In value terms, country produces more dung as compared to beef or pork
A recent one-liner about the achievement of the present Central government goes like this: bovine has become ‘divine’ during NDA’s rule. But why do such jokes originate?
Media reports suggest that unprecedented aggression has taken place during the recent months in the name of the peaceful looking animal – cow. Mob lynching and killings by fringe groups have been reported from various parts of the country, especially targeting Muslims and dalits for slaughtering, carrying, consuming or skinning cow/ cattle, dead or alive. The violence surrounding beef consumption and transportation of cattle across states has reached a new proportion during the last 2-3 years.
In this context, the Inclusive Media for Change team has made an attempt to find the following facts related to India’s livestock economy:
* The latest available data from government’s own National Accounts Statistics 2017 (NAS) show that ‘milk group’ outweighed ‘meat’ in terms of its proportion in total value of livestock output (at constant 2011-12 prices). Although ‘milk group’ constituted over 65 percent of total value of livestock output annually since 2011-12, ‘meat’ constituted around 19 percent of livestock output during the same period. Therefore, one can see that the ‘white revolution’ has overshadowed the ‘pink revolution’, unlike what is made out to be the case sometimes by our politicians. Please check table-1.
Table 1: Output from livestock sector, in crore (at contant 2011-12 prices)
Source: Statement 8.2: Output & value added from livestock sector, National Accounts Statistics 2017, please click here to access
* Between 2011-12 and 2015-16, the proportion of ‘dung’ in total value of livestock output (above 6.0 percent) exceeded that of ‘eggs’ (nearly 3.4 percent), ‘pork’ (less than 1 percent) and ‘beef’ (below 3.0 percent). It is often said by politicians that aged cattle should not be slaughtered since they can be valuable in providing ‘dung’, which can be used as manure or fuel. But NAS data indicates that in value terms plenty of ‘dung’ is already being produced in the economy as compared to ‘beef’ or ‘pork’.
* As per the NAS 2017, ‘beef’ clearly means meat from cow and buffalo in Hindi. One may, therefore, infer that the beef industry is certainly not considered as an illegal economy by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation that produces the NAS. In fact, beef output is taken into consideration for national income accounting. Please click here to read Statement 8.2 of NAS 2017.
* Although ‘poultry meat’ constituted over 8.0 percent of total value of livestock output annually since 2011-12, ‘mutton’ constituted around 6.0-6.8 percent of livestock output during the same period.
* The annual growth rate in real output of 'poultry meat' exceeded that of ‘mutton’ since 2012-13.
Table 2: Gross Value Added by economic activity, in crore (at constant 2011-12 prices)
Source: Statement 1.6: Gross Value Added by economic activity, National Accounts Statistics 2017, please click here to access
* The table-2 shows that the annual growth rate in real GVA pertaining to the livestock sector increased from 5.2 percent in 2012-13 to 7.4 percent in 2014-15, but fell to 6.5 percent in 2015-16.
* The same table shows that the annual growth rate in real GVA at basic prices for the entire economy increased steadily from 5.4 percent in 2012-13 to reach 7.9 percent in 2015-16.
* The proportion of GVA originating from livestock sector in the total GVA stayed at roughly 4.0 percent between 2011-12 and 2015-16. It means that the economic worth of the livestock sector in the total economy has remained almost the same during the said period. Please check table-2.
It must be noted that GVA is the difference between GDP and net indirect taxes. In order to know more about the concept of GVA, please click here.
National Accounts Statistics 2017, please click here to access
Statement 1.6: Gross Value Added by economic activity, National Accounts Statistics 2017, please click here to access
Statement 8.2: Output & value added from livestock sector, National Accounts Statistics 2017, please click here to access
Do not support cow vigilantism, states must act: Modi govt tells Supreme Court -Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times, 21 July, 2017, please click here to read more
Economics, not religion, drives ownership of cattle in India -Roshan Kishore and Ishan Anand, Livemint.com, 11 July, 2017, please click here to read more
India's Livestock Markets Have Historically Been Marked By Mobility and Cross-Country Transactions -Himanshu Upadhyaya, TheWire.in, 4 July, 2017, please click here to read more
Has India become "Lynchistan"? -Rupa Subramanya, Observer Research Foundation, 1 July, 2017, please click here to read more
Image Courtesy: Inclusive Media for Change/ Shambhu Ghatak