Socio-economic Dimensions of Equine-rearing in Himachal Pradesh

Since equines play an important role in the economy of Himachal Pradesh, this study has examined the growth trends in equine population and socio-economic characteristics of equine-rearers. The problems being faced have been identified and some policy recommendations have been made. It has been found that equine population had a compound growth rate of 2.57 per cent per annum during the period 1966-2003 and constituted about 1 per cent of the total livestock population in 2003. Amongst different constituents of equines, viz. horses, ponies, mules and donkeys, mules have shown the maximum rise in number. The contribution of equines has been assessed to be 40 per cent in the gross household income of rearers. A mule pair has been found to be highly profitable for load-carrying activities. Road links to the villages having modern means of transport have been perceived to be the greatest threat to equine-rearing activity, followed by its disliking by younger generations and nonavailability of locally-bred mules. The study has emphasized on increased supply of Chamurthi horses through identification of additional local breeders by adopting systematic breeding policy, particularly in the Pin Valley of Spiti area. Keeping in view the demand for mules, their breeding should be undertaken at both public and at private levels so that local-bred mules become available at affordable prices.

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Agricultural Economics Research Review, Volume 21, Number 2
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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