Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Animal husbandry is the controlled cultivation, management, and production of domestic animals, including improvement of the qualities considered desirable by humans, by means of breeding

  • It is the branch ofagriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fibre, milk, or other products
  • It includes day-to-day care, selective breedingand the raising of livestock


Many farmers in India depend on animal husbandry for their livelihood.

  • They are a source of large scale self-employment opportunities, particularly among the landless labourers, small and marginal farmers & women
  • The sector provides cheap nutritional food to millions of Indians by producing meat, eggs, milk, etc.
  • It is also a great source of raw material by-products such as hides & skins, bones, blood, fat, etc.
  • The animals for Indian farmers, have been the best insurance against the vagaries of nature like drought, famine and other natural calamities


Role of Animal Husbandry in Indian Economy

  • About 20.5 million people depend upon livestock for their livelihood, which provides livelihood to two-third of rural community
    • It also provides employment to about 8 % of the population in India
    • The sector contributes 11% to GDP and 25.6% of total Agriculture GDP


Noteworthy statistics of Livestock Resources in India

  • India is
    • World’s highest livestock owner at about 535.78 million
    • First in the total buffalo population in the world – 109.85 million buffaloes
    • Second in the population of goats – 148.88 million goats
    • Second largest poultry market in the world
    • Second largest producer of fish and also second largest aquaculture nation in the world
    • Third in the population of sheep (74.26 millions)
    • Fifth in in the population of ducks and chicken (851.81 million)
    • Tenth in camel population in the world – 2.5 lakhs


Major products by the Animal Husbandry sector in India

  1. Dairy
    • In FY 2019, India had approximately 192.5 million cattle. India also had 148.9 million goats, 109.9 million buffaloes, 74.3 million sheep, and 9.1 million pigs
    • Milk production in FY 2018-19 was estimated to have reached 187.7 million tons
    • According to 20th Livestock Census, West Bengal has the largest cattle population, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh
      • Uttar Pradesh has the major Buffalo population, followed by Rajasthan and Gujarat
    • India is second largest country in production of cow milk and largest milk production country
    • About two-third of cow milk is produced in Uttar Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka and Bihar
    • About two-third of buffalo milk is produced in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh
    • The production of milk immediately after Independence was low, and within six decades it increased rapidly; the phenomenon which has been named as White revolution and as Operation Flood
      • It started with establishment of the National Dairy development Board(NDDB) in 1965, to promote, plan and organise dairy development through cooperatives
      • It the world’s largest integrated dairy development program, attempted to establish linkages between rural milk producers and urban consumers by organizing farmer-owned and -managed dairy cooperative societies
      • The programme received financial assistance from the World Bankand commodity assistance from the European Economic Community
      • The results and achievements of white revolution are:
        • India has become world’s largest milk producer
        • Increase in per capita availability of milk
        • About 9 million small farmers in 70,000 villages earn joinlty an incremental income of 2,500 crore rupees annually
        • Dairy industry and infrastructure have been expanded and modernised
      • Associated issues with Dairy sector are:
        • Collection of milk from remote areas is difficult, expensive and time consuming. As a result, the producers are not getting remunerative prices
        • Despite having some of the best breed of cattle in the world, most breeds produce low yield. Hence, the scope for cattle breed improvement
        • Unlike sugarcane, wheat, and rice-producing farmers, cattle raisers are unorganised and do not have the political clout to advocate for their rights
        • The fundamental challenge in dairy is maintaining quality and quantity within a diversified supply base. As a perishable, dairy requires more complex supply chain operations and logistics to ensure freshness and safety.
      • The schemes launched to address the issues in the Diary sector are:
        • National programme for Bovine Breeding and dairy development(NPBBDD)
          • This was started in 2014, to provide artificial insemination at farmers’ doorstep, promote indigenous breeds to prevent it from extinction
        • Rashtriya Gokul Mission
          • This was launched in 2014 as an initiative to develop and conserve the indigenous bovine breeds for improving the milk production and productivity in a scientific manner which includes superior nutrition and farm management
        • National diary plan
          • To produce milk as per the national demand and to help organised processing sector to have access to rural organic milk producers
        • National mission on bovine productivity
          • This was launched in 2016, to increase the milk productivity of bovine resulting in the higher overall national production
  • While focusing on productivity of animals, with further measures, there is a need to make India a dairy exporting country
    • Hence, it is imperative to develop proper production, processing and marketing infrastructure, which is capable of meeting international quality requirements.
  • Thus, the Dairy sector has emerged as a lifeline of the rural economy in India.
    • Given the prospects and existing vulnerabilities, there is need of holistic action from both government and private players, to further develop the Dairy sector in India


