August 2018

 

by Bangarusamy Soundararajan, Chairman of CLFMA of India

 

Every industry needs fresh ideas from outside the system to survive and needs next-gen, young and bright minds with the clear vision and traits such as grit and perseverance to make a positive contribution to the society.

It is impossible to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) without significant participation and contribution from youth in every aspect. We strongly believe the country"s fast-growing livestock sector offers an ocean of opportunities for those who are willing to explore.

Agriculture in India faces a number of important challenges: it needs to become more sustainable and productive, while it must at the same time remain profitable for farmers. This is particularly true for livestock farming. Modern and innovative livestock equipment and technologies are important parts of the solution to address and overcome these challenges.

Furthermore, a number of innovations are occurring in plant agriculture to maximise all of the land we can sustainably cultivate. From advanced plant breeding techniques to integrated pest management, to improved varieties, scientists, industry

and farmers are working together to ensure food and nutritional security of the country. Livestock is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors driven mainly by rapid urbanisation and higher incomes.

In the last decade, the world is witnessing how Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based technologies are transforming animal-agribusiness sector in unimaginable ways. For example, wearable devices on animals provide real-time data to monitor feed intake, stress levels or disease symptoms so that these can be addressed promptly not only to enhance productivity but animal welfare as well.

Similarly, soil sensors help farmers analyse moisture or nutrient levels to cut down unnecessary irrigation or fertiliser application and contribute greatly to cost savings as well as environmental sustainability. These innovations provide us wealth of information to analyse every process deeper for continuous improvement. It is only a matter of time before we see all these are widely used in India.

Nowadays everything in the world has come down to "one touch". How the Indian government"s full support is needed to unleash the full potential of innovative livestock technologies. Furthermore, innovations like e-commerce through mobile phones, coupled with analytics positively disrupted retailing in India in the recent years. Nowadays, through mobile apps and with just a few clicks, consumers can get their preferred type, preparation, and variety of meat and seafood delivered at their doorsteps at affordable prices year-round without compromising on their two most important needs - convenience and quality.

It is high time we think about who is going to feed us in future and how to ensure food and nutritional security of the billion- plus population while remaining focused on sustainability of our unique and precious biological ecosystem. It is important to ensure India"s animal-agribusiness sector attracts the best talent, sparkling brains and skilled hands from different fields and retains them.

Traditional business paradigms; entrenched perceptions and outdated practices must pave way to newer and fresher ideas
and concepts that only today"s youth can bring in. Only then innovations can sprout and flourish. This industry must be seen as one of the preferred career paths by youngsters, who currently lack awareness about the ocean of opportunities available.

Every one of us working in the industry must actively step up to create awareness among students who are aspiring to become tomorrow"s professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders and CLFMA"s forthcoming symposium would be a great platform for such in-depth deliberations.

CLFMA of India is the apex body representing the livestock sector in India. The 50-year old industry association is recognised as one among the eldest and highly reputed in India.

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