Livestock Production had always been an integral part of the rural livelihood systems in Odisha, all through the known history of the state. The predominant farming system in Odisha is the mixed crop-livestock farming system and over 90 per cent of farms of all categories conform to this farming system. The livestock wealth of Odisha is impressive in numbers across all species, constituting a natural resource base with immense livelihood implications, even though productivity levels are very low. Livestock holding in Orissa is equitable as over 80 per cent of all livestock are owned by the marginal / small holders and the land less. Some 80 per cent of all rural households own livestock of one species or the other, or a combination of some of them, cattle being the most popular and therefore, the preponderant species. The sector has ample scope to substantially enhance the production to meet the domestic market demands, create employment and income generating opportunities for the rural poor and enhance their food and livelihood security.
Government of Odisha in FARD department has formulated the Livestock sector Policy during the year 2002-03 to use the Livestock sector as an instrument for socio and economic development of the rural population of Odisha enabling steady growth of living standard.