1st Five Year Plan
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Introduction || APPENDIX (CH-4) || APPENDIX (CH-9) || ANNEXURE (CH-12) || APPENDIX (CH-14) || APPENDIX (CH-24) || APPENDIX (CH-29) || Conclusion
1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 || 9 || 10 || 11 || 12 || 13 || 14 || 15 || 16 || 17 || 18 || 19 || 20 || 21 || 22 || 23 || 24 || 25 || 26 || 27 || 28 || 29 || 30 || 31 || 32 || 33 || 34 || 35 || 36 || 37 || 38 || 39

Chapter 19:

According to the 1951 livestock census there are 150 million cattle and 43 million buffaloes in the country. Bullocks are the principal motive power available for agricultural operations. To a large number of people who are vegetarians, milk and milk products constitute the main source of animal protein. The importance of livestock to the economy of the nation can be judged by the fact that their annual contribution to the gross national income has been estimated at about Rs. 1,000 crores. This excludes the value of the animal power for draft purposes in agriculture and transport.

2. The total bovine population of undivided India as ascertained at the quinquennial census from 1920 onwards is as under .—

Year Number in millions Variation taking 1920 as the basis
1920 145-8 100
1925 15l-0 104
1930 154-6 106
1935 153-7 105
1940 147-7 101
1945 144-5 99

The figures for the 1950 census which relate to the Indian Union have not been included in the above table as these cannot be compared with the previous figures which are for undivided India.

3. It will be seen from the above figures that the variation is slight, the maximum Being 6 per cent. The small variation may be accounted for by marginal errors and it may be said that the cattle population of India is tending to be stationary. What is the relation of this population to the country's resources and requirements ? It is estimated that the quantity of fodder available is about 78 per cent of requirements while the available concentrates and feeds would suffice only for about 28 per cent of the cattle. As concentrates are usually given only to animals which are heavily-worked either for milk or draft purposes, it can be said that two thirds of the cattle can be maintained in a fair condition on the existing fodder and feed resources.

4. The overall estimates made by the Cattle Utilisation Committee show that about 10 per cent of the cattle population or roughly 11.4 million adults are unserviceable or unproduc* tive. These estimates relate to the country as a whole, and the position varies in different zones. A study of the 1951 census figures shows that the ratio of dry and other cows which are not in milk with those in milk differs very considerably. While in Madras, Mysore, Orissa, Bihar and Travancore and Cochin there are more than 200 dry cows for every 100 milk cows over three years of age, the number declines in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to about 150 and it is as low as 75 in the Punjab. The figures indicate that in the rice belt and the south a comparatively larger number of unproductive cows are maintained. The normal ratio of dry animals to those in milk should be i to i, and the high ratio in the above regions imposes an avoidable strain on the country's resources. Measures for upgrading the cattle and removing useless and inefficient animals to Gosadans should, therefore, receive high priority in these areas.

5. As regards requirements of bullock power for cultivation and draft purposes calculations made on a basis suggested by Dr. Burns indicate that in U. P. and Bihar there is a surplus of about 4 million bullocks ; but while some farmers with small holdings maintain bullocks which are not fully utilised, in certain areas of these States there is a shortage of bullock power. It would not be correct to assume that there is surplus bullock power in each and every State. For instance, in Pepsu and Punjab the number available is just adequate to meet the needs. But the efficiency of draft cattle is low and, according to Dr. Burns, could be increased by 60 per cent for the country as a whole.

6. To sum up, the available feeds cannot adequately sustain the existing bovine population. While there is a deficiency Of good milch cows and working bullocks there exists a surplus of useless or inefficient animals ; and this surplus, pressing upon the scanty fodder and feed resources, is an obstacle to making good the deficit.

7. The improvement of cattle involves, firstly, the selection of high class animals which are to be found mixed up in India's vast cattle population and their utilisation for up-grading the large number of non-descript cattle ; and secondly, provision for these of an adequate quantity of well-balanced feed, protection against diseases and efficient management.

Work on cattle improvement has been done by the Government, by cattle breeders and by charitable agencies. Among the well-defined breeds in' India there are three broad divisions, viz., milch, draft and dual purpose breeds. Recent investigations have indicated that some of the draft breeds are potentially capable of yielding more milk and this capacity can be developed by proper methods of breeding and management. There is thus a possibility of most of the breeds of Indian cattle being developed eventually into dual purpose animals and this is the prime objective of the breeding policy of the Government of India.

The buffalo population in India consists of several indigenous breeds, but not much concentrated work has yet been done on their improvement. The development of buffaloes has now been included in the key-village scheme discussed later in the chapter.

8. Approximately 750 farm-bred bulls of known pedigree are distributed annually by the government in different States for developing draft as well as milch breeds. Besides, there are approved bulls belonging to private cattle owners. But the existing number of approved bulls meets less than 0.5 per cent of the total requirements of the country. The distribution is defective in that there is no concentration of effort with the object of achieving sustained results. In the absence of arrangements to castrate or remove the inferior bulls before a pedigree bull is located in an area, the progeny of the pedigree bulls have access to scrubs which nullifies the efficiency achieved in the first generation.. A programme of cattle improvement should, therefore, include arrangements fur the production and use of an adequate number of superior bulls of known parentage and productivity and the elimination of inferior and unapproved bulls.

