

Q. The Supreme Court of India has allowed purse seine fishing gear to be used for fishing beyond territorial waters. In this backdrop Discuss what is purse seine fishing gear its advantages and the concerns.

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Domestic Goat as a Drug Factory

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Domestic breeds of Goat

Mains level: Therpautic use of goat milk

goat

India’s domestic goats have attracted the attention of biotechnology companies wishing to produce therapeutic proteins in bulk.

Domestication of Goats

  • The domestic goat (Capra hircus) is a familiar presence in the rural landscape of India and in many developing countries.
  • The goat has played an important economic role in human communities from the time it was domesticated about 10,000 years ago.
  • It has even been argued that the domestication of goats was an important step in mankind’s shift from a hunting-gathering lifestyle to agricultural settlements.

Various breeds found in India

  • The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that the world has 830 million goats belonging to about 1,000 breeds.
  • India has 150 million from over 20 prominent breeds including-
  1. Marwari: Rajasthan has the most number of goats — the Marwari goat found here is hardy and well-adapted to the climate of deserts.
  2. Osmanabadi: Another hardy breed, found in the dry regions of Maharashtra, Telangana and North Karnataka is the Osmanabadi.
  3. Malabari: Also called Tellicherry of North Kerala, it is a prolific breed with low-fat meat, and shares these traits with the beetal goat of Punjab.
  4. Black Bengal goat: The east Indian Black Bengal goat is a vital contributor to the livelihoods of the rural poor of Bangladesh. It contributes over 20 million square feet of skin and hides to the world’s demands for leather goods, from fire-fighters gloves to fashionable handbags.
  5. Jamunapari: These goats from Uttar Pradesh were favoured as they yield 300 kg of milk during eight months of lactation. Once in England, the Jamunapari was bred with local breeds to produce the Anglo-Nubian, a champion producer of high-fat milk.

Why are goats significant for farmers?

  • Goats have a quick generation time of about two years.
  • General benefits of goat milk out-powers the high-fat buffalo milk.
  • As many farmers lack the space or funds to rear cattle, the goat is rightly called “the poor man’s cow”.
  • There are no specific fodder requirements for goat. It can feed even on the neem leaves.

Significance in therapeutics: Antithrombin production

  • Goats have attracted the attention of biotechnology companies wishing to produce therapeutic proteins in bulk.
  • The first success came with ATryn, the trade name for a goat-produced antithrombin III molecule.
  • Antithrombin keeps the blood free from clots, and its deficiency (usually inherited) can lead to serious complications such as pulmonary embolisms.
  • Affected individuals need antithrombin injections twice a week, usually purified from donated blood.
  • Recently, the monoclonal antibody cetuximab, which has been approved by the FDA as an anti-cancer drug against certain lung cancers, has also been produced in cloned goat lines.

Why is it a significant development?

  • Transgenic goats carrying a copy of the human antithrombin gene have cells in their mammary glands that release this protein into milk.
  • It has been claimed that one goat could produce antithrombin equivalent to what was obtained from 90,000 units of human blood.
  • Large quantities can be made this way (10 grams per litre of milk).

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What is Purse Seine Fishing?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level:  Purse seine fishing

Mains level: Not Much

seine

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that a ban imposed by certain coastal States on purse seine fishing, which is known to disadvantage endangered species, is not justified.

 Purse seine fishing

  • It uses a large vertical net to surround dense shoals of pelagic or midwater fish in the open ocean, and then draws in the edges like tightening the cords of a drawstring purse.
  • A vertical net ‘curtain’ is used to surround the school of fish, the bottom of which is then drawn together to enclose the fish, rather like tightening the cords of a drawstring purse.
  • It is deployed widely on India’s western coasts,

What is the issue?

  • This mode of fishing is prohibited by Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Odisha, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Andaman and Nicobar Islands in their respective territorial waters of up to 12 nautical miles.
  • However, states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, and West Bengal have not imposed any such ban on purse seine fishing.

Why states are divided over this?

  • In some States, it is linked to concerns about the decreasing stock of small, pelagic shoaling fish such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies and trevally on the western coasts.
  • The scientific community argues that climatic conditions, including the El Nino phenomenon, are responsible for the declining catch of such fish in the last ten years.
  • Fishermen using traditional methods have placed the blame squarely on the rise of purse seine fishing.
  • They fear a further fall in the availability of these small fish if the ban is lifted.

How does the Centre see this plan?

  • The Fisheries Department of the Union government has recommended the lifting of the ban on purse seine fishing.
  • The expert panel has said that this mode of fishing has “per se has not resulted in any serious resource depletion so far, given the available evidence”.
  • It recommended purse seiners to fish in territorial waters and the Indian Exclusive Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) subject to certain conditions.

Way ahead

  • There should be a national management plan on purse seine fisheries.
  • Partial ban in some states may put fishermen at disadvantage in other states.

 

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Species in news: Badri Cow

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Badri Cow

Mains level: Not Much

badri

To increase the productivity of its indigenous petite Badri cow that grazes on the medicinal herbs of the Himalayas, Uttarakhand is now planning for its genetic enhancement.

Badri Cow

  • Badri/Pahari desi cow is a native cow species of Uttarakhand.
  • This cow grazes in the Himalayas on native herbs and shrubs and hence its milk has high medicinal value.
  • These cattle are well adapted to the hilly terrain and the climatic conditions of Uttarakhand.
  • This sturdy and disease-resistant breed is found in hilly regions of the Almora and Pauri Garhwal districts of Uttarakhand.
  • Disease resistance is a very important characteristic of this breed as it rarely gets any disease.

Medicinal benefits

  • This breed is blessed with strong immunity.
  • The milk of the Badri cow contains almost 90% A2 beta-casein proteins – and is one of the highest in any indigenous varieties.
  • Antioxidants in pure desi ghee help the body better absorb vitamins and minerals, thus boosting immunity.
  • Butyric acid in Badri cow ghee helps strengthen immunity by increasing T-cell production in the gut which helps fight against allergens.

Why in news?

  • The State authorities proposed to use sex-sorted semen technology to improve production of Badri cattle.
  • They also proposed to opt for the embryo transfer method in order to produce more cattle of high genetic stock.

Economic significance of Badri cow

  • The Badri ghee is available at the rate of ₹3,000 to ₹5,000 per kg.
  • There is a huge marketing potential for gaumutra ark (distilled cow urine), cow dung, and Panchgavya (the five products of the cow, including milk, curd, ghee, dung and urine).

 

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Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Bill, 2022. Why is it needed?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Preventing cruelty to animals

cruelty

A draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Bill, 2022, prepared by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, has been opened for public comment.

Why in news?

  • Recently, instances of animal cruelty in India witnessed a surge.
  • The same has ushered the debate around animal rights and the extent of legal protection that the current laws provide them.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Bill, 2022

  • The Centre has proposed to overhaul The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, introducing 61 amendments in the law.
  • It includes stringent penalties of three years’ imprisonment for committing “gruesome cruelty” including “bestiality” with animals.

Main changes proposed in the law

  • Cruelty as a cognizable offence: Several offences have been made cognizable, which means offenders can be arrested without an arrest warrant.
  • Recognizing gruesome cruelty: The proposed law describes “gruesome cruelty” as any act involving animals which leads to “extreme pain and suffering” and is “likely to leave the animal in life-long disability”. It includes mutilation or killing of animals by the use of strychnine injection in the heart or any other cruel manner.
  • Stringent penalties: Essentially, the law is proposed to be made tighter, with more stringent punishments. The draft proposes fines from Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000 “or the cost of the animal. For killing an animal, the draft Bill proposes a maximum punishment of five years in jail.

What are the existing penal provisions?

  • An offence such as this — fairly common in India — would currently attract charges under Section 428 (mischief by killing or maiming animal) IPC and Section 11 (treating animals cruelly) of The PCA Act, 1960.
  • It prescribes some rubbish penal provisions.

Need for such law

  • Barbarism: In September, a doctor in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur allegedly tied a dog to his car and dragged it across the city.
  • Non-deterrence: Present provisions are incapable of acting as any deterrent for potential offenders.
  • Ridicules penalties: First-time offenders under the PCA Act are punished with a fine of Rs 10-50. If it is found that this is not the offender’s first such crime in the past three years, the maximum punishment would be a fine between Rs 25 and Rs 100, a jail term of three months, or both.

Key propositions for such law

  • Along with animal welfare organisations and several political leaders have in the past called for the law to be amended.
  • In 2014, the Supreme Court, in ‘Animal Welfare Board of India vs A Nagaraja & Others’, had said that “Parliament is expected to make proper amendment of the PCA Act to provide an effective deterrent.

Government response

  • In April 2021, the Centre had proposed changes where the penalty can go up to Rs 75,000 per animal or three times the cost of the animal as determined by the jurisdictional veterinarian.
  • It proposed imprisonment of three years which may extend to five years or both.
  • The government has finally moved in this direction with proposed amendments.

Legal remedies in India

  • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 recognises that animals can suffer physically and mentally, and is applicable to ‘all living creatures’.
  • The Constitution also enshrines the principle of ahimsa and mandates to all citizens of India to ‘have compassion for living creatures’.
  • The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) is the central body responsible for animal welfare in the country.
  • The National Institute for Animal Welfare created in 1999, has the broad mandate to improve animal welfare through research, education and public outreach.
  • According to Section 50(4) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, a Wildlife Offence Report (WLOR) can be filed.

Apart from increasing penalties, what else is proposed?

(1) Freedoms to animals

  • “It shall be the duty of every person having charge of an animal to ensure that the animal in his care or under his charge has freedom from:
  1. Thirst, hunger and malnutrition;
  2. Discomfort due to environment;
  3. Pain, injury and diseases;
  4. Fear and distress, and the
  5. Freedom to express normal behaviour for the species

(2) Protection to community animals

  • The draft defines “community animal” as “any animal born in a community for which no ownership has been claimed by any individual or an organization, excluding wild animals as defined under the wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (53 of 1972).”
  • The proposed law also says that in case of a community animal, the local government such as municipality or panchayats shall be responsible for taking care of the community animals in a manner developed by the State Government or by the Board.

Latent issues with the law

  • Simply increasing the quantum of punishment may not be enough to stop cruelty against animals.
  • Some already marginalised communities like ‘madaris’ (who perform with animals) and ‘saperas’ (snake charmers) may be disproportionately affected.
  • Others have argued that focusing on the individual act of ‘cruelty’, such as farmers putting up electric fences around their fields, is an incomplete approach.

Conclusion

  • Steps are needed to mitigate the larger issues of vanishing animal habitats and climate change exacerbating man-animal conflict.

 

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Role of Women in livestock Rearing

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Role of Women in livestock Rearing,Importance of livestock in Indian Economy.

livestock

Context

  • The livestock sector is one of the most rapidly growing components of the rural economy of India, accounting for5% of national income and 28% of agricultural GDP in 201819.In the last six years, the livestock sector grew at 7.9% (at constant prices) while crop farming grew by 2%. In rural households that own livestock, women are invariably engaged in animal rearing.

What is mean by Livestock?

  • Livestock are the domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting The livestock provides food and non-food items to the people. Food: The livestock provides food items such as Milk, Meat and Eggs for human consumption.

Role of Livestock in Indian Economy

  • Livestock plays an important role in Indian economy. About 20.5 million people depend upon livestock for their livelihood. Livestock contributed 16% to the income of small farm households as against an average of 14% for all rural households. Livestock provides livelihood to two-third of rural community. It also provides employment to about 8.8 % of the population in India. India has vast livestock resources. Livestock sector contributes 4.11% GDP and 25.6% of total Agriculture GDP.

DO YOU KNOW?

  • India is the world’s largest milk producer, followed by the United States of America, China, Pakistan and Brazil.
  • India ranks 1st contributing 23 of the global production. In the last 3 decades, India witnessed over 3 times rise in milk production.

Role of Women in rural economy

  • Mostly engaged in agricultural activities: It is widely recognised that the majority of women workers in rural areas (72%) are engaged in agricultural activities. However, with the exception of participation in dairy cooperatives, specifically in milk marketing, women’s role in the livestock economy is not as widely known or discussed.
  • Rise in no of women in Dairy cooperatives: There were five million women members in dairy cooperatives in 2015-16, and this increased further to 5.4 million in 202021.Women accounted for 31% of all members of dairy producer cooperatives in 2020-21.In India, the number of women’s dairy cooperative societies rose from 18,954 in 2012 to 32,092 in2015-16.

livestock

Why women are not recognised in livestock rearing?

