League for Pastoral Peoples Report 2020 | UPSC

League for Pastoral Peoples Report 2020 | UPSC


How many Indians are pastoralists? No official data, but report says 13 mln

      WHY IN NEWS:

A figure of 35 million is often quoted, but without a source, claims report

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Agriculture : Report


For PRELIMS grab the definitions and go through this report twice . It is an important report .

For MAINS note down the solutions and conclusion part . Do you think a census is needed for pastoralists in India ?


There is no official data on the number of pastoralists in India, although a figure of 35 million is often quoted, but without a source.


League for pastoral peoples and endogenous livestock development ReportAccounting for pastoralists in India.

League for Pastoral Peoples Report 2020 | UPSC


League for pastoral peoples , Rainfed Livestock Network, LIFE Network.


  • LPP defines pastoralism as the “dependence on common pool resources, mobility, primary income from livestock, existence of traditional knowledge systems and association with specific breeds.

Pastoral peoples” are defined as people who depend for their living primarily on livestock and usually do not own land, but depend on access to “common property resources” for grazing.

  • They inhabit those parts of the world where the potential for crop cultivation is limited due to lack of rainfall, steep terrain or extreme temperatures.



  • Estimates of the number of pastoralists in India vary widely, but they probably total around 13 million people.
  • Official data on livestock do not reflect the management system used.

Extensive livestock systems produce an estimated 53% of Indias milk and 74% of its meat.

  • Around 77% of the countrys livestock are kept in extensive systems.
  • Both farmers and pastoralists rely on common-pool resources to maintain their animals.
  • Species maintained in mobile systems include camels, cattle, ducks, donkeys, goats, pigs, sheep and yaks.
  • Many pastoralists are members of traditional castes, but other groups, known as “non-traditional pastoralists”, are also taking up mobile herding.
  • The animals’ manure is a vital source of fertilizer for crop farmers.

For many pastoralists manure is their main source of income.


  • Pastoralism is not an official category in India. No official definition exists.

Officials are aware of its existence but do not recognise it as a distinct management system.

  • A wide range of pastoralist systems exist, from fully mobile to transhumant and sedentary.
  • According to the National Sample Survey, only one per cent of the land owned by farmers is used for livestock.
  • There has been some focus on pastoralists, especially within the purview of the Schedule Tribe .
  • Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) seen in the recent years.
  • Section 3 of the Act specifies community forest rights of uses such as fishing, grazing (both settled or transhumant) and resource access to pastoralist communities.

League for Pastoral Peoples Report 2020


  • Instead of amassing animals in huge factories, we need to decentralise livestock so that they can make use of local resources.
  • This including crop waste products and the scattered vegetation in marginal areas, such as deserts and mountainous zones.
  • This approach hinges on the commitment, knowledge and expertise of livestock keepers.

For a sustainable future of the planet, we need to acknowledge and reward the role of such livestock keepers in the conservation of biological diversity.

  • Livestock keepers contributing to food security and providing healthy food.
  • We must provide them with secure access to grazing areas and with services, market opportunities as well as access to appropriate education.



  • The League for Pastoral Peoples was founded in 1992.

Its primary aim was to provide relief in an acute crisis experienced by Raika camel pastoralists in India.

  • Its initial mandate was to support pastoral societies.
  • It supports other small-scale livestock keepers to pursue their own vision of development through research, technical support, advisory services and advocacy.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Pastoralists are important for food production, ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, maintenance of landscapes.
  • They practice a sustainable, low carbon, animal welfare friendly way of livestock production. 

If we want to put the livestock sector on a sustainable trajectory, we need to support these kinds of systems and reign in others that are less beneficial.

     SOURCES:DOWNTOEARTH | League for Pastoral Peoples Report 2020 | UPSC



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