Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana,India
 Sponsored by
Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi
Research Content
Economics of Production, Processing and Marketing of Fodder Crops in India (Consolidated Report)

          Livestock being, a key source of supplementary income and livelihood especially for small land holders and landless rural poor plays an important role in the rural economy of the country. The desired growth of agriculture sector can be accomplished only through enhancing overall productivity of the livestock sector. This would require a steady and adequate supply of quality fodder for supporting the livestock population. For development of livestock sector, the need of the hour is, therefore, to meet the current shortfall of fodder in the country by adopting suitable measures for increasing the production of crop residues, green fodder and agricultural by-products. Ensuring an adequate supply of reasonable quality feed and fodder is one of the major challenges which Indian livestock sector is facing currently. In the present study, efforts have been made to unravel the related issues covering the present status of fodder cultivation, profitability of fodder crops along with its processing and marketing practices in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab states of India. The study selected one most important fodder crop each in the kharif, rabi and summer seasons from these selected states for in depth analysis. In Gujarat, generally farmers are not growing pure fodder crops; the most important food grain crop (whose by product/residue is used as fodder) has been taken as study crop. The study has been based on the experiences of 600 fodder growers, 150 from each state, scattered over different clusters along with few associated with fodder processing. The primary data pertaining to the year 2008-09 was collected by the personal interview method. The study has brought out that the size of livestock herd in Gujarat increased from 196.7 lakh in 1992 to 237.9 lakh in 2007 indicating spectacular average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 1.28 percent during period 1992-2007.  Similarly, the livestock population in Madhya Pradesh showed increasing trend over the years and the total livestock population was found to be increased with the annual growth of 1.90 per cent in the year 2007 as compare to the year 1992 (32400.06 thousand).  Likewise, the total livestock population in the state of Karnataka has increased from 29.57 million in 1992 to 30.86 million in 2007 with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.29 per cent. Contrary to it, the livestock population in Punjab has been decreasing continuously since 1990 showed tremendous decline from about 97 lakh in 1990 to only 71 lakh during 2007, at the rate of 1.5 per cent per annum. The cattle population of Gujarat, which stood at 67.50 lakh in 1997 increased to 79.77 lakh in 2007 with an average annual growth rate of 1.68 percent. The number of cattle found to be increased over the period of time with an annual growth rate of 0.56 per cent in Madhya Pradesh.  Karnataka showed decline in cattle population. The cattle population in Punjab has declined from about 28 lakh in 1990 to about 17 lakh during 2007, decreasing at the rate of 2.29 per cent per annum. The growth of buffaloes was sharp in Gujarat and increased at the average annual growth rate of 3.39 percent during 1997-2007. The population of buffalo also showed increasing trend over the years in Madhya Pradesh.  Seven districts of Karnataka have recorded positive growth in its population between 1992 and 2007. The buffalo population in Punjab has declined from about 56 lakh in 1990 to 49 lakh during 2007, falling at the rate of 0.69 per cent per annum.

In Madhya Pradesh, out of the total fodder area of 0.74 lakh ha in 2006-09, the cultivators of Madhya Pradesh devoted their maximum area under the cultivation of bajra (20%) followed by Jowar (4%), Berseem (2%) and Maize (1%). The area of fodder was found to be declining over the years from 0.97 lakh ha. during 1990-94. The area of Jowar, Berseem, Loosarn, Jai were found to be increased over the years, while the area under guar and other fodder decreased in Madhya Pradesh. In Punjab, on an average, about 5.83 lakh hectare area was under fodder crops during the period 2005-09, which comes out to be about 7 per cent of gross cropped area of the state. The area under fodder crops was found to decrease continuously from the average area of 7.8 lakh hectare during the period 1990-94. During the period 1990-91 to 2008-09, most of the fodder crops showed decrease in area except guara during kharif season and oats during rabi season. During kharif season, maize fodder showed the highest decrease in area (-11.74 per cent per annum) during the period 1990-91 to 2008-09, while during rabi season, berseem showed the highest decrease in area (-2 per cent per annum) during the same period. Maize fodder recorded increase in area during the recent years (2000-01 to 2008-09).