  • Sporadic nature of work: Conventional labour force surveys fail to accurately record women’s work in livestock raising for many reasons. Among the many problems in data collection, two significant ones are the sporadic nature of work undertaken for short spells throughout the day and often carried out within the homestead, and women’ own responses.
  • Poor data collection: 12 million rural women were workers in livestock raising an estimate based on the Employment and Unemployment Survey of2011-12. However, with the augmented definition, according to estimates, around 49 million rural women were engaged in raising the livestock.
  • Non recognition by policy makers: The problem clearly is that women livestock farmers are not visible to policymakers, and one reason is the lack of gender disaggregated data.

What are the Problems associated with women and livestock rearing?

  • No specific data on women in the livestock economy: Recent employment surveys such as the Periodic Labour Force Survey fail to collect data on specific activities of persons engaged primarily in domestic duties. So, the undercounting of women in the livestock economy continues.
  • Lack of Training: the reach of extension services to women livestock farmers remains scarce. According to official reports, 80,000 livestock farmers were trained across the country in 2021, but we have no idea how many were women farmers. only a few women in each village reported receiving any information from extension workers. Women wanted information but wanted it nearer home and at times when they were free.
  • Difficulty to avail loans: women in poor households, without collateral to offer to banks found it difficult to avail loans to purchase livestock. Around 15 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards(KCC) were provided to livestock farmers under the KCC scheme during 2020-22.There is no information on how many of them were women farmers.
  • Lack of technical knowledge: Women livestock farmers lacked technical knowledge on choice of animals (breeding) and veterinary care. Men invariably performed these specific tasks and took animals for artificial insemination.
  • No active role in cooperatives: Women were not aware of the composition and functions of dairy boards and that the men exercised decisions even in women only dairy cooperatives. Further, the voice of women from landless or poor peasant Scheduled Caste households was rarely heard.

livestock

What are the Government policies?

  • The National Livestock Policy (NLP) : The NLP of 2013, aimed at increasing livestock production and productivity in a sustainable manner, rightly states that around 70% of the labour for the livestock sector comes from women. One of the goals of this policy was the empowerment of women.
  • The National Livestock: The National Livestock Mission (NLM) of2014-15 was initiated for the development of the livestock sector with a focus on the availability of feed and fodder, providing extension services, and improved flow of credit to livestock farmers. However, the NLM does not propose any schemes or programmes specific to women livestock farmers.
  • Responsibility of state Government: The policy proposes that the State government allocates 30% of funds from centrally sponsored schemes for women. There is no logic for the 30% quota.

livestock

Conclusion

  • Women’s labour is critical to the livestock economy. It follows then that women should be included in every stage of decision making and development of the livestock sector. Today, women livestock workers remain invisible on account of their absence in official statistics. We must recognise the due role of women in livestock rearing.

Mains Question

Q.How women contribute to rural economy? Despite being a core in animal rearing, why women are yet not recognised in policy framework of government?

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Private: Indian breed of Pet Dogs

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Various breeds mentioned

Mains level: NA

Mudhol hounds, a breed of hunting dogs native to north Karnataka, could be inducted into the Special Protection Group (SPG), the elite force protecting the Prime Minister of India.

Try this PYQ:

Q.What is/are unique about ‘Kharai camel’, a breed found in India?

  1. It is capable of swimming up to three kilometres in seawater.
  2. It survives by grazing on mangroves.
  3. It lives in the wild and cannot be domesticated.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a)

Famous Indian dog breeds

(1)Mudhol hounds

  • The Mudhol hounds come from the region bordering Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • According to a popular legend Ch. Shivaji Maharaj bred and used these dogs in his army.
  • The breed was named after the erstwhile princely state of Mudhol, which was part of the Bombay Presidency in British India.
  • The last king of the state, King Malojirao Ghorpade, presented a pair of these puppies to King George V when he visited the UK and it was the English emperor who christened the dogs as Mudhol hounds.
  • Mudhol hounds have narrow heads that are disproportionately smaller to their bodies but are tall in height.

(2)Himachali hounds

  • The Himachali hounds are locally known as the ‘Gaddi’ dog and come from the Himalayan region. They are massive, mastiff-like dogs with thick fur to protect them from the cold.
  • They look similar to the Tibetan mastiff but are less bulky.
  • ‘Gaddi’ means shepherd in Urdu, and these dogs are primarily guarding livestock.

(3)Rajapalayam

  • The breed Rajapalayam is believed to have originated from Tamil Nadu, and named after the state’s Rajapalayam city in the Virudhunagar district.
  • A rare breed, these dogs are only found in certain pockets of the state.
  • These dogs are white, lean, muscular, and have historically made good hunters.
  • They are believed to have fought alongside the Polygar soldiers against the British East India Company during the Polygar wars from 1799 to 1805.
  • This is why the Rajapalayam dogs are also known as ‘Polygar hounds’.

(4) Kanni and Chippiparai

  • The Kanni dog is another breed from Tamil Nadu, and its name translates to “pure” in Tamil after its fierce loyalty.
  • Like the Rajapalayam, Kanni dogs specialise in hunting hares, wild boars, and blackbucks.
  • However, since the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was passed, these dogs have been acting as guard dogs.
  • The Kennel Club of India, which maintains a registry of purebred dogs in India, has registered this dog under two names — Kanni and Chippiparai.

(5)Combai

  • The Combai dogs also originate from Tamil Nadu. They are tan-coloured with a black snout and appear shorter and stouter than the Rajapalayam. They are classified as terriers.
  • Like the Kanni and Rajapalayam, these dogs are rare and a dying breed and were historically used for boar hunting and guarding purposes.
  • The CRPF recently recruited Combai dogs into their Dog Breeding and Training School.

 

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Explained: Lumpy Skin Disease in India

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Lumpy Skin Disease

Mains level: Read the attached story

lumpy

The Mumbai Police have ordered the prohibition of cattle transportation in the city to prevent the spread of the lumpy skin disease (LSD).

What is the Lumpy Skin Disease?

  • Lumpy skin disease is caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), which belongs to the genus capripoxvirus, a part of the poxviridae family.
  • Smallpox and monkeypox viruses are also a part of the same family.
  • The LSDV shares antigenic similarities with the sheeppox virus (SPPV) and the goatpox virus (GTPV) or is similar in the immune response to those viruses.

How does it spread?

  • It is not a zoonotic virus, meaning the disease cannot spread to humans.
  • It is a contagious vector-borne disease spread by vectors like mosquitoes, some biting flies, and ticks and usually affects host animals like cows and water buffaloes.
  • Infected animals shed the virus through oral and nasal secretions which may contaminate common feeding and water troughs.
  • Thus, the disease can either spread through direct contact with the vectors or through contaminated fodder and water.
  • Studies have also shown that it can spread through animal semen during artificial insemination.

How does it affect the animal?

  • LSD affects the lymph nodes of the infected animal, causing the nodes to enlarge and appear like lumps on the skin, which is where it derives its name from.
  • The cutaneous nodules, 2–5 cm in diameter, appear on the infected cattle’s head, neck, limbs, udder, genitalia, and perineum.
  • The nodules may later turn into ulcers and eventually develop scabs over the skin.
  • The other symptoms include high fever, sharp drop in milk yield, discharge from the eyes and nose, salivation, loss of appetite, depression, damaged hides, wasting of animals, infertility and abortions.

Do it kills the animal?

  • The incubation period or the time between infection and symptoms is about 28 days according to the FAO, and 4 to 14 days according to some other estimates.
  • The morbidity of the disease varies between two to 45% and mortality or rate of date is less than 10%.
  • However, the reported mortality of the current outbreak in India is up to 15%, particularly in cases being reported in the western part (Rajasthan) of the country.

What is the geographical distribution and how did it spread to India?

  • The disease was first observed in Zambia in 1929.
  • Subsequently it got spread to most African countries, followed by West Asia, Southeastern Europe, and Central Asia, and more recently spreading to South Asia and China in 2019.
  • As per the FAO, the LSD disease is currently endemic in several countries across Africa, parts of the West Asia (Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic), and Turkey.

Lumpy in India

  • The spread in South Asia first affected Bangladesh in July 2019 and then reached India in August that year, with initial cases being detected in Odisha and West Bengal.
  • The long porous borders between India, Nepal and Bangladesh allow for a significant amount of bilateral and informal animal trade, including cattle and buffaloes.
  • This may have contributed to the spread of LSD in July-August 2019 between Bangladesh and India.
  • While the 2019 outbreak later subsided, the recent spread in India began in June this year.

Is it safe to consume the milk of affected cattle?

  • Studies say that it has not been possible to ascertain the presence of viable and infectious LSDV virus in milk derived from the infected animal.
  • However, that a large portion of the milk in Asia is processed after collection and is either pasteurised or boiled or dried in order to make milk powder.
  • This process ensures that the virus is inactivated or destroyed.

Economic implications of Lumpy on Dairy Sector

  • Milk reduction: Lumpy leads to reduced milk production as the animal becomes weak and also loses appetite due to mouth ulceration.
  • Animal wasting: The income losses can also be due to poor growth, reduced draught power capacity and reproductive problems associated with abortions, infertility and lack of semen for artificial insemination.
  • Impact of trade ban: Movement and trade bans after infection also put an economic strain on the whole value chain.

Why India is at higher risk?

  • India is the world’s largest milk producer at about 210 million tonnes annually.
  • India also has the largest headcount of bovines
  • In Rajasthan, which is witnessing the worst impact of LSD, it has led to reduced milk production, which lessened by about three to six lakh litres a day.
  • Reports indicate that milk production has also gone down in Punjab owing to the spread of the disease.
  • According to FAO, the disease threatens the livelihoods of smaller poultry farmers significantly.
  • Notably, farmers in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have incurred losses due to cattle deaths and are seeking compensation from their State governments.

How bad is the current spread in India?

  • Lumpy has infected over 16 lakh cattle in 197 districts as of September 11.
  • Of the nearly 75,000 cattle that the disease has killed, more than 50,000 deaths, mostly cows, have been reported from Rajasthan.

Remedies available in India

  • The Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying informed that the ‘Goat Pox Vaccine’ is very effective against LSD.
  • It is being used across affected States to contain the spread.

Way forward

The FAO has suggested a set of spread-control measures for LSD, which involves:

  • Vaccination of susceptible populations with more than 80% coverage
  • Movement control of bovine animals and quarantining
  • Implementing biosecurity through vector control by sanitising sheds and spraying insecticides
  • Strengthening active and passive surveillance
  • Spreading awareness on risk mitigation among all stakeholders involved, and
  • Creating large protection and surveillance zones and vaccination zones

 

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Mystery of milk price going up when WPI inflation is down

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Milk inflation

Milk prices are rising, as producers and marketers pass on higher costs to consumers.  Amul and Mother Dairy raised milk prices by ₹2 each this week, the second such hike this year.

Why are milk prices going up?

  • High operating cost: For dairy companies and cooperatives, the cost of operation and production of milk has increased.
  • Fodder price hike: Prices of cattle feed, which includes maize, wheat and soybean, are up 20% over the year.
  • High procurement cost: Given the rise in input costs, its member unions from where it procures milk have increased farmers’ price in the range of 8-9% year-on-year.
  • Cost sharing: In an already inflationary environment, dairies are compelled to pass on price increases to consumers as procurement prices go up.

Has demand for milk picked up as well?

  • A better rate of vaccination, resumption of offices, schools and even opening up of channels such as hotels and restaurants have led to higher out-of-home consumption of foods and beverages in the last two to three quarters.
  • This has led to greater demand for milk and other dairy beverages.
  • Analysts cited higher skimmed milk prices in the international markets that they said make exports of the commodity out of India more attractive.
  • A combination of these factors is pushing up milk procurement prices, and leading to higher retail prices.

But isn’t wholesale inflation cooling down nowadays?

  • Yes; India’s wholesale price-based inflation eased to 13.93% in July.
  • In fact, WPI inflation in milk eased in July to 5.45% compared  to  6.35%  in  June,  though it remained high compared to February.
  • However, companies also pass on hikes with a lag to lessen the impact on demand. Amul says the increase is less than 4% — below the food inflation rate of 8-9%.

When will milk prices cool down?

  • Milk procurement is also dependent on the flush season that runs between September to February.
  • This is the peak lactating period for cattle due to better availability of green fodder and water.
  • As a result, the period in general sees higher milk production and availability.
  • The onset of  the  flush  season  could offer some relief to dairy companies in the second half of the current fiscal year.

What does this mean for consumers?

  • For households, an  increase  in milk prices obviously means shelling out more money; this in a country that is among largest consumers of milk.
  • In fact,  by July,  dairy companies had raised milk selling prices by 5-8% in a six-month window.
  • Consumer demand typically sees an impact in the first few days after price hikes are initiated. However, recovery happens gradually.
  • Consequently, higher milk procurement prices could also hurt companies that make bakery products or food items that use milk or milk solids.

