Livestock is the most important sub-sector of agriculture with national GDP contribution of 10.7 % and 49.5 % to the agriculture value added. Livestock also contributes significantly towards national exports and 8.5 – 9.0 % of total exports belong to this sector. This sector provides raw material for the industry and livestock creates market and capital. It serves as a social security for the rural poor who can cash it at the time of his/her need. Livestock also provides security against crop failure particularly in barani areas. Most importantly, livestock is raised by more than 6.5 million small and landless families in the rural areas constituting their main livelihood source. Thus it is an ideal sector for investment if one would like to address poverty alleviation in the most deserving areas i.e. rural set-up.
Pakistan is endowed with a large livestock population well adapted to the local environmental conditions. Majority of national herd is maintained by small holders. The sector is confronted with many constraints and challenges. The demand for livestock products is increasing due to population growth, urbanization and economic development in the country. The current cumulative growth rate (2000-06) for livestock sector is 3.8 percent, with milk showing 3.0 % growth and meat 2.7 % in 2004-05. The demand for milk and meat is projected to grow by at least 5.0 % for milk and 6.5 % for meat in the coming years. This leaves a tremendous gap in supply and demand situation which can only be addressed by concerted and combined efforts of public and private sectors.