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Big News: National Livestock Mission Cabinet Nods For New Activities- Details Inside!

The National Livestock Mission (NLM) is helping livestock farmers through its innovative and sustainable approaches.

Shivam Dwivedi
National Livestock Mission: A Comprehensive Overview with Recent Cabinet Approvals (Photo Source: @Dept_of_AHD)
National Livestock Mission: A Comprehensive Overview with Recent Cabinet Approvals (Photo Source: @Dept_of_AHD)

The National Livestock Mission (NLM) was initiated in the fiscal year 2014-15, overseen by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying. It aims to enhance both the quantity and quality of livestock production systems while also facilitating capacity building among all stakeholders. In July 2021, the scheme underwent realignment and was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) as part of the Development Programme, with a budget allocation of Rs. 2300 crore. Let's discuss the mission objectives of the National Livestock Mission and explore the recent approval by the Cabinet to incorporate additional activities in further detail:

Objectives of National Livestock Mission (NLM):

  1. Enhancing Fodder Availability: The mission endeavors to bridge the demand-supply gap in fodder and feed by expanding the coverage of quality fodder seeds, leveraging technology, and promoting post-harvest management and processing techniques tailored to diverse agro-climatic conditions.

  2. Accelerating Fodder Production: By establishing effective seed production chains involving farmers, dairy/farmers cooperatives, seed corporations, and private sector enterprises, the mission aims to ramp up the production of quality fodder and fodder seeds.

  3. Promoting Convergence and Synergy: NLM seeks to foster collaboration among ongoing plan programs and stakeholders to ensure a cohesive and sustainable approach to livestock development.

  4. Encouraging Research and Capacity Building: Applied research in animal nutrition and livestock production, coupled with capacity-building initiatives for state functionaries and livestock owners, are pivotal components of the mission.

  5. Skill Development and Technology Dissemination: The mission emphasizes skill-based training and technology dissemination to enhance productivity and reduce production costs within the livestock sector.

  6. Conservation of Indigenous Breeds: Initiatives for the conservation and genetic up-gradation of indigenous livestock breeds, excluding bovines covered under separate schemes, are promoted in collaboration with farmers and cooperatives.

  7. Facilitating Farmer Groups and Cooperatives: Encouraging the formation of farmer groups, cooperatives, and producers' companies among small and marginal farmers/livestock owners is integral to the mission's objectives.

  8. Promoting Innovation and Pilot Projects: NLM supports the initiation of innovative pilot projects and the mainstreaming of successful models within the livestock sector.

  9. Infrastructure Development and Market Linkages: The provision of infrastructure and linkages for marketing, processing, and value addition, along with risk management measures like livestock insurance, are prioritized under the mission.

  10. Disease Control and Environmental Sustainability: Activities aimed at disease prevention, environmental conservation, food safety, and quality enhancement, including the timely disposal of carcasses, are undertaken as part of the mission's mandate.

  11. Community Participation: The mission fosters community participation in sustainable animal husbandry practices and encourages active involvement in breed conservation efforts.

Sub-Missions Driving the National Livestock Mission Forward

NLM stands as a beacon of entrepreneurial development and breed improvement across various segments of the livestock sector, including pigs, sheep, goats, and poultry, along with feed and fodder production. To effectively execute the objectives of the NLM, three distinct Sub-Missions have been established, each with its own set of priorities and strategies:

1. Sub-Mission on Breed Development of Livestock and Poultry

This Sub-Mission places a keen emphasis on fostering entrepreneurship and enhancing breed quality in poultry, sheep, goats, and pigs. It offers incentives to various entities such as individuals, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Farmer Cooperative Organizations (FCOs), Joint Liability Groups (JLGs), Self-Help Groups (SHGs), and Section 8 companies for entrepreneurship development. Additionally, state governments receive support for improving breed infrastructure.

2. Sub-Mission on Feed and Fodder Development

To bolster the supply of certified fodder seeds essential for fodder production, this Sub-Mission focuses on strengthening the fodder seed chain. It encourages businesses to establish fodder blocks, hay-baling, and silage-making units to enhance fodder availability.

3. Sub-Mission on Skill Development, Technology Transfer, Innovation, and Extension

This Sub-Mission is geared towards promoting institutions, universities, and organizations engaged in research and development related to feed and fodder, extension services, livestock insurance, and innovation for various livestock species. Assistance is provided to central agencies, ICAR Institutes, and university farms for applied research necessary for sectoral development and extension services. Extension activities encompass marketing campaigns, seminars, conferences, demonstration activities, and other Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) initiatives to raise awareness. Additionally, support is extended for livestock insurance schemes and innovative initiatives.

The re-aligned NLM now comprises three Sub-Missions: Breed Improvement of Livestock and Poultry, Feed & Fodder Development, and Innovation and Extension. With a focus on entrepreneurship development, feed and fodder enhancement, research, and innovation, the re-aligned NLM aims to propel the livestock sector towards sustainable growth and development.

Cabinet Approves Expansion of Activities in National Livestock Mission

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the inclusion of additional activities in the NLM on February 21, 2024. The inclusion aimed to further boost the country's livestock sector. These modifications aim to promote entrepreneurship and bolster infrastructure for fodder seed processing, while also simplifying the Livestock Insurance program.

1. Entrepreneurship Development for Horse, Donkey, Mule, and Camel Rearing

One of the key additions to the NLM involves the establishment of entrepreneurship opportunities for horse, donkey, mule, and camel rearing. Individuals, FPOs, SHGs, JLGs, FCOs, and Section 8 companies will receive a 50% capital subsidy up to Rs. 50 lakhs. Additionally, state governments will receive assistance for breed conservation efforts. The Central Government has allocated Rs. 10 crores for establishing semen stations and nucleus breeding farms for these animals.

2. Establishment of Fodder Seed Processing Infrastructure

To improve fodder availability, the NLM will support the establishment of infrastructure for fodder seed processing, including processing and grading units, fodder storage godowns, and grading plants. Private companies, startups, SHGs, FPOs, FCOs, JLGs, FCOs, and Section 8 companies are eligible for a 50% capital subsidy up to Rs. 50 lakhs. Beneficiaries will be required to arrange the remaining project cost through bank finance or self-funding.

3. Expansion of Fodder Cultivation Area

Efforts to increase fodder cultivation areas will be supported, particularly in non-forest lands, wastelands, range lands, non-arable lands, and degraded forest lands. By cultivating fodder in these areas, the availability of fodder across the country is expected to rise, benefiting livestock farmers nationwide.

4. Simplification of Livestock Insurance Program

The Livestock Insurance program has undergone simplification measures. The beneficiary's share of the premium for farmers has been reduced to 15%, down from the previous rates of 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50%. Additionally, the sharing ratio between the Centre and the State has been adjusted to 60:40 for all states and 90:10 for special category states. Furthermore, the number of animals eligible for insurance has been doubled to 10 cattle units for cattle, sheep, and goats. These changes aim to make livestock insurance more accessible and affordable for farmers, ensuring the protection of their valuable assets with minimal financial burden.

NLM reflects the government's commitment to fostering entrepreneurship, improving infrastructure, expanding fodder cultivation, and simplifying insurance processes in the livestock sector, ultimately contributing to the overall growth and development of the agricultural economy.

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