Livestock and poultry

Livestock and poultry: Rising stock

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Exotic livestock breeds are growing significantly while indigenous cattle are stuck in a low-growth zone, according to the latest Livestock Census.

The country’s total livestock population numbered 535.78 million in 2019, an increase of 4.6 per cent over the previous census of 2012, according to the 20th Livestock Census by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying.

The 20th Livestock Census was launched in October 2018, the department said in a report. The census, which was carried out in about 6.6 lakh villages and 89,000 urban wards, also captured breed-wise numbers of animals and poultry birds.

According to the report, the total bovine population (cattle, buffalo, mithun and yak) was 302.79 million in 2019, up 1 per cent over the previous census. The total number of cattle was 192.49 million, a rise of 0.8 per cent. However, the female cattle population rose 18 per cent to 145.12 million.

Among cattle, the exotic/crossbred population stood at 50.42 million while the indigenous/nondescript cattle population was nearly thrice the size at 142.11 million.

Exotic/crossbred cattle recorded an impressive growth of 26.9 per cent, while the total indigenous cattle population declined by 6 per cent. However, the indigenous/nondescript female cattle population rose by 10 per cent.

The total poultry in the country numbered 851.81 million in 2019, a rise of 16.8 per cent over the previous census. The backyard poultry population increased by 45.8 per cent to 317.07 million, while commercial poultry numbers rose by 4.5 per cent to 534.74 million.


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