Research Paper on India’s Livestock – (5070 Words)

It amounted to an increase of 9.22% from 2003-07 period. India possesses 27 acknowledged indigenous breeds of cattle.


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The density of cattle population per 100 ha of gross cropped area in India is nearly 113. Madhya Pradesh has the largest number of 21.9 million cattle which is about 14% of the total cattle in India. Next West Bengal followed by Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

The Indian cattle are by and large of poor quality and the average yield per cow is just one litre per day whereas this yield is 30-40 liters in advanced countries. That is the reason why Indian cow is often called tea-cup-cow.


There is an inverse relationship between the density of cattle and their quality. The higher density states have poor breeds of cattle both in terms of drought and milch cattle. The important breeds are as follows:

Milch Breeds:

Gir, Sindhi, Red Sindhi, Sahiwal, Tharparkar and Deoni are some of the outstanding breeds of milch cattle. Gir is found in Saurashtra and several parts of Gujarat Sindhi is mainly raised in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The Red Sindhi breeds having a distinct red colour hails from Sindh Pakistan.

The Sahiwal, originally from Montogomery district of Pakistan is widely found in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. The Deoni breed is widely raised in north western and western parts in Andhra Pradesh.

Drought Breeds:

Among the important drought breeds are included the Nagori, Bauchaur, Kenkatha, Malvi, Kherigarh, Hallikar, Khillari, Amritmahal, Kangayam, Ponrra, Bargur, and Siri. The Nagori breed is a native of Jodhpur and is found in large parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, U.P. and M.P. The Bauchaur breed is mainly found in Bihar. The Malvi is largely concentrated in the dry western parts of Madhya Pradesh.

The Kenkatha or Kenwariya breed hails from Banda district of Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring areas of Madhya Pradesh. Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh is the habitate of the Kherigarh breed. The Halikar and Amritmahal breeds are indigenous to Tumkur, Hassan and Mysore districts of Karnataka but are spread all over the Peninsular India.

Solapur and Satara districts comprise the home of the Khillari breed. The Bargur and the Kangayam breeds are the natives of Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. The Siri breed grows well in the hilly areas of Darjeeling and Sikkim.

Dual Purpose Breeds:

In this the cows are fairly good yielders of milk, and the bullocks are good for drought purposes. They are divided into two groups.

(i) In this group, come Haryana, Ongale, Gaolo Rath, Krishna Valley etc. having short horned, white or light grey colour, long, coffin shaped skull and face slightly convex in profile.

(ii) In this group Tharparkar and Konkrej come who are having lyre-homed, grey colour, deep bodied with wide forehead, prominent orbital arches flat or dished in profile.

Tharparkar, Haryana, Mewati, Kankrej, Rath, Nimari, Dangi, Gaolao, Krishan Valley and Ongole are important breeds of milk-yielding category. The Tharparkar breed hails from the Sind province of Pakistan and is found in large parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan. As its name indicates, the Haryana breed is the much prized cattle of Haryana and is also found in the neighbouring parts of Delhi and Western Uttar Pradesh.

The Mewati breed is found in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur and Alwar districts of Rajasthan. The Kankrej breed is indigenous to Gujarat plains. The Rath breed is a mixture of Haryana, Nagori and Mewati breeds and is found in the areas dominated by these breeds. The Nimari breed is largely found in the Narmada Valley in East and West Nimar districts of Madhya Pradesh.

The Dangi breed is normally found in Kolaba, Thane, Nasik and Ahmednagar districts of Maharashtra. The Gaolao breed belongs to Cnhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh and Wardha and Nagpur districts of Maharashtra. The Krishna Valley breed is popular in upper Krishna Valley in Maharashtra and Karnataka. The Ongole breed hails from Nellore and Guntur districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Exotic Breeds:

Some of the high milk yielding exotic breeds have been developed in India, especially in 20 military farms in hilly areas. Some foreign breeds have been crossed with Indian breeds and new breed called cross breed has been developed. The maximum yield of milk per lactation at the military farms is about 6,000 kgs. While the average yield is 2,600 kgs. Some of the important exotic breeds are Jersey, Holstein, Friesian, Swiss-Brown, Gurnsey, German Feleckvich and Ayershire.

Draft Breeds:

In this category the cows are poor milkers but the bullocks are excellent draft animals. They are of four types:

(i) In this type, Nagori and Bachaur cows come having short-horned, white or light grey colour, long coffin-shaped skull and face and convex profile.

