Need to boost livestock farming for future: Vice President

New Delhi: Cautioning against food insecurity which may rise in the face of increasing population, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that farmers, especially in a developing country like India, need to double their livestock production over the next 20 years to ensure “more and safe food”.

Addressing the 10th convocation of the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University in Bidar, Karnataka, Naidu said that major challenge facing the world — which is adding 90 million people annually to the existing population — is to ensure food and nutritional security.

“There is a need to alleviate poverty in developing countries by producing more and safe food, especially of animal origin, against a shrinking animal genetic diversity and increased global trade.

“The livestock production in the developing world should be more than double to meet the growing demand of meat and milk in these countries over the next 20 years,” he said according to a statement from his office.

He remarked that population growth between 1990 and 2004 was highest in Africa and Asia and that “availability of affordable food of livestock origin would go a long way in helping to overcome the challenge of protein malnutrition and chronic hunger”.

Emphasising on the importance of animal rearing, he said that those farmers engaging in their farming are better equipped to withstand the extremities of weather.

“Livestock are the best insurance against the vagaries of nature like drought, famine and other natural calamities,” he said.

The Vice President also lamented that our education system is focused not on the creation of knowledge but on the mass production of an educated workforce.

He also urged on country’s scientists to partner with farmers for technology innovations for increasing their income.

“I appeal to all scientists to regularly interact with farmers and work in a mission mode to double the farmers’ income by 2022 as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.