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Understanding the Fodder Markets for Sustainable Development of Livestock Sector in Bihar-A Rapid Appraisal Approach

Singh, K.M. and Singh, R.K.P. and Jha, A.K. and Kumar, Anjani (2012): Understanding the Fodder Markets for Sustainable Development of Livestock Sector in Bihar-A Rapid Appraisal Approach.

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Livestock is an integral part of rural economy in Bihar and fodder is a critical input for livestock development. Data shows that there exist a huge gap between demand and supply of fodder (both dry as well as green). Most part of the south Bihar comprising of agro climatic zones, IIIA and IIIB are fodder surplus because of cultivation of paddy and wheat under assured irrigation facilities. Agro climatic Zone I and Zone II are fodder deficit and mostly depend on fodder surplus regions for their fodder requirement. In order to promote fodder production and requirement it is imperative for the Government to come forward and develop fodder storage facilities at different locations in different regions, so that farmers could store fodder to ensure its availability throughout the year. Due to lack of adequate storage facilities and space producers are forced to dispose the fodder in excess of their marketable surplus and therefore many times marketed surplus exceeds the actual marketable surplus in this way.

Institutional support in the form of credit and creation of fodder banks in different fodder producing as well as deficit areas for maintaining buffer stock is essential. Fodder markets are highly unorganized and informal and the role of public sector/govt. in its marketing is virtually negligible. Most of the fodder markets are running on different places do not have any dedicated market place.. Most of the fodder markets are operating along the roadsides and have no legal credentials. This becomes one of the reasons of exploitation of people who are involved in this business. It is envisaged that establishment of dedicated and legal market places would help fodder trade a great deal and also check corrupt practices and exploitations of poor producers and traders.

Fodder is a bulky item, which makes its trading cumbersome and handling difficult. Some traders use compressing machines to make fodder blocks. It is important to develop some cost effective and efficient fodder compressing machine for ease of handling and transportation as well as cost saving. Quality control of manufactured compound feed and concentrates is also essential. Most of the traders and consumers feel that there should be a mechanism to ensure quality of manufactured feed and nutritional supplements. Development of technology for cost effective and nutritive feed is requires urgent attention and here Public sector R&D can play an effective role. This can also be done in public-private partnership mode.

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