ISLAMABAD: The Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the livelihoods of farmers and other players along the entire value chain of the livestock commodities as they are facing challenges in repaying their outstanding loans.

At the same time, the lockdown not only struck the domestic demand for livestock commodities but has also generated supply and demand issues for exports, according to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2019-20.

More than eight million rural families are engaged in livestock production and deriving more than 35-40 per cent of their income from this sector. Over the years, livestock as subsector has surpassed crops as the biggest contributor to value addition in agriculture.

Presently it contributes 60.6pc to the overall agriculture and 11.7pc to gross domestic product during 2019-20. Gross value addition of livestock has increased from Rs1,430 billion in 2018-19 to Rs1,466bn in 2019-20, showing an increase of 2.5pc over the same period of last year.

According to official statistics, the national herd population of livestock is increasing over the past three years. The number of cattle estimated at 49.6m in 2019-20. Likewise, buffalo population was 41.2m; sheep 31.2m; goat 78.2m; camels 1.1m; horses 0.4m; asses 5.5m; and mules 0.2m.

The gross production of milk during 2019-20 was 61,690,000 tonnes, whereas milk for human consumption was estimated to be 49,737,000 tonnes. The consumption of camel milk is increasing, and its milk production was 920,000 tonnes during this period.

The meat production is also on the increase, and during 2019-20, meat production was estimated to be 4,708,000 tonnes, and buffalo 29,805,000 tonnes. Poultry meat was estimated to 1657,000 tonnes during 2019-20.

The Animal Quarantine Department provided quarantine services and issued 36,853 certificates for export of live animals, mutton, beef, eggs, and other livestock products having a value of $337.162 million during 2019-20.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2020

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