(ii) In this type, Kathiawar, Malvi and Kherigarh come having lyre horned, grey colour, wide forehead prominent orbital arches and flat dished profile

(iii) Mysore Type: They are characterised by prominent forehead with long and pointed horns which rise close together. These animals are poor milkers, e.g. Hallilkar, Amritmahal Kangyam and Khillari.

(iv) Small black, red or dun cattle, often with large patches of white markings, found in the rugged mountainous areas of the Himalaya region or at the foot of the hills. They have tight sheaths and are either short-horned or slightly lyre-horned. The Panwar and Siri are notable example.

Good breeds of cattle are confined to comparatively dry areas such as, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh and in such parts of other states where similar conditions exist.

Pastures in these dry areas may be good in quality but are often scarce and the uncertainty of rainfall makes it obligatory on the part of owners to grow crops, the residue of which provides a good supply of fodder for cattle.

Buffaloes thrive well in the areas of moderate heavy rainfall as they require plenty of water for their daily bath. The famous breeds of buffaloes are Murrah buffalo of Punjab, the Rohtak breed of Haryana, the Kathiawar or Zaffarabadi etc.


India’s buffalo population was 105.3 million in 2007. This is about half the buffaloes of the world and over 18 per cent of the total livestock of India. Buffaloes are an important source of milk supply in India contributing over 61% of the country’s total production of milk though female buffaloes constitute only 43% of the total breeding bovine population in the country. India possesses about 52% of the world’s total buffalo population. India possesses 27 breeds of buffaloes.

Buffaloes thrive best in areas of warm and humid climate. Bufflaloes are reared mainly for milk but some buffaloes are used as drought animals in certain parts of the country. Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of over 23 million buffaloes which is about one-fourth of the total buffaloes of India.

The other major states with considerable buffaloes are Andhra Pradesh (13 million), Madhya Pradesh (9 million), Rajasthan (11 million), Maharashtra, (6 million), Bihar (6.4 million).

The density of buffaloes is higher in the alluvial plains of North India where large quantity of fodder is available. In 1992, density of 104, 98 and 68 buffaloes per sq. km. In Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh respectively was much higher than the national average of 25 buffaloes per sq. km.

In addition to the fact that India has more buffaloes than any other country of the world; the Indian buffalo-breeds are some of the world’s best breeds. The Murrah, Bhadawari, Jaffarabadi, Surti, Mehsana, Nagpuri and Nili Ravi are among the important breeds. The Murrah breed is indigenous to Rohtak, Hissar and Gurgaon districts of Haryana and to the neighbouring areas of Delhi.

It is the most important breeds of buffaloes. Buffaloes of this breed yield 1,400 to 2,270 kg. of milk per lactation with 7 per cent fat content against only 4.5 per cent in cow’s milk. The Murrah male buffaloes are good drought animals. The Bhadawari breed belongs to Agra and Etawah districts of Uttar Pradesh and the neighbouring parts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. It is a light-coloured brownish breed.

A Bhadawari buffalo yields about 3-4 kg of milk per day on an average. Male buffaloes are used for farm work. The Jaffarabadi breed hails from the Gir forest of Gujarat. The buffaloes of this breed are quite massive and yield about 2,500 kg. Of milk per lactation. The Surti breed comes from the Gujarat plains and gives about 1,655 kg. Of milk per lactation. It is medium sized animal; its average yield is 1,655 kg per lactation period.

The Jaffarabadi and Surti breed male buffaloes are used for drought purposes. The Nagpuri originates from Nagpur. The Nili Ravi breed belongs to Ferozepur district of Punjab and yields about 1,600 kg of milk in one lactation. Nili-Ravi male buffaloes make good farm animals.

Cattle and Buffalo Development Programme:

The broad frame-work of the cattle and buffalo breeding policy being followed since the mid-sixties envisaged selective breeding of indigenous breeds in their breeding tracts and use of such improved breeds for upgrading of the non-descript stock. While the States accepted the framework, appropriate implementation through field level programmes could not be done. Lack of interest

in promoting Breed Organisation/Societies and related farmers’ bodies contributed to the gradual deterioration of indigenous breeds. Government intervention for breed improvement is not available to majority of owners of indigenous breeds of cattle. Eventually, the availability of good quality bulls needed for natural mating in breeding tracts became scarce, leading to further deterioration of indigenous breeds in these tracts.