Also read

Concept of Inflation/Deflation/WPI/CPI/IIP

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In news: Ongole Cattle Breed

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Ongole Cattle

Mains level: Indigenous cattle breedss

Ongole breed of cattle had remained indispensable for all farm operations for centuries in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh in view of their draught power.

Ongole Cattle

  • Ongole cattle are an indigenous cattle breed that originates from Prakasam District in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The breed derives its name from the place the breed originates from, Ongole.
  • The Ongole breed of cattle Bos Indicus, has a great demand as it is said to possess resistance to both foot and mouth disease and mad cow disease.

What’s so special about this breed?

  • Cattle breeders use the fighting ability of the bulls to choose the right stock for breeding in terms of purity and strength.
  • Ongole cattle are known for their toughness, rapid growth rate, and natural tolerance to tropical heat and disease resistance.
  • It was perhaps the first Indian breed of cattle to gain worldwide recognition.
  • Ongole milk is rich in A2 (allele of Beta Casein).
  • They fetches a premium price of over ₹150 per litre as it enables consumers build immunity against viral and other diseases.

Global Prominence

  • Ongole bulls have gone as far as America, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Indonesia, West Indies, Australia, Fiji, Mauritius, Indo-China and Philippines.
  • The Brahmana bull in America is an off-breed of the Ongole.
  • The population of Ongole off-breed in Brazil is said to number several million.
  • The famous Santa Gertrudis breed developed in Texas, USA have Ongole blood.
  • It has gained global prominence, particularly in Brazil which imported barely hundred animals and produced multiple superior breeds like the world famous Zebu.

 

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World Dairy Summit 2022 to be held in India after 48 years

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: IDF-WDS

Mains level: India's dairy sector

At a time when several milk-producing centers are battling Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), India will host the International Dairy Federation’s World Dairy Summit 2022 in Greater Noida.

World Dairy Summit

  • The World Dairy Summit is an annual meeting of the global dairy sector, bringing together approximately 1500 participants from all over the world.
  • The participant profile includes CEOs and employees of dairy processing companies, dairy farmers, suppliers to the dairy industry, academicians, government representatives, etc.
  • The summit is composed of a series of scientific and technical conferences and social events including a welcome reception, farmers’ dinner, gala dinner as well as technical and social tours.
  • The last World Dairy Summit was organised in 1974 in New Delhi.

Significance of the event

  • It is a prestigious event for us as India is now the largest milk producer in the world and we have the highest number of cattle.
  • The last time this event was held, India was import-dependent and now we are self-sufficient.

Back2Basics: India’s dairy sector

  • Initiated in 1970, Operation Floodtransformed India into one of the largest milk producers.
  • The per capita availability of milk in 2018-19 was 394 grams per day as against the world average of 302 grams.
  • Today with an annual production of 187.75 million tonnes India accounts for about 22% of the world’s milk production.
  • However, India is yet to join the ranks of major milk exporting nations, as much of what we produce is directed towards meeting domestic demands.

 

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[pib] India’s First Banni Buffalo IVF Calf Born

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Banni Buffalo, IVF

Mains level: Not Much

With the birth of first IVF calf of a Buffalo breed namely Banni in the country, India’s Ovum Pick-Up (OPU) – IVF work has reached to next level.

Banni Buffalo

  • Banni buffaloes are also known as “Kutchi” or “Kundi”.
  • The breeding tract includes the Banni area of Kutchchh district of Gujarat.
  • The breed is maintained mostly by Maldharis under locally adapted typical extensive production system in its breeding tract.

What makes them unique?

  • Banni buffaloes are trained to graze on Banni grassland during night and brought to the villages in the morning for milking.
  • This traditional system of buffalo rearing has been adapted to avoid the heat stress and high temperature of the day.
  • It has unique qualities of adaptation such as the ability to survive water scarcity conditions, to cover long distances during periods of drought and disease resistance.

Indigenous buffalo breeds in India

S. No. Breed Breeding state
1 Banni Gujarat
2 Bargur Tamil Nadu
3 Bhadawari Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh
4 Chhattisgarhi Chhattisgarh
5 Chilika Odisha
6 Gojri Himachal Pradesh and Punjab
7 Jaffarabadi Gujarat
8 Kalahandi Odisha
9 Luit (Swamp) Assam
10 Marathwadi Maharashtra
11 Mehsana Gujarat
12 Murrah Haryana and Delhi
13 Nagpuri Maharashtra
14 Nili Ravi Punjab
15 Pandharpuri Maharashtra
16 Surti Gujarat
17 Toda Tamil Nadu

 

 

 

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Back2Basics: In-vitro fertilization (IVF)

  • IVF is a type of assisted reproductive technology used for infertility treatment and gestational surrogacy.
  • A fertilised egg may be implanted into a surrogate’s uterus, and the resulting child is genetically unrelated to the surrogate.
  • Some countries have banned or otherwise regulate the availability of IVF treatment, giving rise to fertility tourism.
  • Restrictions on the availability of IVF include costs and age, in order for a woman to carry a healthy pregnancy to term.
  • IVF is generally not used until less invasive or expensive options have failed or been determined unlikely to work.

IVF process

  • IVF is a process of fertilization where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro (“in glass”).
  • The process involves monitoring and stimulating a female ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the female ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a liquid in a laboratory.
  • After the fertilised egg (zygote) undergoes embryo culture for 2–6 days, it is implanted in the same or another female uterus, with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.

 

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Improving livestock breeding

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NLM

Mains level: Paper 3- Rashtriya Gokul Mission and National Livestock Mission (NLM)

Context

The revised version of the Rashtriya Gokul Mission and National Livestock Mission (NLM) proposes to bring focus on entrepreneurship development and breed improvement in cattle, buffalo, poultry, sheep, goat, and piggery.

Livestock breeding and challenges

  • Unorganised in nature: Livestock breeding in India has been largely unorganised.
  • Lack of linkages: Because of this unorganised nature there have been gaps in forward and backward integration across the value chain.
  • Impact on quality: The above scenario impacts the quality of livestock that is produced and in turn negatively impacts the return on investment for livestock farmers.
  • Roughly 80% bovines in the country are low on productivity and are reared by small and marginal farmers.

Entrepreneurship development through NLM and Rashtriya Gokul Mission

  • The revised version of the Rashtriya Gokul Mission and National Livestock Mission (NLM) proposes to bring focus on entrepreneurship development.
  • Breed improvement infrastructure: It seeks to provide incentives to individual entrepreneurs, farmer producer organisations, farmer cooperatives, joint liability groups, self-help groups, Section 8 companies for entrepreneurship development and State governments for breed improvement infrastructure.
  • The breed multiplication farm component of the Rashtriya Gokul Mission is going to provide for capital subsidy up to ₹200 lakh for setting up breeding farm with at least 200 milch cows/ buffalo using latest breeding technology. 
  •  Moreover, the strategy of incentivising breed multiplication farm will result in the employment of 1 lakh farmers.
  • The grassroots initiatives in this sphere will be further amplified by web applications like e-Gopala that provide real-time information to livestock farmers.
  • Poultry: The poultry entrepreneurship programme of the NLM will provide for capital subsidy up to ₹25 lakh for the setting up of a parent farm with a capacity to rear 1,000 chicks.
  • Under this model, the rural entrepreneur running the hatchery will be supplying chicks to the farmers.
  • This is expected to provide employment to at least 14 lakh people.
  • Sheep and goat entrepreneurship: In the context of sheep and goat entrepreneurship, there is a provision of capital subsidy of 50% up to 50 lakh.
  • An entrepreneur under this model shall set up a breeder farm, develop the whole chain will eventually sell the animals to the farmers or in the open market.
  • This model is projected to generate a net profit of more than ₹33 lakh for the entrepreneur per year.
  • Piggery: For piggery, the NLM will provide 50% capital subsidy of up to ₹30 lakh.
  •  Each entrepreneur will be aided with establishment of breeder farms with 100 sows and 10 boars, expected to produce 2,400 piglets in a year.
  • This model is expected to generate a profit of ₹1.37 crore after 16 months and 1.5 lakh jobs.

Conclusion

The revised scheme of NLM coupled with the Rashtriya Gokul Mission and the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund has the potential to dramatically enhance the productivity and traceability standards of our livestock.

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Using Paddy Straw as Cattle Feed

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Paddy straw as animal fodder

Punjab has now proposed to use the paddy crop residue as fodder for animals, especially cattle.

Why such a move?

  • In Punjab, the total availability of paddy straw is about 20 million tones per annum.
  • The total value of this straw is Rs 400 crore approx., calculated on an average rate of Rs 200/quintal. Almost all of it is burnt in fields.
  • This accounts for economic loss apart from the loss of 77,000 tonnes of nitrogen and 5.6 million tonnes of Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) which could be used for ruminant production.
  • Also nearly 30.4 per cent of rice straw is used for animal feed in Southeast Asia, Mongolia and China.

Economics behind paddy straw

  • High silica and lignin content reduces its digestive properties.
  • Higher selenium content in paddy straw also limits its use as fodder in animals as compared to wheat straw.
  • However, if given in moderate quantities (up to 5 kg per animal per day), selenium poses no health hazard to the animal.
  • Paddy straw also contains oxalates (2-2.5%) which leads to calcium deficiency so mineral mixture should always be fed along with the straw.

Treatments for feeding paddy straw to animals

  • Paddy Straw cannot be directly fed to animals. It has to undergo some treatments.
  • Two of them are: Urea-only treatment and urea plus molasses treatment.

[A] Urea treatment of paddy straw

  • 14 kg of urea is dissolved in 200 litres water and spray on chopped paddy straw.
  • The fermented straws have soft texture with 6.0-8.0 per cent crude protein, 3.0-4.0 percent DCP and 55-60 per cent TDN.
  • This involves a combination of physical, chemical and biological treatments.
  • The paddy straw is chaffed and moistened (physical) with urea solution (chemical).
  • The breakdown of urea release ammonia gas, a part of which is utilised by microbes (biological) for their proliferation (enriching the straw with microbial protein).
  • This in turn results in breakage of lingo-cellulosic bonds making cellulose and hemi-cellulose assessable for utilization by microbes in the rumen.
  • The digestibility of cellulose increases from 40-45% in untreated paddy straw to 70-75 per cent in fermented wheat straw.

[B] Urea plus molasses treatment

  • Also called “Urea-Molasses impregnated straw”, this method involves treating paddy straw with urea and molasses.
  • Urea 1 kg and molasses 3 kg was mixed thoroughly and mixed with water 10 kg. This is mixed with chaffed paddy straw and fed to animals on same day.
  • The experts however clarify that for maintenance of body weight in animals, paddy straw alone is not sufficient.
  • Minerals and green fodder supplementation is required.

How does the nutritional value of paddy straw increase after urea treatment?

  • The TDN values in urea treated paddy straw increased manifold as compared to untreated straw.
  • Crude protein (CP) increased from 4.5% to 8%, digestible crude protein (DCP) from 1.5% to 4% and total digestible nutrients (TDN) from 40% to 55%.
  • The feeding of urea treated straw (6 kg/day) to lactating buffaloes giving about 10 kg milk/day can result in saving about 60 per cent of oilseed cake in the ration.
  • Feeding of paddy straw should be mixed with berseem, cowpea or Lucerne as it forms a maintenance ration.
  • The straw should be fed with concentrate mixture and additional DCP or limestone should be given to the animals to reduce the effect of oxalates.
  • Oxalates also interfere in carbohydrate metabolism perhaps due to non-availability of calcium as cofactor.

What are the potentially harmful effects?

  • The intake of siliceous forages has been associated with urinary siliceous calculi in drier regions where water may be limited.
  • There have been no definitive studies in India, but urinary calculi are associated with rice straw consumption.
  • It has high selenium (0.5 to 4.5 % ) content which can cause serious health problems in dairy animals.

 

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What is Palk Bay Scheme?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Palk Bay Scheme

Mains level: Fisheries development

The Union Government is considering increasing the unit cost of deep-sea fishing vessels under the Palk Bay scheme to make it more attractive to fisherfolk.

Palk Bay Scheme

  • The Palk Bay Scheme is the official scheme for diversification of trawl fishing boats from Palk Strait into deep sea fishing boats.
  • It is aimed at encouraging fishermen to take up deep-sea fishing and put an end to disputes arising between the India and Sri Lanka.
  • The project helps fishermen in the Palk Straits, who are not exposed to deep-sea fishing, to venture deep into the Indian Ocean, Arabian sea and other deep-sea areas to look for fish like tuna that are in high demand.

