Cattle and Buffalo population reduced: Census
The Census and Statistics Department in its 2013/2014 census has found that the cattle and buffalo population had decreased by 7.2% and 21.8% respectively when compared with a similar census in 2002. This has cast doubts on the government’s efforts to make Sri Lanka selfsufficient in fresh milk by 2020 and reduce the import of milk powder.
Census and Statistics Department Director General Dr. A.J. Satarasinghe said the first ever Agricultural and Economic Census conducted in 2013/14 had also revealed that Sri Lanka had an agricultural farmer population of 4,291,395.
It is an increase of 33.4% when compared with the 2002 census while the cultivated land extent totals 5,449,525 acres or 2,205,392 hectares -- an increase of 13.6%. The main economic crops, such as Tea and Rubber are being cultivated on 539,009 acres and 298,654 acres respectively showing an increase of 1.8% and 3.8% respectively.
The extent of land under coconut cultivation totals 438,028 acres
The reduction in the cattle and buffalo population may negate Govt. efforts at making Sri Lanka self-suffecient in fresh milk
or 177,268 hectares and the total number of trees including king coconut under scattered cultivation stands at 42,013.773.
“The census has been done in four stages under Agricultural enumeration. In the first stage estates were listed in July 2013 and a summary report was published. In the other three stages known data collection of large scale agricultural holdings or estates, the listing and data collection of small scale agricultural holdings were conducted and the summary report has been prepared,” Dr. Satarasinghe said. He said the report provides information on several agricultural holdings, number of operators, number of home gardens, crop cultivation, total land extent and livestock and poultry population at national and district levels.
Agriculture, industry and trade and services were covered under the economic census.