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Role of Woman Livestock Farmer

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October 15, 2022

Why in news?

On the International Day of Rural Women (October 15), we need to recognise the role of women in livestock rearing and to include women in all facets of livestock development.

How about the livestock sector in India?

India is the world’s largest producer of milk and third largest producer of egg.

  • Livestock sector- The livestock sector in India accounts for 5% of national income and 28% of agricultural GDP in 2018-19.
  • In the last six years, the livestock sector grew at 7.9% (at constant prices) while crop farming grew by 2%.
  • Women in agriculture- Majority of women workers in rural areas (72%) are engaged in agricultural activities.
  • The National Livestock Policy (NLP) of 2013 states that around 70% of the labour for the livestock sector comes from women.
  • There were 5.4 million women members in dairy co-operatives in 2020-21, accounting for 31% of total members.

What are the issues in the inclusion of women livestock farmers?

  • Data collection- Conventional labour force surveys fail to accurately record women’s work in livestock-raising.
  • The women livestock farmers are not visible to policymakers due to the lack of gender-disaggregated data.
    • Reasons for inaccurate data
      • Sporadic nature of work undertaken
      • Own responses of women
  • Underestimation- Women actually engaged in the livestock economy were four times the official estimate.
    • Statistics from India’s first national Time Use Survey in 2019 corroborate this finding.
  • Reach of extension services- The reach of extension services to women livestock farmers remains scarce.
    • According to official reports, 80,000 livestock farmers were trained across the country in 2021, but we have no idea how many were women farmers.
  • Credit availability- Women in poor households, without collateral to offer to banks, found it difficult to avail loans to purchase livestock.
    • Around 15 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) were provided to livestock farmers under the KCC scheme during 2020-22 but there is no data on how many of them were women.
  • Technical knowledge- Women livestock farmers lacked technical knowledge on choice of animals (breeding) and veterinary care.
  • Women were not aware of the composition and functions of dairy boards.
  • Decision making- Men exercised decisions even in women-only dairy cooperatives.
  • Marginalised- The voice of women from landless or poor peasant Scheduled Caste households was rarely heard.

What is the need of the hour?

  • Data errors- The augmented work participation rate needs to be calculated.
  • This estimate includes women who work for major part of the year and also the time spent on specific activities such as kitchen gardening, household dairy/poultry, etc.
  • Inclusion- There is a need to include women in all facets of livestock development — breeding, veterinary care, extension services, training or access to credit and markets.



  1. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/do-not-ignore-the-role-of-the-woman-livestock-farmer/article66013100.ece
  2. https://dahd.nic.in/schemes-programmes


Quick facts

Schemes/ programmes to promote livestock sector in India

Operation Flood

  • It was launched in 1970 by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).
  • It transformed India from a milk-deficient into the world's largest milk producer.
  • Dr Verghese Kurien was the architect of Operation Flood.

The National Livestock Policy (NLP), 2013

  • It is aimed at increasing livestock production and productivity in a sustainable manner.

National Livestock Mission (NLM)

  • The mission commenced from 2014-15 with the objective of sustainable development of the livestock sector.
  • It focuses on entrepreneurship development and breed improvement by providing incentives to individual entrepreneurs, FPOs, farmer cooperatives, joint liability groups, SHGs, etc.
  • It is being implemented as a sub scheme of White Revolution - Rashtriya Pashudhan Vikas Yojana since April 2019.
  • The mission is organised into four sub – missions
    • Sub -Mission on Livestock Development
    • Sub - Mission on Pig Development in North-Eastern Region
    • Sub - Mission on Feed and Fodder Development
    • Sub -Mission on Skill Development, Technology Transfer and Extension


Capital Subsidy


Up to Rs. 25 lakh

Sheep and goat

50% up to 50 lakh


50% up to Rs. 30 lakh

Rashtriya Gokul Mission

  • It was initiated in 2014 with a focus on the conservation and development of indigenous breeds and improve their genetic makeup.
  • The scheme is implemented on 100% grant-in-aid basis.
  • Components of the scheme
    • Establishment of integrated indigenous cattle centres - Gokul Gram
    • Establishment of breeder’s societies - Gopalan Sangh
    • Gopal Ratna award to Farmers  and Kamadhenu award to breeders’ societies
    • National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres are being established as Centres of Excellence
    • Provision for capital subsidy up to Rs. 200 lakh for setting up breeding farm with at least 200 milch cows/ buffalo using latest breeding technology.

E-Pashu Haat

  • An e-market portal connecting breeders and farmers to provide  quality- disease free bovine germplasm

Pashu Sanjivni

  • An Animal Wellness Programme with the provision of animal health cards along with UID identification


  • It is a web application that provides real-time information to livestock farmers on the availability of disease-free germplasm in relevant centres, veterinary care, etc.

National Animal Disease Control Programme

  • It was launched in 2019 to control and eradicate the Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis amongst the livestock.

Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)

  • The fund has been set up with an outlay of Rs. 15000 crore under AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package.
  • It aims to incentivize the investments to establish dairy and meat processing and value addition infrastructure and animal feed plants.

Livestock Census

  • The census is conducted across the country periodically since 1919.
  • It was released by Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  • The 20th Livestock Census was launched in 2018 to capture breed-wise number of animals and poultry birds.
  • The total livestock population is 535.78 million in the country showing an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census 2012.


Major State


West Bengal


Tamil Nadu


Uttar Pradesh





Overall livestock

Uttar Pradesh



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