Livestock has remained an integral part of socio-economic fabric of rural people.
Goat is also known as ‘poor man’s cow’ in India. It forms a very important component in dry land farming system. In the marginal or undulating lands unsuitable for rearing of other types of cattle like cow or buffalo, goat is the best alternative. With very low investments, goat rearing can be made into a profitable venture for small and marginal farmers.
Tamil Nadu Dairy Development Corporation Ltd. was transformed into the newly registered Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers Federation Limited Popularly known as “Aavin”.
Sheep is used for multiple purposes like wool, meat, milk, skins and manure, and forms an important component of the rural economy, particularly in the arid, semi-arid and mountainous areas of Tamil Nadu. It provides a dependable source of income to the shepherds through the sale of wool and animals.
Since Tamil Nadu is a coastal state, fishing is one of the major occupations in the state. With widespread reservoirs and rivers, inland fishing also is also seen to a considerable extent.
An area of 41,412 sq.km of continental shelves of the state favours coastal fishing and Tamil Nadu is one of the leading states in marine fish production. Marine fishing is also called inshore fish or neritic fishing, carried out in oceans and seas. Large mechanised boats are used for fishing. In ocean or seawaters, fishing within few kilometres from the shoreline is called inshore fishing and the fishing far from the shore typically 20–30 miles out in water hundreds and thousands of feet deep is called off-shore fishing. The fish varieties caught are sharks, flying fish, counch, catfish, silver bellies, and crabs. Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Ramanathapuram districts contribute about 40% to marine fish production in the state. Their coastal location favours fishing in these regions.
Inland fishing is carried out in lakes, rivers, ponds, estuaries, backwaters and swamps. Oysters and prawns are cultured in original nurseries. Catamaran, diesel boats and floating nets are used in fishing. Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department has introduced several programmes for the betterment of fishing. Vellore district leads in the production of inland fish production with 10% of state’s production. Cuddalore, Sivagangai and Virudhunagar districts stand second with 9% of inland fish catch each.