Why need such a scheme?

  • Bottom trawling, an ecologically destructive practice, involves trawlers dragging weighted nets along the sea-floor, causing great depletion of aquatic resources.

Key components of the scheme

  • The project aims to replace all trawler boats and introduce over 2,000 deep sea fishing boats in a course of five years.
  • The scheme, under the aegis of Blue Revolution scheme – is funded by the Centre – 50 per cent and state government – 20 per cent for a boat costing Rs 80 lakh.
  • Of the balance 30 per cent, 10 per cent is contributed by the beneficiary (fisherman), and the remaining 20 per cent is funded by banks.

Must read:

[Burning Issue] India- Sri Lanka Fishermen Issues

 

 

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[pib] River Ranching Programme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: River Ranching

Mains level: Fisheries development

The Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, is set to launch the River Ranching Programme in Uttar Pradesh under the Namami Gange Programme.

What is River Ranching?

  • River Ranching is a form of aquaculture in which a population of a fish species (such as salmon) is held in captivity for the first stage of their lives.
  • They are then released, and later harvested as adults when they return from the sea to their freshwater birthplace to spawn.

Objective

The key objectives of the program are:

  • To sustain and conserve the biodiversity in the river.
  • Facilitate regular stocking of fingerlings of cultivable carps to enhance productivity
  • Increase fish production
  • Enhance income and livelihood opportunities to communities’ dependent on these resources

Why need such a program?

  • River ranching helps in achieving sustainable fisheries, reducing habitat degradation, conserving biodiversity, maximising social-economic benefits and would also remove factors causing pollution.
  • In this activity, different species of fish are released in the river, which destroy factors that increase the level of nitrogen.
  • These fishes will also aid in maintaining the cleanliness of the river as they feed on organic remnants.

Where is the scheme being launched?

  • In Uttar Pradesh, about 15 lakh fish fingerlings of native carp species shall be simultaneously released into the river in 12 districts by the department.
  • These districts include Bulandshahr/Hapur, Hardoi, Bijnor, Amroha, Fatehpur, Kanpur, Badayun, Kaushambi, Prayagraj, Mirzapur, Varanasi and Ghazipur.
  • Four other states namely Uttarakhand, Orissa, Tripura and Chhattisgarh will also witness the launching of nationwide River Ranching program.

 

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[pib] National Digital Livestock Mission

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: National Digital Livestock Mission

Mains level: Not Much

The Union Minister of State Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying unveiled the National Digital Livestock Mission Blueprint.

National Digital Livestock Mission

  • The NDLM would be a digital platform developed by Dept. of Dairy and Animal Husbandry on the foundation of the existing Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health (INAPH).
  • It aims to create a farmer-centric, technology-enabled ecosystem where the farmers are able to realize better income through livestock activities with the right information.
  • The bedrock of NDLM will be the unique identification of all livestock, which will be the foundation for all the state and national level programmes including domestic and international trade.
  • The farmers will be able to effortlessly access the markets, irrespective of their location or holdings through this digital platform as a wide-range of stake-holders will be connected in this ecosystem.
  • This system will also include robust animal breeding systems, nutrition, disease surveillance, disease control programmes and a traceability mechanism for animals and animal products.

Why need such mission?

  • The livestock sector has a unique combination of being the backbone of rural livelihood.
  • The growth would have been a lot better if there were concerted efforts to harmonise programmes across the country in order to create an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of the sector.
  • This has been the main idea behind the deployment of NDLM, keeping the welfare of the farmer at the core.

Back2Basics: National Livestock Mission

  • National Livestock Mission is an initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  • The mission, which commenced from 2014-15, has the objective of sustainable development of the livestock sector.
  • NABARD is the subsidy channelising agency for following schemes, under Entrepreneurship Development & Employment Generation (EDEG) component of National Livestock Mission.
  1. Poultry Venture Capital Fund (PVCF)
  2. Integrated Development of Small Ruminants and Rabbit (IDSRR)
  3. Pig Development (PD)
  4. Salvaging and Rearing of Male Buffalo Calves (SRMBC)
  5. Effective Animal Waste Management
  6. Construction of Storage Facility for Feed and Fodder

 

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Odisha’s Manda buffalo gets unique, indigenous tag

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Indigenous bovine species

Mains level: Not Much

The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) has recognized the Manda buffalo, found in the Eastern Ghats and plateau of Koraput region of Odisha, as the 19th unique breed of buffaloes found in India.

Manda Buffalo

  • The Manda are resistant to parasitic infections, less prone to diseases and can live, produce and reproduce at low or nil input systems.
  • These buffaloes have ash grey and grey coat with copper-coloured hair.
  • The lower part of the legs up to the elbow is light in colour with copper colour hair at the knee. Some animals are silver-white in colour.
  • Four breeds of cattle — Binjharpuri, Motu, Ghumusari and Khariar — and two breeds of buffalo — Chilika and Kalahandi — and one breed of sheep, Kendrapada, have already received NBAGR recognition.

Their economic significance

  • The small, sturdy buffaloes are used for ploughing in their native habitat of the Koraput, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts.
  • There are around 1,00,000 buffaloes of this breed in the native tract mostly contributing to the family nutrition of households and assisting in all the agricultural operations in the undulated hilly terrain for generations.
  • The average milk yield of these buffaloes is 2 to 2.5 litres in single milking with more than 8% fat. However, a few of those yield up to 4 litres.
  • After going through the findings, the NBAGR made an assessment and recognised it as an indigenous and unique buffalo.

Now pls do not ignore this PYQ:

Q.What is/are unique about ‘Kharai Camel’, a breed found in India?

  1. It is capable of swimming up to three kilometres in seawater.
  2. It survives by grazing on mangroves.
  3. It lives in the wild and cannot be domesticated.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Post your answers here.
3
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Poultry Farm Establishment Rules

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Pollution caused due to Poultry Industry

Mains level: Agricultural emission

Small and marginal poultry farmers in India will now have to take measures similar to their bigger counterparts to prevent environmental pollution, according to new guidelines issued recently by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

What are the new guidelines?

(A) Establishment

  • Consent to Operate: The new guidelines state that for establishing and operating a medium-sized poultry farm of 25,000-100,000 birds, a farmer will have to obtain a certificate of Consent. Permission will be valid for 15 years.
  • Designated Authority: This will have to be taken from the State Pollution Control Board or Committee under the Water Act, 1974, and the Air Act, 1981. The Animal Husbandry Department will be responsible for implementing the guidelines at the state and district level.
  • Location: A farm should be set up 500 metres away from a residential area, 100 metres from rivers, lakes, canals, and drinking water sources, 100 metres from national highways, and 10-15 metres from village footpaths and rural roads.

(B) Operational directives

  • Ventilated farms: The guidelines state that the poultry farm should have a ventilated room to reduce the gaseous pollution from the birds.
  • Wastewater management: Also, care should be taken so that poultry feces do not mix with running water or any other pesticide.
  • Manure generation: Farmers of small- and medium-sized poultry farms will have to arrange for manure. After use, the water from a poultry farm must be collected in a tank. The guidelines suggest using it in horticulture.
  • Disposal of deads: Emphasis has also been given to the daily removal of birds that die, through burial, without harming the environment. Burial should be done three metres above the groundwater level.

(C) Large/ Small Farmer

The new guidelines have defined who is a ‘large’ or ‘small’ poultry farmer in India.

  • Those who have 5,000-25,000 birds are small farmers.
  • Those who have more than 25,000 and less than 100,000 birds are medium farmers.
  • Those who have more than 100,000 birds are large farmers.

Why need such regulation?

  • Poultry, hatchery and piggery were considered ‘green’ by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in its guidelines of 2015.
  • This meant they were exempt from the air, water, and environmental protection laws.
  • Gaseous emissions and waste are major problems in poultry farming.
  • The feces of poultry birds emit gaseous ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and methane, all of which produce odors.

Poultry sector of India

  • According to the 20th Livestock Census 2020, there are 851.8 million poultry birds in India.
  • About 30 percent (250 million) of this is ‘backyard poultry’ or small and marginal farmers.
  • According to the 19th Livestock Census, the number of such farmers is about 30 million.
  • Chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, etc, are reared in poultry farms for meat and eggs. Chickens that are reared for eggs are called ‘laying hens’ or ‘layers’. Those reared for meat are called ‘broilers’.

According to the 20th Livestock Census, Tamil Nadu (120 million), Andhra Pradesh (107 million), Telangana (79 million), West Bengal (77 million), Maharashtra (74 million), Karnataka (59 million crores), Assam (46 million) and Kerala (29 million) have the highest poultry populations.

Try answering this PYQ:

Consider the following statements:

  1. Agricultural soils release nitrogen oxides into environment.
  2. Cattle release ammonia into environment.
  3. Poultry industry releases reactive nitrogen compounds into environment.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Post your answers here.
4
Please leave a feedback on thisx

 

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Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: National Livestock Mission

Mains level: Paper 3- Addressing the lack of quality and affordable fodder and feed through Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed

Context

The government recently announced a Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed.

Why availability of good and affordable quality feed and fodder matters

  • A study by the Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute has observed that for every 100 kg of feed required, India is short of 23.4 kg of dry fodder, 11.24 kg of green fodder, and 28.9 kg of concentrate feed.
  • Low milk productivity: The lack of good quality feed and fodder impacts the productivity levels of cattle.
  • This is one of the chief reasons why Indian livestock’s milk productivity is 20%-60% lower than the global average.
  • High input cost: If we break down the input costs, we find that feed constitutes 60%-70% of milk production costs.
  • When the National Livestock Mission was launched in 2014, it focused on supporting farmers in producing fodder from non-forest wasteland/grassland, and cultivation of coarse grains.
  • However, this model could not sustain fodder availability due to a lack of backward and forward linkages in the value chain.

Why Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed is significant

  • As about 200 million Indians are involved in dairy and livestock farming, the scheme is important from the perspective of poverty alleviation.
  • The Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed intends to create a network of entrepreneurs who will make silage (the hub) and sell them directly to the farmers (the spoke).
  • Bringing down the input cost: The large-scale production of silage will bring down the input cost for farmers since silage is much cheaper than concentrate feed.
  • Objective: The revised scheme has been designed with the objectives of increasing productivity, reducing input costs, and doing away with middlemen (who usually take a huge cut).
  • Since India has a livestock population of 535.78 million, effective implementation of this scheme will play a major role in increasing the return on investment for our farmers.

About the Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed

  • The scheme will provide 50% capital subsidy up to ₹50 lakh towards project cost to the beneficiary for infrastructure development and for procuring machinery for value addition in feed such as hay/silage/total mixed ration.
  • Private entrepreneurs, self-help groups, farmer producer organizations, dairy cooperative societies, and Section 8 companies (NGOs) can avail themselves of the benefits under this scheme.
  • The scheme can be used for covering the cost of infrastructure/machinery such as bailing units, harvester, chaff cutter, sheds, etc.

Challenges and solution

  • Seasonal availability: A major challenge in the feed sector emanates from the fact that good-quality green fodder is only available for about three months during the year.
  • Fermenting green fodder: Ideal solution would be to ferment green fodder and convert it into silage.
  • Hence, under the fodder entrepreneurship program, farmers will receive subsidies and incentives to create a consistent supply chain of feed throughout the year.

Conclusion

The mission will help marginal farmers reduce their input costs and help them in increasing the return on capital employed.

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[pib] IndiGau: India’s first Cattle Genomic Chip

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: IndiGau

Mains level: Not Much

The National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad has launched a chip called IndiGau.

IndiGau

  • IndiGau is India’s first Cattle Genomic Chip for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like, Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal, Ongole etc.
  • It is purely indigenous and the largest cattle chip in the world.
  • It has 11,496 markers more than that placed on 777K Illumina chip of US & UK breeds.
  • The manufacturing of this chip is in synergy with Rashtriya Gokul Mission and is a great example of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Utility of IndiGau

  • Indigenous bovines are robust and resilient and are particularly suited to the climate and environment of their respective breeding tracts,
  • Their productivity is less likely to be impacted by the adversities of climate change.
  • The milk of indigenous animals is high in fat and SNF (solids-not-fat) content.

(SNF content are the substances in milk other than butterfat and water in the form of casein, lactose, vitamins, and minerals which contribute significantly to the nutritive value of milk.)

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Back2Basics: National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development

  • The NPBBDD has been formulated by merging four ongoing schemes of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in the dairy sector.
  • It was launched in Feb 2014.
  • This merger has been done to integrate milk production and dairying activities in a scientific and holistic manner to meet the increasing demand for milk in the country.

Components of the scheme

NPBBDD has the following three components.

