The White revolution of 70's had made spectacular land marks in the India milk production scenario. India is the largest milk producer of the world and milk has been marked as the number one farm commodity. Rural prosperity by dairy farming is the dire need of the hour. Recently livestock production has taken a new turn by venturing itself on commercial basis.The higher production potential of the cross bred animals and its economic sustainability has its mainstay on judicious balanced feeding round the year.
Presently the chronic shortage of feed coupled with the poor quality of fodder is widely regarded as the major constraint in animal production. It has been estimated that with the present feed and fodder resource we are able to meet only 46.6% of animal requirements, which in turn resulted in 50% of the desired production. It is imperative to say that in the recent system f intensive livestock production, increasing concentrate feeding has increase the milk production cost and substantially decreased the profits of farmers. The increasing cost of feed ingredients and its seasonal variability also adds to the gravity of the situation. Certain agri byproducts also have a detrimental effect on animal health and reproduction.
Green fodder is the essential components of feeding high yielding milch animals to obtain desired level of milk production. The present fodder crop area of 8.3 million hectare cannot be increased due to increasing pressure on cultivated land for food and commercial crops. The sustainability of dairy industry in India largely depend on the quality of herbage based animal feed and fodder. To produce the targeted quantity of green fodder the best option is to maximize the fodder production per unit area and per unit time. High yielding fodder crops and fodder crop sequences are important to harness year round fodder production.
At this juncture intellectual stimulation and economic rewards are essential to attract and to retain youth in dairy farming for sustainable development. This could be achieved only by generation of meaningful and viable technologies and transferring the same for adoption by the millions of rural folk.