Livestock rearing, dairy production and indigenous cattle breeds in India
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While livestock rearing and dairy production on a subsistence level has been a traditional occupation in Rural India, changes in policy and governance and production, both at a national and international level have had a profound effect on livestock rearing practices, production and farming systems, and the indigenous biodiversity of the country. Changes in the Dairy Sector in the last 50 years have had tremendous changes, leading to a new type of surplus market oriented dairy production system (Gautam, 2010). India now leads the world in global milk production, although much of this is attributed to the high ruminant population and the yield per animal remains low. By analysing a small group of dairy farmers in an Urban and Peri Urban region, we may begin to understand the structure of dairy production in India with regards to the farmers themselves, the animals they keep, the management systems they practice and their potential for the future. Additionally, as we look to an uncertain future in terms of climate change and environmental degradation, the importance of livestock rearing and the complex ties rearing livestock has with poverty alleviation and rural development, environmental sustainability, sustainability of farming practices, indigenous livestock conservation, disease control and mitigating the growing threats presented by global warming and climate change.