  • National Programme for Bovine Breeding (NPBB)
  • National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD) and
  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission.

Differences between all these schemes:

1) National Programme for Bovine Breeding

It aims-

  • To arrange quality Artificial Insemination services at farmers’ doorstep
  • To bring all breedable females under organized breeding through Artificial Insemination or natural service using germplasm of high genetic merits

2) National Programme for Dairy Development

It aims-

  • To create and strengthen infrastructure for the production of quality milk including cold chain infrastructure linking the farmer to the consumer
  • To strengthen dairy cooperative societies/Producers Companies at the village level
  • To increase milk production by providing technical input services like cattle-feed, and mineral mixture etc.

3) Rashtriya Gokul Mission

It aims-

  • To undertake breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds so as to improve the genetic makeup and increase the stock.
  • To enhance milk production and productivity of indigenous bovines.
  • To upgrade nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi.

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Anti-methanogenic feed supplement ‘Harit Dhara’

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Harit Dhara

Mains level: Methane pollution

An Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institute has developed an anti-methanogenic feed supplement ‘Harit Dhara’.

Harit Dhara

  • Harit Dhara is prepared using condensed and hydrolysable tannin-rich plant-based sources abundantly available in the country.
  • It changes the composition of the volatile fatty acids that are the end-products of rumen fermentation (along with hydrogen and CO2).
  • It roughly costs Rs 6/kg and it is to be fed only to animals aged above three months having fully functional rumen.
  • When given to bovines and sheep, it not only cuts down their methane emissions by 17-20%.
  • It also results in higher milk production and body weight gain.

Why it is significant?

  • Belching cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats in India emit an estimated 9.25 million tonnes (mt) to 14.2 mt of methane annually, out of a global total of 90 mt-plus from livestock.
  • And given methane’s global warming potential – 25 times of carbon dioxide (CO2) over 100 years, making it a more potent greenhouse gas – that’s cause for concern.
  • An average lactating cow or buffalo in India emits around 200 litres of methane per day, while it is 85-95 litres for young growing heifers and 20-25 litres for adult sheep.
  • Feeding Harit Dhara can reduce these by a fifth.

How is methane produced by the cattles?

  • Methane is produced by animals having rumen, the first of their four stomachs where the plant material they eat – cellulose, fibre, starch and sugars – gets fermented or broken down by microorganisms prior to further digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Carbohydrate fermentation leads to the production of CO2 and hydrogen.
  • These are used as substrate by archaea – microbes in the rumen with structure similar to bacteria – to produce methane, which the animals then expel through burping.
  • Harit Dhara acts by decreasing the population of protozoa microbes in the rumen, responsible for hydrogen production and making it available to the archaea for reduction of CO2 to methane.
  • Tropical plants containing tannins – bitter and astringent chemical compounds – are known to suppress or remove protozoa from the rumen.

Need for India

  • The 2019 Livestock Census showed India’s cattle population at 193.46 million, along with 109.85 million buffaloes, 148.88 million goats and 74.26 million sheep.
  • Being largely fed on agricultural residues – wheat/paddy straw and maize, sorghum or bajra stover – ruminants in India tend to produce 50-100% higher methane than their industrialized country counterparts.

Answer this PYQ in the comment box:

Q.Consider the following:

  1. Carbon monoxide
  2. Methane
  3. Ozone
  4. Sulphur dioxide

Which of the above are released into atmosphere due to the burning of crop/biomass residue?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 1 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4


Back2Basics: CO2 equivalents

  • Each greenhouse gas (GHG) has a different global warming potential (GWP) and persists for a different length of time in the atmosphere.
  • The three main greenhouse gases (along with water vapour) and their 100-year global warming potential (GWP) compared to carbon dioxide are:

1 x – carbon dioxide (CO2)

25 x – methane (CH4) – I.e. Releasing 1 kg of CH4into the atmosphere is about equivalent to releasing 25 kg of CO2

298 x – nitrous oxide (N2O)

  • Water vapour is not considered to be a cause of man-made global warming because it does not persist in the atmosphere for more than a few days.
  • There are other greenhouse gases which have far greater global warming potential (GWP) but are much less prevalent. These are sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).
  • There are a wide variety of uses for SF6, HFCs, and PFCs but they have been most commonly used as refrigerants and for fire suppression.
  • Many of these compounds also have a depleting effect on ozone in the upper atmosphere.

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Why the dairy sector needs more private players

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Operation Flood

Mains level: India's dairy sector

One of India’s largest dairy cooperative societies has just raised its milk prices for consumers by Rs 2/litre and this has become national news.

Sparking off a debate

  • Many in the media are debating how this will push up Consumer Price Index causing inflationary pressures, which may soon force the RBI to change its “accommodative stance” on monetary policy.

Why such hues over Milk?

Milk is an important case study for our overall agriculture sector.

  • First, milk is our biggest agri-commodity in terms of value, greater than paddy (rice), wheat, and sugarcane combined.
  • Second, India is the largest producer of milk in the world with an estimated production of about 208 million tonnes in 2020-21, way above its closest competitor, the US, whose milk production hovers around 100 million tonnes.
  • Third, our dairy sector is dominated by smallholders with an average herd size of 4-5 animals.
  • Fourth, and this is important, there is no minimum support price (MSP) for milk. It is more like a contract between the company and the farmers.

How is the milk price determined?

  • The price of milk is largely determined by the overall forces of demand and supply.
  • Increasing costs of production enter through the supply side, but the demand side cannot be ignored.
  • As a result of all this, the overall growth in the dairy sector for the last 20 years has been between 4-5 per cent per annum, and lately, it has accelerated to even 6 per cent.

Concerns of dairy farmers

  • For dairy farmers, this increase in milk prices is not commensurate to the increase in their feed and other costs, and they feel that their margins are getting squeezed.
  • They also feel that this price still does not count their logistics cost.

Transformation since Op Flood

  • It is well known that “Operation Flood” (OF) that started in the 1970s transformed this sector.
  • The institutional innovation of a cooperative model, steered by Verghese Kurien, changed the structure of this sector.
  • However, even after five decades, cooperatives processed only 10 per cent of the overall milk production.
  • India needed the double-engine force of the organised private sector to process another 10 per cent.
  • The doors for the private sector were opened partially with the 1991 reforms, but fully in 2002-03 under the leadership of Vajpayee, when the dairy sector was completely de-licenced.

Rise of dairypreneurs

  • Many start-ups “dairypreneurs” have come in promising a farm-to-home experience of milk.
  • There is one company that delivers fresh milk at the consumer’s doorstep and gives quality testing kits at home.
  • These have digitized cattle health, milk production, milk procurement, milk testing, and cold chain management.

Effective breeding

  • Sexed semen technology helps in predetermining the sex of offspring by sorting X and Y chromosomes from the natural sperm mix.
  • This can solve the problem of unwanted bulls on Indian roads.
  • Although the current cost of sexed sorted semen is high, Maharashtra has taken a bold step in subsidizing it for artificial insemination.

Way forward

  • The upshot of all this is that let prices be determined by market forces, with marginal support from the government or cooperatives in times of extreme.
  • The major focus should be on innovations to cut down costs, raise productivity, ensure food safety, and be globally competitive.
  • That will help both farmers and consumers alike.
  • The cooperatives did a great job during OF, and are still doing that, but the private sector entering this sector in a big way has opened the gates of creativity and competition.

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Brucellosis: Preventive measures launched

Health and Animal Husbandry teams have launched preventive measures and initiated an epidemiological investigation, after one case of brucellosis, was confirmed in a prisoner.

  • The infection is passed on to humans through the ingestion of unpasteurized milk and milk products or contact with animal secretions.

Brucellosis:

  • Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that mainly infects cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs.
  • Humans can get infected if they come in direct contact with infected animals or by eating or drinking contaminated animal products or by inhaling airborne agents.
  • According to the WHO, most cases of the disease are caused by ingesting unpasteurised milk or cheese from infected goats or sheep.

Symptoms:

  • Fever, sweats, malaise, anorexia, headache and muscle pain
  • While some signs and symptoms can last for long periods of time, others may never go away.
  • These include recurrent fevers, arthritis, swelling of the testicles and scrotum area, swelling of the heart, neurologic symptoms, chronic fatigue, depression and swelling of the liver or spleen.
  • Human to human transmission of the virus is rare.

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Shaphari Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Shaphari Scheme

Mains level: Not Much

Commerce Ministry wants to build confidence in quality, antibiotic-free shrimp products from India for the global market.

Shaphari Scheme

  • The Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) has developed a certification scheme for aquaculture products called ‘Shaphari’, a Sanksrit word that means the superior quality of fishery products suitable for human consumption.
  • The Shaphari scheme is based on the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s technical guidelines on aquaculture certification.
  • It will have two components — certifying hatcheries for the quality of their seeds and, separately, approving shrimp farms that adopt the requisite good practices.
  • The certification of hatcheries will help farmers easily identify good quality seed producers.
  • Those who successfully clear multiple audits of their operations shall be granted a certificate for a period of two years.
  • The entire certification process will be online to minimize human errors and ensure higher credibility and transparency.

Bolstering confidence in India’s Shrimp production

  • To bolster confidence in India’s frozen shrimp produce, the country’s biggest seafood export item, the Centre has kicked off a new scheme called ‘Shaphari’ to certify hatcheries and farms that adopt good aquaculture practices.
  • Frozen shrimp is India’s largest exported seafood item.
  • But a combination of factors had hurt export volumes in recent months, including container shortages and incidents of seafood consignments being rejected because of food safety concerns.
  • Some recent consignments sourced from Indian shrimp farms being rejected due to the presence of antibiotic residue and this is a matter of concern for exporters.
  • The National Residue Control Programme for food safety issues in farm produce and pre-harvest testing system is already in place.
  • But this certification was proposed as a market-based tool for hatcheries to adopt good aquaculture practices and help produce quality antibiotic-free shrimp products to assure global consumers.

Frozen shrimp export potential

  • Frozen shrimp is India’s largest exported seafood item. It constituted 50.58% in quantity and 73.2% in terms of total U.S. dollar earnings from the sector during 2019-20.
  • India exported frozen shrimp worth almost $5 billion in 2019-20, with the U.S. and China its the biggest buyers.
  • Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are India’s major shrimp producing States, and around 95% of the cultured shrimp produce is exported.

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What are Military Farms?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Military farms, Project Freiswal

Mains level: NA

Military farms have been closed after 132 years of service.

Read till the end to know what Project Freiswal is.

What are Military Farms?

  • The farms were set up with the sole requirement of supplying hygienic cow milk to troops in garrisons across British India.
  • The first military farm was raised on February 1, 1889, at Allahabad.
  • Post-independence, the farms flourished with 30,000 heads of cattle in 130 farms all over India.
  • They were even established in Leh and Kargil in the late 1990s.

Why are they shutdown?

  • The major task was the management of large tracts of defence land, production and supply of baled hay to animal holding units.
  • There have been several recommendations in the past to shut down the farms.
  • In 2012, the Quarter Master General branch had recommended their closure.
  • Again in December 2016 by Lt. Gen. DB Shekatkar (retd) committee was appointed to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces.

Their significance

  • For more than a century, the farms with dedication and commitment supplied 3.5 crore litres of milk and 25,000 MT of hay yearly.
  • It is credited with pioneering the technique of artificial insemination of cattle and the introduction of organised dairying in India, providing yeoman service during the 1971 war.
  • It also supplied milk at the Western and Eastern war fronts as well as during the Kargil operations to the Northern Command.

Another initiative: Project Freiswal

  • It utilizes Friesian-Sahiwal cross-breeds as a base for the evolution of a new milch strain – “Frieswal” – through interbreeding, selection and progeny testing of bulls.
  • It was introduced on 3 November 1987 at the Military Farm School and Research Centre in Meerut.
  • It had the objective of studying the genetic aspects of Holstein x Sahiwal crossbreeds and those of important indigenous cattle breeds for their improvement through selection.

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Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)

Mains level: Paper 3- Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)

Importance of animal husbandary and dairy sector

  • As an allied industry of agriculture, the animal husbandry and dairy sector collectively employs more than 100 million people.
  • Since the bulk of establishments in this sector is concentrated in rural India, the socio-economic relevance of this sector cannot be overstated.
  • the Central government unveiled a string of measures to cushion the economy, as a part of which the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) was announced.

More about AHIDF

  • The AHIDF has been set up with an outlay of ₹15,000 crore.
  • As per the provisions of AHIDF, a project will be eligible for a loan amount that covers up to 90% of the estimated cost –
  • There will be interest subvention of 3% for all eligible entities.
  • Applicants can submit the proposal with a complete Detailed Project Report through the Udyami Mitra Portal.
  • The fund includes a diverse set of stakeholders such as FPOs, private dairy players, individual entrepreneurs, and non-profits within its ambit.

