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Increasing Resilience of Livestock Migration in the Arid Areas of India: A Case Study of Livestock Mobility in Rajasthan

Publisher: ICARDA

India contains substantial rangelands, with the majority located in the state of Rajasthan. The pastoral system of this area is centered on the use of large tracts of uncultivable and marginal land supplemented with seasonal use of rainfed cropland. Despite living in the most harsh and drought-prone parts of the country, the pastoral communities in western Rajasthan make an important contribution to the state economy. These arid regions contribute 43.57 percent of milk, 83.62 percent of wool, and 53.44 percent of meat produced in the state. The 53.44 percent share of state meat production is comprised of 77.36 percent sheep, 52.60 percent goat, and 34.71 percent buffalo. The wool productivity (kg/head/year) of arid region sheep is 1.79, which is better than the overall state average of 1.60. The state of Rajasthan also contributes to the national economy. It accounts for more than 15 percent of the total Indian sheep population (GoI, 2007) and about 40 percent of the total carpet wool production (GoI, 2006) in India. It is clear that domestic animals are living assets for the pastoralists of western Rajasthan. Livestock provides resilience and food security to families that are on the margins close to poverty. Livestock also reduces vulnerability to external economic and environmental shocks. Overall, pastoralism increases household incomes and improves livelihoods for this vulnerable population. Over the centuries, herders in western Rajasthan have developed traditional knowledge of animal husbandry and natural resource management. These communities move their animals in search of forage and water resources as a result of drought or seasonal change. Livestock mobility is critical for local livelihoods, trade, and coping with climate change (Clifton and Louhaichi, 2015)

Author(s): Douglas Johnson, Dr. Mahesh Gaur, Dr. Khem Chand, Dr. Arun Misra, Dr. Murari Roy, Dr. Aushotosh Sarker, Dr.Mounir Louhaichi | Views(297) | Download (169)

  
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