Feed and Fodder Value Chains in Bihar: Some Empirical Evidences
18 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 27, 2013
Livestock production, especially dairy, has long been an important activity for smallholder and resource-poor farmers in India, both for household nutrition and income. Most of the livestock are kept in mixed farming systems, where crop residues, mainly cereal straws have been an important feed resource. India is deficient in the supply of fodder, resulting in very low levels of productivity that limit marketable surplus of milk. In Bihar State, over 50% of the land area is planted to rice, and rice straw along with wheat straw and some pulse residues form the main animal feeds.
Recent studies in the Indo-Gangetic Plain have highlighted the problem of insufficient fodder and the poor nutritive value of fodder, a problem which becomes more acute in the more eastern parts of the region where agricultural resources–particularly arable land and water–become scarcer.
Fodder scarcity affects most farmers but is particularly acute for landless and those with access to only small area of land. Chronic feed deficit is the major constraint to animal production in Bihar. Most of the dairy farmers are smallholders having one or two local-breed milch animals, which are raised on crop residues and natural pastures with under-employed family labour. Feeding grains, oil cakes and green nutritious fodder are generally restricted to some crossbred cattle. The feed and fodder deficiencies, in fact, have been the main limiting factors in raising livestock productivity. The present study is an attempt to look into various issues of feed and fodder markets and the role of various stakeholders in fodder value chains.
Keywords: Feed, Fodder, Marketing, Feed Quality, Value chains, Bihar, India
JEL Classification: M31, O13, O17, Q1, Q13
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