The symposium was graced by Lt. Gen. N. S. Kanwar (Director General RVS – Ministry of Defence-Army) as the Chief Guest. Dr .A.K. Srivastava (Director and Vice Chancellor-NDRI Karnal), Dr. A. K. Gahlot (Vice Chancellor- RAJUVAS, Bikaner) and Mr. Harish Damodaran (Opinion Editor – The Hindu Business Line) was graced the occasion as Eminent Speakers.
The Knowledge Symposium initiatives were appreciated by experts and stakeholders. They all agreed that integrated approach of agriculture and livestock is the need of the hour. Demonstration of such initiatives and its replications needs to be done. Ayurvet 5F is one such model, which has demonstrated benefits of sustainable integration.
- The quality food and feed production is always a great concern, depleting water resource, pollution are also a major concern. It is high time we integrate initiatives of agriculture and livestock to bring prosperity to our country.
- In 1950s 10% of total agricultural land was used for fodder production, which has reduced to 46% now and livestock population has just doubled, we are not able to provide good feed and fodder to genetic available in the country. Thus crop livestock system needs to strengthened.
- Every year we are depleting about 30MT of micronutrients from the soil and adding only 10MT of micronutrients. By 2020 we will be requiring 20% more water to the same soil productivity and which will ultimately affect the water table. Therefore the integrated farming is the solution.
- For improving farm profits the traditional animal husbandry practices should be linked with new technologies. Ayurvet Hydroponics is one such technology, which needs to used for addressing the green feed shortages in Rajasthan and may be other states.
- Fertility of mares is directly linked to feeding of quality green to mares. There is an urgent need to address the issue of soil fertility for production of green fodder. Vermicomposting should be practiced at all farms.
- Soil fertility along with water conservation is a biggest challenge and it can only be addressed by increasing soil fertility by using organic manure. Farmers should be advised to follow integrated nutrient management system for improving the productivity of crops and soil fertility.
- Hydroponics paddy nursery and its mechanical transplantation saved water and labour. This technology needs to be popularized amongst farmers.
- The initiatives of sharing knowledge and developing youth as animal husbandry entrepreneurs needs to be strengthened further.
- Biogas is a boon in the integrated farming system. This system improved the hygiene and health of the farm/ farmers. It saved 2-3 cylinder of LPG and provided free time for children and family. This technology should be multiplied in villages.
Livestock and Agriculture are two arms of Indian rural farmers and these sectors put together contribute significantly in the rural development of providing food security to nation. Needless to mention both these sectors have their own challenges. Global warming, declining natural resources and soil health has been identified as the major problem areas.
An urgent need was felt to use the scientific and knowledge platform to address these concerns. Therefore a one day Ayurvet Knowledge Symposium was organized on 13th October 2012 in New Delhi on the theme of
“Integrating Livestock and Soil Health for Sustainable Farm Profits”.
Observations and Recommendations:
- Agriculture consumes 70% of water. Water security would threaten food security. We need to innovate and use technologies which can consume less water.
- Food production needs to be doubled by 2025. The available resources should be integrated and judiciously used for food production.
- The livestock and agriculture farmers are trying to leave this sector, which may have negative impact on food production. The industry and the government should work with farmers/ entrepreneurs to improve management system for improving farm profits.
- Services of ICAR and NAAS are available for the industry. Initiatives should be drawn for collaboration under PPP mode for improving integrated farm profits.
- Hydroponics and Azola cultivation are researchable issue and initiatives should be taken in collaboration with ICAR.
- Feed and fodder are the limiting factors towards improving the breeding efficiencies of the livestock and should be suitably addressed.
- The export of oil cakes and brans should be stopped. The current export quantity if fed to the livestock can produce 12-15 million tons of milk annually.
- The global warming and climate change is likely to impact livestock health and production. Initiatives should be drawn to minimize the impact for improving the health and productivity.
- For the success of National Food Security Mission, economic independence and inclusive growth of farmers it is advisable to integrate the 5Fs, namely – “Food, Feed, Fodder, Fuel, Fertilizer, Fish and Fibre”.
- .New vision for agriculture improved productivity by 40% and reduce emission and rural poverty by 20% perceptively.
- The next green revolution should be integrated towards farming system and farm profits.
- Livestock sector needs to be supported by making available feed and fodder, proper bio-security, allocation of government funds and credit.
- The macro and micro nutrient of the soil should be addressed through organic composting/ vermicomposting and integrated nutrient management.