Saturday, July 28, 2007

Canadian Forage Sorghum in Nepal


Role of “Canadian Forage Sorghum Hybrid- 30” on year round fodder supply to small dairy farmers, Nepal”
- Rameshwar S Pande,
NFGRC/Nepal & ABTRACO, Kathmandu, Nepal






1.0 Introduction:
Dairy enterprises are major sources of livelihoods of over 70,000 small farmers in Nepal. Nepal produces 1.2 million Mt of milk/year from 1.8 numbers of milking cows and buffaloes. The Dairy Development Corporation purchase about 0.2 litres of milk every day and pay over 1,052 million Rs as a milk price (DDC, 2005), equal quantities of milk are purchased by other 200 private dairies. The average milk consumption in Nepal is 49 Lt/year, far below compared to South Asian Countries 69 Lt. HMG/Nepal has targeted to raise milk production from 1.2 to 1.4 million Mt during the Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-2007) (NPC, 2002).

2.0 Major constraints of dairy production:
The evolution of dairy enterprises was initiated in around 1980’s by importing high yielding cross bred animals (Jursey and/or Holstein Friesian crosses and Murrah buffaloes). These dairy animals are raised on concentrated based feeding which affects on high cost of milk production. Practices of forage cultivation are not common. Thus, the green fodder supply on year round basis- is a major limiting factor for profitable dairy enterprises in Nepal. Due to acute deficiency of quality feeds and fodder and increased feeding and management cost, the farmers are not getting adequate benefit as envisaged.

The discussions with the farmers reveal that about 60-to 90 percent of the income from the sale of milk are being invested to purchase concentrated feed. Due to high feed cost, farmers are not getting enough benefit as envisaged. As there is a lack of other means of livelihoods farmers are compelled to continue less earning dairy business. So, to sustain the dairy farming cost effective feeding systems needs to be promoted.

3.0 Endeavour to promote feeds and fodder development in Nepal:
Since the efforts of government and various non-government agencies significant achievements have been made in fodder and pasture development in Nepal (Pande,1994; 1997). However, the supply of fodder is lagged behind to meet the demand. The estimated shortage of dry matter is over 40 percent (Pande, 2004; 2005). The major fodder crops grown in Nepal are oat (Avena sativa), berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum), teosinte (Euchleana mexicana), Stylo (Stylosanthes guinensis), napier (Pennisetum purpureum) and others. About 2000 ha of land brought under fodder cultivation each year. To sustain the dairy enterprises as well as to improve the livelihoods of small dairy farmers more emphasis should be given on promotion of fodder based dairy enterprises needs to be promoted.

4.0 Promotion of fodder based low cost feeding systems:
Forage based dairy farming is one of the cheapest and environmentally sound system and could improve the animal health as well as reduce the cost of production significantly. Due to the concentrated based feeding practices, the unit cost of milk production is very high. For example, the cost of production of milk in Chitwan is about Rs 22/lt. Presently, the raw milk fetches about NRs 15- 18 per litre depending on fat and solid not fat content. So, to sustain the small holders dairy enterprises the cost of production of raw milk needs to be maintain at optimal prices by lowering of feeding and management cost.

5.0 Testing and expansion of Canadian Forage Sorghum Hybrid in Nepal:
The Canadian Forage Sorghum Hybrid –30 (CFSH-30) is developed in AERC, Canada by OP Dangi (AERC, 2005). CFSH-30 is a high yielding, nutritious, adapted to a wide range of climate, is a most suitable fodder for dairy animals. It contains 14-15 percent crude protein and could be harvested within 35-45 days of sowing, and gives 3-4 cuttings with the average yield of 3-4 Mt ton DM/ha (AERC, 2005, OP Dangi and R. Rana 2005: personal communication).

The CFSH-30 was first tested by NARC in Nepal during 2002/2004, produced yield of green matter 49 MT/ha to 74 ton/ha (NARC, 2004) and was recommended to expand at farmers level as an substitute to high cost concentrated feed.

The Agri- Business & Trade Promotion Multipurpose Cooperative Ltd (ABTRACO) has been supporting small dairy farmers by promoting cost effective milk production systems using CFSH-30 cultivation in Nepal with the financial support of Canadian Cooperation Office/Nepal in collaboration with AERC Canada since March 2005. ABTRACO has established over 620 demonstration and testing sites of CFSH-30 in 12 milk shed districts in collaboration with NARC and Livestock Department.

The preliminary results of the study revealed that the performance and contribution in ensured fodder supply is quite satisfactory. The average green fodder yield was 50 Mt /ha (ABTRACO, 2005, preliminary observation). Ms Sunita Chailagain of Lalbandi, Nepal reports that: “CFSH-30 is much better than oat, as it can be grown on year round basis and produces more fodder than oat, it is more nutritious and liked by the animals, even a stem of finger thickness are chewed. Her buffalo was giving two liters of milk/day since after feeding the CFSH-30, buffalo started to produce three liters of milk”. Mr. Ram Prasad Gautam of Chitwan says that “there was no difference in milk yield when the concentrated feed was replaced with CFSH-30 fodder and also milk yield increased ”Similarly, Mr. Charitar Mahato says that “this fodder (CFSH-30) is very good as it can be grown in off season and my buffalo came in heat earlier after feeding this fodder”. During the testing phase only a small proportion of farmers were involved, realising the need to sustain small scale dairy enterprises the scaling up of CFSH-30 needs to be promoted in a wider scale covering a large number of milk producers cooperatives with the provision of seed production at local level.

Acknowledge:
The CCO/Nepal for funding and technical support of AERC Canada in particular to Dr OP Dangi and Dr Rajendra Rana for their support and guidence during the projgram implementation by ABTRACO for the improvement of livelihoods of small dairy farmeres in Nepal.

Reference:
• AERC, 2005, http://www.aerc.forage sorghum.html
• DDC, 2005, http://www.dfairydev.com.np
• Pande, R S 2004. Ensuring forage supply from Nepal’s community forests. APANEWS, Asia-Pacific Agroforestry Newsletter No. 25. December 2004
• NPC, 2002. National Planning Commission, HMG/Nepal
• Pande, R. S. 1994: Livestock Feeds and Grassland Development in Nepal (Nepali), National Forage and Grassland Research Center G.P.O. Box 10245, Kathmandu, 1994.
• Pande, RS. 1997: Fodder and Pasture Development in Nepal. Udaya Research and Development Services Pvt. Ltd, Sanepa, Nepal.1997.
• Pande, RS 2005 “Pro-poor Community Forage Production Program in the NACRMLP, Nepal” Proceedings of the Workshop on Fodder Oats, TCP/NEP/2901, FAO 8-11 March 2005.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Livestock Based Livelihoods in Nepal




Livestock Based Livelihoods in Nepal
By: Rameshwar Singh Pande, July 2007





Introduction:
The consumption of livestock by-products in regular diets of Nepalese family is still a luxury. The quantity of animal products used by a household is directly co-related with the prosperity and income level. The majorities of livestock farmers are poor and the average consumption of livestock products are below the Asian standard.

The animals are worshiped as a god/goddess in majoritrities of Hindu and Buddhist communities. The livestock are assets, used as emergency capital and live cash, provide nutrition (milk, meat and eggs), soil nutrients (manure, urine and decaing carcases), energy (draught power, transportation and fuel), animal fibre (wool and hair), carcas by-products (bone, hide and skin); and associated with religious sentiments. As the larger proportion of the livestock by-products are consumed in urban centres, and by the well-off non-farming families; the livestock sector is a major source to drain cash in rural areas and to the poorer households.

Nepal is one of the least developed countries in the world; the Gross National Income per capita is just around US$ 230. In terms of economy, Nepal is in 191st place out of 208 countries, and also the Human Development Index of Nepal is just 0.499 one of the lowest position (143rd) out of 175 countries. The contribution of livestock in national economy is about 18 percent in national Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and 32 percent in Agricultural Gross Domestic Products (AGDP) (CBS, 2006). The growth rate of livestock sector is between 3.5 and 5 percent per annum is more rapid than crop. It is anticipated that the contribution of livestock sector will reach 45 percent at the end of Agriculture Perspective Plan period (1995 to 2015). Among the livestock component, the dairy sector is the most important livestock sub-component, contributing about 62 percent of the livestock to the AGDP and over 500,000 people directly invilved in dairy entreprsises. Similarly, the poultry enterprises is also an emerging economic sector, over 65,000 people are employed in commercial poultry farming. Thus the livestock sector can contribute significantly in rural poverty reduction and a tool for the rural employment generation.

Almost all kind of domesticated animals, except cameloids are raised in Nepal. Depending on elevation, livestock type and concentration varies from region to region. The major livestock in lower belt are cattle, buffaloes, goat, sheep, pigs and poultry and, at higher elevation the important animals are - Yak, Chauris, cattle, sheep and mules.

The average holding of livestock (cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats and pigs) per households is 4.9. Hovever, the overall production and productivity of individual livestock are very low mainly due to combined effects of poor forage supply, mismanagement and poor animal health care cconditions; the native breeds are smaller in body size and are low producing, but are noted for its hardiness; thrives on harsh environment and produce even under half-starved conditions.

In recent years, growing population in cities, improving income level, and significant growth of tourism have led the high demand for animal by-products such as milk, meat and eggs. The increasing demand has encouraged the farmers to rear high yielding dairy animals, adopt commercial poultry farming and goat/pig meat production especially around the urban periphery and trekking routes despite the political instability and deteriorating security situations. However, the marketing and commercialised production and processing of the livestock products are lagged behind. The processing capacity of the dairy industries have not been able to absorbe the produced milk by the farmers, and resulted in “Milk Holidays”; which have advesely affected the livelihood of the smallholders dairy farmers. Similarly, the high cost of feed ingrediants and recent threat of bird flu (avian influenza) have negetivily affected the commerical poultry farming.

The increasing population of human as well as livestock has exerted excessive pressure on available feed resources. The number of livestock per unit of cultivated land in Nepal is highest in the world. There is an excessive pressure on cropland and forest for food, fodder and fuelwood, which directly affecting the sustainability and conservation of available resources. Due to over utilisation and misuse, the available resources are in detrimental stage. Similarly, the increasing livestock and poultry production in peri-urban area under modifying management systems to meet the urban market deman has led many issues relating to rising demand of livestock feed, veterinary services, loss of genetic resources, trainng and extension to the smallscale producers, livestock waste manegemnt and transmision of zoonotic diseases and environmantal issues.

It is also argued that livestock and livestock waste produce gases (ammonia, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides - affect the world's atmosphere by contributing to global warming, however, the emission of these greenhouse gases, particularly nitrous oxides and methane are major sources of bio-gas and can be used as fuel or to generate electricity. In the context to Nepal, the trend of commercial large-scale industralised production of livestock nither benefit to the majority of the farmers (e.g.commerical poulty/pig farming) nor feasible to adopt in large scale in a wider area due to scarse resources.

