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Saturday June 22, 2024

Population of donkeys rises from 5.7m to 5.8m in 2023

By Jamila Achakzai
June 09, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The population of donkeys in Pakistan has gone up by 0.1 million in the outgoing fiscal amid a steady increase since 2020-21, reveals the Economic Survey of Pakistan (ESP) released on Thursday.

The survey is an annual document of the Finance Ministry outlining the federal government’s performance in the outgoing financial year.

According to it, the number of domestic asses in the country went up from 5.6 million in 2020-21 to 5.7 million in 2021-22 and 5.8 in 2022-23. However, the mule population remained the same (0.2 million) in the last three fiscals. Pakistan exports donkeys mostly to China, where their hides are in demand for gelatin, which is used in traditional medicines. In 2015, the federal cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), the highest economic decision-making body in the country, placed a temporary ban on the export of donkey hides fearing a decline in stock, but the ban was later lifted. The ESP also reported a steady increase in the number of other animals, including buffaloes, horses, goats, sheep and camels, in the country between 2020-21 and 2022-23. According to it, the buffalo population went up from 42.4 million to 45 million, sheep’s from 31.6 million to 32.3 million and goat’s from 80.3 million from 84.7 million, but there was no change in the number of camels (1.1 million) and that of horses (0.4 million).

The document showed that the livestock sector accounted for 62.68 percent of the agricultural value addition and 14.36 percent of the national GDP during the outgoing fiscal. “Animal husbandry is a critical economic activity for Pakistani villagers with over eight million rural families engaged in livestock production and deriving 35-40 per cent of their income from this sector,” it said. The ESP also revealed that the gross value addition of livestock had increased from Rs5.39 trillion in 2022 to Rs5.59 trillion in 2023 indicating a growth of 3.8 per cent, while the net foreign exchange earnings of the livestock sector contributed around 2.1 percent of the country’s total exports.