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An Economic Analysis on Factors Influencing the Family Income of Livestock Farmers: A North-Eastern Karnataka Study

Yasmeen Suresh S. Patil Jagjiwan Ram G. M. Hiremath and B. G. Koppalkar
Vol 10(3), 90-98

Livestock is an integral part of farming in the agricultural scenario of the country as well as the state. Since ancient times, cattle and buffaloes are maintained to meet the daily requirements of milk, draught power, field operation and for valuable organic manure. Sheep, goats, poultry and pigs are used to extract the meat, which is the major source of animal protein in the country. Multiple regression function was fitted and regression coefficients of various factors influencing the total family income of livestock farmers were identified. Among different explanatory variables, per cent share of dairy income to total income (326.09), per cent area under irrigation (473.26) and number of milch animals (17027.92) were significantly influencing the total income of the livestock farmers. Whereas, total dairy expenditure was negatively significant. Livestock provides major source of income to the landless labourers, marginal and small farmers to sustain their family income in the area of study.

Keywords : Family Income Livestock Based Income Multiple Regression Function North-Eastern Karnataka Off-Farm Enterprise

Livestock was revealed with multi-faceted contribution to socio-economic development of rural masses. Due to the inelastic absorptive capacity for labour in other economic sectors, livestock sector has greater scope for generating more employment opportunities, especially for the marginal and small farmers and landless labourers who own around 70 per cent of the country’s livestock. On the other hand, livestock wealth was more equitably distributed than that of land (Anjani Kumar and Singh, 2011). Being an important source of income and employment, the livestock also helps in alleviating poverty and smoothening of income distribution (Birthal et al., 2012).

Globally, the livestock wealth comprises of 298.2 million of buffaloes, 995.7 million of cattle, 1520.6 million of goats, 2605.2 million of sheep, 128.5 million of horses, 108.5 million of donkeys and 93.9 million of camels (FAOSTAT, 2016). The distribution of livestock population across the globe showed that ruminants, cattle and sheep dominated in Asia, Africa and Oceania, while the proportion of cattle, sheep and goat population was almost same in Europe (Prakash et al., 2012). India supports approximately 22 per cent of world’s human and 16 per cent of livestock population on 2.9 per cent of its geographical area where livestock has emerged as a driving force in the growth of agricultural sector. Further, this sector accounts for a GDP of 2681 billion contributing 4.87 per cent to the total GDP and 21.84 per cent to the agricultural GDP (CSO, 2017). However, the growth rate of total GDP during 2015-16 was 2.1 per cent and 3.9 per cent in terms of value of output for livestock sector.

According to the 19th livestock census (2012), the livestock population in Karnataka was 9.51 million of cattle, 3.47 million of buffaloes, 9.58 million of sheep, 4.79 million of goats, 1.21 million of pigs and 32 million of poultry respectively. The dominant species of livestock in the state includes buffalo, cattle, goat, sheep and poultry (GOK, 2017). The state ranks 17th in total livestock population and 14th in poultry population in India. Besides, it accounts for roughly 2.89 per cent of total livestock population and 3.51 per cent of poultry population in the country (GOI, 2017). In North-eastern Karnataka (NEK) region, the population of total livestock increased from 4.89 million in 1982 to 6.59 million in 2012. Among livestock, cattle population was2.01 million, 0.79 million of buffaloes, 2.23 million of sheep and 1.56 million of goats, respectively (livestock census, 2012). In the NEK region ownership of the livestock was unevenly distributed and considerable regional diversity was observed in livestock productivity as well as in stocking rates of species. In this region, livestock rearing has all along been an indispensable, complementary activity to agriculture.

Livestock provides major source of income to the landless labourers, marginal and small farmers to sustain their family income (Balishter and Singh, 2003). It constantly generates income and employment throughout the year for majority of the farmers. The extent of dependency on livestock is more in landless labourers and marginal farmers (Jabir, 2007). Therefore, the research study was focused to assess the factors influencing family income of livestock farmers in North-Eastern Karnataka region.