Key Village Scheme

9. Tills work is proposed to be taken up at 600 centres undei- the key-village scheme during the period of the Plan. Each centre will consist of three or four villages having altogether about 500 cows over three years of age. In these areas breeding will be strictly controlled and confined to three or four superior bulls specially marked out and maintained by the farmers for the purpose. The unapproved bulls will be removed or castrated. Other essential features of cattle development, namely, maintenance of records of pedigrees and milk production, feeding and disease control, will receive full attention at every centre. The technique of artificial insemination will also be utilised in these aieas as it will accelerate progress and reduce the requirements of bulls. About 150 artificial insemination centres at the rate of one per four key villages are proposed to be established during the period 'of the Plan.

10. The key villages are thus-almost similar to the seed multiplication farms. During 1951-52, a beginning was- made-by the- sanctioning of 94 artificial insemination' centres with 196 key villages around them. So far 60 artificial centres and 150 key villages have started work and arrangements are in progress for the rest. The targets for the establishment of key villages, artificial insemination centres and bull rearing farms under the key village scheme during the course of four years are given below ;—

Year Number of key villages Progressive total Number Of A. I. centres Progressive total Number of bull rearing farms * Progressive total
1952-53 196   94      
1953-54 206 402 24 118    
1954-55 94 496 16 134 125 125
1955.56 104 600 16 150 100 225

When in full swing this scheme is expected to produce about 60,000 bulls per year. Each Community Project will have an artifici-il insemination centre at a convenient place with four key villages attached thereto. It would also be an advantage to locate some of the key villages in the suburban areas around the important cities, where development of dairy farming has been recommended.

12. The improvement of common grazing grounds, the growing of fodder crops in suitable rotations, the preservations of surplus monsoon grass, the use of hitherto untapped fodder resources, etc. are matters which would receive due attention in the selected villages. Demonstrations under village conditions are essential as conditions on Government Farms are not always similar to those in the villages.

13. To facilitate the castration of scrub bulls and the protection of animals against contagious diseases legislation will have to be introduced. The States of Assam, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Orissa, Punjab, West Bengal, Kashmir, Mysore, Ajmer, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh have passed the Control of Contagious Diseases Act while Bombay, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Travancore Cochin and Delhi have passed the Livestock Improvement Act. Orissa and Coorg have the Livestock Improvement Act under consideration. It is essential that the other States should adopt these two Acts as early as possible.

Gosadan Scheme

14. The problem^of unproductive cattle and its impact on the economy of the country has already been referred to. Though the availability of fodder and feed will increase to a certain extent as targets of additional production, particularly food grains, are realised, the benefit derived would not be of much consequence as the per capita increase would be insignificant. Mal-nutrition is to a great extent responsible for the disproportionately large number of dry animals. The census returns show that out of a total of 48 mffiion cows over three years of age as many as 28 million are dry. The removal of useless cattle to areas of natural grazing or tracts where fodder supply is not being utilised has, therefore, been accorded a high priority in the Plan for livestock development. The Plan in this connection provides for establishing 160 Gosadans at a cost of about Rs. 97 lakhs. Under this scheme, aH old infirm and useless cattle wiH be segregated and -sent to Gosadans located in -wasteland, in foresis and other out-of-thf-way places where cattle grazing facilities exist which have not hitherto been utilised. The i.iaie itock will be castrated. The remains of the dead animals such as hides, skins, horns, hoofs etc., will be fully utilised by setting up a small tannery at each centre.

15. The following programme is envisaged during the period of the Plan under the Gosadan scheme :

Year Number of new Gosadans Progressive total
1952-53 35 35
1953-54 75 110
1954-55 50 160
1955-56 nil. 160

Each Gosadan will maintain about 2,000 cattle. In 1952-53, therefore, the Gosadans will remove from the improvement areas 70,000 animals, in 1953-54 220,000 and in 1954-55 320,000. In removing cattle, preference will have to be given to areas of intensive cattle improvement, that is, key villages. Surplus cattle from the key villages will, therefore, be sent to the Gosadans in the first instance.

These measures by the States will, however, touch only the fringe of the problem. It is considered that this movement should receive wide public support especially from charitable institutions like the Pinjrapoles and Gaushalas.

The Fodder And Feed Problem

16. An important aspect of livestock improvement is. the proper feeding and management of the animals. The effects of better breeding can be largely negatived if the animals are not properly fed and looked after. Some experts think that feeding alone can bring about an increase of 30 per cent in the milk production of cows. The supply of green fodder so neccessary for the healthy upkeep of cattle and milch cows is not only meagre, but erratic. In order to improve the supply leguminous fodders such as lucerne, berseem, cow peas, field peas, etc. should be introduced in crop rotations in irrigated areas. This practice will-give nutritious fodder and will also help to increase soil fertility. The possibilities of kudza-wini and clovers etc., should be explored. Kudzu can be successfully grown on steep slopes in regions of good rainfall both for grazing purpose? and for checking soil erosion, while clovers can be used for improving the pastures wherever irrigation facilities are available. In improved pastures there must be an emphasis on rotational grazing and wherever feasible pastures should be seeded with napier grass. In the valleys of the foot hills, where surplus -grass ia available after the monsoon, the possibilities of hay making should be explored.