On the other hands, wth the importation of high yielding commercial breeds and technologies, the cabalilities and skill of the rural farmers have not been developed to adopt the improved management practices. Commercialised farming and improved feeds and forage management is relatively a new concept. Majority of the farmers, still believe that livestock thrives on natural vegetation and crop by-products, and overall livestock products only be improved by increasing the number rather than improvement in performance and the use of superior genetic materials.

Since last decade, keeping improved high yielding dairy animals, hybrid poultry farms and forage crop cultivation increased significantly.

Contrary to large holdings of animals and “milk holidays” Nepal still imports a large quatity of dairy products (milk powder), feed ingredients, live animals (goats, buffaloes), carpet wool, medicines and vaccines from other countries.
The severity of the problems faced by the farmers and the status of the rural poverty especially among the livestock farmers are still remained the same.

Being an agricultural country, ecologaically diversified, Nepal has a vast potentiality for the improvement of livestock based economy especially in the field of milk and milk by-products (cattle, buffalo and chauri), poultry, live animals (goat, sheep and pig), and other. Being an agricultural country, the Nepalese farmer practices mixed production of crop and livestock. The livestock are complementary to crop production; the crops grown solely for subsistance and the livestock sector are supplementary to crop production. The crop residues used as fodder to the animals and the animals' manure used to fertilise soil and contribute to add value to cereals; the livestock owners use labour more efficiently and diversify risk with extra income sources. Over 80 percent of the households maintain few heads of animal and poultry birds; even the land less families and ultra-poor households rear few heads of livestock.

It is anticipated that the improved supply of quality feeds and forage could alone enhance the animal production by three folds and save much of the degradations of the natural resources.

As the feed deficiency is directly related with overall performance of the animals and the natural resources management, the issues need to be addressed seriously for the livelihoods of the smallholders as well as for the transformation of the traditional farming systems into commercalised compatative market oriented production systems.

Various organisations have implemented and/or proposed different strategies to improve the situation of livestock production and livestock based poverty reduction. The community level organisations and many INGOs are using livestock mainly small animals like goats, pigs, poultry birds as a means of poverty mitigation tool and distributing animals to the targeted households.

Recently, the trend of organic livestock farming and/or sustainable livestock production is increasig. Re-establishment of the livestock production closer to feed sources in the rural areas by improving the infrasture facilities is the recent trend. The challenge is to obtain higher efficiencies without overconcentrating livestock. With improvements in transport and storage, it is possible to move livestock production closer to feed sources - i.e. back to rural areas - allowing for wastes not only to be absorbed, but returned as nutrients. Re-establishing this link would thus help to reduce the soil nutrient mining caused by feed production.

Combined with the increasing access to the modern facilities and other factors, the role and importance of livestock based livelihoods especialy in rural areas has been threatned and the increasing role of smallholder livestock production is in declinig. For example, the role of animal draught power has been replacing with mechanical power, the manure with chemical fertilisers and animal fibres with synthetic materials. On the otherhand, landless livestock/poultry production systems are being introduced and practiced by the farmers, and the rearing of livestock/poultry farming are moving rapidely from remote areas to the periphery of urban settlement due to increasing urban demand, easy market access and improved infrastructure facilities and opportinities of social security to the livestock producers. Similarly, trend to rear multipurpose to single purpose animals are increasing with the objective of production of animal protein e.g. declining of sheep number and increase of goat population.

Numerous issues needs to be addressed for the strengthening and sustained development of livestock based livelihoods, such as: a)Improving the livelihoods of the rural households especially smallholder livestock producers, b)Strengthening and enhanced capacity of the smallholder livestock producers and implementing public private agencies especially in the field of infrastructure, research and extension, credit, feeding, breeding and veterinary services, c)Import substitution of dairy products, carpet wool, feed ingredients, live animals and medines, d)Economic, resource utilization and management, and environmental sustainability, e)Compatative market oriented production, decreasing the cost of production and maintainance of Food Safety Standards of World Trade Organisation.

The Nepaleses livestock production systems can not remain untouched with the world trend. It is high time to review and discuss the issues in deapth to maintain the sustainablity and as well as to mitigate the rural poverty so as to benefit the smallholders livestock based livelihoods production systems.

In this regard, decrease the cost of production in a sustainable basis for the transformation subsistence livestock production systmes into market oriented commercialised production is critical for the improvement of the majority of rural livelihood. As the majority of the smallholders live in rural areas and depends on livestock based livelihoods, sustainable use of the natural resources to balance the conservation and livelihood is very important. In this book, the existing livestock production systems and the management of available forage resources are analysed in depth and strategies have been proposed for the sustainable use and livelihoods improvement of the smallholder livestock producers.



Livestock Population and Distribution
The population of livestock were- cattle (7.02 m including yak/chauris), buffaloes (4.2 m), sheep (0.81 m), goats (7.4 m), pigs (0.9 m), fowl (23.0 m.) and ducks (0.39 m) in Nepal in 2005/06 (ABPSD, 2006). The estimated population of Yak and Chauris are 95,400, horses-20100, mules and asses-6000 and pigeons 1845200 in 2001/02 (CBS 2006).

Livestock Holding per Households

Livestock are reared even by landless people- involved in non-agricultural activities. So, the number of households involved in livestock farming is large in Nepal and almost all farm family keep some animals. Over 3017,500 households are rearing some kind of livestock Average livestock number per family is 4.9 in Nepal. The types and number of livestock holding vary from region to region. The number of livestock per households increases, as per the altitude range. The number of livestock per households in Southern belt is 3.9 heads whereas at Northern belt the number of livestock per family is four fold high i.e. 9.6 excluding poultry. The types of livestock raised and the use of livestock much more depends on their cultural background. However, the commercial farming is adopted by all ethnic group e.g. commercial poultry farming. The livestock are even reared by the poor and landless families who do not have enough on-farm activities For example, the households with less than 0.5 ha of land keep some 25 percent of the livestock and the households with “no land” keep some 11 percent of the total livestock. So, the intervention in livestock development could provide income as well employment to eradicate rural poverty.

Contribution of Livestock

Sources of Nutrition (Milk, meat and eggs)
• Milk: The milch animals are cattle, buffaloes, Nak and Chauris; milk from ewes and she-goat are also consumed in lesser amount but not commonly marketed. The average milk production from a Nepali cow is estimated 325 lt./cow/yr, and from buffaloes is 900 lt./buffaloes/yr contrary to improved cattle and buffaloes 1250 and 1200 lit/lactation respectively. Nepal produced total of 1312,140 Mt of milk from 1988,140 milch animals during FY 2005/06 (ABPSD, 2006). Out of the total milk the contribution of Nak milk is is about 1,631 mt/year. Most of the milk produced is consumed locally and/or converted into ghee, only about 10 percent of the total production is processed for marketed. Dairy Development Corporation alone is collecting and processing 70,128 mt of raw milk, equal quantity of milk are collected by other private dairies. The Average milk availability per person is 57.7 Lt/yr, The present milk consumption in Nepal is far below compared to South Asian Countries 69 Lt and Developed Countries 213 lt) (NLSS, 2004).

• Meat: The major sources of meat are buffaloes, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. Legally, only male animals are slaughtered and consumed for meat. All ethnic communities prefer goats' meat (chevon). The meat from buffaloes, pigs and poultry are relatively cheaper and generally not consumed by higher cast e.g. Brahmin. Similarly, the Muslims do not eat pigs. In Himalayan regions fresh blood of is also consumed which is drained from live Yaks/Chauris. Though beef are not eaten, but the Sherpa people freely consume yak steaks (dried meat of yak/chauri's). The total production of meat is 219,205 Mt during FY 2005/06 ABPSD, 2006). The share of buffalo meat is 64.8 and goat is 19.5 and pigs and poultry is 7.2 and 7.2 respectively. Besides the above quantity it is estimated that 5 Mt of yak meat is produced annually (FAO 1989) (Table 3.3). The Average milk meat consumption is 9.6 kg/year and egg 26.4 number/year.

• Eggs: The major sources of egss are hen and ducks. The total production of eggs 600,800 thousands number of eggs during FY 2005/06 and contribution of hen is oabout 98 percent (ABPSD, 2006).

The supply of animal products is assumed much lower than the dietary requirements of the total population. The requirement of the dietary energy is estimated to be lesser than the requirement i.e. 2,220 calories/day/person, and the share of animal products are less than 6 percent; which is far below then other developed Asian countries like Japan (19.3 %), Australia (29.2%) and New Zealand (35.1%) (RAPA, 1989). The livestock by-products are considered as a luxurious food items, not commony affordable by the poor families. By enhancing the animal production the availability of dietary energy could be increased for better human health conditions in Nepal.

Sources of Manure

Dung and litters are important sources of plant nutrients in Nepal especially in mountain and hills where the transportation is a major problem. The uses of chemical fertiliser for crops are very low. It is estimated that the use of total plant nutrients in Nepal was 24 kg/ha only, whereas in the neighbouring countries like India the use of plant nutrients is 65.2 kg/ha and in China 262.0 kg/ha (FAO/RAPA, 1990). To increase the food grain production and to maintain the fertility status of soil, animal manure plays an important role. Manure is the essential input into the crop production systems; the increased crop yield is directly coorelated with the higher number of livestock per households in Hills. Composting and tethering the animals on cropland for manuring is a traditional practice. It is estimated that livestock and pigs combinely produce over 47 m. Mt of manure, which is equivalent to 15. m Mt of Nitrogen Manure obtained from livestock is balanced and rich in plant nutrients. The Nitrogen content in cattle and buffaloes' manure is 0.25 and 0.33 percent respectively on fresh matter basis (Oli 1987). Livestock in the form of urine also contributes additional manure. However, most of the faecal and urine are either lost during grazing and could not be used as manuring for crops. Recently, due to the shortage of fuelwood large proportions of faecal materials are burned for domestic purposes. CBS, (2006) estimates that animaldung contributes to produce 21,626 GJ energy as a fuel and in the form of bio-gas 2078 GJ in 2005/06 (CBAS, 2006).

To meet the crisis of fuelwood and to promote dung as sources of plant nutrients Government of Nepal has implementing programme on biogas plant installation, which converts the dung and urine into cooking gas and slurry. Slurry is a good source of plant nutrients. So far, 30,000 plants have been installed in Southern Terai and Middle hills and up to FY 2,000 over 125,000 plants have targeted to establish (Pande 1996).