Production of quality indigenous bulls has been a long-neglected area and would require a major thrust in order to harvest the best male germ plasm available in the country. The present production capacity of frozen semen doses is about 30 million against the estimated requirement of 65 million doses annually. Except for a few pockets in important breeding tracts and in sperm stations, indigenous bulls of unknown pedigree and with poor quality semen are generally used.

Cross breeding, which was to be taken up in a restricted manner and in areas of low producing cattle, has now spread indiscriminately all over the country? Continuous emphasis on cross breeding with exotic breeds even in the tracts of indigenous breeds led to the near extinction of some of the known breeds. Further, the indiscriminate use of contaminated semen or infected bulls results in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) at an alarming rate.

The seven Central cattle breeding farms at Suratgarh (Rajasthan), Ohiplima and Semiliguda (Odish), Dhamrod (Gujarat), Hessarghatta (Karnataka), Alamadi (Tamil Nadu) and Andeshnagar (Uttar Pradesh) are engaged in scientific breeding programmes of cattle and buffaloes and production of high pedigreed to bulls and frozen semen for cattle/buffalo breeding projects.

During 2002-03 these farms produced 351 bull calves and, supplied 118 high pedigreed bulls for use under Artificial In­semination Programme in the state. The Central Frozen Semen Production and Training Institute,

Hessarghatta (Karnataka) produced 7.07 lakh dose and supplied 7.30 lakh doses of frozen semen of high pedigreed Holstein Friesian, Jersey, crossbred and Murrah bulls to different states for their Al Programmes.


India continues to be the largest producer of milk in world. Several measures have been initiated by the government to increase the productivity of livestock which has resulted in increasing the milk production significantly to the level of 102.6 million tonnes at the end of the tenth plan (2006- 07) as compared to 53.9 million tonnes in 1990-91.

The estimate of the milk production in 2010-11 was 121.8 million tonnes. About 80 per cent of milk produced in the country is handled in the unorganized sector and the remaining 20 per cent is shared equally by cooperative and private dairies.

Over 1.28 lakh village- level dairy cooperative societies, spread over 346 districts in the country, collect about 22.8 million litres of milk per day and market about 18.9 million litres.

The efforts of the Government in the dairy sector are concentrated on promotion of dairy activities in non-operation flood area with emphasis on building up cooperative infrastructure, revitalization of sick dairy cooperatives and federations and creation of infrastructure in the States for production of quality milk and milk products.

Dairy Development:

(a) Integrated Dairy Development Programme:

The scheme launched during the Eighth Plan period is being continued during Tenth plan with an outlay of Rs. 175 crore. So far 25 projects with an outlay of Rs. 407.58 crore have been sanctioned in 25 States and one UT. A sum of Rs. 274.30 crore has been released to various state governments up to 31 March 2006 and 185 districts have been covered. The scheme has benefited about 9.60 lakh farm families and organised about 16,469 Village Level Dairy Cooperative Societies till 31 March 2006.

(b) Strengthening Infrastructive for Quality and Clean Milk Production:

A new centrally sponsored scheme was launched in October 2003, with the main objective of improving the quality of raw milk produced at the village level in the country. Under this scheme, assistance is provided for training of farmers on good milking practices, the scheme has a budget outlay of Rs. 30 crore for the tenth plan and during 2005-06 on account of Rs. 30.39 crore has been released to various states.

Since inception, 98 projects in 21 states at a total cost of Rs. 125.18 crore milk central share of Rs. 102.92 crore have been approved upto 31 March 2006 under these schemes.

(c) Assistance to Co-operatives:

The scheme, assistance to cooperatives is Central Sector Plan Scheme started during the year 1999-2000. A number of dairy cooperatives with three-tier structure viz. village level primary cooperatives, district level unions and state level federations have been set up in different parts of the country under operation flood programme.

For a variety of reasons, a number of these unions/federations have accumulated looses. The scheme seeks to assist the Sick Cooperative Milk Unions/Federations to rehabitate them and make them viable.


With 71.5 million sheep (2007), India stands third in sheep population in the world after China Australia. More than 4 per cent of the world’s sheep are reared in India. Most of the sheep are raised in regions which are too dry, too stony or too mountainous to be too good for agriculture or for cattle rearing. Most of the Indian sheep are of poor quality yielding inferior wool in less quantity.

