Recently the livestock sector has emerged as a priority sector. Livestock has been subsistence sector dominated by smallholders to meet their needs of milk, food, and cash income on a daily basis. In the rural areas, livestock is considered as a more secure source of income for the small farmers and landless poor’s. It has become an important source of employment generation in rural areas. The poverty incidence in Pakistan is determined by income variability and thus livestock is the best hope for poverty reduction as it can uplift the socio-economic conditions of our rural masses.
The agriculture sector provides a livelihood for two-thirds of the country’s population, contributes 19.8 percent to GDP, 60 percent to exports, and 42.3 percent to the labor force. Most of its contribution comes from crops and livestock in almost equal proportions. Livestock and fisheries contribute 58.6 percent of the agriculture value-added and 11.6 percent to the national GDP. Historically, it has been a subsistence sector dominated by small and landless farmers to meet their needs for food, draft animals, and some cash income. Nearly 8 million families involved in livestock raising driving more than 35 percent income from livestock production activities (Economic survey of Pakistan 2015-16).
The challenges in the 21st century will be doubling the output of several crops, livestock, and fisheries production exclusively through productivity enhancement. It has been planned to apply biotechnology in the livestock sector for genetic improvement of animals in terms of milk & meat production, disease resistance, detection and prevention, vaccine and drug production, etc.