Sources of Draught Power

Cattle and buffaloes as draught animal are the major source of agricultural power. However, the use of mechanical power in agricultural work is increasing these days. There were only 7,156 tractors for agricultural work was registered during 2002/03 to 2005/06 (CBS, 2006). However, it was observed that the mechanical power are used in government Farms only. Furthermore, the tractors owned by private sector are used for transportation of goods rather than agricultural work. The male cattle (oxen) and male buffaloes are generally used for ploughing and other drought works. Generally the female animals are not used for draught purpose. There are 2794,487 cattle oxen and 212,576 buffalo oxen used for draught purpose; rearing bullock for agricultural work is rapidely declining. Similarly, in Northern belt Yak, Jhopkyo, goats (Chyangra) and sheep (Bhyanglung) are used as pack animals. In Northern belt Yak is the only animal to carry goods for the Himalayan expeditions. Yak can carry 60-80 kg of weight. Besides the ruminants, horses, mule, ponies are also the major pack animals in northern belt. Shrestha and Sherchand (1988) estimated that contribution of livestock to produce power is over 0.99 million H.P., in which cattle generate over 90 percent only. However, in some cases farmers do not use animal power for agricultural use because of religious believes, for example, in Lele, Lalitpur (Shrestha et al., 1984). Though draught animals do most of the tillage work, still these animals are under utilised. Most of the periods of the year they remain idle and are economic burden to the farmers. Oli (1986) found that animals are only used for a period of two months in a year for agricultural work in eastern hills. In Southern Terai where animals are used for pulling cards and where the cropping intensity is higher the contribution of draught power could be more.

Sources of Hide and Skin

The hide and skin is the major by-product of livestock. Nepal produces over 2.1 million of hide and skin (Shrestha and Sherchand, 1988). At present, there are 1bout 15 major hide and skin processing industries in Nepal, but most of these are closed and only few are functioning. Among the major leather industries, the Narayani Leathers is the largest exporter in Nepal. Narayani leathers alone exported 3308430 sq ft during the FY 2060/61 (2003/2004) (Kantipur Daily, April 13, 2004). The total export during the FY 2003/04 was 5803223 sq ft. in Nepal Other leather factories are Marium Leather, Everest Leathers, Global Leathers in Nepal. Hide and Skin Processing Pvt. LTD has the capacity of 600,000 pieces/year and others are Hetaunda Leather Industries (capacity 15,000 Pisces/year), Nepal Leather Tanning Industries Pvt. LTD (capacity 2,000 piece/year) besides Bansbari Leather and Shoe Factory (capacity 30,000 piece/year). Most of the raw products are exported to India and China; the domestic consumption is very low. The rawhide Collection and Development Company LTD has sole right to collect and export. During FY 1988/89 the Company collected about 170,000 numbers of hides. The production of hide is much lower than its potentiality because most of the meat consumed in Nepal is with skin. Only the non-Hindu consumed unskined meat.

Sources of Wool and Hair

Wool is mainly produced by sheep, and hairs are produced by goats. The estimated production of wool is about 586988 kg in FY 2005/06 (ABPSD, 2006). The locally produced wool is used in Radi, Pakhi making industries. The local wool is of low quality and is not considered for carpet making industries. Since the carpet industries are flourishing, most of the carpet wool is imported either from New Zealand and/or from Tibet. During the FY 1994/95. Nepal imported 20,000 Mt of raw wool (APROSC 1995). Edeavour to promote carpet type wool producing sheep in Nepal was attempted but was not been very successful.

No systematic data are available of the production of hair from goats and other animals such as Yak/Chauris, horses and rabbit. However, a reasonable amount of hair are produced and used locally to make various goods such as bags, rope and woollen goods.

Sources of Cash

Livestock is a major source of cash income. Livestock serves as an asset. The livestock are considering as a source of fixed property like land. Rural farmers use livestock as a live Bank. At the time of crisis the live animals especially castrated buck, milch cow or buffaloes, oxen are sold for cash income.
The live animals and livestock products are the main source to eject cash from urban to rural areas in Nepal. For example, there are over 1,375 milk producers’ cooperatives in over 51 districts in the contry associated with Central Dairy Cooperative Association Ltd (CDCAN undated). The Government owned Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) alone purchase about 0.2 million litres of raw milk everyday from farmers of 39 districts (DDC, 2005), equal quantities of raw milk are purchased by other private dairies. During 2003/04 the DDC alone paid Rs 1,052 million (Rs 70 =1 US$) as a milk price to the milk producer farmers through its 875 Milk Producers Cooperative Societies (MPCS) (http://www.dairydev.com.np). Similar amount have been paid by other 200 private dairies working in milk processing and marketing. The dairy enterprises in Nepal are dominated by small farmers. It is estimated that over 423, 000 dairy farmers are directly and another 10 percent indirectly involved in dairy enterprises (CDCAN, undated).


Sentiment/religious value

Animals are highly respected with religious value. Cow is regarded as second mother of the Hindu people, and other domestic animal such as oxen; dog, elephant and crow are worshipped during the Tihar festival. Killing female animals are against the law. However, male animal and poultry bird such as cock is sacrificed to the temple to please the Hindu God. Rearing animals are symbol of prosperity and social status.

General description livestock breeds
Cattle (Native: Bos indicus; European: Bos taurus):

Cattle are primarily raised to provide draft power for agricultural work and for manure. Total population of cattle is about 7002,912 in which cross bred comprises about 8.7 percent. About 2297,100 agricultural households (over over 68 percent of total agricultural families) are raring cattles. The major native breeds of acttle are Lulu, Achhami, Siri, Khaila, Terai, and Hilly. These native cows have short lactation period (180-200 days), long calving interval (12-24 months), and low milk yield capabilities (less than 300 lt/lactation). Being a Hindu dominated country, killing and exportation of cattle is restricted in Nepal so the number of unproductive cattle is increasing. However, the cattle population is decreasing each year. There are different native breeds of cattle in Nepal such as–

• Lulu cattle: Lulu cattle are found in Mustang, Dolpa and Manang districts. The average body weight is 125 kg.
• Achhami cattle: Achhami cattle are found in Achham, Bajhang, Bajura and Doti districts, these animals are the smallest cattle breed in world. The average body weight is 124 kg
• Siri cattle: Siri cattle are found in eastern hills like Ilam, Panchathar and are considered as extinct from Nepal The average body weight is 286 kg.
• Hill cattle (Kirko): Hill cattle are small in body size and weigh about 165 kg lives body weight. The Hill cattle locally called 'kirko' are usually kept for agricultural work such as ploughing. These cattle are the prime source of manure. The milk production is about 370 lt. per lactation.
• Terai cattle (Zebu): The Terai cattle are found at Southern belt and are believed to be developed from the indiscriminate crossing of Indian cattle with hill cattle. They are bigger in size compared to the hill cattle and the output of milk and drought are also high. The average body weight is 210 kg.

The characteristics features and performance of native cattle:
• The native cattle are resistant to most of the tropical diseases,
• It has ability to better utilisation of coarse roughage,
• It can withstand more heat and cold conditions,
• It is adapted to thrive well in harsh conditions,
• It can clime steep hills and mountains for grazing,
• The age of first calving ranges 32-52 months,
• The milk yield ranges 360-760 Lt/lactation
• The lactation length is about 310 days,
• Body weight of mature male is about 310 kg and of female 220 kg,
• The most common breeding season is August and calving takes place in April.

The preference of pure bred cattle: Compared to the native cattle, the exotic cattle's are susceptible to most of the tropical diseases, demands high quality feeds and management practices. The age of first calving ranges from 29-31 months, milk yield ranges 4,000-6,000 Lt/lactation. Compared to either purebred exotic cattle and/or native the crosses of these two are intermediate types. The age of first calving of these cross animals is 28-36 months and milk yield ranges 1,400-1,800 Lt/lactation.

It is recommended that even with better management and feeding practices, the purebred dairy cattle with high level of exotic inheritance should not be recommended in Nepalese conditions. It is observed that 50 per cent native inheritance have performed better than those with pure exotic breeds are. However, under intensive management conditions crossbred cows are being more popular in Nepal especially around the periphery of urban areas. Most of these dairy cows are imported from India. Crossbred cows are found more efficient to convert feed into milk compared to buffaloes.

Government of Nepal have been given priority to develop the crossbred cattle and has established different Cattle Development Farms viz.
a) Livestock Development Farm, Jiri: Brown Swiss cattle,
b) Livestock Development Farm, Khumaltar (Presently under NARC): Holstein and Jersey
c) Livestock Development Farm, Pokhara: Achhami.

Description of Major exotic breeds in Nepal:
• Holstein-Friesian: It is one of the highest yielding dairy breeds in the world. The breed was found suitable for Southern and Middle hills under well-managed conditions. The bulls and frozen semen are extensively used in AI for cross breeding programme to upgrade the milk production potentiality of native cows.
• Jersey: It is a famous dairy breed of cattle, noted for small body size, low feed intake with high milk yield of rich fat content. The breed is found suitable for Southern and Middle hills. The bulls and frozen semen are extensively used for cross breeding programme to upgrade the milk production potentiality of native cows. First introduced in 1,957 from US government under American Heifer Project in Nepal. Presently, it is raised at Bovine Research Centre, Khumaltar, Lalitpur
• Brown Swiss: It is a famous multipurpose breed. Presently, the breed is raised at Livestock Development Farm, Jiri. The bulls and frozen semen are used to upgrade the milk production potentiality of native cows in high mountains.

Buffaloes (Bos buballis):



The buffaloes are multi-purpose animals, primarily reared for milk and secondarily for meat, draught and manure production. The buffaloes are raised by well -off ond/or middle class families, and are considered as a symbol of social and economical status. About 15,86,800 households (47 percent of the agricultural households) are rearing buffloes. Total buffalo population is 4.2 million in which improved pure bred or crosses are 24.6 percent. Out of the total production, over 71 percent of the milk, and 65 percent of the meat shared by buffaloes (Table -3.3). Each year the population of buffaloes are increasing by 2.3%. The buffalo's milk is paid higher price than cattle's milk based on fat content. On average buffalo milk contain 6.5 percent fat compared to cow milk 4.5 percent fat. Contrary to the milk buffolo meats are considered of lower value and are sold at lower rate in comparison to chevon. Buffaloes are reared at lower altitude and the milk production is 900 for local and 1200 for improved) lit/lactation. Buffaloes are the most valued and cared animals. Most of the milch buffaloes are stall-fed.
The major native breeds are Lime, Parkote, Gaddi, and Terai buffaloes. Native buffalos produces about 962 - 1226 liter of milk with the lactating period of 267-423 days and the long calving interval (20. to 21.5 months)
The native breeds of buffaloes are of two types:
• Lime: The Lime breed is quite common in middle hills of Nepal. The animal is small in body size, brown in colour, sickle shaped curl horn and white belt around neck. The average body weight is 311 kg.
• Gaddi: The Gaddi breed is found in found in far western region and are considered as a good milker. The average body weight is 452 kg.
• Parkote: The Parkote breed is common in Southern Terai belt of Nepal. The animal is medium in size, black in colour, long shored like horn. The average body weight is 341 kg.
• The characteristic features of the native buffaloes are:
• The age of first calving ranges 48-66 months,
• The milk yield ranges 600-1,100 Lt/lactation
• The calving interval ranges from 383-621 days,
• The lactation length is about 221-633 days.
• Arna (Bubalus arnae): Arna is a wild swamp buffalow found inside the Koshi-Tappu Wildlife Conservation Park

Generally, the native milk production from these native breeds varies from 926 – 993 lt./yr. with high fat contents (7.2 percent).

