Bovine Population in India

IAS Prelims 2023

The Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh launched e-pashuhaat portal ( on the occasion of National Milk Day.

For the first time in the world under the scheme National Mission on Bovine Productivity ‘e-pashuhaat’ portal has been developed for connecting breeders and farmers regarding availability of bovine germplasm.

Through the portal breeders/farmers can sell and purchase breeding stock, information on all forms of germplasm including semen, embryos and live animals with all the agencies and stake holders in the country has been uploaded on the portal.

Through this portal, farmers will be aware about the availability of quality disease free bovine germplasm with different agencies in the country. The portal will lead to propagation of high genetic merit germplasm.

Important Facts:

• India has the largest bovine population in the world. At 199m cattle it has 14% of the world cattle population and with 105m buffaloes it has 53% of the world buffalo population of which 79% of the cattle are Indigenous and 21% are Exotic and Crossbred varieties.

• 80% of the Indigenous cattle are Non-descript and 20% belong to 37 breeds recognised by National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources.(NBAGR) with 13 breeds of Water buffaloes.

• The Indigenous bovine breeds are sturdy, endowed with the quality of heat tolerance, resistance to diseases and ticks with the ability to thrive under extreme climatic conditions and survive with low inputs. However, most of the indigenous have low genetic potential for milk production and are suited for draught animal power. But, some breeds have potential to be highly productive under optimal nutrition and farm management conditions alongwith selective genetic breeding.

Current Scenario in India

• The bovine population in India is owned by 60m marginal, small and medium farmer households with an average herd size of 2-3 milch animals.

• The figures of high milk production are reflective of the large numbers of bovine population rather than that of high productivity and resource efficiency.

• Dairying activity is a major supplementary source of income for these farmers. However, the Indian Farm Management System is typically a Low Input, Low Output system with low productivity.

• The Prime Minister’s vision for doubling the farmers incomes by 2022, makes the adoption of the strategy to enhance the share of income from animal rearing imperative.

Shortcomings in Animals Trade Market

• No authentic organized market

• Difficult to get quality- disease free high genetic merit germplasm.

• Misleading valuation due to lack of traceability and tracking.

• Other malpractices include Horns removed & Teeth filed to mislead for their age.

e-pashuhaat – Web Portal: Aims and Objectives:

• E-Trading Market portal for livestock germplasm and additional related services.

• Will connect farmers with breeders – Central, State, Co-operative, Milk Federations, and private agencies.

• Real time authentic certified information on availability of germplasm.

Details of the Portal: Exclusive site for farmers as Farmers platform:

• The Farmers platform on the main menu of the website will provide

• 3 options in Germplasm marketplace for Animals, Frozen Semen and Embryos

• List of suppliers

• It will establish links between “farmer to farmer” and “farmer to Institutes”.

Targeted Outcomes For Farmers :

• One stop portal for bovine breeders, sellers and buyers.

• Creating and Comparative Farm Network

• Making Farmers exchange local knowledge and resources

• Availability of disease free germplasm with known genetic merit.

• Minimizes the involvement of middlemen.

• Increase in farmers’ incomes.

Targeted Outcomes For Government: Central/States/UT

• Programme oversight in real-time with greater transparency

• Zero cost for States for Transportal creation

• Demand and supply position of various items

• Monitoring and evaluation reports generation

• Sire Directory /Annual Report generation

• Repository and aggregator of both public and private sector services

• Evidence based Policy support information for decisions.

– Forecasting and Targeting Production Plan for Nation

– Targeted Genetic Development

– Assessing need for Infrastructure and Education

• Global recognition for using data mining and analytics

• Capacity building at all levels.