- economics of animal-rearing.
20th Livestock Census
What to study?
For Prelims: Overview and key findings.
For Mains: Livestock rearing in India- significance, challenges and ways to address them.
Context: Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying releases 20th Livestock Census.
Significance: The Census will prove beneficial not just for policy makers but also for agriculturists, traders, entrepreneurs, dairying industry and masses in general.
key results of the Census:
- Total Livestock population is 535.78 million- an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012.
- Total Bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak)-79 Million in 2019- an increase of about 1% over the previous census.
- A decline of 6 % in the total Indigenous/ Non-descript cattle population over the previous census.
About livestock census:
- Conducted periodically since 1919-20.
- Covers all domesticated animals and its headcounts.
Significance of livestock in poverty alleviation:
- Livestock rearing is a key livelihood and risk mitigation strategy for small and marginal farmers, particularly across the rain-fed regions of India.
- Share in agricultural gdp: Livestock products comprised 32 per cent of the total value of agriculture and allied activities in 2006-07 which was a noticeable increase from 27 per cent in 1999-2000 and from 1980-81 when it represented 14 per cent of the agricultural gross domestic product.
Why livestock rearing needs special attention?
Livestock rearing at the household level is largely a women-led activity, and therefore income from livestock rearing and decisions related to management of livestock within the household are primarily taken by women.
Livestock rearing, particularly in the rain-fed regions of the country, is also emerging as a key risk mitigation strategy for the poorest. They face increasingly uncertain and erratic weather conditions which negatively impact crop productivity and wage labour in the agriculture sector.
- Although livestock products make important contributions to food security and poverty reduction for many low-income rural families, the policy and institutional framework has failed to serve the needs of these poorest households and to get them onto the conveyor belt of development.
- A lack of public services in animal health that reach out to the poorest in rural areas and a failure to link small holder livestock keepers to better paying markets.
- The institutional and policy frameworks tend to support intensive and commercial livestock rearing, both in the provision of services and also in facilitating access to markets.
- Livestock producers, including traditional pastoralists and smallholders, are both victims of natural resource degradation and contributors to it.
- Animal health systems have been neglected in many parts and this has led to institutional weaknesses that in turn lead to poor delivery of animal health services and higher risks to livelihoods and human health.
Livestock wealth is much more equitably distributed than wealth associated with land. Thus, when we think of the goal of inclusive growth, we should not forget that from equity and livelihood perspectives, livestock rearing must be at the centre of the stage in poverty alleviation programmes.