Description of major exotic buffalo breed:
Murrah: Murrah is one of the most famous dairy buffalo breed in the world. Officially this breed was introduced in 1967 from India. HMG/Nepal has been upgrading native buffalo through crossbreeding program using Murrah breed. Under HMG/N, Department of Livestock Services, two buffalo development farms are established viz.:
 Livestock Development Farm, Pokhara, and
 Tarahara Livestock Development Farm (Presently, under NARC).

The farms are promoting crossbreed of Murrah buffalo. Pure Murrah buffalo bulls have been imported from India and are distributed among the farmers. HMG/N has been implementing AI programme in buffaloes also and is using Murrah semen. To upgrade the local buffaloes natural breeding program has also been carried out in the country.

Murrah and the crosses of /Murrah are found superior than local buffaloes. The comparative characteristics of native and Murrah buffaloes in Nepalese conditions are:
The performance of the Murrah buffaloes' is:
• The age of first calving is about 42 months,
• The milk yield is about 1,688 Lt/lactation
• The calving interval is 587 days,
• The lactation length is about 333 days.

Performance of Murrah buffaloes in Nepalese conditions is very good. However, the pure bred buffaloes are more susceptible to most of the tropical diseases, demands high quality feeds and management practices. Compared to either purebred exotic buffaloes and/or native the crosses of these two are intermediate types. The age of first calving of crosses is 47-52 months and milk yield ranges 967-1645 Lt/lactation. The calving interval is 438-624 days and the lactation length is about 215-356 days.

Yak & Nak (Bos grunniens) and Chauris

Yak and Nak are pure breed Himalayan cattle. The scientific name is Bos grunniens. Yak and Nak reared at higher altitude regions and seldom comes below 3,000 m. Yak is raised in 22 Himalayan districts of Nepal along the Tibetan boarders. The estimated population of the Yak/Chauries is about 95,000 number (2001/02) and about 14200 households are rearing yak/chairies (CBS, 2006). It has long hairs and pointed horns. The adult body weight of a male is about 245 kg and of female Nak is about 215 kg. Yak and Nak provides milk and meat for human consumption. Castrated yak used as pack animal and could carry up to 120 kg of weight. Yak skins are used for making bags, sacks and other materials. Fibbers are used for making ropes and blanket (‘radi’). Yak steak is quite popular among the tourists. FAO/RAPA (1994) estimate that the total production of yak steak is 5 Mt/yr.

Yak & cattle and vice versa are crossed to produce hybrids. The female hybrids are called Chauris. Depending on breeding practices Chauris are of different types. The progeny of Nak (female Yak) and hill cattle bull are called Dimjo chauri and the progeny of Yak with hill cow is called Urang chauri. The male hybrids called Jhopkyo and are sterile. The male Jhopkyo are more docile and are capable to carry more weight than either of the parents. The male hybrids are mainly used as pack animals.

The female Chauris are more productive than Nak. The hybrids are more adaptive to lower temperature and are reared at the intermediate zone between cattle and Yaks (Joshi, 1982; Robinson 1992; Miller 1993). The population of the pure Yak/Nak is rapidly declining. It is estimated that there are 56 thousands of Yak and Chauris in Nepal (Miller, 1993). Out of the total Yak/Chauris population the pure Yak/Nak population is only 10,000.
The performances of the Yak/Nak are:
• The age of first calving is 48 months,
• The milk yield is 470 Lt/lactation
• The calving interval is 687 days,
• The lactation length is about 174 days.

The performances of the Chauris' are:
• The age of first calving is 36 months,
• The milk yield is 1960 Lt/lactation
• The calving interval is 425 days,
• The lactation length is 254-400 days.

Generally breeding takes during the months of August to November and calving takes place in the months of April to July.

Milk production capability of a Chauris is more than Nak. The milk produced from Nak and Chauris are used for making Yak cheese, which is quite popular among the tourist. There are altogether 20 Yak cheese (11 under Dairy Development Corporation and 9 under private sector) Pande 1996. Total Yak cheese production is about 115 Mt in FY 1994/95. HMG/Nepal has established a Yak Farm at Solukhumbu in 1973/74 for the development of Yak/Nak and Chauris. There was another Yak Farm at Dolpa, which was closed down in 1994 (Pande, 1996).

Sheep (Ovis aries):

Sheep are reared for wool, meat, pack, manure and milk and about 67,700 households are rearing sheep in Nepal mostly in Hills and mountains. The estimated population sheep is about 0.8 million, in which improved cross bred comprises about 4.6 percent. The sheep population is decreasing each year. The total production of sheep meat (mutton) is 2,737 Mt and the wool production was 586,988 Mt in 2005/06. The average production of the wool is very low (0.7 kg/head/year). The sheep population is decreasing each year. The major native breeds are Bhyanglung, Dhorel, Baruwal, Kage and Lampuchhre. The native wool is of lower quality and is used for making Radi/Pakhi and other woollen products for local consumption. Only the wool obtained from Bhyanglung sheep are used in carpet industries.

The government of Nepal, Department of Livestock Services, sheep development programme has been carried out in three different Farms namely Chitlang Sheep Development Farm, Panchasaya Khola Sheep Development Farm and Livestock Development Farm Pokhara. Besides, the DLS Farms research on sheep farming has been conducting at Guthichaur Sheep Research, Jumla, Agricultural Research Centre Pakhribas and Lumle under NARC.
The major breeds are Baruwal, Kage and Bhanghlung. The performance of the Native sheep is:
• The age of first lambing is 17- 25 months,
• The lambing interval 360- 365 days
• The average body weight of the adult animals is 25-30 kg,
• The wool yield is 0.3 to 1.3 kg/sheep/yr.

Descriptions of the major native sheep breed:
• Baruwal: Baruwal sheep is raised under migratory system in mountains and high hills. Baruwal breed comprises 63 percent of the total sheep population. The average body weight is 35 kg. Total population of this breed is about 578,898. The wool is coarse type and used for making Radi/Pakhi.
• Kage: Kage sheep is found in middle hills specially Kathmandu and Pokhara valley. Kage breed comprises 21 percent (192,966 number) of the total sheep population. The average body weight is male -32, female 22 kg).
• Lampuchhre: Lampuchhre sheep is found in Southern belt and, are reared by 'Gaderiya' community. Lampuchhre breed comprises 12 per cent (110266 number) of the total sheep population. The average body weight is 30 kg.
• Bhyanglung: Bhyanglung sheep are raised in Trans-Himalayan region under migratory system. Bhyanglung breed comprises only 4 percent (367,554 number) of the total sheep population. The average body weight is 26 kg. The wool of the Bhayanglung is suitable for carpet making.

Description of major exotic sheep breed:
• Merino: Merino is one of the finest wool breeds in world. Presently it is raised and studied at Sheep/Goat Research Centre, Guthichaur Jumla and Livestock Development Farm, Pokhara.
• Polwarth: This breed of sheep is raised in Sheep/Goat Research Centre, Guthichaur Jumla and Livestock Development Farm, Pokhara. The breeding ram is used for cross breeding programme to up grade the native Baruwal breed.
• Rambouillet: It was introduced in 1957 under the American Heifer Project. Presently it is raised at Panchasayakhola Sheep Development Farm, Nuwakot. The ram is used for cross breeding to up grade the native Kage breed.
• Border-Leicester: It is raised at Panchasayakhola Sheep Development Farm, Nuwakot and Livestock Development Farm, Pokhara.
• Romney Mars: It was introduced in 1995 under GTZ support from Germany mainly to promote carpet wool production in Nepal. The sheep are raised at Panchasayakhola Sheep Development Farm, Nuwakot and Livestock Development Farm, Pokhara.

In the recent year's, carpet making industries are flourishing in Nepal. Nepal is importing over 20,000 Mt of raw wool annually mainly from New Zealand (APROSC 1995). To develop a substitute of the imported carpet wool Government of Nepal has been promoting carpet wool producing sheep in the country. Upgrading of native sheep breed revealed the potentiality for carpet wool production in Nepal. Baruwal has been upgrade (50% blood level) with Polwarth and Merino breed for improving wool quality. Wool from half bred sheep ( Polwarth x Baruwal), medium type wool of 35 micron with 23 bulk value, can successfully mixed up to 80 percent to make high quality carpet.Various studies/reports has been published on potentiality of carpet wool production in the country e.g. APROSC (1995), GTZ (1994) and many others. However, it is assumed that under the present conditions of sheep population, available feed resources and management practices, it does not seems possible to substitute even by 10 percent of the importation of the New Zealand wool in Nepal.

Goats (Capra hircus)



The goat is the most popular species among the domesticated animals, even landeless and non-agricultural households are also rearing goats as a source of meat and cash generation. The goat farming is widely practiced as a means for poverty alliviation in rural sectors; adopted by government as well as non-government agencies. The estimated population of goats is 7.4 million in which about 13.7 percent are cross bred goats. The goat population is growing by 2.4% each year. Goats are used for meat, pack, manure, and milk. The total production of goat meat (chevon) was 42,820 Mt in 2005/06. The major native breed of goats area Chyangra, Sihal, Khari and Terai goats.

The performance of the native goats are:
• The age of first kidding ranges from 345-365 days,
• The kidding interval is 264-336 days
• Kidding percentage is 1.73,
• The average body weight of the adult male is 24-45 kg,

There are three breeds of native goats.

• Khari/hill goat: Khari goat is found in Hills and comprises about 50 per cent of the total goat population. These Khari breeds are prolific with high twinning rate (57.0 %) higher kid survival rate (90-93%) and compatible with Baruwal sheep flock in the hills and mountain with a number of kids weaned per year per doe is 1.71.The average body weight of the female is 24 and male is 28 kg.
• Sinhal: Sinhal goat is found in high hills and mountains of the country. The Sinhal goat population comprises about 16 per cent of the total goat population. The average body weight of the female is 28 and male is 34 kg.
• Chyangra: Chyangra goats are raised under migratory system in mountains and are considered as valuable for fine Pashmina fiber production suitable for high quality garments. The average body weight of the female is 29 and male is 35 kg.The Chyangra comprises only about 1 percent of the total goat population.

Description of major exotic goat breed:
The performance of the Exotic goats is:
• The age of first kidding is 735-751 days,
• The kidding interval 238-315 days,
• Kidding percentage is 1.17-1.45.
• The average body weight of the adult male is 44-68 kg.

• Sanan: Sanan is a famous milk-producing breed among goats. It was introduced in 1966 from Israel for crossing with native goats to increase milk production potentiality. Presently it is raised at Panchasayakhola Sheep Development Farm, Nuwakot and Chitlang Sheep Development Farm, Makawanpur.
• Jamunapari: It is a duel purpose Indian breed for meat and milk production. Presently it is raised at Goat Research Centre, Bandipur, Tanahu and Goat Development Farm, Budhitola, Dhangadhi.
• Barberi: Barberi is a meat-producing breed. Presently it is raised at Goat Development Farm, Budhitola, Dhanagadhi.
• Beetal: It is raised at Livestock Development Farm, Gaughat, Banke.

