1. Animal Husbandry

Cross-bred, Indigenous Female Cattle Population in India Increases: Latest Livestock Census

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

The latest livestock numbers in India has shown a sharp rise in cross-bred as well as indigenous female cattle population, with an accompanying increase in the number of milch animals. As per the 20th Livestock Census that was issued on 16th August 2019, the total livestock population has risen marginally, after declining in previous years.

Population of Cattle this year is 192.49 million i.e. about 0.8% more than in the 2012 census, when it had plunged to 190.9 million from the 199.07 million of the previous census in 2007.

The rise was mainly driven by a sharp increase in cross-bred cattle that give high milk quantities and also because of a higher female indigenous cattle population. The number of female cross-bred cattle went up from 33.76 million in the year 2012 to 46.95 million - an increase of 39%. The indigenous female cattle population increased 10% from 89.22 million in 2012 to 98.17 million.

On the other hand, the number of indigenous cattle dropped from 2012 to 2019 while the number of milch animals has increased by 6%. Cross-bred animals have contributed around 28% to India’s total milk production of 188 million tonnes in the year 2018-19, as per estimates. The buffalo population has gone up to 109.85 million from previous 108.7 million.


A senior dairy consultant, R S Khanna said “The latest numbers show why milk production in India has grown at over 6% (annually) since the last few years, despite drought & falling prices, as the number of milk-bearing animals is steadily increasing”.

He said that as the number of cross-bred female cattle increases, the entire concept of lean & flush seasons for milk will head off, as these animals give similar quantities in all seasons. In 2019, the livestock population was 535.78 million, which is up from 512.06 million in 2012, primarily due to increase in goat and sheep population.

The census also shows a sharp rise in backyard poultry. In 2019, Poultry birds were estimated at 851.18 million, up by 17% from 2012. Khanna said, “The sharp increase in backyard poultry is an important change in the rural landscape and can help in alleviating poverty”.

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