Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has stressed the need to promote integrated farming practices to improve the productivity of livestock and double farmers’ income. Delivering the 8th Convocation address of Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, in Tirupati today, Naidu said that Animal husbandry was vital for ensuring a more inclusive and sustainable agriculture system.
Referring to a study, Naidu said that there were no suicides in families of farmers who diversified into allied activities like poultry, dairy or aquaculture. He observed that farming households with livestock would be able to better withstand distress caused due to extreme weather conditions and crop failures.
Quoting NSSO statistics, estimates, the Vice President said that rural India had an estimated 90.2 million agricultural households and facilitating sustainable income for all these households must be the primary endeavor for everyone.
The Vice President said that a healthy and robust agricultural sector was an important prerequisite to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth in India. He called for measures to make farming a lucrative career opportunity, especially for the youth, by making agriculture economically viable and financially rewarding.
Saying that Agriculture industry contributes 17% of India’s total GDP, out of which, the 27% comes from Animal Husbandry and overall, the dairy, poultry and aqua industries contribute 4.4% to the nation’s GDP, the Vice President said that these numbers signify the crucial role played by these sectors in our economy.
Opining that livestock was integral to peoples’ lives and cattle wealth was crucial component of human existence, Naidu said that it was the duty of every citizen to protect the precious national wealth.
Observing that the rural economy was dependent on agriculture and its allied sectors such as poultry, dairy and others, Shri Naidu said that the sector provides gainful employment to a large number of youngsters from rural areas. Naidu urged upon Universities to encourage research on veterinary sciences.