Government of Nepal has been given priority on goat production. At Dhangadhi Goat Development Farm has been established under DLS. Research on goats has been conducted at Goat Research Centre, Bandipur and Tanahu under NARC. Research/studies on goats has also been done at IAAS, Rampur and Agricultural Research Centre Pakhribas and Lumle, presently under NARC.

The goats are much preferred than sheep and or large ruminants in Nepal. The major causes are:
• Low capital investment,
• Relatively small body size,
• Higher prolificacy,
• High demand for meat,
• Low risk of animal casualty,
• Lower feed requirement,
• Easy to handle,
• Goats are hardy, inherent ability to utilise mountain terrain, and
• Goats are multipurpose animals.



Pigs (Sus domesticus)

Pigs are important animals raised for meat production. There are 960,827 pigs in Nepal, in which improved breed comprises about 40.8 percentage Total production of meat is about 15,773 Mt in 2005/06. Pigs are mainly found in Southern Terai and Middle Hills. Pigs are raised especially by Indo-Burman ethnic groups and so called scheduled cast. About 75 percent of the pig population are local and are raised by about 32,700 households.
The major breeds of native pigs are Chuwache and Hurra. The pig population is growing by 4% each year. The performance of the native pigs are:
• The age of first farrowing is 15 months,
• The farrowing interval is 196 days
• Number of piglets per farrowing 5 - 6,
• The average body weight of the adult male is 51 kg and female 58 kg,

The major native pig breeds are: .
• Chwache: Chwache pig is found in middle hills. The Chwache pigs are small in body size and black in colour. The average body weight of the female is 24 and male is 32 kg. Chwache breed comprises about 58 percent of the total pig population.
• Hurra: Hurra pig is found in Southern belt of Terai. The Hurra pigs are rusty brown in colour and are larger than Chwache pigs. The average body weight of the female is 49 and male is 45 kg.These pigs are looks like wild pig (Bandel). Hurra pigs comprise about 23 percent of the total pig population.
• Bampudke: Bampudke pig is a wild species is considered as a smallest hog in the world. They are rusty brown to black in colour and the average body weight of the female is 19 and male is 20 kg.
• Bandel: Bandel hogs are wild species found in protected/conservation areas of Nepal.

Most of the native pigs are reared under scavenging system, good in reproductive characters and high qality meat, but are in lower body weight. Upgrading of pigs has been done through cross breeding program with exotic breeds mainly Hampshire, Yorkshire, Landrace, Tamworth, Saddle back and Fayuen.

Various government farms are established to promote pig production such as DLS Farm at Pokhara, Jiri, NARC farms in Tarahara, Khumaltar, Pakhribas and Lumle. The demands of pork are growing especially in the urban centres and thus the pig farming using exotic breeds are becoming popular. The growth rate of improved breed is about 7 percent (LMP, 1993).

The performance of the Exotic pigs is:
• The age of first farrowing is 9 months,
• The farrowing interval is 183 days,
• Number of piglets per farrowing is 7-9.
• The average body weight of the adult male 170 kg and of female 160 kg.

Description of major exotic pig breed:
• Yorkshire: The breed was developed in UK. The breed is white in colour. The adult body weight is about 310-450 kg and of female is 250-350 kg. It is raised at Agriculture Research Centre, Tarahara and Livestock Development Farm, Pokhara.
• Landrace: The breed was developed in Denmark. It was introduced in 1967 from Australia under the "Society for those who have less". The breed is white in colour; it has short legs, long pendulous ear. The adult body weight is about 310-400 kg and of female is 250-350 kg. Presently it is raised at Agriculture Research Centre, Khumaltar and Livestock Development Farm, Jiri.
• Hampshire: The breed was developed in UK. It is famous breed with black in colour with white belt around the chest. The adult body weight is about 270-480 kg and of female is 230-310 kg. Presently, it is raised at Agriculture Research Centre, Tarahara.
• Tamworth: The breed was developed in UK. The breed is golden/orange in colour. The adult body weight is about 320-450 kg and of female is 270-330 kg. Presently, it is raised at Agriculture Research Centre, Pakhribas.
• Pakhribas black: It is developed in Agriculture Research Centre by crossing with Fauyan (China), Tameworth (UK) and Sedal-back (UK). The breed is black in colour. The average adult body weight of male is 170 kg and of female is 160 kg. It is one of the popular breeds in eastern hills.
• Durock: This breed is developed in USA. It has golden/Dark brawn/coffee in colour. It is introduced and popularised by private sector Pig Farm Nakkhu, Lalitpur by Dr J.N. Rai.

At the government farms the pigs are reared under well management practices and are offered balanced ration.

Poultry (Gallus domesticus)

• Traditionally, poultry farming is considered as a lower call business. However, in the recent years the commercial poultry farming is emerging as an viable economical entreprises. It is estimated that over 1594,400 households are rearing poultry birds (CBS, 2006). Since last decades, commercial poultry farming for meat and eggs is being quite popular especially around the urban centres. The total population of poultry birds are 236,14,334 (2,32,21,439 fowl and 392,895 ducks) (ABPSD, 2006) in which 54.2 percent are pure bred poultry birds. Poultry birds contribute 15,835 (fowl 15,605 and ducks 230) Mt in total meat production and the total eggs production are 600,800 thousand (hen 587,219 and ducks 13,581) thousands eggs in 2005/06 (ABPSD, 2006). The poultry population is growing by 5% each year and estimated production of egg for local is 40 and 280 for pure bred hen. There are about 82 hatcheries producing broiler and layers chicken to the commercial poultry farmers. The major commecial breeds are Cobb 100, Cob 500, Kashila, Lohmann, H & N, Hyline, Marshall, and Rose 308.

Three types of poultry breeds are raised in Nepal:
• Local breed: Shakini,
• Pure breed, and
• Synthetic breed.

The types and description of local breed:
The native breeds are of poultry are hardy in nature, suitable for scavenging and are duel purpose, with high meat quality. Following tpypes of native poultry breeds are found in Nepal
• Shakini: The local Shakini breed of poultry is a small in body size, different feather colour, hardy in nature. The egg production capacity is 70 to 80 /year. The average adult body weight is 1.5 to 2.0 kg.
• Ghanti Khuile: The Ghanti Khuile breed of poultry is a typical bird with few feathers in enck, different feather colour, hardy in nature, noted for delecacy of meat. The egg production capacity is 60 to 80 /year. The average adult body weight of male is 1.6 and female is 1.30 kg.
• Puwankh Ulte: The Puwankh Ulte breed of poultry is a typical bird with outward growth of the feathers. The average adult body weight of male is 1.0 and female is 0.9 kg.
Description of exotic poultry breeds:
Pure exotic breeds of poultry birds are raised at Government Farms and are used to upgrade the native breed of poultry birds. Two types of poultry birds are raised in Nepal such as New Hampshire & Austrolorp.

• New Hampshire: It is an American breed, brown in colour. The average body weight of adult male is 3.8 and female 2.9 kg. The egg production potentiality is 200 eggs/yr. At present the breeds is raised at Brooder Farm Banke, Livestock development Farm, Pokhara, Agriculture Centre, Khumaltar, Agriculture Research Centre, Tarahara and Parwanipur.
• Austrolorp: The breed is developed in Australia. The breed is black in colour. The average body weight of adult male is 3.8 and female 2.9 kg. The egg production potentiality is 200 eggs/yr. At present the breeds is raised at NARC Research Centres, Khumaltar, Tarahara and Parwanipur.
• Giri Raja: It was introduced and tested by Pakhribas Agriculture Centre. At present the breeds is raised at NARC Research Centres, Pakhribas,

Synthetic breed/Commercial breeds:
Synthetic breeds are commercial breed (Hybrid) for egg and meat (broiler) production. The eggs and meat production is very high. Similarly, the egg production is about 250-300 per year. The broiler attains 2 to 2.5 kg in 8-10 weeks of age. The synthetic breeds of poultry birds are raised at Private sector for eggs and broiler production. Many synthetic breeds are raised by the private sector such as follows:

• Shaver: It is developed in Canada. Both egg type and broiler type are produced and supplied by major hatchery e.g. Joshi Poultry, Balaju, Kathmandu.
• Babcob: is a breed of layers, developed in USA and promoted by Nepal Poultry, Kathmandu. Ratna Hatchery, Kathmandu.
• Key stone: is a breed of layers, developed in USA and promoted in Nepal by Khatri Industries, Kathmandu,
• Uni- chix: The breed is developed in Czechoslovakia.
• Hy- bro: is a breed of broilers, developed in USA.
• Arbor- Acres: is a breed of broilers, developed in USA.

Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Rabbit farming for wool and meat is recent intervention on livestock production system. Economical importance of rabbit farming and technology for small scale rabbit production was introduced and popularised by ODA funded projects Pakhribas and Lumle Agricultural Centres around 1980's. In the eastern Middle hills like Dhankuta, meat type rabbit are Hy-line Californian, New Zealand white and Chinchilla were introduced and tested. Due to white fur and innocent look the rabbit farming for meat production could not be popularised in Nepal.

In recent years Angora type rabbit for wool production was introduced by the private sector mainly to meet the demand of woollen garments for tourist. The estimated population of Angora rabbit is rearing in 30 districts of Nepal. However, the authentic data of the population is lacking. Most of the rabbit is reared in small scale. The average meat production from rabbit is 1.5 kg/each. And, from Angora type rabbit average wool production is about 1.6 kg/head/yr. The estimated wool production is about 3 Mt kg.

Horses (Equus caballus) and Donkey (Equus asinus)
Horses and donkeys are mainly reared as pack animals. The mules are used for carrying groceries including firewood to food grains. The estimated population is about 0.2 million. About 100500 households are involved in equain farming in Nepal (CBS, 2006). The equines are the most neglected domestic animals in Nepal. Traditionally, farmers are crossing horses and donkey to produce mules, which are popularly used as pack animals at mountains. There is a lack of organised efforts to improve the breed of horse and donkeys. Under DLS donkeys are imported from India and Tibet for the distribution purpose to upgrade and to produce mules in Nepal. During 1986/87 to 1988/89 DLS has distributed 33 donkeys under special program at Dolpa, Humla, Jumla, Kalikot and Mugu.

Elephant (Elephas maximus)

Elephants are reared as a pet animal and were used for transportation in the past. These days, the elephants are used for jungle Shaphari to promote tourism. There are about 200 pet elephants in Chitwan Shaphari Camp. A small number of wild elephants are also found in the national parks of Nepal.


The elephants are massive animals of body weight of adult is about 8000 kg. It has large ear and long trunk. Tusks are present in male. Puberty occurs between 8-12 yr. of age. The gestation period is 21-22 months. The calving interval is 4 years. Life expense is 80-100 yr. Elephants eat natural grasses; tree leaves and bamboo shoots in wild and domesticated elephant are fed on straw hay and paddy grains supplemented with tree leaves. The intake varies from 3 percent of the body weight. At Chitwan national Park an adult elephant is provided 250- 300 kg of ration per day including grasses, paddy and molasses. Hetaunda Cattle feed plant has prepared ration for elephant to supply Chitwan National Park.