Strengthening dairy value chain

  • There is a pressing need to enhance chilling infrastructure at collection centres by setting up bulk milk coolers.
  • If the infrastructure needs for milk processing and distribution are included, then the overall potential investment opportunity is to the tune of ₹1,40,000 crore across the dairy value chain.
  • There is also considerable potential to increase the productivity of cattle, especially by enhancing the quality of animal feed.
  • With this in mind, the AHIDF has been designed to support the establishment of animal feed plants of varying capacities.
  • The infrastructure gap of 10-18 MMT in the production and supply of affordable compound cattle feed translates into an investment potential of around ₹5,000 crore.

Boosting the poultry industry

  • There are not only economic but nutritional benefits to boosting the poultry segment’s output, efficiency and quality.
  • India is the fourth largest chicken meat producer and the second largest egg producer in the world.
  • India is well-positioned to help mitigate rampant malnutrition given that chicken meat provides the cheapest source of protein per unit.
  • With eggs being introduced as part of the mid-day meal within several anganwadis in the country, an upgradation in poultry infrastructure would be closely intertwined with social justice outcomes too.
  • Macro benefits regarding climate change and employment are linked to this sector.
  • Enhanced infrastructure can make processing units more energy-efficient and help mitigate their carbon footprint.

Consider the question ” As an allied industry of agriculture, the animal husbandry and dairy sector are important for rural area and the socio-economic relevance of this sector cannot be overstated. In light of this, examine the role Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) could play in transforming rural economy.”

Conclusion

The AHIDF also has the potential to create over 30 lakh jobs, even as it overhauls domestic infrastructure towards giving greater prominence to India’s dairy and livestock products in the global value chain.

 

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Farakka ‘lock’ and Hilsa Fish

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Farakkha Barrage, Hilsa fish

Mains level: Not Much

It has been reported that an old project to facilitate the movement of Hilsa upstream along the Ganga to its spawning grounds of yore may come to fruition this year.

What is the news?

  • Back in February 2019, the government had unveiled a project to redesign the navigation lock at the Farakka Barrage at a cost of Rs 360 crore to create a “fish pass” for the Hilsa.

Hilsa Fish

  • In scientific parlance, the Hilsa (Tenualosa ilisha) is an anadromous fish.
  • It lives most of its life in the ocean, but during the rainy season, the Hilsa moves towards the estuary, where the rivers of India and Bangladesh meet the Bay of Bengal.
  • A large part of the shoal travels upstream in the Padma and the Ganga — some are known to move towards the Godavari, and there are records of Hilsa migration to the Cauvery.
  • Culinary lore has it that the fish that travel the farthest upstream have the best combination of the flavours of the sea and the river.

Try this question from CSP 2019:

Q. Consider the following pairs:

Wildlife Naturally found in
1. Blue-finned Mahseer Cauvery River
2. Irrawaddy Dolphin Chambal River
3. Rusty-spotted Cat Eastern Ghats

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Obstructions created by Farakka Barrage

  • Historical records also show that until the 1970s, the Hilsa would swim the Ganga upstream to Allahabad — and even to Agra.
  • But the Farakka Barrage, which became operational on the Ganga in 1975, disrupted the westward movement of the Hilsa.
  • The barrage had a navigation lock that stopped the fish from swimming upstream beyond Farakka.
  • In Buxar on the border of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the last recorded catch of the Hilsa was made 32 years ago.
  • The role of the Farakka Barrage in disrupting the Hilsa’s journey is well documented and has been discussed in Parliament as well.
  • On August 4, 2016, then Union Water Resources Minister told Lok Sabha about plans to create “fish ladders” to help the fish navigate the obstacle posed by the barrage.

Fish ladders/fishways/fish passes

  • Fish passes — also known as fish ladders or fishways — aim to assist fish in crossing obstacles presented by dams and barrages.
  • They usually consist of small steps that allow the fish to climb over the obstacles and enable them to reach the open waters on the other side.

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Dairy Industry in India : An analysis

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NAIP

Mains level: Paper 3- Use of technology to increase milk production in India

The article highlights the issues facing the dairy sector and explains the utility of IVF technology for crossbreeding.

Importance of dairy sector

  • The dairy sector assumes significance on account two reasons:
  • 1) It has to do with the socio-cultural affinity towards cows and dairy products in large parts of the country.
  • 2) As an industry, it employs more than 70 million farmers.
  • Need of the hour is for us to identify ways in which we can enhance the return on investment for our farmers.

India’s journey from milk deficit country to one of surplus

  • Initiated in 1970, Operation Flood transformed India into one of the largest milk producers.
  • The per capita availability of milk in 2018-19 was 394 grams per day as against the world average of 302 grams.
  • Today with an annual production of 187.75 million tonnes India accounts for about 22% of the world’s milk production.
  • However, India is yet to join the ranks of major milk exporting nations, as much of what we produce is directed towards meeting domestic demands.

Making India milk exporting nation

  • Indigenous cows produce 3.01kgs of milk per cow per day, while the yield of exotic crossbred cows is 7.95kgs.
  • Crossbreeding has taken off in a big way because of the advancements in reproductive technologies like In vitro fertilization (IVF), embryo transfer process, and artificial insemination.
  • Out of these processes, IVF and artificial insemination have proven to be the most popular and effective methods.
  • The NAIP (Nationwide Artificial Insemination Programme) Phase-I was launched in September 2019.
  • Every animal in the programme was assigned a 12-digit unique identification number under the Pashu Aadhar scheme.
  • NAIP Phase-II was initiated on 1 August 2020 with an allocation of 1,090 crore in 604 districts covering 50,000 animals per district and is on track to be completed by the 31 May 2021.
  • Under the programme, 9.06 crore artificial inseminations will be performed and is expected to lead to the birth of 1.5 crore high yielding female calves.
  • Consequently, 18 million tonnes of additional milk will be produced as average productivity will be enhanced from 1,861kg per animal per year to 3,000kg per animal per year.
  • Artificial insemination (AI) technology has been the most used method in India, but its success hinges upon accuracy in heat detection and timely insemination.
  • And this is where In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technology will prove to be more effective.

Conclusion

In keeping with our ethos of ‘Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan’ the marriage of rural farming with the latest innovations in technology will usher in unprecedented transformation in our dairy industry.

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Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill (2020).

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Bovine nationalism

The recent law passed by the Karnataka State Assembly on bovine slaughter is a topic of contention.

Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill (2020)

  • The Karnataka state assembly passed the Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill (2020).
  • It has banned the slaughter of all cows, bulls, bullocks and calves as well as it also outlaws the slaughter of buffaloes below the age of 13.
  • Smuggling and transporting animals for slaughter is also an offence.
  • The bill prescribes punishments of between three to seven years – which is more than the punishment prescribed in Indian law for causing the death of a human being by negligence.
  • It also gives the police powers to conduct searches based on suspicion.
  • Though the bill has yet to be passed by the state’s Legislative Council, the government has said it will pass an ordinance to implement its provisions.

Practice Question: The recent law passed by Karnataka State Assembly on bovine slaughter is a topic of contention. Analyze.

Muslims and farmers

  • The legislation, based on Hinduism’s reverence for the cow, undermines the food practices of many Indians, for whom beef is a cheap source of protein.
  • Already, Indians are some of the most malnourished people on the planet and, remarkably, nutrition standards are worsening.
  • The bill also penalizes people working in the meat and leather industries that depend on cattle slaughter, many of whom are Muslim.

Dairy economics

  • The sector that will take the largest hit from the legislation is the dairy industry. India’s dairy industry is massive with an annual turnover of Rs 6.5 lakh crore – making it by far India’s largest agricultural product.
  • India’s farmers earn more from dairy than wheat and rice put together. India has almost as many bovines as people in the United States with one for every four Indians.
  • The problem with the bill is that that slaughter is integral to the dairy industry’s economic functioning. Dairy farming in India functions on small margins. As a result, the upkeep of unproductive animals would throw their bottom lines out of alignment.
  • When a male calf is born or a milch animal stops giving milk (or yield falls), farmers need to be able to get rid of the animal. In normal times, this sale is also a source of capital for the farmer.
  • In 2014, the size of the used cattle market just in Maharashtra was valued at as much as Rs 1,180 crore per year.
  • Verghese Kurien, founder of Amul and the architect of India’s White Revolution, that supercharged India’s milk production from 1970, opposed any ban on cow slaughter. Kurein was clear that the economics of dairy demanded slaughter.

Cowed down

  • The statistics produced by the 2019 Livestock Census are clear: cow slaughter laws have actually ended up harming cows.
  • Between 2012 and 2019, states with cow slaughter laws such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh saw their cattle numbers fall (by 10.07%, 4.42% and 3.93%, respectively).
  • On the other hand, West Bengal – one of India’s rare states where cattle slaughter has no restrictions – saw a massive increase of 15.18%. As a result, Bengal now has the Indian Union’s largest cattle population.
  • Farmers simply let unproductive cattle loose, giving rise to the problem of large herds of feral cows which have caused economic havoc and pose a danger of citizens – a problem unique to India.
  • In the countryside of many states, famished cattle herds now pose a danger to crops and cause accidents.

Buffalo nation

  • Naturally, stray cattle numbers are directly linked to cow slaughter laws. States such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have seen substantial rises in their stray cow population between 2012 and 2019 while West Bengal has seen a sharp fall.
  • Between 2012 and 2019, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh saw their buffalo numbers rise.
  • Since the buffalo – not seen as sacred in Hinduism – could be slaughtered legally, dairy farmers were clearly preferring it over the holy cow.
  • But the Karnataka bill very alarming even compared to the devastation caused by the earlier cow slaughter laws is because it even targets buffalos.

Making it worse

  • Karnataka’s stringent laws against cow slaughter is part of a policy pattern that – rather than make India’s already precarious economic situation better – makes Indians worse off.
  • Recent examples include demonetization, the new Goods and Services Tax as well as putting in place the world’s harshest Covid-19 lockdown, making sure India’s was the worst affected country economically during the pandemic.
  • India is going through a rural crisis. With poor yields due to unscientific farming methods and lack of support structures like irrigation, the average monthly income of the Indian farmer stands at only Rs 6,427 per month.
  • To make matters worse, for small farmers (defined as owning less than a hectare of land), their farming income is too low to cover their expenses and they are in debt and this describes the situation of 83% of Indian farmers.

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[pib] Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: RKA

Mains level: India's dailry potential

Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA) has started a nationwide campaign to celebrate “Kamdhenu Deepawali Abhiyan” this year on the occasion of Deepawali festival.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Consider the following statements:

  1. Agricultural soils release nitrogen oxides into the environment.
  2. Cattle release ammonia into the environment.
  3. Poultry industry releases reactive nitrogen compounds into the environment.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA)

  • RKA has been constituted by PM for the conservation, protection and development of cows and their progeny and for giving direction to the cattle development programmes.
  • It is a high powered permanent body to formulate policy and to provide direction to the implementation of schemes related to cattle so as to give more emphasis on livelihood generation.

Why need RKA?

  • Livestock economy sustains nearly 73 million households in rural areas.
  • Even though, the country is the largest producer of milk, the average milk yield in India is only 50% of the world average.
  • The low productivity is largely due to deterioration in genetic stock, poor nutrition and unscientific management.

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Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: PMMSY, E Gopala

Mains level: Fisheries sector of India

PM will digitally launch the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) today.

PM Matsya Sampada Yojana

  • The PMMSY aims to bring about the Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India.
  • It has an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crores for its implementation during a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/UTs, as a part of AatmaNirbhar Bharat Package.
  • PMMSY aims at enhancing fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonne by 2024-25, increasing fisheries export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore by 2024-25.
  • Thus it aims doubling of incomes of fishers and fish farmers, reducing post-harvest losses from 20-25% to about 10% and generation of gainful employment opportunities in the sector.

Aims and objectives of PMMSY

  • Harnessing of fisheries potential in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner
  • Enhancing of fish production and productivity through expansion, intensification, diversification and productive utilization of land and water
  • Modernizing and strengthening of the value chain – post-harvest management and quality improvement
  • Doubling fishers and fish farmers incomes and generation of employment
  • Enhancing contribution to Agriculture GVA and exports
  • Social, physical and economic security for fishers and fish farmers
  • Robust fisheries management and regulatory framework

Implementation strategy

The PMMSY will be implemented as an umbrella scheme with two separate components namely:

(a) Central Sector Scheme and

(b) Centrally Sponsored Scheme

  • Majority of the activities under the Scheme would be implemented with the active participation of States/UTs.
  • A well-structured implementation framework would be established for the effective planning and implementation of PMMSY.
  • For optimal outcomes, ‘Cluster or area-based approach’ would be followed with requisite forward and backward linkages and end to end solutions.

