Indigenous cattle count touches 140 million, 6% lower than last census

By: and |
New Delhi | Updated: October 17, 2019 3:07:51 PM

Total number of buffaloes rose about 1%to 109.85 million while the the count of milch animals (in-milk and dry) in cows and buffaloes is 125.34 million, an increase of 6%over the previous census.

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India’s indigenous cattle numbers continue to decline, notwithstanding the government’s efforts to promote conservation of desi breeds through the Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM). The total population of indigenous and nondescript cattle is estimated at 139.82 million in 2019, which is 6% lower than 151.17 million in the previous 2012 census and it has been falling since 1992 from the peak at 189.37 million.

As farmers preference shift to animals yielding more milk, the crossbred cattle population has jumped to 50.42 million in 2019 from 39.73 million in 2012, an increase by 27%, according to the Livestock Census-2019, released on Wednesday. Total livestock population increased to 535.78 million, with the number of cows rising 18% to 145.12 million as compared to 2012. The population of sheep, goat and mithun grew in double digits while the count of horses and ponies, pigs, camels, donkeys, mules and yaks declined.

Among the states, West Bengal reported the highest increase of 23.32%in livestock population, followed by Telangana (22.21 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (15.79%), Bihar (10.67%) and Madhya Pradesh (11.81%). However, the livestock population witnessed a decline of 1.35%in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan (1.66%) and Gujarat (0.95%).

As per the 20th livestock census, the share of cattle is 35.94%, goat (27.8%), buffaloes (20.45%), sheep (13.87%) and pigs (1.69%).

Total bovine population (cattle, buffalo, mithun and yak) rose by 1%to 302.79 million compared to 2012 census. Mithun is the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh.

“The total number of cattle in the country in 2019 is 192.49 million showing an increase of 0.8%over previous census. The female cattle (cows population) is 145.12 million, increased by 18%over the previous census (2012),” the statement said.

The exotic/crossbred and indigenous/non-descript cattle population is 50.42 million and 142.11 million, respectively. The indigenous/non-descript female cattle population increased 10%in 2019 as compared to previous census.

The population of the total exotic/crossbred cattle rose 26.9%in 2019 as compared to previous census.

“There is a decline of 6%in the total indigenous/non-descript cattle population over the previous census. However, the pace of decline of indigenous/non-descript cattle population during 2012-2019 is much lesser than as compared to the 2007-12 which was about 9%,” the statement said.

Total number of buffaloes rose about 1%to 109.85 million while the the count of milch animals (in-milk and dry) in cows and buffaloes is 125.34 million, an increase of 6%over the previous census.

According to the data, the total sheep in the country is 74.26 million in 2019, up 14.1%. Goat population is up 10%at 148.88 million but pig population declined 12%to 9.06 million, as per the latest census.

The other livestock including mithun, yak, horses, ponies, mule, donkeys, camel together contribute around 0.23%of the total livestock and their total count is 1.24 million. Donkeys population fell 61%to 1,20,000 in 2019 while camel population declined 37%to 2,50,000. “The total horses and ponies in the country is 3.4 lakh (3,40,000) in 2019, decreased by 45.6%over previous census,” the statement said.

Apart from livestock, the ministry said poultry population rose nearly 17%to 851.81 million in 2019. The total birds in the backyard poultry jumped 46%to 317.07 million. Total commercial poultry is 534.74 million in 2019, up 4.5%over previous census numbers.

The 20th Livestock Census was conducted with the participation of all States and Union Territories. It covered about 6.6 lakhs villages, 89,000 urban wards snf and involved more than 27 crore households and non-households.

The census report contains state-wise details of both livestock and poultry. Since census in Delhi is yet to be completed, the figures concerned are from the previous census.

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