Major issues

Growth of urban centred commercialised farming systems: The modern, demand-driven and capital-intensive sector, producing poultry meat, eggs, pork, and sometimes milk, increasingly uses state-of-the-art technologies. This sector utilizes resources, in particular concentrate feed, efficiently - with the notable exception of fossil fuel.
It is rapidly expanding to meet urban demand but it is also susceptible to market upheavals; it generates little employment, poses great environmental risks because it tends to concentrate in areas with good market access, and it creates a number of new challenges for human and veterinary public health. Technology uptake has been fast, driven by commercial interests. At the same time, a traditional, resource-driven and labour-intensive sector, continues to provide a multitude of services to subsistence-oriented farms. While not efficient in terms of introduced inputs, this sector uses resources of little or no alternative uses, and for the same reason, its potential to expand beyond moderate growth rates is constrained by low technology uptake, insufficient market facilities and infrastructure, and small economies of scale. Often, these systems are closed cycles of nutrients, farm labour, energy, etc. Unless these cycles are broken, technology uptake will remain constrained.
We are therefore witnessing a dualistic mode of development, with two conflicting components. First, a modern, demand-driven and capital-intensive sector, producing poultry meat, eggs, pork, and sometimes milk, increasingly uses state-of-the-art technologies. This sector utilizes resources, in particular concentrate feed, efficiently - with the notable exception of fossil fuel. It is rapidly expanding to meet urban demand but it is also susceptible to market upheavals; it generates little employment, poses great environmental risks because it tends to concentrate in areas with good market access, and it creates a number of new challenges for human and veterinary public health. Technology uptake has been fast, driven by commercial interests. At the same time, a traditional, resource-driven and labour-intensive sector, continues to provide a multitude of services to subsistence-oriented farms. While not efficient in terms of introduced inputs, this sector uses resources of little or no alternative uses, and for the same reason, its potential to expand beyond moderate growth rates is constrained by low technology uptake, insufficient market facilities and infrastructure, and small economies of scale. Often, these systems are closed cycles of nutrients, farm labour, energy, etc. Unless these cycles are broken, technology uptake will remain constrained.
• Subsistence production: Subsistence Nepalese farming is the major limitations to commercial livestock development. Rearing few heads of animals to fulfil the domestic need has hindered the surplus production of livestock products. Recent trend of dairy production has been curtailed due to access to market and dairy processing centres.
• Conventional system: Common believes towards livestock production system that livestock thrives on grazing and crop by-products limited the cultivation of quality forage crops and adequate feeding.
• Indiscriminate breeding practices: The ancient practices of donation of high pedigree breeding bull have been demolished by inferior animals, which deteriorated the quality of livestock in a long run.
• Small farm holding: The average farm size is about 0.9 ha in which farmers have to grow almost all crops for their subsistence, leaving less and/or land for forage cultivation. Too small size of land holding discouraged the rearing of large herds of less productive animals.
• Splitting families: The traditional combined family has been splitting, which has created a shortage of family members to look after the herds. Due to the lack of adequate manpower peoples of the northern belt are abandoning to rear large herds of animals (Yak/Chauri, sheep, goats and other).
• Shrinking feed resources: The natural community lands and forests resources which was previously used for free grazing has been disappearing due to acquisition for cultivation, forestation, community forestry and other uses. Thus causing extreme feed shortage and farmers has compelled to quite farming of large herds of livestock.
• Government policies/priorities: There is no clear policie for livestock development and the livestock sector development is not the first priority of the government.
• Decreasing number native breed: The native breeds such as Achhami cattle, Yak/Nak population is rapidely decreasing.
• Seasonal production of milk: Most of the milk is produced during flush season (mid August to mid February) where milk production exceeds the market demand where as during lean season (mid February – mid August) the production is too low to carter to consumer demand.
• Management and other support facilities: The support facilities such as veterinary services, concentrated feeds, breeding and others are limited and confined in accessible areas only.

Recommendations

• Markets and marketing: The markets and marketing for livestock products and relevant inputs are very poor in the country. There are three dairies one under Government control and two under private sector. These dairies are collecting less than 10 percent of the total raw milk from the periphery of national high way. Despite these dairies, a small amount of raw milk produced at Northern (Mountains) belt is consumed by Cheese factories. Most of the raw milk of remote areas are locally utilised for domestic consumption and/or making ghee. Providing the marketing facilities their are wide scope for dairy development in Nepal.
• Feeds and forage development: The shortage of feeds and forage especially during winter season is a major limiting factor for enhanced livestock production. Forage cultivated is still a new intervention for the farmers. Extensive programmes and supply of genetic materials such as seeds, vegetative materials for extensive forage development would be useful to increase the production and productivity of livestock.
• Choices of livestock breeds: In the well access areas with infrastructure, markets and health services commercial breeds should be used (dairy cattle/buffaloes, pigs/poultry). In the rural areas of Southern and Middle belt native buffaloes, sheep, goats should be promoted. In Northern belt Yak/Nak, Chauris, sheep and mountain goats should be promoted.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Forage Development in Nepal

Forage Development in Nepal
> By: Rameshwar Singh Pande, 20





1.0 GenesisFeeds and forage development especially under farmers field conditions is a new intervention in Nepal. Traditionally, grazing based feeding system supplemented with crop residues is practiced by majority of the farmers, supplementations of high cultivated forage or concentrated feeding is exceptional especially to local cattle. However, wide ranges of tree leaves are fed to animals since long ago. System development of feeds and forage cultivation practices, believed to be started during Rana period through introduction of Jursey cow and temperate pasture species like white clover (Trifolium repens) (Pande, 1997) in Nepal. Since, then the activities of feeds and forage development were given least priority by the government until 1980's.



07


Though the Agriculture development Board was established in 1937 (1994 BS), however, significant achievement on feeds and forage improvements at farmers level started only after the interventions of two projects namely ADB funded Livestock Development Project (LDP) and UNDP funded Northern Belt Pasture Development Program (NBPDP). Before 1980's, forage cultivation was confined within the government Farms only. A total of 36 ha of croplands were under fodder cultivation in 1980. Since, the popularity of dairy farming in Southern belt and Middle hills, practices of forage cultivation is also increasing. Presently, over 2,000 ha of different types of fodder crops are grown. Similarly, only 177 ha of land were under improved pastures in 1980. To date, over 8,500 ha of native rangelands have been improved by various means and over 89 animal feed mills are established who prepare and supply all kind of livestock and poultry feeds. Recently, the pace of rangeland improvement activities is in decreasing trend, mainly due to the termination of the NBPDP.
The area under fodder cultivation is less than 0.05 percent of the total agricultural land. Similarly, only 0.5 percent of the total rangelands have been improved so far. When compared with the other countries the land devoted for fodder cultivation is negligible. The developed countries have allocated a significant amount of land for forage and pasture production. Even in the neighbouring country like India where over 5 percent of the cultivated land is under fodder crop and 36 percent under permanent pastures. Similarly, in China over 10 percent of the croplands are under forage crops and over 26 percent of the total land is categorised as rangelands. In New Zealand where the livestock (sheep, cattle and deer) are the major economical activity almost all-agricultural land is devoted for pasture production.



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1.2 Major Institutions (GO/NGO/INGO & Private sector) Involved on Feeds and Forage Development
The sole institute involved in fodder and pasture development is HMG/N, Department of Livestock Services. Despite DLS, other organizations are: -
• Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC),
• Department of Forestry (DOF),
• Department of Soil Water Conservation (DSWC),
• Tribhuvan University
• Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), b) Institute of Forestry
• National Forage and Grassland Research Centre (NFGRC),
• Palpa Pasture Development Association,
• And, others.
Various international organizations have supported HMG/N to overall development of livestock, forage and rangelands. Majors are:
• FAO, Study on Livestock and Dairy Development (1952);
• FAO, New Zealand Government to establish cheese factory (1953),
• Swiss Government to establish Jiri Multipurpose Centre (1957),
• New Zealand Government to establish Dairy plant (1959),
• FAO, Trishuli Watershed Project (1968),
• British Government: Pakhribas/Lumle Agricultural Centre (1968)
• FAO, Sheep, goats and wool Development Project (1974),
• FAO, High Altitude Pasture Development Project (1980),
• USAID, Resource Conservation and Utilization Project, 1980,
• Swiss Government Tinau Watershed Project (1981-90),
• USAID, Agriculture Research and Production Project (1981-90),
• World Bank, Rasuwa Nuwakot Rural Development Project (1986-90),
• USAID, Rapti Development Project (1987-95),
• HELVETAS/GTZ, Palpa District Development Project (1989-94),
• Multinational donors, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development,
• IFAD/UNDP/the Netherlands Government supported Hills Leasehold Forestry and Forage Development Project (1993- continued)
• EC, Gulmi Arghakhanchi Rural Development Project Phase I & II (1996- 2003)

Presently 14 Farms/Research Centres has been involved directly or indirectly on forage and pasture development activities. Out of the total 9 farms are under DLS and 5 under NARC. 5 (3 Farms and 2 Centre) are located in Northern Mountain belt similarly 5 (4 Farms and 1 Centre) is located at Southern Terai and 4 (2 Farm and 2 Centre) located at Middle Hills (Table 4.1). Out of the total Farms three DLS Farms and two Research Centre is exclusively involved in forage and pasture development activities. The Farms of Janakpur, Ranjitpur and Gaughat is involved on tropical/sub-tropical forage development. Similarly the Research Centre of Khumaltar and Rasuwa is involved in high altitude pasture development activities. These Farms are producing a small amount of forage and pasture seed for its own use and the surplus seeds are sold to the farmers.

Forage and Pasture Production Programs under DLS/NARC:
• Northern /Himalay region: Livestock Dev. Jiri (DLS), Sheep Dev Farm, Nuwakot (DLS) Yak Dev Farm Solukhumbu (DLS), Pasture Research Centre, Rasuwa (NARC), Sheep/goat Research Centre, Jumla (NARC)
• Southern /Terai region: Pasture Dev Farm, Janakpur (DLS), Pasture Dev Farm, Ranjitpur, Sarlahi (DLS), Livestock Dev Farm, Banke (DLS), Goat Dev Farm Dhanghadhi (DLS), Tarahara Research Centre, Sunsari (NARC)
• Middle Hills region: Livestock Dev Farm, Pokhara (DLS), Sheep/Goat Dev Farm, Chitlang, (DLS), Fodder & pasture Research Centre, Khumaltar.(NARC), Goat Research Centre, Bandipur (NARC)

1.3 Status of Forage and Pasture Seed Production:Seeds and planting materials are basic requisites to carry out forage development activities. Shortage of forage seed limiting its developmental activities. Since the efforts of government and non-government organizations significant achievements have obtained in forage seed production sector.