Other inaugurations: e-Gopala App

  • e-Gopala App is a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for direct use of farmers.
  • At present no digital platform is available in the country for farmers managing livestock including buying and selling of disease-free germplasm in all forms (semen, embryos, etc); availability of quality breeding services and guiding farmers for animal nutrition etc.
  • There is no mechanism to send alerts (on the due date for vaccination, pregnancy diagnosis, calving etc) and inform farmers about various government schemes and campaigns in the area.
  • The e-Gopala App will provide solutions to farmers on all these aspects.

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Godhan Nyay Yojana to boost rural economy

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Godhan Nyay Yojana

Mains level: Animal husbandary sector of India

Chhattisgarh is set to launch ‘Godhan Nyay Yojana’. The scheme aims to put money in the pockets of people living in rural areas and also solve the problem of stray cattle.

Try this question from CSP 2019:

Consider the following statements

  1. Agricultural soils release nitrogen oxides into the environment.
  2. Cattle release ammonia into the environment.
  3. Poultry industry releases reactive nitrogen compounds into the environment.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Godhan Nyay Yojana

  • Under the scheme, the Chhattisgarh government will purchase cow dung at the rate of Rs 2 per kg.
  • This scheme will turn cow dung into a profitable commodity.
  • The scheme also aims to make cow rearing economically profitable and to prevent open grazing in the state, as well as help with the problem of stray animals on roads and in urban areas.

How will the scheme help the rural economy?

  • The scheme will generate additional income and increase employment opportunities.
  • The government will procure cow dung and prepare vermicompost in order to move towards organic farming.
  • There is a huge market for organic farming. Vermicompost will be sold by cooperative societies.
  • Distribution of vermicompost fertilizer to farmers will be done as a commodity loan by cooperative societies, banks.

Preventing strays in urban areas

  • In urban areas, the scheme will prevent movement of stray animals on roads and highways, and also improve urban sanitation with proper disposal of waste produced by cattle.
  • Cattle will be tagged with the owner’s name, address, mobile number to the neck of each animal after the survey to ensure accountability of cattle owners if their cattle are found in the open.

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G4 Flu virus and it’s pandemic potential

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: G4 Flu

Mains level: Rise in zoonotic diseases and their possible causes

In new research, scientists from China – which has the largest population of pigs in the world – have identified a “recently emerged” strain of influenza virus that is infecting Chinese pigs and that has the potential of triggering a pandemic.

Practice question for mains:

Q.What are zoonotic diseases? Why China has emerged as the epicentre of global outbreaks of zoonotic disease?

G4 Flu

  • Named G4, the swine flu strain has genes similar to those in the virus that caused the 2009 flu pandemic.
  • The scientists identified the virus through surveillance of influenza viruses in pigs that they carried out from 2011 to 2018 in ten provinces of China.
  • They also found that the G4 strain has the capability of binding to human-type receptors (like, the SARS-CoV-2 virus binds to ACE2 receptors in humans).
  • The virus was able to copy itself in human airway epithelial cells, and it showed effective infectivity and aerosol transmission.

Swine industry is the new hotspot for zoonoses

  • The scientists report that the new strain (G4) has descended from the H1N1 strain that was responsible for the 2009 flu pandemic.
  • Pigs are intermediate hosts for the generation of pandemic influenza virus.
  • Thus, systematic surveillance of influenza viruses in pigs is a key measure for pre-warning the emergence of the next pandemic influenza.

Back2Basics: 2009 swine flu pandemic

  • The WHO declared the outbreak of type A H1N1 influenza virus a pandemic in 2009 when there were around 30,000 cases globally.
  • It was caused by a strain of the swine flu called the H1N1 virus, which was transmitted from human to human.
  • Influenza viruses that commonly circulate in swine are called “swine influenza viruses” or “swine flu viruses”.
  • Like human influenza viruses, there are different subtypes and strains of swine influenza viruses. Essentially, swine flu is a virus that pigs can get infected by.
  • The symptoms of swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

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Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: AHIDF

Mains level: Animal husbandary sector of India

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved setting up of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) worth Rs. 15000 crore.

Practice question for mains:

Q. In pursuit of doubling farmer’s income, development of animal husbandry has to play a crucial role. Discuss.

About AHIDF

  • The fund is part of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus packages to help people affected by the lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • The AHIDF would promote infrastructure investments in dairy, meat processing and animal feed plants.
  • Farmer producer organizations (FPOs), MSMEs, Section 8 companies, private companies and individual entrepreneurs would be eligible to benefit from the fund.
  • It will ensure the availability of capital to meet upfront investment required for these projects and also help enhance overall returns/ payback for investors.

Provisions of the AHIDF

  • The beneficiaries will have to contribute 10 per cent margin towards the proposed infra project and the rest 90 per cent would be a loan component to be made available to them by scheduled banks.
  • The balance 90% would be the loan component to be made available by scheduled banks.
  • Government of India will provide 3% interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries.
  • There will be 2 years moratorium period for the principal loan amount and 6 years repayment period thereafter.

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Species in news: Hilsa Fish

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Hilsa Fish`

Mains level: NA

Fishermen in West Bengal are in for a pleasant surprise amid the COVID-19 gloom as they have exuded hope of a bumper yield of Hilsa, known as “maacher rani” (queen of fish).

Try this question from CSP 2019:

Q. Consider the following pairs:

Wildlife Naturally found in
1. Blue-finned Mahseer Cauvery River
2. Irrawaddy Dolphin Chambal River
3. Rusty-spotted Cat Eastern Ghats

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Hilsa Fish

IUCN status: Least Concerned

  • The Hilsa is a species of fish related to the herring, in the family Clupeidae.
  • It is a very popular and sought-after food fish in the Indian Subcontinent.
  • It is the national fish of Bangladesh and state symbol in the Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura.
  • The fish contributes about 12% of the total fish production and about 1.15% of GDP in Bangladesh.

What’s so special about Hilsa?

  • Hilsa has a history of migrating to Allahabad in the Ganga river system from Bangladesh.
  • Though it’s a saltwater fish, it migrates to sweet waters of the Ganges from the Bay of Bengal.
  • It travels upstream of the river during the mating seasons and returns to its natural abode after spawning.

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Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) for 1.5 crore dairy farmers

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: KCC scheme

Mains level: KCC and its outreach

The Union Govt. is set to provide Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to 1.5 crore dairy farmers belonging to Milk Unions and Milk producing Companies within the next two months under a special drive.

We can expect multiple statements based prelim question here. Note the following features of the KCC from the newscard:

1. Year of its introduction (in rarest case)

2. Types of banks issuing KCC

3. Credit types extended under KCC

4. Sectors covered under KCC

What is Kisan Credit Card (KCC)?

  • KCC is a credit scheme introduced in August 1998 by banks to extend credit facilities to farmers.
  • This model scheme was prepared by the NABARD on the recommendations of R.V. GUPTA committee to provide term loans for agricultural needs
  • Participating institutions include all commercial banks, Regional Rural Banks, and state co-operative banks. The scheme has short term credit limits for crops and term loans.
  • KCC offering credit to the farmers is of two types: 1. Cash Credit 2. Term Credit (for allied activities such as pump sets, land development, plantation, drip irrigations).

Facilities under KCC

  • Credit card and passbook or credit card cum passbook provided to eligible farmers facilitate revolving cash credit facility.
  • Any number of withdrawals and repayments within a limit, which is fixed on the basis of operational land holding, cropping pattern and scale of finance can be made.
  • Each withdrawal has to be repaid within a maximum period of 12 months and the Card is valid for 3 to 5 years subject to annual review.
  • Conversion/reschedulement of loans is permissible in case of damage to crops due to natural calamities.
  • Crop loans disbursed under KCC Scheme for notified crops are covered under Rashtriya Krishi Bima Yojana, to protect farmers against loss of crop yield caused by natural calamities, pest attacks etc.

What’s’ in the bucket for Dairy Farmers?

  • Under the dairy cooperative movement, approximately 1.7 crore farmers are associated with 230 Milk Unions in the country.
  • In the first phase of this campaign, the target is to cover all farmers who are members of dairy cooperative societies and associated with different Milk Unions and who do not have KCC.
  • Although the general limit for KCC credit without collateral is Rs. 1.6 lakh, but for dairy farmers, it can be upto Rs.3 lakh.
  • This will ensure more credit availability for dairy farmers associated with Milk Unions as well as assuring repayment of loans to banks.

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[pib] Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PM-MSY) for boosting fisheries sector

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

Mains level: Fisheries sector of India

The Union Cabinet has approved the “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana”.

Practice question for Mains:

Q. Only after the Indian Independence, has fisheries together with agriculture been recognized as an important sector. Examine the scope & challenges of aquaculture in India.

About the PMMSY

  • The PMMSY aims to bring about the Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India.
  • With the scheme, highest ever investment of Rs. 20050 crores are being made in the fisheries sector.
  • It will be implemented over a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/Union Territories.

Aims and objectives of PMMSY

  • Harnessing of fisheries potential in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner
  • Enhancing of fish production and productivity through expansion, intensification, diversification and productive utilization of land and water
  • Modernizing and strengthening of the value chain – post-harvest management and quality improvement
  • Doubling fishers and fish farmers incomes and generation of employment
  • Enhancing contribution to Agriculture GVA and exports
  • Social, physical and economic security for fishers and fish farmers
  • Robust fisheries management and regulatory framework

Implementation strategy

The PMMSY will be implemented as an umbrella scheme with two separate components namely:

(a) Central Sector Scheme and

(b) Centrally Sponsored Scheme

  • Majority of the activities under the Scheme would be implemented with the active participation of States/UTs.
  • A well-structured implementation framework would be established for the effective planning and implementation of PMMSY.
  • For optimal outcomes, ‘Cluster or area-based approach’ would be followed with requisite forward and backward linkages and end to end solutions.

Back2Basics: Fisheries sector of India

  • Fisheries and aquaculture are an important source of food, nutrition, employment and income in India.
  • The sector provides livelihood to more than 20 million fishers and fish farmers at the primary level and twice the number along the value chain.
  • The Gross Value Added (GVA) of the fisheries sector in the national economy during 2018-19 stood at 1.24% of the total National GVA and 7.28% share of Agricultural GVA.
  • The sector has immense potential to double the fishers and fish farmers’ incomes as envisioned by government and usher in economic prosperity.
  • Fisheries sector in India has shown impressive growth with an average annual growth rate of 10.88% during the year from 2014-15 to 2018-19.

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What is African Swine Fever (ASF)?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: African Swine Fever

Mains level: Not Much

  • Amid the coronavirus pandemic, another disease outbreak is affecting thousands of animals in Assam.
  • Since February, over 2,900 pigs have died in the state due to African Swine Fever (ASF), which does not affect humans but can be catastrophic for pigs.
  • This is the first time that an ASF outbreak has been reported in India.

As Flu is nowadays a lot in news, keep a tab on them for prelims. Be it the Swine Flue, African Swine Fever or even H5N1.

African Swine Fever (ASF)

  • ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs typically resulting in an acute hemorrhagic fever.
  • The disease has a case fatality rate (CFR) of about 100 per cent.
  • Its routes of transmission include direct contact with an infected or wild pig (alive or dead), indirect contact through ingestion of contaminated material such as food waste, feed or garbage or through biological vectors such as ticks.
  • The disease is characterized by the sudden deaths of pigs.
  • Other manifestations of the disease include high fever, depression, anorexia, loss of appetite, hemorrhages in the skin, vomiting and diarrhoea among others.

How did the current outbreak start?

  • As per the latest update issued by FAO, the current outbreak of ASF has affected China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Republic of Korea and Indonesia among others.
  • In China, the first ASF outbreak was confirmed in August 2018 and since then more than 1 million pigs have been culled in the country.
  • ASF came into India through Tibet into Arunachal Pradesh and then into Assam, the state with the highest population of pigs in the country.

How is ASF different from swine flu?

  • Swine influenza or swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs, which is caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pig populations.
  • While the swine flu causing virus leads to a high number of infections in pig herds, the disease is not as fatal and causes few deaths. Specific swine influenza vaccines are available for pigs.
  • The swine flu viruses are spread among pigs through close contact and through contaminated objects moving between infected and uninfected pigs.
  • Symptoms include fever, depression, coughing, discharge from the nose and eyes, eye redness or inflammation.

