Pakistan livestock sector flourishes: donkey population surges to 5.9 million.

The latest Pakistan Economic Survey (PES) for the fiscal year 2023-24, presented by Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, revealed a notable increase in the population of donkeys, reaching 5.9 million. This rise continues a trend observed over the past several years, with the donkey population steadily increasing from 5.5 million in 2019-2020 to 5.9 million in the current fiscal year.

Alongside the surge in donkey numbers, the survey also highlighted growth in other livestock populations. Cattle populations rose to 57.5 million, buffalo to 46.3 million, sheep to 32.7 million, and goats to 87 million. Conversely, the populations of horses and mules remained stagnant at 0.4 million and 0.2 million, respectively, for the past five years.

The survey noted a significant increase in the camel population, which climbed to 1.2 million this year from 1.1 million in the previous fiscal year, breaking a four-year stagnation.

Animal husbandry plays a crucial role in Pakistan’s rural economy, with over 8 million rural families engaged in livestock production. The sector accounts for 60.84 per cent of the agricultural sector and contributes 14.63 per cent to the GDP. In the fiscal year 2023-24, the livestock sector witnessed a growth rate of 3.89 per cent, up from 3.70 per cent the preceding year.

The survey attributed the rise in livestock productivity to various factors, including the provision of artificial insemination services, the adoption of balanced ration for animal feeding, and improved control of livestock diseases.

Overall, the livestock sector continues to drive agricultural growth in Pakistan, reinforcing its status as a key contributor to the national economy.