Missing 62 Million Cows, Buffaloes, Sheep & Goats in India

FAOSTAT Data vs DAHD Animal Census 2012

Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries has been painstakingly conducting Animal Census once in every 5 Years and has recently published an updated report titled: 19th Livestock Census – 2012, All India Report, released this June / July 2014. (http://www.dahd.nic.in/dahd/statistics/livestock-census/19th-indian-livestock-census.aspx)


FAOSTAT – the statistics division of Food and Agriculture Organization, also provides time-series and cross sectional data relating to food and agriculture including Livestock and Fisheries for some 200 countries. (http://faostat.fao.org/site/291/default.aspx)


Both these organizations have stellar reputations and are experts in their respective fields. Our intentions are not to cast any aspersions or doubts on the massive and highly commendable work being done by both these organizations.


However, we wish to point out a cumulative difference of ~ 62 Million Animals in Livestock Population Figures (Only Cows, Buffaloes, Sheep & Goats) being reported by these 2 organizations, as explained in the following graph:


FAO reported Livestock Numbers (Cattle, Buffaloes, Sheep & Goats) exceed the corresponding numbers reported by 19th Livestock Census – 2012, All India Report, DAHD, by around 62 millions cumulatively for cattle, buffaloes, sheep & goats.


Surprisingly this difference in reported numbers pertains only to Year 2012 as the numbers for last Livestock Census in 2007, are almost matching for both FAOSTAT as well as DAHD.


Implications for Marketers


  • If the actual numbers are indeed higher by 62 million as being reported by FAOSTAT (~22 Million Cattle, ~ 6 Million Buffaloes, ~25 Million Goats and ~10 million Sheep) – this means an additional, large target animal population to benefit from

  • If DAHD, 19th Livestock Census 2012 – All India Report, numbers are correct, this still represents around 500 Million cattle, buffaloes, sheep & goats, a huge market opportunity by any standards

  • And lastly if the truth is somewhere “in-between”: this could only mean time for increased “feet on street” to service the large Livestock Population


We will keep dissecting the 19th Livestock Census report to bring in newer ideas and insights into a potentially large, Livestock Opportunity in India

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