Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Fodder Market in Bihar: An Exploratory Study

Singh, K.M. and Singh, R.K.P. and Jha, A.K. and Kumar, Abhay (2013): Fodder Market in Bihar: An Exploratory Study. Published in: Economic Affairs , Vol. 58, No. 4 (15 December 2013): pp. 355-364.

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Dairy farmers in Bihar are mostly smallholders having one or two local-bred milch animals, which are raised on crop residues and natural pastures with under-employed family labour. Feeding grains, oil cakes and green nutritious fodder are limited to crossbred cattle. Feed and fodder deficiencies are major limiting factors in raising livestock productivity. Fodder markets are important for communities, which have limited ability to produce their own fodder, but need quality fodder at reasonable prices to produce milk at competitive cost and trading is an important livelihood activity for poor who engaged in it. The study tries find ways to improve the livelihoods of resource-poor livestock producers by alleviating fodder scarcity. Livestock being an important source of livelihood in Bihar, the study has a direct poverty relevance for state. The findings indicate a huge gap between demand and supply of both dry and green fodder. South Bihar is fodder surplus area because of irrigated cultivation of paddy and wheat, while north Bihar is fodder deficit and depend on fodder surplus regions. There are no dedicated market places so, trading takes place along roadsides and without legal credentials. Fodder being a bulky item, makes its trading and handling difficult. Some traders do use compressing machines to make fodder blocks. Development of technology for cost-effective and nutritive feed requires urgent attention and here public sector R&D can play an effective role which can also be done in public-private partnership mode.

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