Material and Method

The present investigation was carried out during 2017, wherein the multistage random sampling technique was adopted for the selection of sample farmers. In the first stage, three districts namely Kalaburagi, Bidar and Raichur were selected based on the highest number of livestock population (cattle, buffalo, sheep and goat). In the second stage, two talukas from each district were selected based on potentiality and highest number of cattle, buffalo, sheep and goat population. In the third stage, four villages from each selected taluk i.e. a total of twenty four sample villages were randomly selected from the six talukas and in turn ten sample respondents from each village were selected, which constituted 240 sample respondents for the study as a whole. The data was collected using pre-structured and pre- tested schedules. The data pertains to pattern of livestock holding across different category of farmers and availability of livestock resources such as feed, fodder, labour, veterinary care, composition of livestock and inputs used for livestock etc.

Statistical Method

The multiple linear regression function was chosen because it has high R2 value than other forms of the function, and it was best fit to the data. To assess the relationship between total incomes of the household farmers and selected explanatory variables, the multiple linear regression function of the form-


was employed to analyse the data of the sample farmers. Where,

Y = Total income of the farmer household X1= Size of land holdings

X2= Total cost of cultivation

X3= per cent share of dairy income to total income X4= per cent area under irrigation

X5= per cent share of commercial crop income to total crop income X6= No. of people employed in off-farm activities

X7= Total dairy expenditure X8= Number of milch animals a= intercept

bi= the regression coefficients

Results and Discussion

Livestock Income

The gross returns from livestock is shown in Table 1. The farmers produced crossbred and local cow milk with an average quantity of 10882 and 3312 litres per annum, respectively. Whereas, the crossbred and local buffalo milk was produced with an average quantity of 7922 and 1840 litres per annum respectively. The farmers sold 9675 litres of crossbred cow milk and 3030 litres of local cow milk. Further, they sold 6852 litres and 1490 litres of crossbred and local buffalo milk per annum respectively. Farmers consumed an average of 1207 litres of crossbred and 282 litres of local cow milk followed by 1070 litres of crossbred and 350 litres of local buffalo milk respectively. Marketed surplus for crossbred and local cow milk were 88 and 90 per cent respectively. Further the marketed surplus for crossbred and local buffalo milk was 84 and 80 percent respectively. The share of gross returns from milk was higher when compared to other livestock products across all categories of farmers.


Table 1: Gross income derived from livestock (Per farm) (Value in Rs)

Categories Produced Sale Marketed surplus (%)
Cow milk Buffalo milk Cow milk Buffalo milk Young stock Sheep Goats Cow milk Buffalo milk
CB local CB local CB local CB local Cow Buffalo CB local CB local
Qty. (lit) Qty. (lit) Qty. (lit) Qty. (lit) Qty. (lit) Value Qty. (lit) Value Qty. (lit) Value Qty. (lit) Value Value Value Value Value
Landless 9166 1600 5150 1100 8800 95500 1450 14420 4010 42050 950 9080 460 350 25000 21000 95 90 77 86
Marginal 10880 2650 7900 1450 8100 99800 2050 24060 6500 66300 1010 12050 520 410 35500 32000 74 77 82 69
Small 11352 3800 8500 2010 10500 120600 3700 35000 7400 75850 1500 18560 600 490 42500 38000 92 97 87 74
Large 12130 5200 10140 2800 11300 157000 4920 52650 9500 99890 2500 24000 800 540 59300 48000 93 94 93 89
Total 10882 3312 7922 1840 9675 114975 3030 31532 6852 71022 1490 15922 595 447 40575 34750 88 90 84 80
No. of farmers 179 125 76 46 179 125 76 46 62 33 80 110
Per cent of farmers 74.58 52.08 31.66 19.16 74.58 58.08   31.66 19.16 25.83 13.75 33.33 45.83

