Context: The Central government unveiled the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) .
- This is the first major fund launched by the government that includes a diverse set of stakeholders such as FPOs, private dairy players, individual entrepreneurs, and non-profits within its ambit.
About Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)
- The AHIDF has been set up with an outlay of ₹15,000 crore.
- As per the provisions of AHIDF, a project will be eligible for a loan amount that covers up to 90% of the estimated cost.
- It provides an interest subvention of 3% for all eligible entities.
- Applicants can submit the proposal with a complete Detailed Project Report through the Udyami Mitra Portal.
- Boosting the sector will bring social, economic, and nutritional benefits.
- Macro benefits regarding climate change and employment are linked to this sector.
- Enhanced infrastructure can make processing units more energy-efficient and help mitigate their carbon footprint.
- The AHIDF also has the potential to create over 30 lakh jobs, even as it overhauls domestic infrastructure towards giving greater prominence to India’s dairy and livestock products.
- The AHIDF has been designed to support the establishment of animal feed plants of varying capacities – including setting up of mineral mixture plants, silage making units, and animal feed testing laboratory.
- To spur on innovative solutions, the Ministry in collaboration with Invest India has invited ideas from domestic start-ups for the development of new varieties of green fodder and enriched animal feed.
Significance of the animal husbandry and dairy sector:
- As an allied industry of agriculture, the animal husbandry and dairy sector collectively employs more than 100 million people.
- Since the bulk of establishments in this sector is concentrated in rural India, the socio-economic relevance of this sector cannot be overstated.
- India is the fourth largest chicken meat producer and the second largest egg producer in the world and is well-positioned to help mitigate rampant malnutrition given that chicken meat provides the cheapest source of protein per unit.
- The Infrastructure investments are necessary to boost productivity levels and fill critical gaps in production.
- Strengthen dairy value chain: There is a pressing need to enhance chilling infrastructure at collection centres by setting up bulk milk coolers to prevent wastage of milk.
- Currently, there is an infrastructure gap of about 120-130 MMT, which translates into an investment potential of approximately ₹20,000 crore.
- There is also considerable potential to increase the productivity of cattle, especially by enhancing the quality of animal feed.
- The infrastructure gap of 10-18 MMT in the production and supply of affordable compound cattle feed translates into an investment potential of around ₹5,000 crore.