In this article we will discuss about the production of livestock products and its contribution to India.

In India, the major livestock product includes milk, meat and eggs. Total production of milk in India has increased from 17.0 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 132.4 million tonnes in 2012-13. India ranks first in world milk production. Success in raising the level of milk production is ascribed to Operation Flood Project, the World’s largest integrated dairy development programme started in 1970 by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).

Over 70,000 Dairy Co-operative Societies have been organised in 170 milk sheds involving about 9.0 million former members by September 1995. Total production of egg in India has increased twenty seven fold since 1950s from 1,832 million in 1950-51 to an estimated 59.800 million in 2009-10.

Out of the total income generated by the livestock resources in India, about 79 per cent is contributed by milk and milk products, 8 per cent by meat and meat products, more than 7 per cent by eggs and poultry and nearly 9 per cent by animal dung and about 2 per cent by animal hides and skins.


In India, income from livestock resources, on an average contributed about 18 to 30 per cent of the gross value of output from agriculture but it contributed more than 50 per cent in all the advanced countries of the world and nearly 75 to 85 per cent in countries like Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Reasons behind this poor contribution of livestock resources in India are not very much economic but are religious and social. Moreover, the fodder resources of the country are not very satisfactory. In India, a considerable proportion of cattle population is aged which neither can work nor can yield milk and thus become burden on the society.

Even then the total milk production of the country (127.9 million litres in 2011-12) is highest in the world, although the country has no big dairy and livestock firms as in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. The per capita availability of milk has gone from 107 gram in 1969 to 258 gram per day in 2008-09.

Thus, sincere efforts are to be taken to develop the disadvantaged areas in milk production through centrally- sponsored schemes on Integrated Dairy Development. In respect of cattle and buffalo development sector, the focus is presently laid in cross breeding with exotic breeds to obtain higher yields of milk in their progenies.


The Centre -has also initiated steps to expand and consolidate the Artificial Insemination Network in the country through application of frontier technologies.

In an attempt of facilitating foreign funding for the development of live stock recently a series of pre- investment studies have been commissioned which could serve as a basis for investment in projects which have the potential to make major improvements to the rural economy.

In 2008-2009, besides 108.5 million tonnes of milk, the livestock sector contributed 55.6 billion eggs, 42.7 million kgs of wool, 3.81 million tonnes of meat and 7.6 million tonnes of fish. Over the years, the contribution of livestock sector to agriculture GDP has increased from 17 per cent to 26.84 per cent.

Livestock sector provides regular employment to 19.0 million people in principal/subsidiary status, which constitutes about 5 per cent of the total workforce of the country.


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 materials by products such as hides and skins, blood, bone, fat etc. for its use in industrial sector and about 29.7 per cent to the value of output from total agricultural and allied activities.

The contribution to livestock and fishery sector to total GDP was 4.07 per cent in 2008-09 at current prices and about 29.7 per cent to the value of output from total agricultural and allied activities.

Moreover, export earnings from livestock and related products rose from Rs 1241 crore in 1993-94 to Rs 4734 crore in 2001-02 showing an average annual growth of about 10.8 per cent. Leather and leather products accounted for as 54 per cent (Rs 2568 crore) and meat and meat products accounted for 37 per cent (Rs 1694 crore) of the total export from the livestock sector of the country during 2003-04. Exports of poultry products were around Rs 372 crore in 2009-10.