  1. Meat
    • The annual meet production in the country is 5.9 million tonne, of which 54% is obtained from goats and sheeps, 26% from cattle, buffalo and 7% from pigs
    • The remaining 13% comes from poultry birds
    • Uttar pradesh is the largest meat producing state of India and produces over 19% of the total meat production of the country
  2. Poultry
    • The term poultry refers to domestic fowls, which are reared for their flesh, eggs and feathers; which includes chickens, ducks,geese, turkeys, etc.
    • Andhra Pradesh along with Telangana has the largest number of poultry birds accounting for about 18.2% of total poultry birds in India
      • Andhra pradesh and Telangana are the largest producer of eggs as well
    • This sector has emerged from entirely unorganised farming practice to commercial production system with technological innovations
    • At present, India is among the top five chicken meat producing countries of the world
    • Central poultry development organisations have been set up, to provide necessary services including training farmers to upgrade their skills
    • The ‘Poultry Development Scheme’ is being implemented to provide assistance to state poultry farms, for rural poultry development
  1. Sericulture
    • This includes cultivation of mulberry tree and rearing of silk worms
    • India has the unique distinction of being the only country producing all the five known commercial silks, namely, mulberry, tropical tasar, oak tasar, eri and muga, of which muga with its golden yellow glitter is unique and prerogative of India
    • Mulberry sericulture is mainly practised in five states namely, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Bodoland, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu; which are the major silk producing states in the country
    • North East has the unique distinction of being the only region producing four varieties of silk viz., Mulberry, Oak Tasar, Muga and Eri.
    • India is the second largest producer of silk in the world. Among the four varieties of silk produced in 2020-21, Mulberry accounted for the most
    • The sector is labour-intensive and provides gainful employment to large numbers in rural areas
    • Policy initiatives taken for the development of silk industry
      • Sericulture is included as agriculture allied activity under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. This enables the sericulturists to avail the benefits of the scheme for the entire sericulture activities up to reeling
      • Imposing Anti dumping duty on Chinese raw silk
      • The Central Silk Board (Amendment) Act, Rules and Regulations have been notified by the Govt. of India to bring quality standards in silkworm seed production
      • Guidelines have been framed under MGNREGA scheme, to help sericulture farmers to avail assistance from it


  • Aquaculture refers to the production of aquatic animals and plants under controlled conditions
  • According to Food and Agriculture organisation(FAO), aquaculture is understood to mean the farming of aquatic organisms including fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants
  • It can be classified into following categories
    • Freshwater aquaculture
    • Coastal aquaculture
      • Sea farming
      • Brackish water aquaculture


Types of Aquaculture

  1. Freshwater aquaculture
    • The ‘Central institute of Freshwater Aquaculture’, has contributed a lot in breeding and rearing cat-fish, freshwater shark
    • Freshwater prawn or shrimp is an important form of aquaculture and prawn is raised for human consumption
    • This type is practiced in states of West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh
  2. Brackish water farming
    • This is mostly confined to coastal wetlands impounded by human, locally known as bheries in West Bengal
    • It is also practiced in Kerala, locally known as pakkali
    • This is type of aquaculture has got recognition after initiation of an All India coordinated Research project(AICRP) in ‘Brackish water Fish Farming’ by ICAR
  3. Shrimp farming
    • In this marine shrimps are produced for human consumption
    • The formation of Brackishwater Fish Farmers’ development Authority, in marine states proved to be of great help to shrimp farming
    • Andhra pradesh, Odisha, Tamilnadu, Kerala and West Bengal have developed shrimp farming in a big way
    • Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh is a prolific producer of shrimp, that it has earned the distinct name of Shrimp capital of India
  4. Mariculture
    • This is a branch of aquaculture which is concerned with the cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products in open ocean, enclosed seas or a section of ocean, tanks, ponds
    • Fish, prawns and oyster are main food products
    • Nonfood products include fish-meat, nutrient agar, jewelries and cosmetics
  5. Algaculture
    • This involves farming of varied species of algae
    • Majority of cultivated algae belongs to category of micro algae, also referref to as phytoplankton, microphytes
  6. Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture
    • In this type, by-products from one species are recycles as inputs for another
    • Fed aquaculture(ex: fish, shrimp) is combined with inorganic extractive(ex: seaweed) and organic extractive(ex:shell fish) aquaculture to create balanced systems for environmental and economic sustainability as well for social acceptability
  7. Fish farming
    • These involve raising of fish in tanks or other water enclosures on a commercial scale
    • Salmon, catfish, cod, carp, trout, are the chief species of fish reared under fish farming
  8. Seaweed culture
    • Marine algae are known as seaweeds
    • Sunlight penetrates to depths of around 15m, so most of sea weeds grow in shallow waters around shores or reeds
    • At present, seaweed account for 30% of world aquaculture production
    • Seaweed has wide range of application in the fields of food, textile, cosmetic, pharmaceuticals, fodder, fertilisers, due to which its demand has increased tremendously in the recent past
    • They are rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements and bioactive substances and have become an important ingredient of human food
    • Hence, the vast scope for its further development in India
  9. Paddy-cum-fish culture
    • In many parts of the country, fish are reared in paddy fields which are flooded with water for paddy sowing
    • Strong dykes or field boundaries are constructed to prevent the escape of cultivates fish during floods
    • Research has shown that the paddy-fish cultivation system is capable of lowering the emission of methane and other GHGs
    • The method of raising fish from the rice fields probably began with the beginning of rice cultivation itself in the North East, because the waterlogged rice fields create a natural habitat for fish
    • Along with reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, co-culture systems have beneficial effects on farm income and improving the livelihood of poor rural people and progressive farmers.


