Dairy sector in India plays an important role in the national economy and in the socio- economic development of the country. It has a significant role in supplementary family income and generating employment in the rural areas, particularly among the landless, small, marginal farmers and farm women, besides providing cheap and nutritious food to millions of people. More importantly small and marginal farmers account for three-quarters of these households. Income from livestock production accounts for 14-15% of total farmhouse holds income in different states. Thus, an increase in demand for livestock products can be a major factor in raising the income and living standard of rural households.
The majority of rural dairy farmers need support for building up their capacity development through entrepre-neurial training programme which help them to upgrade their knowledge and create confidence in their endeavour in the existing farming system.
The modern thoughts of entrepreneurial training demand through understanding about science of andragogy which treats learners as active and co-partner in learning. Thus designing of training must be governed by a systematic process. It must ensure that participants are treated as co-equal and have opportunity of dialogue and action. Trainers must acts as facilitators. Training session must flow naturally with the active involvement of participants to help them acquire abilities needed to become entrepreneurs. The emphasis of training needs to be on practical and element of flexibility. Continuous negotiation with participants should be the rule than exception.
The other important factors responsible for placing so much emphasis on livestock sector are a measure of improvement in the conditions of the rural poor, or to use this as one of the safeguards against accentuation of inter-class disparities in rural areas, is the impression that animal husbandry fits in with farm level infrastructure of the small farmer. This impression is strengthened further by the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union, Anand, and more importantly by the presence of dairy animals even on the smallest holdings in different parts of the country. Thus, there exists a nucleus of dairying even on small farms. Further, this enterprise, compared to some other activities, has a distinct initial advantage in terms of the store of traditional skill in maintaining dairy production, which is available with the small farmers.
The nucleus of dairy farming and the traditional skill accompanying it, may be profitably used in promoting the enterprise on a more scientific and commercial basis. These are the basic premises underlying and the whole approach to livestock entrepreneurship development through small farmers. However, it would be misleading to infer too much from the mere presence of a few milch cattle on the small farms. Unless relevant details about operations of dairy farming and their economic significance are properly understood a worthwhile planning for promoting dairy farming on small farms may become absolutely difficult.
Thus the financial institutions engaged in developing dairying as a rural enterprise will have to arrange or supply the necessary inputs, besides credit to deploy the funds in the most suitable and remunerative manner. The concept of moderanisation in livestock production has to be discussed in relation to land use, energy input and in terms of human or social factors. The importance of any rural change should be assessed by its capacity to increase the buying power of the producer. The highly specialised larger-scale dairying, as practised in Western countries, is not applicable to developing countries because of the high capital investment, technical speciality and enormous energy input. Dairy production by the small farmers is an adjunct to primary crop agriculture is more likely to increase milk production in the country as a whole and enhance milk consumption eventually than modern large scale dairying. The establishment of large government and institutional farms should, therefore, be supplemented with an active programme to stimulate the small farmer to accept dairying as part of rural activities. Unless efforts are concentrated to appeal to the ‘human element’ involved in the process of this change, handling of livestock production in large modernized units can only be a partial answer to the problem. Initiatives to introduce this concept of animal agriculture should include on the farm demonstration of green fodder production and preservation practices e.g. silage and hay making. Experience in the past has shown that there is no miracle solution to the complex problem but manipulation and skill development of the human factor at the small farm level may be closer to reality than modernization at the suburban level.
Need of entrepreneurship development in livestock sector:
The needs of rural entrepreneurship development in livestock sector are essential for the following reasons:
l Enterprises like dairy, goatry, poultry etc. are labour intensive, have high potential in employment generation. Thus, they serve as an antidote to the widespread problems of disguised unemployment or under-employment stalking the rural territory especially among youth.
l By providing employment, these enterprises have also high potential for income generation in the rural areas. These, thus, help in reducing disparities in income between rural and urban areas..
l Development of agriculture and livestock based enterprises in the rural areas also helps build up village republics.
l This sector also helps protect and promote art and creativity, i.e. the age-old rich heritage of the country.
l Rural industrialisation fosters economic development in rural areas. This curbs rural-urban migration, on the one hand, and also lessens the disproportionate growth in the cities, reduces growth of slums, social tensions, and atmospheric pollution, on the other.
l The livestock related enterprises can also play a significant role in management of natural resources in a better way, thus environment friendly and lead to development without destruction.
Measures for livestock entrepreneurship development:
The livestock sector in the Indian economy is so unique that any situational change in this sector-positive or negative-has a multiple effect on the entire economy. Efforts should be made to modernize different livestock operations by pro-moting the adoption of improved practices of feeding, breeding, management, health care, value addition and marketing through training and demonstration. Our approaches to livestock planning have undergone drastic changes with the passage of time.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has been in the forefront, in guiding and coordinating these developments. If any entrepreneur wishes to assume a leadership role, it has no option but to strengthen the human resource base. The ICAR is fully seized of this issue and hence is providing the highest priority to human resources development. Need based training by adopting different training modules and transfer of technology form the core of the process of livestock entrepreneurship development in rural areas. Vocational training for the rural youth may prove to be a significant input in accelerating our farm production. Information regarding livestock inputs and credit requirements also need urgent attentions for fulfilling these tasks in limited time. The contention put forward when put into action will surely revolutionise establishment of livestock related enterprise. The task of carrying the technology to real beneficiaries requires necessary zeal and planning, hence there is an urgent need to develop a proper strategy for promoting livestock entrepreneurship among rural youth.
Developing livestock entrepreneurship among rural youth for livelihood security is of great significance. The traditional subsistence, livestock farming must give way to a profitable enterprise. It is very easy to say but developing entrepreneurs out of farmers and unemployed youth from disadvantaged categories is a challenging task. Developing content motivated and technically competent motivated and technically capable livestock entrepreneurs is possible through scientific training. Entrepreneurship deals with knowledge and skill about the enterprise and its technical details, knowledge about techniques of enterprise management market information and above all inculcation of entrepreneurial traits. A proper mix of the different component viz. entrepreneurial behaviour, technical competence, enterprise management and marketing is required for development of livestock entrepreneurs.
— Assistant Professor, Faculty of Dairy Technology, WBUAFS, Mohanpur Campus, Nadia-741252, W. B
[The views expressed by the author in this article is his own.]