Agriculture is an economic symbiosis of crop and milk production. Historically, the role of livestock has been complementary to crop production. The Indian livestock sector accountsfor a large share of the livestock resources in the global market. India boasts of having one of the largest livestock populations in the world.
Dairying and agriculture are bound together bya set of mutual input-output relationships. Over the last four decades there has been rapidgrowth in livestock production and a rapid change in how animal products are produced,processed, consumed and marketed.Livestock and livestock products are an important sourceof food, nutrition and livelihood security in Asia and the Pacific where production of animal-based foods has grown dramatically over the past two decades. The greatest increase in theproduction and consumption of animal-origin foods, as a result of rising incomes and dietarydiversification away from staple cereals, has taken place in East and Southeast Asia, inparticular China. Meat production in
grew more than six-fold to over 88 milliontonnes from 1980 to 2007, while milk and egg production increased over twelve-fold andtenfold, respectively, to 37 and 30 million tonnes over this period. Meat and egg productionin
in 2007 was about 2.5 and 4.5 times the 1980 level while milk production trebled.Animal-origin foods are an important source of high quality protein and micronutrientscompared to cereals and plant-based foods
.These include vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin,calcium, iron and zinc which are vital for nutritional security. A deficiency of these nutrientsin the diet leads to health problems, including increased risk of infectious disease morbidityand mortality, particularly in infants and children
. Meat, milk and egg consumption hasgrown rapidly in East and Southeast Asia over the past 20 years. Between 1980 and 2005,daily per capita meat, milk and egg consumption in China grew over four-fold, ten-fold andeight-fold to 59.5, 23.2 and 20.2 kg/capita/year respectively. According to FAO projections,meat consumption in Asia and the Pacific will nearly double to 51kg/capita/year by the year 2050 compared to the turn of the century.Growth in livestock production in both developedand developing countries has been led by poultry. From the 1990s to 2005, consumption of poultry meat in developing countries increased by 35 million tonnes – almost double theincrease that occurred in developed countries. The increase in poultry meat consumption hasbeen most evident in East and Southeast Asia and in Latin America, particularly in China andBrazil. The share of the world’s poultry meat consumed in developing countries rose from 43to 54 percent between 1990 and 2005, which accounted for 36 percent of the large netincrease in meat consumption in developing countries over this period. Further, the
The State of Food and Agriculture 2009