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An Assessment of Livestock Production Potential in Pakistan: Implications for Livestock Sector Policy


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  • Muzaffar Iqbal

    (Animal Sciences Division, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.)

  • Munir Ahmad

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)


About two third of the farming community in Pakistan consists of small farmers who are characterised by small land holdings (less than 5 hectares) and by several factors that influence their productive potential and income generating capacity [Pakistan (1998)]. Livestock farming is an integral part of rural smallholders and has a vast untapped potential for productivity increase and income generation. Livestock holdings by the small farmers constitute a significant portion of the farm incomes. Small farmers and landless livestock producers derive around 10–25 percent of their incomes from this sub-sector.1 There have been and, largely, still are two primary purposes of raising livestock: (1) to meet the dietary needs of the rural and urban populace for milk and meat consumption; and (2) to fullfil the work performance requirements of the farm. Large ruminants receive more attention because of their capacity to perform both of the above functions. About 50 percent of the red meat supply in the country comes from large ruminants, yet beef production is not considered a separate specialised production activity. Rather it is treated as a by-product from animals kept for dairying and draught purposes. Most breeds of the large ruminants in Pakistan are famous for either milk production or draught power with hardly any beef breed. Therefore, the entire livestock production system revolves around milk production activity. Livestock raising is closely integrated with crop production system partly because fodder production is a part of the crop rotation cycle and also because crop by-products and wastes are utilised by the livestock sector. In other words, all ruminant production systems depend heavily on crop residues, fodder grown on the farm and/or rangelands, wastelands and fallow lands.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 38 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 615-628

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:38:y:1999:i:4:p:615-628

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Cited by:
  1. Cain, Philip & Anwar, Muhammad & Rowlinson, Peter, 2007. "Assessing the critical factors affecting the viability of small-scale dairy farms in the Punjab region of Pakistan to inform agricultural extension programmes," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 320-330, May.


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