Role of Livestock in Economic Development

By Alam, S. M. | Economic Review, September 2009 | Go to article overview

Role of Livestock in Economic Development


Alam, S. M., Economic Review


Livestock is an important sector of agriculture and livestock accounts for about 9.4% national GDP. Pakistan is endowed with a large livestock population and assumes a pivotal position in whole economic strategy of Pakistan. The sector is closely linked to crop production as well as population of the country. It covers about 35% of the agriculture value-added and in providing (directly or indirectly) employment to about 50 per cent of the population. It represents about 12.3% of the total exports. Besides, being a source of milk, meat and eggs, livestock provides draught power for agriculture operation and industrial raw material. The country also earns sizeable amount of foreign exchange from the export of various livestock products.

Pakistan is lucky in having two best tropically breed of buffaloes, such as Nili-Ravi and Kundi breeds, eight recognized breed of cattle of Hostein Friesian and Jersey breeds as well as their crossbreed with local cattle (Sahiwal, Red Sindhi and Thari); Dera Din Pench, Beetal, Nachi and Kamori goats and Lohi, Kjli, Keghani, Damani, and Salt Range sheeps are augmenting animal production in the country.

Livestock includes cattle, buffaloes, cows, sheep, goats, horses, asses, mules etc. In the year 2007-08, the domestic livestock population was estimated is 25.3 million buffaloes, 23.3 million cattle, 25.3 million sheep, 49.1 million goats, 0.9 million camels, 0.6 million horses, 0.07 million mules, 3.1 million donkeys, and 164.6 million poultry. For the year 2006-07, they produced 32284 x [10.sup.3] tons milk, 1010 x [10.sup.3] tons beef, 666 x [10.sup.3] tons mutton, 333X[10.sup.3] tons poultry meat, 39.2X[10.sup.3] tons wool, 18.6X[10.sup.3] tons hair, 333.7X[10.sup.3] tons bones, 124 x [l0.sup.3] tons fats, 8, 677 million numbers of eggs, 7.8 million number of hides, 38.2 million numbers of skin and 40 x [l0.sup.3] tons of blood.

The average m ilk production per animal is 8.5 liters per day. The major share of production of milk is from buffaloes that is 66%, cows 32%, sheep and goats 2%. Punjab and Sindh are the two major livestock holders at 52% and 26%, respectively. The government has taken numerous measures from time-to-time for the improvement of livestock sectors, which include strengthening of research and development activities, import of exotic animals, micro and micro-nutrient and chemicals used in feed industry, provision of credit facilities, tax holiday on some items essential for livestock and poultry industry and provision of long- and short-term training to scientists.

Livestock products have shown different growth rates between 1971-72 and 2007-08. For example, milk production during the period at the compound rate of 4% year, beef 4.4%, mutton 6.5%, poultry meat 14.4%, while the production of eggs increased at the rate of 10% a year. When the total production of the food is judged against the population, the per capita availability of milk which was 119.4 kg per year increased to 153.4 kg beef from 5.3 to 7.5 kg mutton from 3.2 to 7.2 kg poultry meat from about 0.2 to 2.7 kg per head, per year. It is interesting to note that the rate of growth in each of the item is greater than that of the population, which resulted in higher per capita availability of these foods during the period, but the prices of these increased comparatively at greater price. Livestock's include a list of species of cattle, buffaloes, sheep, horse, mule, donkey, camel, goat, chicken, duck, turkey and poultry.

Livestock provides the most essential items of human diet like meat, milk and eggs. It also supplies wool, hides, skins, bones, hair, casings and blood for industrial use within the country and for export as well. It also provides organic fertilizer (dung) for human population and agricultural activities.

The by-products of livestock industry contribute to domestic industrial development, as well as make a valuable contribution to export earnings of Pakistan, which obtained from the export of carpets, leather, wool hides, skins and others. …

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