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Livestock production is the backbone of Indian agriculture and source of employment in rural areas since centuries, in which the entire system of rural economy has revolved around it. 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. The study was conducted to know the role of livestock in farmer’s economy in North-eastern Karnataka (NEK) region of Karnataka state. In the study area milch buffaloes were reared by the farmers as they preferred buffalo milk for home consumption than cow milk. Further, it was easier to maintain buffaloes than cross-bred milch cow. All the farmers used paddy crop as dry fodder since they produced it, but landless labourers purchased the same. For each litre of milk produced the marketed surplus was 88 and 90 per cent for crossbred and local cow milk followed by 84 and 80 per cent for crossbred and local buffalo milk. The total income from dairy enterprise was earned by large and small farmers with relatively higher than landless labourers and marginal farmers, which was due to the large and small farmers had maintained more number of crossbred cows than landless labourers and marginal farmers.
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