Cat­tle and Buf­falo pop­u­la­tion re­duced: Cen­sus

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - BY SANDUN A JAYASEKERA

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.

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