We know that all living organisms need food. Food supplies proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, all of which we require for body development, growth and health. Both plants and animals are major sources of food for us. We obtain most of this food from agriculture and animal husbandry.
Cereals such as wheat, rice, maize, millets and sorghum provide us carbohydrate for energy requirement. Pulses like gram (chana), pea (matar), black gram (urad), green gram (moong), pigeon pea (arhar), lentil (masoor), provide us with protein. And oil seeds including soyabean, ground nut, sesame, castor, mustard, linseed and sunflower provide us with necessary fats (Fig. 15.1). Vegetables, spices and fruits provide a range of vitamins and minerals in addition to small amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. In addition to these food crops, fodder crops like berseem, oats or sudan grass are raised as food for the livestock.
Animal husbandry is the scientific management of animal livestock. It includes various aspects such as feeding, breeding and disease control. Animal-based farming includes cattle, goat, sheep, poultry and fish farming. As the population increases and as living standards increase, the demand for milk, eggs and meat is also going up. Also, the growing awareness of the need for humane treatment of livestock has brought in new limitations in livestock farming. Thus, livestock production also needs to be improved.