To begin with, action pn the lines suggested above may be attempted in Commanity Project and key village areas. There,is also considerable scope for research on fodder crops and in the possibility of evolving schemes for the supply of green fodder for the greater part of the year. In addition, research, on feeds like mango-seed-kernel andjaman seed, etc., should be continued.

17. The benefits of improved breeds and better feeding are often obscured by the cattle falling a prey to epidemics. Besides causing a large number of deaths contagious and other diseases, reduce the vitality and the working efficiency of the animals considerably. The common animal diseases are rinderpest, haemorrhagic septicaemia, black quarter and anthrax. Of all the diseases that affect Indian cattle, rinderpest is the most important and is responsible for about 60 per cent of the total mortality. The Government of India have, for some time past, been examining a scheme for the eradication of rinderpest by large scale vaccination with the newl) evolved lapinised vaccine. A sum of Rs. 15'7 lakhs has been provided in the Plan to initiate this work.

18. It is also necessary that every Statt should have adequate facilities for the protective treatment of cattle. At present there are abeut 2,000 veterinary dispensaries in the country. The Plan provides for expansion of these facilities and during ihc next five years the total number is likely to go up to about 2640. This would mean an increase of 32 per cent over the existing number. The phasing of the programme is as under :—

Veterinary Dispensaries of State and Local Bodies

  1950-51 195I-52 1952-53 1955-56
Part A States 1311 1380 1486 1773
Part B States 623 666 725 806
Part C States 58 69 81 101
total 1992 2115 2292 2640


19. Poultry keeping is an important subsidiary industry of the poorer classes in the rural areas, and can be a useful source of income to them. Eggs are a very valuable food and the population would benefit by increased consumption of them. The number of poultry in the country is estimated at about 70 million, but the ordinary village hen is generally undersized and lays only about 50 under-sized eggs in a year. Breeds like white Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, and Black Minorca may improve both the number and the size of the eggs. The Indian Veterinary Research Institute by a process of selective breeding has evolved an Indian strain which would step up the yield by about 100 per cent. This strain should be tested in the field under different soil and climatic conditions. One serious handicap of poultry farming has been the extreme susceptibility of poultry in this country to Raniknet disease, but an effective vaccine has been recently brought out and the prospects of poultry raising appear to be now more favourable. The State Governments have provided a sum of Rs. 25 • 15 lakhs during the five year period for encouraging poultry farming. . Selective breeding and proper development Of poultry h ve also been included as a part of the key village scheme. It is hoped that in areas of intensive cultivation and in Community Projects areas necessary facilities will be offered to the culdvators,

Sheep And Wool

20. The thirty nine million sheep of the Indian Union constitute an important source of wool and meat for the country. On an average, about 55 million pounds of wool are produced per year and about 31.6 million pounds of wool worth about Rs. 43 crores are exported from India mainly to the U.K. and U.S.A. Rajasthan alone accounts for nearly one third of the total production. The wool locally available is supplemented by about 19 million pounds of fine wool, wh'-ch is obtained mainly from Tibet. The average yield of wool per sheep is two pounds wir'ch is very low. The quantity as well as the quality of the wool of the ^ocal sheep can be improved very considerably. For this purpose a plan of regional development has been drawn up by the I.C.A.R. Three regional centres will be established in important wool producing areas, viz; the U. P. or Punjab hills, Rajasthan, and the Deccan Plateau and the quality of the sheep improved by selective breeding in the plains, and cross breeding with the Merino breed in the hills.

Veterinary Education And Research

21. There are at present nine Veterinary Colleges in the country with an output of 275 graduates. In addition to these colleges, the Government of India maintain the Indian Veterinary Research Insititute for post graduate training at Izatnagar, with a sub-station at Muktesar, U.P. During 1949-50, 75 students were enrolled and diplomas were awarded co 69 successful candidates.

In the Five Year Plan a sum of Rs. 84-43 lakhs has been provided for Veterinary education and training. Ninety-two per cent of this will be utilised in Part A States for the expansion of training facilities for veterinary graduates and stockmen. In addition, village level workers will also be trained in giving first aid to cattle.

The existing facilities at the colleges for higher studies are adequate, but difficulties are being experienced by some Colleges in obtaining qualified teachers and research workers, especially in the fields of anatomy, surgery and physiology. It may be desirable for some teachers from the colleges to be sent abroad to acquire further training.

22. The total expenditure of the programme provides for livestock and animal husbandry schemes amounts'to Rs. 1432.52 lakhs the details'of which are given below:

(Rs. in lakhs)

(a) Central Government—  
Key village schemes 293-53
Gosadan 97- 15
Rinderpest 15-70
Other Schemes 5-64
total 412-02
(b) State Governments schemes  
Part A States 754-3
Part B States 194-6
Part C States 71-6
total 1020-5
grand total 32-52
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