Dairy Sector, Poultry farming and Fishing

Milk is obtained primarily from buffaloes and cattle . India ranks first in the world in milk production which has gone up from 53.9 million tonnes in 1990-91 to 137.7 million tonnes in 2013-14. Per capita availability of milk has also increased from 176 grams per day in 1990-91 to 290 grams per day in 2011-This revolutionised increase in milk production has been named as the White Revolution, similar to the Green Revolution in agriculture. Operation Flood-I was started in 1970, under which National Dairy Development Programme was undertaken in states.

Operation Flood-II (1980-85) aimed at organising milk marketing in 144 more cities, proper provision for fodder to feed the milch animals, control on animal diseases, improving the breeds and providing facilities to the milkmen. Operation Flood-III (1985-94) aimed at setting up 170 milk centres to benefit 250 districts in 22 states. The Operation Flood is an integrated dairy development programme, which has helped 83.5 lakh farmers through 65,092 dairy cooperative societies.

Poultry Farming

The term ‘poultry’ refers to domestic fowls which are reared for their fresh, eggs and feathers and includes chic kens, ducks, geese, turkeys, etc. Poultry farming has assumed much importance due to the growing demand of poultry products, especially in urban areas, because of their high food value. Egg production has increased considerably in the last few years. The estimated egg production in 2013-14 was 73.4 billion as compared to 50.7 billion in 2006-07. Per capita availability of eggs was around 55 per year in 2013-14. At present India is the h largest produce of eggs in the world. The outstanding progress in poultry farming has been termed as “silver revolution.” Andhra Pradesh has the largest number of poultry birds, followed by Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Assam.

The central breeding farm set up at Hessarghatta meets the requirements of high egg producing Khaki campbell breeding stock and fast growing meat type ducklings to different states. Testing centres for conducting egg layer and broiler tests at Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar and Gurgaon have also been established. The Central Poultry Training Institute at Hessarghatta also imparts training in poultry development. Feed analysis facilities are provided by Regional Feed Analytical Laboratories at Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bubaneshwar. Scheme for developing backyard poultry for small farmers in the north-eastern states was initiated in the Ninth Plan.


Fishing is one of the oldest occupation of man. Fishing has assumed much importance in view of the rapidly increasing population and depleting land resources. Fish provides protein rich food and is also a big source of vitamins A, B and D. There are about 30,000 species of fishes in the world out of which about 18,000 are found in India. Fish forms an important part of diet of the people living in the coastal areas of Kerala, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa and Gujarat. The fish catch in India is of two types:

Two Types of Fish Catch

Sea or Marine Fisheries

It includes coastal, offshore and deep sea fisheries mainly on the continental shelf upto a depth of 200 metres.

Inland or Fresh Water Fisheries

Rivers, lakes, canals, reservoirs, ponds, tanks, etc. contain fresh water and provide fresh water fisheries. Inland fisheries also include those obtained from estuaries, delta channels, back-waters, lagoons and coastal lakes. India produces about 3 per cent of world’s fish and occupies seventh place among the fish producing nations of the world. Fishing provides employment to over one million people and accounts for about one per cent of the total agricultural production in India.

Although marines fisheries had been forming the bulk of Indian fish catch, inland fisheries have increased at a faster rate than the marine fisheries. Table 15.1 shows that the share of inland fish to total fish has increased from 39 per cent in 1990-91 to over 61 per cent in 2010-11.

Production of Fish (million tonnes)

Year 1990-91 2000-01 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
Marine 2300 2811 2978 3104 3250 3372 3321
Inland 1536 2845 4638 4844 4981 5294 5720
Total 3836 5656 7616 7998 8231 8666 9040

Marine Fisheries

India has coastline of over 7,517 km. including that of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands and its continental shelf spreads over 3,11,680 sq. km. s entire area is suitable for marine fisheries. It is estimated that about 75 per cent of the marine fish landings are on the West coast and only 25 per cent is contributed by East coast.

Fresh Water or Inland Fisheries

India’s inland fishery resources are one of the richest in the world. Rivers, irrigation canals, reservoirs, lakes, tanks, ponds, delta channels, backwaters, lagoons, estuaries, etc. provide the foundation for inland fisheries. The inland fish production has gone up from 2.18 lakh tonnes in 1950-51 to 83 lakh tonnes in 2010-11. India’s riverine shery resources comprise the major river systems of the Ganga, the Brahmaputra, the Indus, the Mahanadi, the Narmada, the Tapi, the Godavari and the Krishna. e total length of the shable rivers, along with their tributaries is 27,359 km. e length of irrigation channels is 1,12,654 km. e dam reservoirs and small lakes cover an area of 29 lakh hectares. Another 26 lakh hectares of land is covered by brackish water in the form of coastal lakes and lagoons. About 16 lakh hectares are covered by tanks and ponds out of which 6 lakh hectares are used for pisciculture.

The term blue revolution has been used to describe the adoption of a package of methods due to which there has been a phenomenal growth in fish production after independence. The term was coined after the success of ‘Green Revolution’ which led to unprecedented increase in agricultural production.


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