Qty. : indicate quantity ; lit : litres ; CB: Crossbred



Large farmers received annually Rs.1,57,000 from crossbred and Rs.52,650 from local cow milk, while it was Rs.1,20,600 and Rs.35,000 for small farmers respectively. With respect to marginal farmers and landless labourers it was Rs.99,800 and Rs.95,500 from crossbred while Rs.24,060 and Rs.14,420 from local cow milk respectively. Regarding sale of buffalo milk by the framers, it was the highest for large farmers who received annually Rs.99,890 from crossbred and Rs.24,000 from local buffalo respectively, while it was Rs.75,850 and Rs.18,560 respectively for small farmers. With respect to marginal farmers and landless labourers, they received Rs.66,300 and Rs.42,050 from crossbred and Rs.12,050 and Rs.9,080 from local cow milk respectively. Among small ruminants, income from sheep and goat was Rs.40,575 and Rs.34,750 respectively. The gross return was highest in crossbred cow milk; hence all farmers reared the crossbred cows for milk purpose and the farmers mainly depend on dairy in order to sustain their family income. But the income produced from crossbred cow milk was higher than buffalo milk, due to the higher milk yield in crossbred cows (15-20 litres per day) as compared to buffaloes (5-7 litres per day). The similar findings were reported by Reddy et al. (2005) and Pandey and Kumar (2000).

Off-Farm Income

Information on income received from off-farm source is given in Table 2. The table indicated that 36 (15.00%) males and 29 (12.08%) females were earning average annual income of Rs.1,98,000 and Rs.1,21,800 respectively from off-farm source. The off-farm sources were teaching, petty shop, carpentry, construction activity, wine shop etc.

Table 2: Income from off-farm enterprise activities per annum of the sample farmers                

S. No. Gender No. of farmers Average Income (Rs.)
1 Male (No.) 36 (15.00) 1,98,000
2 Female (No.) 29 (12.08) 1,21,800
3 Total sample farm families 240  

Figures in parentheses indicate percentage to the total farmers

Income from Wages

The income earned by landless and marginal farmers from the wages is shown in Table 3. The income earned by men was highest compared to women. Whereas, 12 men in all landless labour category were earning average wage income of Rs.46,850 per annum and it was Rs.35,500 for marginal farmers, respectively. In the case of women, it was the highest for landless labourers i.e., Rs.34,280 followed by marginal farmers with Rs.12,500, respectively per annum.

Among landless and marginal farmers, the men earned more income per year from wages than to small farmers, it was due to number of man days were more in landless and marginal farmers. In case of women, the landless labourers earned more income than marginal farmers. Thus, the women in these families worked as labourers along with maintaining livestock animals. But, people with zero initial capital, land, talents and opportunities in off-farm income have to earn money through hiring out of their manual labour. These findings were in line with the findings of Rao and Sambashiva (2005).

Table 3: Income from wages of the sample farmers

Gender Particulars Landless (n1=48) Marginal (n2=55) Total
Men No. of men 12 7 19
Families (No.) 11 (22.91) 5 (9.09) 16 (6.66)
Av. Income Rs. /year 46,850 35,500 41,175
Women No. of women 10 3 13
Families (No.) 8 (16.66) 2 (3.63) 10 (4.16)
Av. Income Rs. /year 34,280 12,500 23,390

Figures in parentheses indicate percentage to the total farmers; Wage rate for men= Rs.300/day; Wage rate for women=Rs.250/day

Composition of Annual Net Income from Different Enterprises of Farm Family

The total income from dairy enterprise was earned by large and small farmers with relatively higher than landless labourers and marginal farmers, which might be due to the large and small farmers had maintained more number of crossbred cows than landless labourers and marginal farmers. Further, farmers received an average income of Rs. 2,05,300 from dairy, which indicated that all farmers were dependent on livestock to sustain their family income and provided a substantial contribution to the family earnings.

