India has the largest livestock population in the world.
It accounts for 57% of the buffalo population of the world and 20% of the cattle population. According to the Livestock Census India has about 210 million cattle (42% bullock, 32% cows and 26% young livestock) and 84 million buffaloes.
- India has about 20 per cent of the world’s cattle population. These animals are the backbone of the country’s agriculture and have significant contribution in rural economy.
Cow provides nutritious milk, while bullocks as draught animals have important contribution in agricultural operations.
- At the state level, Madhya Pradesh has the largest number of cattle (14%), followed by U.P. (12.5%), Bihar (11%), West Bengal (8.5%), Orissa (6.8%), and Karnataka (6.5%).
- The cattle may be classified in the following two categories:
(i) Milch Breeds :
Gir (Saurashtra-Gujarat, Rajasthan, M.P. and Maharashtra), Red Sindhi, Sahiwal and Deoni are the best milk producing breeds.
The Sahiwal original Montgomery are found in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi.
The Deonibreed is low yielding but hardy for draught purposes. Indian cows yield about 150 kg/year while buffalo yield 500 kg/year.
(ii) Draught Breeds:
Nagori (Native Jodhpur), Bachaur (Bhagalpur), Kankatha (U.P.), Malwai, Khairgarh, Killari (Sholapur), Bargur, Panwar (Combatore), and Siri (Darjeeling, Sikkim).
- Buffaloes produce more milk than cows in India.
The main breeds of buffalo are the Murrah (Rohtak, Hissar, and Gurgaon), Bhadrawati, Jaffarabadi, Surati, Mehsana, Nagpuri, and the Nili-Ravi.
Cattle and Buffalo Development Programmes The central cattle breeding farms have been set up at Suratgarh (Rajasthan), Dhamroad (Gujarat), Alamadi (T.N.), Similigudi (Orissa), Adarshnagar (UP).
These farms are developing better breeds of cattle and buffaloes. Problems of Dairying
Adverse climate. 2. Shortage of good fodder. 3. Poor breeds, low yields. 4. Problems of collection and marketing.
- India is the 6th largest sheep rearing country in the world.
Most of the sheep in India are however, of poor quality.
- About 55% of the total population of the country is found in Rajasthan. Among other states, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, U.P.
Maharashtra, J&K, Bihar and M.P. have a substantial proportion of the sheep population. D. Goats
- About 100 million, Bihar and Jharkhand lead all other states in goat population, followed by Rajasthan, U.P., M.P., Maharashtra, W. Bengal.
- In peninsular India desi goat is popular. Others are Chamba, Mohair (Kashmir) and Barbari (U.P.).