During FY 1994/ 95 total forage seed production was 54 mt in which 54 percent is produced within the Government Farms and only rest by the private sectors. There are 21 species of forage crops used for seed production. At farmers level only 6 species are grown for seed production viz. oat, vetch, berseem, teosente, stylo, molasses and beans. Oat and berseem are the most popular species at farmers level. Contribution of oat and berseem in total production is about 68 and 13 percent respectively. Despite the above species a wide range of perennial forage species, which are propagated by vegetative means such as Napier, Para, broom and setaria, are grown in Farms as well as farmers field.

Present level of seed production is meeting only 62 percent of the domestic demand. Many experts such as Basnyat (1988); Pariyar (1990); Morrison, (1991); Stevens (1991) and Miller (1993) suggested that forage seed production program is the single agricultural input which could help to solve the acute shortage of livestock feed as well to control environmental degradation through improved forage cultivation practices. So, an organised effort is needed on forage seed production for the expansion of forage improvement.

1.3.1 Scope and opportunities for Forage Seed ProductionThere is great potentiality to grow different species of forage seeds in Nepal. The most potential areas from the seed production point of view are:

• Berseem has been found suitable in southern belt of Dhanusha, Mahotari, Sarlahi, Banke and Dang where there are irrigation facilities. It is estimated that about 0.2 m ha of paddy land could be used for berseem seed production in these districts, which could produce minimum 40,000 mt of seed (Pande, 1995).
• Seed production of stylo has been found successful in lower belt of Palpa, Dang and Makawanpur up to altitude of 1500 m.
• Seed production of oat, vetch and teosente are found success in Southern Terai and Middle hills of Nepal.
• Among the temperate pasture species such as white clover, ryegrass, cocksfoot, paspalum are found successful at Rasuwa, Mustang, Jiri and Dolpa.
• Potential native species for seed production are: Elymus nutans, Pennisetum flaccidum and Medicago falcata in the temperate zone of mountains especially in Mustang, Manang, Dolpa, Jiri, Dolkha and Jumla.

1.3.2 Major species for Intensive useOut of introduced species in Nepal all potential species suitable for different agro-ecological zone may not be applicable to develop and recommend for the production of forage at farmers level. The most potential and farmer's preferred species should be developed as a pet species at the present level of available resources. The potential pet species are as follows:


The Pet Species for Forage Development at farmers level:
• Berseem: As winter-feed on the cultivated lands throughout whole Southern and Middle belts.
• Vetch: As winter feed on the cultivated lands throughout Southern and Middle hills
• Stylo: For silvi-pasture development on barren/steep lands throughout Southern and Middle hills up to 1500 m.
• White clover: For range seeding on mid hills and Mountains from 1500- 4000 m
• Oat: As winter-feed on cultivated lands throughout Nepal
• Teosinte: As summer feed on cultivated lands throughout Southern and Middle hills.
• Napier: As summer feed on bunds, terrace and roadside throughout southern and middle hills up to 1500 m.
• Molasses: For silvi-pasture use to grow on barren/steep lands through out hills from 500-1500 m.
• Perennial Ryegrass: For range seeding on Mid hills and Mountains from 1500 - 4000 m
• Cocksfoot: For range seeding on mid hills and mountains from 1500- 4000 m

1.5 Status of concentrated feed production To promote concentrated feed production for livestock and poultry birds HMG/N has established the Animal Feed Production and Distribution Board (AFPDBP) in FY 1970/71. The Board was previously known as Cattle Feed and Carcass Utilization Plant. The Plant was established at Hetaunda in order to produce balance ration for animals and poultry birds. In FY 1984/85 the CFCU was reformed and named Animal Feed Production and Distribution Board. The plant is producing 60,000 Mt of feed annually for livestock, pigs, poultry, fish and elephant. Since the poultry farming enterprises is flourishing at private level various feed industries has been established in the country.

1.6 Major Limitations and recommendations
• Lack of proper priority: Forage development program is in low priority sector compared with the other activities of livestock development. For example, animal health cares vs livestock feeds.
Priority should be given to improve the feeds supply on year round basis to increase the livestock production and productivity compared to other activities related to livestock development. It will not only solve the feed deficit situation of the existing population but will also control the depletion of the environment due to overgrazing and misuse.

• Competition between food and forage crops: Most of the farms are small in size and are growing food crops for the domestic consumption. Interruption or any change on the traditional crop farming system affects on the food supply pattern. As most of the winter/summer forage crops compete with food crops farmers does not like to grow fodder especially in the cropland. For example, berseem/oat VS. Wheat crop.

Use of uncultivated fallow croplands: Extensive programs should be launched to grow forage crops on buds, terrace risers, fallow crop field and nook and corners of the crop field. Priority should be given to improve the degraded grazing lands, community lands and the roadside, banks of canal for intensive fodder cultivation
• Subsistence farming system: Most of the farms are subsistence type. Farmers are growing varieties of crops relatively in a small amount on a small piece of land to support the requirements of the families. Specialisation or commercial production of crops especially the forage seeds are lacking. Farmers involved in forage production grow some seed for their future use; only surplus seeds are sold to the markets. It was observed that majority of the farmers grow forage crops only in about 500 - 2000 Sq. m area which is quite insufficient to meet the requirements of livestock reared under stall fed conditions.

• High cost involvement: The cultivation practices of most of the fodder crop and the pasturelands improvements practices require high cost. Which are beyond the investment capacity of individual farmers. For example, higher price of seed/planting materials (Annex 4.2).

• Input supply, seeds/seedlings: Generally there is a shortage of inputs especially seeds seedlings of the fodder and pasture crops. Furthermore, due to the lack of proper mechanism for distribution the seeds are not readily available to the farmers.

Input supply: Input supply should be improved by establishing resource centres for seeds seedlings and planting materials on the potential sites. This will not only improve the supply of input needed but also provide income generation opportunities to the rural people. Provision should be made for the easy and timely availability of necessary inputs and ingredient for livestock feed industries.
• Appropriate technology and its dissemination: There is a lack of proper technology for fodder cultivation and pasturelands improvements. In the past wide range of exotic species has been used without prior trials especially onto the existing high altitude pastures which fail to establishment in many cases No proper technology has been developed for steppe region.

Strengthening of the government Farms: The involved Farms should be strengthened and a seed production Farm at high altitude regions should be established for temperate seed production. Immediate attention is needed to replace the old cultivars of the Government Farms and the seeds of the registered seed growers with a high quality breeds seeds to maintain the varietal purity as well as to maintain the productivity of the seeds.

• Training and Skill: Forage and pasture improvement is a specialised job. It needs trained manpower for its production/management. There is a shortage of trained manpower either at government or at private level. The government staff needs to be trained for the production of quality founder seed, breeding, processing and other aspects whereas the farmers need to be trained to the production of growers seed and its quality control, harvesting, processing and proper storage.

Training and skill: Massive training and awareness program should be launched to promote fodder cultivation and pasturelands improvements. Publications of booklets, leaflets, charts, posters, and video film could be an effective media to create awareness among the rural farmers.

• Market and marketing: Due to poor markets and marketing facilities of livestock products farmers are reluctant to invest on improved livestock production system. Similarly, there is lack of proper markets for the forage seeds and planting materials. Furthermore, due to inadequate storage facilities most of the seeds are westage if not sold in time.

Market/marketing: Markets and marketing facilities for livestock products, planting materials and livestock feeds should be developed to encourage the improved livestock and forage seed production.

Export possibilities: Possibilities for the exportation of forage seed especially to the SAARC countries should be explored and a specialized quality seed growers Farmers Association should be formed for this purpose.

• Quality of seeds and seedlings: Another major problem to forage and pasture development is the poor quality of seeds and planting materials. Most of the seed produced both at Government Farm and farmers level are of poor quality. Quality Control: Standard norms, guidelines should be developed to control the quality of seeds, seedlings and planting materials.
• Poor Coordination: There is a lack of coordination among the government organisations especially in the case of research and extension (between DLS and NARC/IAAS), for the sustainable use of natural resources such as pasturelands, forests (between DLS and DOF/DSWC). Co-ordination: A close co-ordination and decision should be taken at policy level especially among the government organisations especially in the case of research and extension (between DLS and NARC/IAAS) for the sustainable use of natural resources such as pasturelands, forests (between DLS and DOF/DSWC).
• Open trade: A large quantities of forage seeds and planting materials are imported from India and abroad by the private sector. It is estimated that about 800-1,000 kg of berseem and 3,000 - 5,000 kg of oat seeds are brought from India by the local vendors and sold in the local weekly markets. The prices of such seed are much cheaper than locally grown seeds. These imported seeds are found low in quality and of unspecified cultivars.
• Income and employment generation source: Forage production and marketing activities should be promoted as a potential source of income and employment generation especially for the rural farmers.
• Involvement of private sector: Private sectors should be encouraged and environment should be created for their contribution especially in the field of forage seed production, feed formulation, markets and marketing development related to fodder, pasture and livestock feeds.
• People’s participation: The forage development program should be carried out through strong peoples participation. So, they should realize that the program is their need and they will get benefited after its success.

Use of Fodder Trees and Forest Foliage in Nepal


strong>Use of Fodder Trees and Forest Foliage in Nepal


By: Rameshwar Singh Pande

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1. Importance of Fodder Tree Species in NepalFodder shrubs/trees as animal feed, particularly during winter and dry period have been the important traditional source of livestock feed especially, in the Middle and Northern Belt of Nepal. Plantation of fodder trees and shrubs are an ecological sound practices, which contributes on soil conservation and maintaining agricultural sustainability.

Fodder trees and shrubs play an important role in Nepalese economy. More than 136 different species of trees/shrubs have been used as a source of livestock feed in Nepal. Trees/shrubs are the main source of fodder and bedding material for livestock, fuel-wood for energy needs and, timber for house construction. Traditionally, foliage of fodder tree and shrub has been offered to cattle, buffalo, and goats especially in stall-fed conditions. For example, in high Northern Belt, when, the pasturelands are covered with snow for most of the winter season (5-6 months of a year) and there is a conserved forage deficit, the foliage of trees/shrubs help the requirements of feed for livestock.



It is estimated that fodder (either planted or naturally grown) trees/shrubs provide approximately 41 percent of DM in annual feed supply (Pandey, 1982). Pandey (1990a) estimates that about 12 percent of foliage of trees/shrubs has been supplemented with other roughage to dairy cattle in Nepal. A household survey carried out in a Chautara, Nepal showed that the use of fodder was 655 kg per caput, and use of litter for bedding material was 459 kg per caput (New Era, 1980). Despite to provide fodder and bedding material to livestock trees and shrubs also provide fuel-wood, poles and timber for house construction. Fuel-wood is the major source of the energy needs. It was estimated that fuel-wood provides more than 87percent of the country's energy need (Manandhar, 1980; Danovan, 1981). Campbell (1983) found that average annual consumption of fuel-wood in middle hill areas of Nepal was 640 kg per caput.

