Key to farmers’ growth is animal husbandry: Sodhi

GCCMF Managing Director R S Sodhi has made a strong pitch for animal husbandry in the upcoming budget and says that return on investment in it outweighs that of agriculture sector. Sodhi said this in a panel discussion of TV network CNBC.

“While agriculture registers a growth of measly 2-3 percent, animal husbandry claims a whopping 14 percent. That is to say, spending money on agriculture amounts to covering 20 percent rural population while spending on animal husbandry is virtually the same as benefiting 80 percent of the people in the hinterland”, Sodhi argued.

Sodhi said farmers are in difficulty what with plummeting commodity prices and therefore the next budget needs to focus on this problem if it aims any meaningful relief for those engaged in the farm sector.

According to Sodhi, animal husbandry is extremely important with its contribution to agriculture counting a generous 30 percent. A higher budget allocation for animal husbandry could go a long way in raising farm income, he said.

Elaborating on his point, the GCMMF MD mentioned about 80 percent of landless or marginal farmers are dependent on animal husbandry. The latter significantly spurs growth in farmers income in the countryside, he underscored.

Advocating for inclusion of animal husbandry in the priority sector, Sodhi bemoaned the fact while farmers including rich ones among them are provided with all manner of concessions including income tax exemption, farmers doing animal husbandry are not only denied facilities but they are made to pay income tax as well. Sodhi wanted animal husbandry to be treated on a par with agriculture.

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