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Determinants of Work Animal Density in Tamil Nadu: An Econometric Analysis

Dhas, Albert Christopher (2008): Determinants of Work Animal Density in Tamil Nadu: An Econometric Analysis.

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From independence, size and composition of bovines in Tamil Nadu showed differential growth pattern. The total bovine population showed an increasing trend up to the early-Sixties and thereafter stagnant till the early Eighties. While the milch animal stock increased steadily, the work animals showed a declining trend from seventies. These trends not only indicate the growing importance of dairy animals but also the competitive linkage between work and milch animal population.

The work animal stock is highly influenced by the agro-climatic, institutional and economic factors and an analysis of capturing them is attempted in this paper. Initially, the changes in the size and composition of bovines, work animal population and its density since independence are traced. Subsequently, the factors determining work animal population and its density are examined using regression models.

Two regression analyses are made, one representing phase I (1956-1974) and the other for phase II (1977-1994). Phase I basically represents the period when mechanisation in agriculture had been at the early stages and phase II represents the period when mechanization (both energisation of irrigation and tractorisation) was at a relatively higher level.

The study revealed that while the agro-climatic and irrigation factors had played a major role in shaping the work animal density during the period prior to mid-Seventies, the technological, economic and institutional factors played a major role in recent years.

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