  • Fishing is one of the oldest occupations of man and has assumed much importance in view of the rapidly increasing population and depleting land resources
  • It is an important part of diet to people in coastal areas
  • The fish catch in India is of two types
    • Sea or marine fisheries: it includes off-shore and deep sea fisheries mainly on continental shelf up to a depth of 200m
    • Inland or fresh water fisheries: these are from rivers, lakes, canals, reservoirs, ponds, tanks, etc. These also include the ones obtained from estuaries, delta channels, back-waters, lagoons and coastal lakes
  • Fisheries in India
    • India is third largest producer of fish and second largest producer of inland fish in the world
    • The sector provides employment to over 14 million people engaged fully, partially or in subsidiary activities
    • The fish production in India has registered an average annual growth of 7.53% from 2014-15 to 2018-19
    • India is one of the largest fish producing countries in the world and shares 7.58% to the global production.
    • The sector contributes 1.24% to India’s Gross Value Added (GVA) and 7.28% (2018-19) to the agricultural GVA
    • The export of marine products stood at 13.93 lakh metric tons and valued at Rs 46,589 crores (USD 6.73 billion) during 2018-19 with an impressive average annual growth rate of about 10% in recent years.


  • Marine Fisheries
    • India’s coastline and its continental shelf spread, are suitable for marine fisheries
    • It is estimated that about 75% of the marine fish landings are on the west coast, and 25% is contributed by east coast
    • Mackarel accounts for about one-third of the total catch
    • Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Gujarat are main producers of marine fish in India
    • Only 10-12% of India’s offshore and deep sea fish potential, have been harvested yet
    • Despite such large abundance of resources, only a small potential of the sector has been explored yet, because of following reasons:
      • India has tropical climate in which fish cannot be preserved for a long time and spoils very quickly. Heavy expenses on refrigeration and deep freezing, increases market price of the fish
      • Indian coast does not have as many gulfs, bays, estuaries and backwater as is the case with other countries like Norway. As such, we lack rich fishing grounds
      • Marine fishing is seasonal in nature; as strong winds during the monsoon season accompanied by tropical cyclones hinder fishing operations
      • About 60% of the fisherman use non-mechanized boat; which hinders their potential to venture to deep seas
      • Lack of post-processing, canning, transport and organized markets are other impediments

  • Fresh water or Inland fisheries
    • India’s inland fisheries are one of the richest in the world
    • Rivers, irrigation canals, reservoirs, lakes, tanks, ponds, delta channels, back waters, lagoons, estuaries provide foundation for inland fisheries
    • India’s riverine fishery resources comprise the river systems of Ganga, Brahmaputra, Indus, Mahanadi, Narmada, Tapi, Godavari and Krishna
    • About three-fourths of the country’s inland fish are caught from Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Maharashtra

  • Other concerns with respect to Fisheries
    • There have been constant clashes between Indian fishermen and the navies of Pakistan & Srilanka
      • Skirmishes with the Sri Lankan navy often result in casualties and damage of boats.
    • There has been an increase in the number of Chinese deep-sea fishing trawlers in the Southern Indian Ocean which has caused concerns in India
  • Measures taken to improve the fisheries sector
    • National Policy on Marine Fisheries, 2017′ (NPMF)
      • This provides guidance for promoting ‘Blue Growth Initiative’ which focus on ushering ‘Blue Revolution’ (NeeliKranti) by sustainable utilization of fisheries wealth from the marine and other aquatic resources of the country for improving the lives and livelihoods of fishermen and their families
    • Blue revolution
      • The restructured Plan Scheme on Blue Revolution – Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries has been approved at a total central outlay of Rs 3000 crore for implementation during a period of five years (2015-16 to 2019-20), with objective to
        • increase the overall fish production in a responsible and sustainable manner for economic prosperity
        • To modernize the fisheries with special focus on new technologies
        • To ensure food and nutritional security
        • To generate employment and export earnings
        • To ensure inclusive development and empower fishers and aquaculture farmers
      • The Blue Revolution scheme has the following components:
        • National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities
        • Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture
        • Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post-Harvest Operations
        • Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector
        • Institutional Arrangement for Fisheries Sector
        • Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based Interventions
        • National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen
      • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana(PMMSY)
        • Approved in 2020, this is a scheme to bring about Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of fisheries sector in India
      • Other measures in this perspective include
        • Fisheries development in reservoirs
        • Infrastructure Development for Harbours and Landing Centres
        • Intensive Aquaculture in Ponds and Tanks
        • Setting up of Fishery survey of India, for survey and assessment of marine fisheries in the Indian Exclusive economic zone
        • Setting up of National fisheries development board for increasing fish production
        • Setting up of Central Institute of fisheries Nautical and engineering training(CIFNET) for organising suitable fisheries training system at national level

This sector has untapped potential to contribute to the 5 trillion GDP target of India. Hence, the need of more innovation, scientific fishing, post-processing & marketing relating measures to improve fisheries sector in India