Rangelands/Grasslands of India: Current Status and Future Prospects
In India, it is estimated that over 100 million ha is presently underutilized which includes over 25-30 million ha of degraded forest lands, 45-50 million ha agricultural lands unsuitable for crop production, 9-10 million ha of sodic wastelands and the rest are ravines, pasture lands and ‘wastelands’. Livestock and grazing-based livestock husbandry continues to play an important role in the rural economy of the country. For increasing milk production from the current level of 128 million tons (mt) to 160 mt by 2020, Indian needs 494 mt of dry fodder, 825 mt of green fodder and 54 mt concentrates. At present India is facing 36 per cent green fodder deficit for the existing livestock. Fodder is being cultivated only in 4 per cent of agricultural land, hence, fodder availability from non-arable lands needs to be significantly increased.