Table 4: Net income realized from different enterprises of the sample farmers (per year per farm) (n=240)

S. No. Enterprise Landless (n1=48) Marginal (n2=55) Small (n3=60) Large (n4=77) Pooled
No. of farmers Income (Rs.) No. of farmers Income (Rs.) No. of farmers Income (Rs.) No. of farmers Income (Rs.) No. of farmers Income (Rs.)
1 Wages 22 (25.00) 48,400 10 (12.72) 28,000 0 0 0 0 32 (13.33) 35,500
2 Off farm 10 (20.84) 19,250 11 (20.00) 21,540 13 (21.67) 23,500 31 (40.26) 45,800 65 (27.08) 29,680
3 Dairy 26 (54.16) 1,75,500 20 (36.36) 1,95,500 23 (38.33) 2,26,300 24 (31.16) 2,59,500 93 (38.75) 2,05,300
4 Other livestock 36


15,000 25 (45.45) 21,000 32 (53.33) 32,500 30 (38.96) 40,800 123 (51.25) 25,325
5 Crops 0 0 19 (34.55) 35,315 29 (48.33) 80,600 36 (46.75) 1,12,500 84 (35.00) 68,650
6 Total income 2,58,150 3,01,355 3,62,900 4,58,600 3,45,700

Figures in parentheses indicate percentage to the total farmers

However, off-farm activities and crops contributed higher income to the sample farmers in the study area, but prices of these enterprises had widely fluctuated and lack of guarantee in receiving same income throughout the year. While, the price of milk does not fluctuate and thus, farmers received relatively stable and regular income from the dairy. On the other hand, the off-farm activity was contributed highest income to 31 (40.26%) large farmers, in which they earned Rs. 45,800 per annum from teaching profession, etc. The findings of the present study are in conformity with the findings of Jabir (2007) and Ghulam et al. (2009).

Family Income Function

Multiple regression function was fitted and the regression coefficients of various factors influencing total family income of livestock farmers are presented in Table 5. Among different explanatory variables, per cent share of dairy income to total income (326.09), per cent area under irrigation (473.26), total dairy expenditure (-0.98) and number of milch animals (17027) were significantly influencing total income of livestock farmers. Whereas, total dairy expenditure was negatively significant. Land holdings, total cost of cultivation, per cent share of commercial crops to total crop income and number of people working outside the farm did not have any significant effect. The R2 value of 0.66 indicated goodness of fit.

It was observed that the increase in one per cent area under irrigation and one milch animal, significantly increased total family income of farmers up to Rs. 473 and Rs. 17,021, respectively. This could be due to large farmers cultivated the vegetables under irrigation condition. While, the returns from vegetables were higher than all other crops. Further, the per cent share of dairy to total income showed positive influence on total income, which might be due to the magnitude and importance to dairy by the large farmers was less than that of landless and marginal farmers. On the other hand, income from livestock was an important source of earning for landless and marginal farmer’s categories. Similar results were obtained by Sharma and Singh (2011). An increase in income of large farmers was not due to dairy, but due to increase in income from vegetables.

Table 5: Factors influencing the total family income of the sample farmers

S. No. Variable Coefficient
1 Intercept 32903.05 (10435.74)
2 Land holdings 2736.32 (1646.45)
3 Total cost of cultivation 0.75 (0.59)
4 % share of dairy income to total income 326.09* (153.46)
5 % area under irrigation 473.26* (223.81)
6 % share of commercial crop income to total crop income 108.28 (143.96)
7 No. of people working outside the farm 1984.69 (3087.72)
8 Total dairy expenditure -0.98* (0.43)
9 Number of milch animals 17027.92* (7301.94)
10 Adjusted R2 0.61
11 R2 0.66

Figure in parentheses indicate the standard error; * Significant at 5% level


Livestock sector plays a prominent role in the rural economy in supplementing the income of rural households, particularly the landless labourers, small and marginal farmers. It also provides subsidiary occupation in semi-urban areas and more so for people living in hilly, tribal and drought prone areas where crop output may not sustain the family. Livestock has been recognized as an important approach for sustained livelihood. Further, the livestock is an important source of income and employment in rural sector.In addition, it helps to meet the equity task in rural development through their contribution to the cash income for small and marginal farmers and landless labourers. Thus, results of the study clearly shows the factors influencing family income of livestock farmers.

Conflict of Interest Statement

All the authors of the original research paper declare that there has no conflict of interest.


This research paper was authors doctoral research work. We thank our professors from University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Raichur. India, who provided insight, guidance and expertise that greatly assisted the research.


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