Their yield of mutton is also very low. However, some of the good breeds are found in the northern temperate region. By virtue of their sheer number, sheep occupy an important place in our economy because they provide us with wool, mutton and skins. About five million households are engaged in the rearing of sheep and other allied activities.

The largest number of (25.5 million) sheep are found in Andhra Predash. This is followed by Rajasthan (11.9 million), Karnataka (9.5 million), Tamil Nadu (7.0 million), and Jammu and Kashmir (4.1 million). The distribution of sheep may be properly studied by dividing the sheep areas into following regions.

1. The Temperate Himalayan Region:

It comprises Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and mountainous areas of Uttar Pradesh popularly known as the Uttarakhand. The entire region has temperate climate which is quite suitable for good quality sheep. The excellent pastures exist on the hill slopes. India’s best quality sheep are reared in the Kulu, Kangra, Chamba and Kashmir Valley at altitudes varying from 2,000 to 3,000 metres.

The shephards practise seasonal transhumance, going up in summer and moving down in winter. There are about 55 lakh sheep producing over 5,000 tonnes of superior quality wool in this region.

2. The Dry North-Western Region:

This region includes Rajasthan and neighbouring parts of Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. There are more than 13 million sheep contributing to about half of the total wool production of India. However, the wool is of comparatively inferior quality and the yield of wool per sheep is lower than that of the Himalayan region.

3. The Semi-arid Southern Region:

This region comprising Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and parts of Madhya Pradesh supports about 23.5 million sheep which is about half the total number of sheep found in India. In spite of the largest numbers of sheep, this region produces only 11,000 tonnes of inferior quality rough wool which is only one third of the total wool production of India. About 50 per cent of the sheep of this region are raised for mutton and produce no wool.

4. The Humid Eastern Region:

This region, comprising Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Orissa, has humid climate which is not favourable for sheep rearing. There are about 30 lakh sheep which are mainly reared for producing mutton. The per sheep wool and the total production of wool are lower than any other region.

Development of Sheep:

Development of sheep is necessary to meet the growing demand for wool and mutton in the country and for a possible export of these commodities. This can be done by scientific breeding of the sheep. The breeding policy envisages selective breeding of important carpet wool breed and cross-breeding involving suitable exotic breeds with coarse carpet type. India is importing large number of exotic fine wool breed sheep in a phased manner.

So far nearly 10 thousand fine wool sheep have been imported from the USA, Australia and Russia for increasing the production of quality wool. A central Sheep Breeding Farm with exotic breed of sheep has been established at Hissar in Haryana.

At present, it is having a breeding programme with pure exotic breed as well as cross breeding for production of superior rams. It has distributed over 12,000 exotic/cross breed rams to different states. The farm also trains officers and shepherds from different states in modern sheep management.

Central Sheep Breeding Farm at Hissar is producing acclimatised exotic cross bred superior quality rams. The farm has supplied 1,023 rams during 2002-03 to different states. Under Livestock and Poultry Improvement and Management, Jalauni, Kheri, Maridya, Hassan and Mechari sheep breeds were surveyed in their home tract for characterisation and conservation of genetic resources. The annual estimates of wool production declined marginally from 43.12 million in 2009-10 to 42.9 million kg in 2010-11 indicating decline of 0.3%.


Goat is called the poor man’s cow because it can be cheaply reared on meagre grass of poor quality. It is the major supplier of mutton along with milk, hair and skins. The number of goats increased sharply from 47.16 lakh in 1951 to 114.05 million in 2007. Goats are found in larger number as compared to sheep and are next only to cattle. About one-sixth of the world’s goats are reared in India.

Although goats are found in almost all parts of the country, their major concentration is in Bihar (10.76 million), Rajasthan (21.50 million), West Bengal (15.69 million) and Uttar Pradesh (14.73 million). About 90 per cent of goats in the country are desi or non-descript, mostly found in the Deccan Plateau. But there are some outstanding breeds which are found in some specific areas.

The Himalaya or Angora goat which is also known as the Chamba, Gaddi, Chegu or Kashmiri breed is reared in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. It produces soft warm hair. The Pashmina reared in Kashmir and Kulu valley is world renowned for its pashmina hair known as Mohair. The yield of hair per goat varies from 21 to 56 grams per year. The Jamunapuri is the breed found between the rivers Yamuna and the Chambal. It is dual purpose breed providing meat and milk.

