Agriculture growth of 3.63 percent during FY 2016

Agriculture
accounted for 19.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015-16 it
remains the largest employer absorbing 42.3 percent of the country’s total
labor force. The agriculture sector is a source of livelihood of 43.5 percent
of rural population (Economic survey of
Pakistan 2015-16). Livestock is an important sector of agriculture. Its
role is pivotal towards rural socio economic development. Nearly 8 million
families involved in livestock raising deriving more than 35 percent income
from livestock production activities. (Economic
survey of Pakistan 2015-16).The
Livestock sector having contribution of 58.6 percent in the agriculture 11.6
percent to the overall GDP during 2015-16 recorded a positive growth of 3.63
percent during FY 2016 compared to 3.99 percent growth during the same period
last year. Livestock
sector (which is less volatile) does not get the due attention of policy makers
in Pakistan. It is important to note that livestock has the largest share (58
percent) in agriculture sector as compared to crops (37 percent).It also plays an
important role in the rural economy as supplementing family incomes and
generating gainful employment in the rural population, particularly among the
landless labors, small and marginal farmers and women. Livestock consists of cattle, buffalos,
sheep, goat, camel, horses, asses, mules and poultry and their
products. The production of livestock products, milk, poultry products and
other livestock items increased at the rate of 2.95 percent,
3.25 percent, 7.49 percent and 1.28 percent, respectively(Economic survey 2014-15). Gross value
addition

Of livestock at
constant cost factor of 2005-06 has increased from Rs. 1247 billion (2014-15)
to Rs. 1292 billion (2015-16), showing an increase of 3.63 percent over the
same period last year. (Economic survey
of Pakistan & livestock sector
2015-16) The livestock population for the last four years is

Table 1.1: Livestock population
from 2012-13 to 2015-16                              

Species

Livestock
population (Millions No.)

Year

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

Cattle

38.3

39.7

41.2

42.8

Buffalo

33.7

34.6

35.6

36.6

Sheep

28.8

29.1

29.4

29.8

Goat

64.9

66.6

68.4

70.3

Camels

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

Horses

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

Asses

4.8

4.8

5.0

5.1

Mules

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

(Economic
survey of Pakistan 2015-16)

Livestock rearing at small scale is largely a woman’s job.
Especially livestock management has always been considered to be the sole
responsibility of women. For the peasant women, the farm manure is important as
a source of fuel and as a source to augment the family income. Around 25 to 30
per cent of rural women are engaged in income and expenditure decisions of the
household. Livestock rearing at small scale is largely
a woman’s job such as purchase of animals and sale of
livestock products (meat and milk). Dairying was
originally developed as a women industry (Chavangi
and Hanssen, 1983)

Women aged between 25
and 55 years spend almost 30 percent of their total labor effort in
agricultural self-employment on livestock maintenance, compared to 20 % by men
(8, 18). It has been estimated (4) that rural women spend more time on caring
livestock, after performing domestic responsibilities. In dairy production the
women account for 93 percent of total employment by performing the tasks like
fodder cutting, collecting and processing dung (30).In
Nepal, goat raising projects have proved successful in income generating
activities for poor rural women. Women devote 55% of their time to household
works and 25-30% to livestock production (Kaztuwal,
1991).Most of rural people own livestock which provides a higher
share of household income to poor and landless families especially for women (Miller, 2001).

Women empowerment in
livestock is a global perspective, women sweeps more share of livestock
employment than men. Eventually, in the developing country this share is on
much more higher side. In general women involved in livestock are poor in
decision-making (GEP, 2007)