As per a 2019 survey, India is a top ranked country in terms of livestock population. The contribution of the sector to the country's GDP stands at 4.11%. Apart from providing milk, meat and eggs, the fibres and skin of these animals are of high commercial value. They play an integral part in soil conservation naturally as dung has been used as manure since long.
At 34% and 8.8% the states of Bihar and Jharkhand are lagging behind the national unemployment rate of 6.7%, as per an October, 2020 survey. The onset of corona pandemic has been mainly categorized to be the major cause for such decline. Staring at the bottom of the pyramid, both these states require a well designed livestock management program for an immediate transformation of socio -economic landscape.
Currently the 9.9% rural unemployment rate of Jharkhand doesn't tally with the 5.6% in urban centres. The story is no different in Bihar either. Jharkhand's dairy industry is estimated to be a more than $200 million entity. However, the 37% demand- supply gap is a major bottleneck that needs to be addressed by government agencies, CSOs through timely intervention and handholding. Promotion of dairy farming as an alternative livelihood source has to be done among small-holding farmers at community level.
As two -third of the country is dependent directly or indirectly upon livestock for livelihood, a well defined approach has to be chalked out by the implementing agencies at ground level. The current contribution of livestock to GSDP in both Bihar and Jharkhand stands at 5%. Hence there is a huge potential for surge in the sector.
Prabha, through it's initiatives is at the epicenter of changing dynamics of rural employment in the tribal dominated Santhal Pargana region of Jharkhand and the backward hinterlands of Bihar. Some of our path breaking initiatives encompassing the livestock sector are cattle breed improvement through artificial insemination. Through fodder seeds activity, mineral mixture & fodder promotion, animal health camps equipped with the latest veterinary care, we have been able to check the falling standards of health and nutrition of cattle. Enhanced milk production from disease free cattle has brought a new ray of hope among many marginalized and small holding farmers of the area.
The rural folks are ignorant of the technical inputs, modern day veterinary care, combined with poor market linkages, the performance of livestock sector in both the states have not been optimal. The infrastructure facilities need to be revamped for delivery of livestock support services. Prabha has been consistent in its efforts in adoption of improved breeding techniques, use of balanced compounded feed and strengthening up of the whole value chain of a self -sustainable livestock enterprise. Our projects have ushered in a new wave of self reliance and financial security in the Santhal Pargana region.