The Barabari breed of western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana can yield upto 2.5 kg. Of milk per day among the other breeds are the Beetal of Punjab, the Marwari, Mehsana, Kathiawar, and Zalwadi of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and the Barari, Surti and Deccani of the Peninsular India. Several important foreign breeds such as Alpine, Nubian, Saanen, Toggenberg and Angora have been used for cross breeding with the local breeds.

Goat Development:

Despite the least attention from the planners, goat population in India has increased at the fastest rate among all major livestock species during last two decades. However, instead of increasing the goat population, emphasis should be laid on productivity per animal, organised marketing and prevention of emergence of new diseases like Peste dies Petits Rumminants (PPR) which has led to higher mortality and abortion in goat. The goat improvement programme is to be given a push through extending credit to the poor landless farmers.


Pig husbandry is the most important activity in the animal husbandary sector in the north-eastern region inhabited by the tribal people. The region has substantial pig population which constitutes nearly 25% of the country’s pig population. The major difficulty in pig development is the acute shortage of breeding males. India has three breeds of pig which are large white Yorkshire, Hampshire and Landrace.

There are about 11.1 million pigs providing about 5 per cent of India’s meat production in the form of pork. About 14.5% are graded and exotic variety. There are about 158 pig breeding farms in the country. In a poor and thickly populated country like India, pig rearing is an important activity because pig provides rich meat at low cost.

Pig farming plays an important role in improving the socio-economic status of sizeable section of weaker rural communities especially in north-eastern states where every rural family rears pigs for meat. Pig farms have been set up for improving the quality of pigs. At present, there are about 100 pig units in the country run by State Governments maintaining about 29,000 pigs.

Horses and Ponies:

There were 6.11 lakh horses and ponies in the country in 2007. They have lost much of their importance with the increasing use of automobiles for transport. But in remote hilly areas, horses and ponies are the only means of transport.

About one fourth of the total horses and ponies are found in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jammu and Kashmir. Some of the important indigenous breeds include Marwari, Kathiawari, Manipuri, Bhutani, Spiti and Chummarti. Some other breeds have been developed by crossbreeding the indigenous breeds with the Arabian and English breeds.

Donkeys and Mules:

Donkeys and mules are used as beasts of burden, especially in those areas where modern modes of transportation cannot be used. Most of the donkeys are found in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. Mules are derived from the cross-breeding of mares and donkeys. The largest concentration of mules is found in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Camel is an extremely useful animal for drought and transport purposes in the arid lands and is called the ship of the desert. There were about 125 lakh camels in the country in 1987, about two-thirds of which were concentrated in Rajasthan alone. The rest of the camels are found in the arid and semiarid areas of Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat.

Poultry Farming:

The term ‘poultry’, refers to domestic fowls which are reared for their flesh, eggs or feathers and includes chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, etc. Considering the high food value of poultry products and relatively small capital requirement involved, the poultry industry is at present recognised as an important enterprise for the villages and small towns so as to have dairy occupation a ready market for its product.

Domestic fowls in India are usually divided into two broad groups: desi or indigenous; and imported or exotic or improved. Desi breeds encompass all indigenous fowls which are not of any pure breed, such as Naked Neck, Chittagong, Tenis, Punjab, Brown, Chagas, Lolab, Titre, Busra, Kadaknath Denki, Tillicherry, Kalahasti, etc.

Poultry Development in the country has shown steady progress over the year. The Estimate of the egg production in 2010-11 was 63.00 billion as compared to 60.27 billion in 2009-10 indicating growth of 4.58%. The egg productions for year 2011-12 are estimated to be 65.48 billion. The per capita availability in 2010- 11 was 53 as compared to 51 in 2010-11. India ranks third in egg production in the world as per FAOSTAT data for the year 2010.

Central Poultry Breeding Farms at Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Hessarghatta and Chandigarh are engaged in scientific poultry breeding programme have developed high egg producing hybrid and fast growing broiler strains and supply parent stock chicks. A large commercial farm has been started with foreign collaboration at Gurgaon.

As a result of intensification of scientific breeding programme, a strain cross “H- H 260” capable of laying about 260 eggs a year has been evolved at the Central Poultry Breeding Farm Hesserghatta, Bangalore and it is being supplied to private and public sector poultry breeding farms for further distribution. Thus the poultry industry has made a major breakthrough in attaining self sufficiency in respect of genetically superior chicken.

Poultry Development in India has made impressive progress during the last three decades. At present Indian ranks among the top 5 nations in egg production in the world.

