Another major area for entrepreneurship development in livestock sector is the livestock input industry, which can provide support to various livestock enterprises and can be taken up commercially. Various forms of inputs are required for the livestock enterprises such as feed and fodder, medicines, breeding services, etc., and practising these enterprises commercially can generate good amount of income and employment for rural youth.
Various livestock input enterprises, which can be taken up by youth in rural areas, are given below:
1. Commercial Feed and Fodder Production:
Feed and fodder account for the major cost of livestock products and are the major components of the livestock industry. Keeping in view the growing shortage of feed and fodder in our country, promoting these enterprises on commercial scale can solve both the problems, i.e., removing unemployment and developing adequate feed resources for our livestock. This industry has various avenues, which can be harnessed by the rural youth for entrepreneurship development.
Establishment of Area Specific Mineral Mixture Unit:
It is a well-established fact that area specific mineral mixture is more profitable to our livestock community for increase in milk production and body weight in young animals. It will be a very good venture to establish unit for product of area specific mineral mixture and by this unit one can earn a lot of profit by sale of this product. The technology can be purchased from IVRI and commercial production can be started.
Commercial Dry Fodder Enrichment Unit (Preparing Urea-Treated Straw):
Further, dry fodder enrichment units can be set up, wherein the nutritional quality of the crop residues can be enhanced thereby raising the market value of the poor quality roughages. The urea enriched dry fodder can be prepared on commercial level and can be sold to the dairy farmers at the time of shortage of green fodder which can fetch attractive prices.
Commercial Hay/Silage Preparation:
Silage is the product obtained by packing fresh fodder in a suitable container and allowing it to ferment under anaerobic conditions, without undergoing much loss of nutrients. Hay is another form of preserved green fodder, which is made by converting the green forage into dry form without affecting the quality of original material.
During the flush season when fodder prices are low, these can be preserved in form of hay and silage. And during the lean period (especially summer) when there is heavy shortage of green fodder, the hay and silage can be sold to the dairy farmers at attractive prices, which can fetch additional returns to the commercial fodder growers.
Growing Fodder Crops Commercially round the Year:
Another option is to grow high yielding fodder crops commercially round the year and supply it to the urban and peri-urban areas, wherein there is heavy demand for green fodder as most of the commercial dairy farms are situated in these areas and can fetch the rural entrepreneurs good price for their fodder.
Establishment of Cattle/Poultry Feed Unit:
A rural youth can start the cattle/poultry feed unit with a small initial investment of Rs.2,00,000 including fixed and variable cost, wherein he can get a bank loan of Rs.1,67,500 and rest he has to invest himself. This unit will earn him a yearly profit of Rs.1,16,600, i.e. Rs.9717/month.
2. Commercial Breeding Units:
For commercial livestock retiring, one of the essential components is the availability of good quality breed of livestock, viz., cattle, buffalo, goat, pig or poultry. Keeping in view the importance of the breeding services, such activity can be taken up commercially and various types of commercial enterprises can be started in rural areas. These are discussed below.
Livestock Breeding Farms:
Another important input or the commercial livestock rearing is the availability of high yielding breeds of animals like cows Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Tharparker, Gir, etc. and of buffaloes like Murrah, Nili, Ravi, etc. It has been found that the dairy farmers have to go to other places especially other states, viz. Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat to get good quality cows and buffaloes.
Further, most of them who are not able to afford bringing animals from distant places just purchase the animals from the local market. For smaller livestock species such as goat, sheep and pigs the farmers do not bother to make any efforts for procuring a good breed of animal.
This gap between demand and availability of good breed of livestock poses excellent opportunity in front of rural youth to establish livestock breeding farms in their areas and sell the young ones at good prices.
Different types of livestock breeding farms can be established viz.:
1. Cattle/buffalo breeding farms.
2. Sheep/goat breeding farms.
3. Pig breeding farms.
But the major requirement is of getting appropriate scientific training in running a livestock-breeding farm. Opening up of poultry hatchery is also a proposition that can be taken up by educated rural youth.
Providing Private Doorstep Artificial Insemination (Al) Services:
The rural youth can be employed effectively for providing doorstep Al services by providing them a short para-vet training on Al from the state government, Krishi Vigyan Kendras or other NGOs after which they can purchase the necessary equipments, viz., the moped, Al kit, liquid nitrogen (LN) container and provide doorstep services to the livestock owners thereby upgrading the non-descript stock on one hand and generating additional income on the other. The rural youth can start the mobile Al unit with an initial investment of Rs. 45,500 for which they can get loan from banks. In fact this activity is very successful in China.
Establishing Commercial Livestock Service Centres:
Commercial livestock service centres can be established by the unemployed rural youth in the villages wherein they can provide both the natural services as well as the artificial insemination services for the livestock. Such type of activity is being practiced in rural areas but the farmers do not maintain good breed of cow/buffalo bull and charge Rs.50 to 100/service, whereas in urban areas with good quality bulls the charges are Rs.100 to 200/service and this type of enterprise can yield good return to the rural youth also.
3. Commercial Livestock First Aid Clinics:
Timely health care is an important input required for any commercial livestock enterprise. In urban areas, there are a number of private doctors and clinics available for livestock, but such facilities are not available in the rural areas. Further, the government health care machinery is not so efficient as to provide adequate health coverage to all the livestock population.
Therefore, the types of livestock first aid clinics that can be established in the rural areas are:
i. Allopathic treatment clinics.
ii. Indigenous treatment clinics or alternate system of treatment.
iii. Combined system of treatment.
The rural youth can be provided 6 months or one year training in first aid treatment of the livestock, through state government, NGOs, KVKs, dairy cooperatives, which will have dual benefits. On one hand, it will generate employment for rural youth and on the other hand, it will help in boosting the commercial livestock enterprise in rural areas through timely health care measures. Also in rural areas, a number of indigenous treatments are practised for livestock. The rural youth can learn the effective and time-tested indigenous treatment from their elders and can practice them in their areas to earn a living.