Vaccines availability

  • As of now, there is no approved vaccine, which is also a reason why animals are culled to prevent the spread of infection.
  • It is important that determination of ASF is made through laboratory testing and it is differentiated from Classical Swine Fever (CSF), whose signs may be similar to ASF, but is caused by a different virus for which a vaccine exists.
  • Even so, while ASF is lethal, it is less infectious than other animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.

What is the impact ASF will have on pig farmers?

  • Pig farmers in Assam describe the outbreak as a “double whammy” since the COVID-19 lockdown was already impacting sales negatively.
  • The outbreak has ruined the prospect of the Northeastern states as a hub for the export of pork products.

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Amid the Lockdown, How can we efficiently manage our Agriculture and Livestock sector

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Essential Services Maintenance Act.

Mains level: Paper 3- Managing the agriculture and livestock sector.

Context

Amid lockdown, we need an action plan to manage our agriculture, livestock sectors.

Need for an immediate action plan to manage the agriculture and livestock sector

  • The country produces around 52 crore litres of milk daily.
  • There are also 80 crore-odd live poultry, both broilers and layers, at any given time, supplying meat and eggs to consumers.
  • Link with the other producers: These birds and animals, in turn, support the livelihoods of poultry and dairy farmers, as well as those producing maize, soybean, mustard, groundnut, cotton and other coarse grains that are ingredients for livestock feed.
  • It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that farmers are able to keep their animals alive and market the crop that has been, or will be, harvested during the lockdown period.
  • We need an immediate action plan to manage our agriculture and livestock sectors in the interest of both producers and consumers.

Issue of implementation

  • Ensuring free movements: The first thing is to ensure free movement of farm produce, livestock feed and veterinary medicines.
  • Implementing the already taken decision: It is obvious that not all issues can be addressed overnight. But the minimum the government can do is to ensure ground-level implementation of already-taken decisions.
  • The problem of implementation: Many essential services, for instance, were kept out of the purview of the lockdown. Food, feed and agricultural inputs have been specifically notified as essential services.
  • But there are several problems at the level of implementation that are coming to notice.
  • The Centre has issued various directives/notifications, many of them brief and general in nature.
  • Many of these have either not reached the local authorities and police personnel or are not clearly worded. As a result, the smooth movement of essential items has been affected.
  • There are also reports of conflict between the police and citizens, including people involved in the transportation and delivery of food as well as inputs to farms.
  • Why good food supply line matters? The government must do to ensure that people don’t go hungry and the measures it must take to make sure people don’t crowd a few outlets, increasing the chances of the virus spreading.
  • The government has announced that the beneficiaries of the public distribution system can avail three months’ ration at one go.
  • The challenge of delivery: The challenge is to ensure that fair price shops deliver the provisions in an orderly manner and their supply lines remain intact.

Issue of poultry and maize farmers

  • Sharp fall in poultry items: In such times, prices of essential food items are known to shoot up. But in India, prices of food items like chicken meat and eggs have registered a sharp fall.
  • In Delhi’s Gazipur Mandi, for example, the price of broiler chicken has fallen from Rs 55/kg in January 2020 to Rs 24/kg in March.
  • This has also pushed the maize prices down as poultry is largely fed packaged maize.
  • The government may have to think of compensating poultry and maize farmers in due course.

Suggestions for improving the implementation issue

  • Issue a single notification: The Centre must issue a single notification relating to food items in a standard format and uniform language so that all ambiguities are removed.
  • This needs to be finalised after consultations with the stakeholders and the state governments can release it to officials working at the grassroots.
  • The focus should be to address the problems arising from restrictions on the transport — between and within states — of agri-produce and inputs related to them.
  • Invoke the ESMA: Another suggestion is that the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) be invoked for the delivery of all essential services relating to food to prevent disruption of supplies.
  • Home delivery option: Home (street) delivery of these provisions, to avoid crowding, is a good option.
  • Roping in civil society: This is also an occasion to rope in civil society. NGOs, resident welfare associations, religious organisations and paramilitary forces can be engaged for orderly and safe distribution of food — both pre-cooked and fresh.
  • NGOs with experience in food preparation and distribution, such as Akshaya Patra, could guide local authorities.
  • People involved in this endeavour should be provided with safety gears.
  • The challenge of supplying perishables: These perishables-like fruits, vegetables and milk- must be sold in a packaged form in mobile vans. The weekly markets need to be temporarily suspended lest they spread the virus.
  • Vegetable vendors can work with civil society organisations as well as e-commerce players to do this job in a safe manner.
  • Retail distribution lines: Retail distribution lines need to be seamlessly linked to wholesale supply lines.
  • How to manage rabi season procurement? Procurement operations for rabi crops are around the corner.
  • Training and safety measures: The FCI and other procuring agencies need to be trained about safety measures and supplied safety gear.
  • Providing incentives to farmers for staggered selling: Farmers could be given Rs 50/quintal per month as an incentive to stagger bringing their produce to the market — say after May 10.
  • They will also need to be screened, given training and equipped with safety gear.

Suggestions to prevent post-lockdown chaos

  • What will happen after the lockdown ends? Many plants are now shut or working at low capacity utilisation. Consumption by hotels and other institutions, too, is low. Nor is any export or import happening. But once the lockdown ends, there will be a rush to procure raw material, trucks and rail rakes.
  • Smooth recovery: Smooth recovery from the lockdown is as important as managing supplies during the lockdown.
  • Here are a few suggestions to ensure that the common man does not have to suffer hardships during and after the lockdown:
  • First– Place all food items, agri-inputs, packaging material and transport services under ESMA for a six-month period to prevent profiteering.
  • The MRP that was applicable in February should remain till October.
  • In the case of farm produce, it helps that we are looking at a bumper crop, which makes it all the more necessary to ensure its smooth marketing.
  • Second-Suspend APMC (agricultural produce market committee) laws for the next six months.
  • Traders with APMC licence are bound to act as cartels during rush hour, which will hurt both farmers and consumers.
  • Third-ESMA should apply to all utilities and transport services. State governments can make exemptions on a case to case basis: These exemptions should be subject to public scrutiny under the Right to Information Act.
  • The government should announce the above measures well in advance.

Conclusion

The government must start planning now to prevent post-lockdown chaos, especially profiteering in the event of shortages. Smooth recovery from the lockdown is as important as managing supplies during the lockdown.

 

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[pib] Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) Advisories

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: PFZ

Mains level: Application based initiaitives by ISRO

The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad has reported that Oceansat Satellite data from ISRO are used to prepare the PFZ advisories on the potential rich fishing areas and provide to the sea faring fishermen in all states.

Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ)

  • This is the first advisory service started by INCOIS. The backbone of this service is the real-time data for ocean color and SST provided by the OCEANSAT and NOAA respectively.
  • This service was started because there was a need to identify the potential fishing zones to help the fishermen to get better catch while they were at the sea.
  • This service was started by the Ministry of Earth Sciences with the help of the Department of Space and several institutions under the Ministry of Agriculture.

How it works?

  • This service makes use of parameters such as sea surface temperature and chlorophyll content provided by NOAA-AVHRR and Oceancolor satellites.
  • Features such as oceanic fronts, Meandering Patterns, Eddies, Rings, Up Welling areas etc. are identified sites for fish accumulation.
  • These features can easily be identified from Sea Surface Temperature and Chlorophyll data.
  • The availability of Chlorophyll from OCEANSAT and MOdDIS has further enriched these advisories in the recent years.
  • Hence, PFZ advisories have helped the fishing community to locate the fishing zones with accuracy.

Special advisories for fisherman

  • Another feature of PFZ service is the generation of species-specific advisory to enable the fishermen folk to distinguish between the exploited and under-exploited species in the potential fishing zones.
  • This enables them to have sustainable fishery management by targeting only the under-exploited species in the fishing zones.
  • This approach enables them to avoid fishing the over-exploited species over and over again.

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SUTRA PIC India Programme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: SUTRA PIC

Mains level: Protecting indigenous breed of bovines

 

The government has unveiled SUTRA PIC programme to research on ‘indigenous’ cows.

SUTRA PIC

  • SUTRA PIC stands for Scientific Utilization Through Research Augmentation-Prime Products from Indigenous Cows.
  • To be funded by multiple scientific ministries, the initiative, SUTRA PIC, is led by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • It has the Department of Biotechnology, the CSIR, the Ministry for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy) among others and the Indian Council of Medical Research as partners.
  • It has five themes:
  1. Uniqueness of Indigenous Cows,
  2. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Medicine and Health,
  3. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Agricultural Applications,
  4. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Food and Nutrition,
  5. Prime-products from indigenous cows-based utility items

Aims and objectives

The proposals under this theme aim to:

  • perform scientific research on the complete characterization of milk and milk products derived from Indian indigenous cows;
  • scientific research on nutritional and therapeutic properties of curd and ghee prepared from indigenous breeds of cows by traditional methods;
  • development of standards for traditionally processed dairy products of Indian-origin cow

Other facts

  • In 2017, SEED constituted a National Steering Committee (NSC) for ‘Scientific Validation and Research on Panchgavya (SVAROP)’.
  • Panchgavya is an Ayurvedic panacea and is a mixture of five (pancha) products of the cow (gavya) — milk, curd, ghee, dung and urine.
  • Its proponents believe it can cure, or treat a wide range of ailments.

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[pib] ‘Apiary on Wheels’ Initiative

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: ‘Apiary on Wheels’, Apiculture

Mains level: Apiculture sector of India


‘Apiary on Wheels’ was recently flagged off today by the Union Minister of MSME.

‘Apiary on Wheels’

  • It is a unique concept designed by KVIC for the easy upkeep and migration of Bee Boxes having live Bee colonies.
  • It is a platform which can carry 20 Bee Boxes from one place to another without any difficulty.
  • It is like an attachment which can be easily connected with a Tractor or a Trolley and may be pulled to any suitable destination.
  • Specially, in summers, the beekeepers usually adopted crude methods to feed the bees and many bees used to die in the process.
  • This concept of migration, cooling with the help of solar panels and sugar drips with zero risk to the lives of bees, will prevent any damages to the bee boxes or bee colonies and help produce quality honey.

How it works?

  • Two large wheels on either side of the Apiary and 4 separate compartments with independent doors, having 5 bee boxes each help the platform to remain intact without disturbing the live bee colonies.
  • It is also connected with a solar panel system which automatically triggers a fan inside the compartment as soon as the temperature reaches 35 degree centigrade or above.

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National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development

Mains level: Dairy sector of India

  • The Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has provided certain information in Parliament regarding the ongoing National Programme for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding.
  • The scheme is subsumed under Rashtriya Gokul Mission since December 2014.

National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development

  • The NPBBDD has been formulated by merging four ongoing schemes of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in the dairy sector.
  • It was launched in Feb 2014.
  • This merger has been done to integrate milk production and dairying activities in a scientific and holistic manner to meet the increasing demand for milk in the country.

Components of the scheme

NPBBDD has the following three components.

  • National Programme for Bovine Breeding (NPBB)
  • National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD) and
  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission.

Differences between all these schemes:

1) National Programme for Bovine Breeding

It aims-

  • To arrange quality Artificial Insemination services at farmers’ doorstep
  • To bring all breedable females under organized breeding through Artificial Insemination or natural service using germplasm of high genetic merits

2) National Programme for Dairy Development

It aims-

  • To create and strengthen infrastructure for the production of quality milk including cold chain infrastructure linking the farmer to the consumer
  • To strengthen dairy cooperative societies/Producers Companies at the village level
  • To increase milk production by providing technical input services like cattle-feed, and mineral mixture etc.

3) Rashtriya Gokul Mission

It aims-

  • To undertake breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds so as to improve the genetic makeup and increase the stock.
  • To enhance milk production and productivity of indigenous bovines.
  • To upgrade non-descript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi.

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[pib] Classical Swine Fever (CSF) Cell Culture Vaccine

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: About the Vaccine

Mains level: Animal husbandary sector of India

Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) released the Classical Swine Fever Vaccine (IVRI-CSF-BS) Technology developed by ICAR -Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI).

About the Vaccine

  • CSF is one of the most important diseases of pigs causing high mortality with annual loss of approx. Rs.4.299 billion.
  • A lapinized CSF vaccine (Weybridge strain, UK) is being used in India since 1964 for controlling the disease.
  • The vaccine is produced by sacrificing large numbers of rabbits for each batch.
  • In order to do away sacrificing of rabbits and increase the productivity, IVRI had earlier developed a cell culture CSF vaccine by adapting the lapinized vaccine virus in cell culture.
  • The vaccine virus has very high titre and lakhs of doses can be produced very easily in cell culture and country’s requirement can be easily fulfilled using this new vaccine.

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