 The relative profitability analysis has highlighted that in Gujarat, during kharif season, net return per hectare from maize cereal crop came out to be Rs. 32775 which was higher by Rs.10821 compared to net return of Rs. 21954 from maize grown as pure green fodder. In rabi season, net return per hectare was Rs. 13828 for lucerne whereas it was Rs. 33922 for competing crop - wheat. In summer season, net return for study crop lucerne was only Rs. 6569 whereas it was Rs. 16246 for competing crop - jowar / sorghum grown as green fodder crop. In Madhya Pradesh, there was found no competition of fodder crops with other crops in the area under study. The comparative picture of fodder crops showed that the cultivation of beseem was found be more profitable in the area under study in which an average fodder grower invested Rs.13835.66/ha and received Rs. 52521.47/ha revealed that on the investment of Rs. 1.00, farmer got Rs. 3.80 as benefit over the variable cost, while received only Rs. 1.80 and 1.69 on investment of Rs. 1.00 respectively from the cultivation of maize and jowar. The returns over variable cost fetched from paddy on per hectare basis were Rs. 10300 as compared to Rs. 552 for the jowar fodder in Karnataka. Farmers did not allocate higher area under fodder crops due to lower profitability in relation to their competing crops. In Punjab, the returns over variable cost fetched from paddy on per hectare basis were more than double than that of sorghum – the fodder crop. Berseem was found to be more remunerative as compared to sorghum but still the returns over variable cost were only 65 per cent as compared to the most important competing crop during the rabi season (wheat). The returns over variable cost for maize fodder were only 70 per cent as compared to maize grain during the summer season.

 In Gujarat fodder is generally sold by producers through one marketing channel, namely producer-Local Trader-Consumer and the consumer’s price was Rs. 300/qtl. in kharif and it touched to Rs. 400/qtl. in summer. The net profit margin of local trader on consumer’s price was highest at Rs. 52.31(9.17%) in rabi season and lowest at Rs. 26.67 (8.9 %) in kharif season. In Punjab, the consumer’s price was Rs. 44/qtl. in kharif and it touched to Rs. 72/qtl. During summer season. The marketing channel I in the state (Producer-Forwarding agent/Commission agent-Dairy owner/Consumer), the producer’s share in consumer’s rupee varied between 74 -77 per cent for the different fodder crops, while in channel II (Producer-Forwarding agent/Commission agent-Chaff cutter-Consumer), it varied between 65-70 per cent. The marketing/ processing practices of fodders were not found to be prevalent in Karnataka and Madya Pradesh.In Gujarat, post harvesting operational costs of processing (hay making) one quintal fodder was found highest for summer season. It was Rs. 27.34 for Lucerne and Rs. 27.24 for bajra fodder. Whereas, processing cost was lowest at Rs. 21.42 for wheat straw in rabi season. It was Rs. 24.32 and Rs. 24.57 for kharif maize fodder and kharif bajra fodder respectively. In Punjab, the post harvest operational cost of processing (silage making) was about Rs. 11 per quintal. In Gujarat, inferior quality of seeds of fodder crops, non-availability of adequate quantity of required brand HYV seeds, the lack of technical knowledge, non-availability of market information in time and inadequate transport facility at reasonable rate were the major problems in production of fodder crops. In addition to these, high expenditure in production due to power cuts and high cost of labour were the reported problems in Madhya Pradesh. In Karnataka, the inadequate access to credit, labour availability, and quality seed were the reported problems. In Punjab, poor quality and un-recommended varieties of seed, shortage of labour especially during harvesting of the crop, lack the technical knowledge and inadequate acquisition of credit were the major problems faced by the fodder growers. Similarly, in Punjab, Low price in the market, less remuneration, lack of market information and delayed payment for the produce by the commission agents in the market were reported as the major marketing problem. In Gujarat, it was suggested that government must evolve an arrangement to produce HYV seeds for fodder crops in adequate quantity and these should be made available at reasonable rate to the farmers. There is a need to adopt price mechanism which ensures higher or equal net returns at least to the one from competing cereal crops in order to divert more and more area to fodder crops. In Karnataka, concerted efforts should be made to encourage the farmers to cultivate green fodder crops by providing subsidized seed material and fertilizer coupled with technical trainings to group of potential farmers. In Punjab, availability of quality seedlings, high yielding varieties for various fodder crops, adequate short-term credit facilities to cover the operational cost along with required technical trainings can go a long way to augment the fodder area.