The private organisations are very well placed to meet the requirement of high producing birds suited only for the intensive organised poultry sector, but the unorganised sector is still neglected. It has been decided to club all the existing 13 Central Poultry Development Organisations region-wise into 4 Centres to converge the poultry developmental activities in a single window system. Their major mandate now is only to encourage backyard/rural poultry. The export sector in terms of poultry had an estimated value of Rs. 441 crore of 2007-08.

Silk Worm Rearing:

Sericulture is the art of rear being the only country in the world where all the four varieties of silk, viz., mulberry, tasar, eri and muga are commercially raised. It is the second biggest producer of tasar silk, accounting for about 10 per cent of the world’s production. India is the only country where the fabulously famed golden “muga silk” is raised.

Seri-culture provides gainful employment to about 3.5 million people which includes a sizeable number of persons among the tribals. The area under mulberry is 3.4 lakh hectares. The mulberry silk producing areas are West Bengal, Karnataka, Kashmir and Tamil Nadu. Tasar silk is obtained from Chhotanagpur plateau, and Orissa, Eri and muga silk are mostly obtained from Assam.

Five varieties of silkworms are reared in India for producing five varieties of silk which are Bombyre mori (Mulberry silk), Antherea assama (muga silk), Antherea mylitta, (tasar silk) Antherea royeli and Antherea perniy. (Oak tasar silk) and Phylosamia ricini (eri silk). Silkworms are divided into univoltine, bivoltine and multi voltine species on the basis of the emission of the silk saliva/fibre.

The univoltine worms produce the best quality silk. Only about 5% of the Indian production comes from the univoltine worms, most of it produced in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Mulberry silk, which accounts for 85% of the country’s production, is obtained from Bombyre mori silk worms.

Cultivation of mulberry is essential for the sericulture industry. One unit of 40,000 larvae (100 dfls) requires about 500-600 kg of mulberry leaf using traditional methods. Karnataka state, which produces bulk of India’s silk output, has more than 1.6 lakh ha under mulberry plantations and nearly 2,000 chawki rearing centres with the cocoon production of over 70,000 tonnes per year.

Hides and Skins:

Hide refers to the skins of cattle and the term skin denotes the skins of calves, goats and sheep. Hides and skins are mostly collected from slaughter houses. Average supply of raw hides in India is about 35 million pieces. Of this 20 per cent are exported raw or after tanning.

The balance 80 per cent is consumed by the tanneries for preparing leather suitable for different types of articles used in the country. About 15% of the total number of hides produced in the world is contributed by India. The hidos of cows, bulls and calves are known as such and as East India kips in trade. Buffalo hides are generally known as buffs and buff hides.

Goat and Sheep provide about 75 Million Pieces of Skin:

West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are the largest producers of cattle hides. Tamil Nadu is the largest producer of buffalo hides and sheep skins. Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of goat skins. West Bengal and Bihar are other producers. India earns foreign exchange by exporting hides and skins to the U.S.A., U.K., France, Germany, Belgium, Iraq, Iran and Myanmar. India’s leather centre is at Kanpur Agra, Kolkata, Delhi, and Chennai.

Contribution of Livestock Sector to Food Basket:

The contribution of Livestock sector to the food basket in the form of milk, eggs, and meat has been immense in fulfilling the animal protein requirement of ever-growing human population. The present availability of animal protein in an Indian diet is 10 gm per person per day, as against a world average of 25 gm.

However, keeping in view the growing population, the animal protein availability has to increase at least two-fold for maintaining the nutritional level of growing children and nursing mothers in India.

Milk Production:

During past five year plans, several measures have been initiated by the Government to increase the productivity of livestock, which has resulted in significant increase in the milk production to the level of 121 million tonnes at the end of 2010-11 as compared to 17 million tonnes in 1950-51. India has become the largest producer of milk in the world. The per capita availability of milk as estimated to have increased to 252 gm per day during 2007-08 from 200 gm per day in 1996-97.

Egg Production:

Poultry development in the country has shown steady progress over the years. India produces more than 63.0 billion eggs per year and annual per capita availability of eggs has 21.02, India has third ranks in production of eggs in the world.

Other Livestock Products:

Livestock sector not only provides essential protein and nutritious human diet through milk, eggs, meat, etc., but also plays an important role in utilisation of non-edible agricultural by-products. Livestock also provides raw material by products such as hides and skins, blood, bone, fat, etc.