Trees/shrubs not only provide fodder and fuel-wood at the same time also serve as an excellent source for soil improvement and conservation (Brewbaker, 1983). Leguminous fodder species able to fix 500 kg N/ha/yr. (Withinglin, 1987). Plantation of trees/shrubs along the counters is widely recommended to reduce the run off of water and protect terrace (Lundgren and Nair, 1983; Gilmour, 1984; Weirsum, 1984; Benge, 1987). By planting trees/shrubs, soil erosion can be reduced to about one ton of soil per hectare as compared with annual loss of about 120 Mt under a typical crop production system (Maharajan, 1987).

Most of the leaves of trees/shrubs are of low palatability and low digestibility (Wilson, 1977; Pande, 1990). Many browse species, which have been used in Nepal found to contain high concentration of hydrocyanic acid (HCN) (Pandey, 1982); tannins (Shrestha and Pakhrin, 1989), which is related to decrease in milk yield and can cause gastro-urinal problems in ruminant (Pandey, 1982; Shrestha and Pakhrin, 1989). Animal production is also low when foliage of tree/shrubs were fed as a sole diet to animals (Pande, 1990) but fodder can still be the sole source of feed for animal when herbaceous forage is scare.

2 Feed value of fodder MaterialsFodder serve as a supplementary diet as well as sole diet for ruminant. fodder trees constitutes a valuable source of feed for livestock especially during lean period. Pandey (1990b) reviewed the nutritive value of fodder species and analysis of 19 different fodder tree species which are commonly used in Nepal showed that on an average CP content is generally high i.e. 18.7 percent CP on percent DM (Panday, 1990b). Similarly, Pandey (1982) listed the chemical composition of 49 different species of fodder species which contain 13.6 percent CP (range 5.2 - 29.7 percent DM). Mahto et al (1989) reported that protein content in 6 Ficus species were ranged 8.5 to 13.5 percent which was higher than the protein requirement of lactating ruminant. However, the dry matter digestibility (DMD) was low ranged from 24.4 to 54.1 percent DM.

Most of the fodder species contain adequate amount of trace elements such as Mn, Zn, Fe, Ca and K. However, many browse species are low in Na, P and Cu (Jones, 1979; NAS, 1975; Bohra and Ghose, 1980; Pandey, 1982; Ranawana, 1987; Gupta and Balaraman, 1989).

Leguminous fodder tree species are relatively higher in nutritive value compared to non-leguminous species. For example, Nitrogen (N) content in tagasaste (Chamaecytisus palmensis) was found 3.2 percent DM and in vitro dry matter digestibility (DMD) was 69.3 (Pande, 1990). Similarly, widely used fodder tree species Leucaena contain 2.9percent and in -vitro DMD was 62.2 (Cheva-isarakull & Polikanond, 1985). However, fodder species are generally higher in fibber content compared to grasses in flush season.

Fodder trees/shrub may not be an efficient sole diet for livestock but as a supplement with poor quality roughage such as straw and poor quality grasses, browse may serve as an excellent feed especially in dry season. Van Eys et al (1986) reported that there were increased growth rate in growing goats when napier grass supplemented with tree legumes like gliricidia, leucaena and sesbania compared to napier grass alone in Indonesia. Reynolds and Adediran (1988) reported that lamb growth rate increased when Panicum maximum and cassava peel were supplemented with Leucaena leucocephala and Gliricidia sepium leaves were fed as a basal diet (in 1:w/w) compared to control diet of Panicum maximum and cassava peel alone.

Published data on the grazing behaviour and preference for browsing behaviour show that goats utilise browse more than any other ruminant. Devendra (1987) categorised goat as browsers and sheep and cattle as grazers. Van Dyne et al (1980) reviewed the wide range of literature and concluded that the overall contribution of browse in greater in goat diet than in sheep and cattle (Table -2). However, Sharma (1985) reported that cattle and buffaloes are the most utilise of fodder trees compared to goat in mid-hills of Nepal but he did not mentioned whether the browse were offered in stall- fed or in free ranging conditions.

3 Estimated Production of Fodder
Fodder trees/shrubs are popularly grown in the Middle and Northern Belt. The productivity of the fodder trees/shrubs depends on species, age, height of the plant and the lopping cycle. The productivity of the fodder trees/shrubs vary from 15- 60 kg/tree/annum (Pandey, 1982).

4 Fodder tree Species Developmental ActivitiesProduction and distribution of fodder trees/shrubs saplings are the major activities of various GO/NGOs. For example, district level offices of Department of Livestock Services, Department of Forest, Department of Soil water Conservation are producing a large number of fodder trees/shrubs sapling and distributes to the farmers at nominal price. Annual distribution of the saplings varies from 1-3 million/year. However, information on the survival percentage and contribution on fodder supply is extremely lacking.

5 Major Fodder tree SpeciesThere are over 136 species of trees/shrubs, which are used as livestock fodder in Nepal (Pande, 1991; Pandey, 1982). Most of these species are non- - legume. A review of the available fodder tree species revealed that only few are legumes.

5.1 Native fodder tree Species
5.1.1 Badahar (Artocarpus lakoocha
): It is a most popular fodder tree in Northern and Middle Belt of Nepal. It grows between 200 - 1500 m altitudes. The tree grows up to 30 m high. It is an evergreen in nature. It can be propagated by seeds, nursery raised seedlings and stem cuttings. When grown in seedbed, seed is sown in March to May. Best time for plantation is from July to August. Lopping is done from October/December and April/June.

5.1.2 Bauhinia species: Tanki (Bauhinia purpurea Linn) and Koiralo (Bauhinia variegata Linn): Bauhinia species are most popular native fodder trees. Both are deciduous in nature. Plant grow up to 10 m tall, however, the Koiralo plant grow up to 15m. Plant occurs at Southern to Middle belt regions from 300 m to 1800 masl. It belongs to the leguminous family. However, it does not fix atmospheric Nitrogen. The pod and flowers of Koiralo is consumed as vegetable. Naturally grown plant is protected along the bunds and the terrace risers in the crop field. It can be propagated by seeds and nursery raised seedlings. Branch cuttings and stumps are also used for propagation. When grown in seedbed, seed is sown in March to May, the seedpod ripens two months later (i.e. March to June) (Napier and Robbins, 1989). Lopping is done from October/November to March/April. The fodder production varies from 10- 72 kg DM/tree (Warmald et al, 1983; Amatya, 1990). The CP content is up to 30 percent.

5.1.3 Caragana: Caragana brevispina and Caragana geradiana: Caragana are the shrub of steppe region. The shrub is found in the rain shadow area of Nepal like Mustang, Manang district. a) C. geradiana is found at the elevation of 3000-4000m whereas C. brevispina occurs at the higher elevation than C. geradiana at 4200-5000masl. C. geradiana grow up to 80 m tall. b) C. brevispina is bigger than C. geradiana, grows up to 120 m tall. It is highly nutritious, provides green fodder during the dry season. It is browsed by sheep and goats.

5.1.4 Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L. Millsp): It is a multipurpose leguminous fodder shrub grows up to 3 m high. It is mainly used as pulse crop in Nepal. It is drought tolerant. It is suitable to grow in Southern and Middle Belt up to 1500 m. Some Indian cultivars of fodder type were introduced at Pokhara Livestock Farm in around 1988 but the plant failed to establish (Shrestha et al, 1990). Later in 1990 it was reintroduced by Nepal Agroforestry Foundation and tested at Manthali, Ramechhap and Kabhre. It produced 3 -4 ton DM/ha in 2-4 cuttings a year (April - May) (Pandit, 1992).

5.1.5 Dudhilo (Ficus nemoralis): It is a most popular fodder tree of western region. It naturally grows between 1200 - 2400 m altitudes. The tree grow up to 30 m high It is a deciduous in nature, old leaves shade during December - January and new flush starts from February - March. The plant remains bare only for short period. It can be propagated by seeds and nursery raised seedlings and stem cuttings. Branch cuttings and stumps are also used for propagation. When grown in seedbed, seed is sown in March to May. Best time for plantation is from July to August. It flowers during February to March, the seed ripens two months later i.e. March - June Lopping is done from October/December and April/June. The fodder production varies from 20 to 55 kg/tree. The CP content is up to 12.3 percent. The foliage contains glucocides 'Saponin' which have side affects to animals and may cause Haematuria.

5.1.6 Bhimal (Grewia optiva): It is a most important fodder tree of western region. It naturally grows between 500 - 1800 m altitudes. It is a medium sized plant. The tree grows up to 15 m high. Old leaves shed on March - April and new flush starts from April - May. The plant remains bare leaf during March- April. It can be propagated by seeds and nursery raised seedlings and stem cuttings. Branch cuttings and stumps are also used for propagation. When grown in seedbed, seed is sown in March to May. Best time for plantation is from July to August. It flowers during April - June, the fruit ripens from October - December. Fruits are edible. Lopping is done from October - February and May - June. The fodder production varies from 35 - 130 kg/tree. The best fodder no side affects has been reported. The CP content is up to 18.8 percent.

5.1.7 Oak (Quercus leucotrichophora): It is a most important fodder tree of temperate region. It naturally grows between 1200 - 2500 m altitudes. The tree grows up to 30 m high. It is an evergreen in nature; new flush starts from March - April. It can be propagated by seeds and nursery raised seedlings and stem cuttings. Branch cuttings and stumps are also used for propagation. When grown in seedbed, seed is sown in March to May. Best time for plantation is from July to August. It flowers during April - May, the fruit (acorn) ripens on December - January. Lopping is done from November - March and May - June. The fodder production varies from 55 - 160 kg/tree. The CP content is up to 11.6 percent. The new flush contains high concentration of tannins, which could have side affects to animals if consumed in large quantity.

5.2 Exotic Browse Species
5.2.1 Kaliandra (Calliandra calothyrus Meissn
): It is a multipurpose leguminous fodder shrub grows up to 5 m high. It is drought tolerant but does not thrive under water logged conditions. It is suitable to all over Nepal ranging from Terai to mountains up to 1500 masl. The plant is propagated by seeds. If the seed is treated with hot water prior to seeding rapid germination could be obtained. If the nursery raised seedlings to be planted the seedlings should be of 4--6 months old at the time of planting. The planting distance should be 2 X 2 or 1 X 1 m. The fodder is highly nutritious; CP content is about 22 percent. It produces 7- 10 ton DM /ha of fodder (RAPA, 1987). The plant is also used for ornamental purpose, erosion control and green manuring. It was tested at Rampur Chitwan (3220 m) in 1983. The seed was brought from Hetaunda, Forestry Institute, the performance was good. Within the six months of age the plant attended 0.3-m high and the survival rate was 93 percent an up to the age of six month (Shah, et al, 1990). It was also promoted by Nepal Agroforestry Foundation in around 1990 and tested at Manthali, Ramechhap (altitude 500 masl) and Kabhre district. The seed was brought from NifTAL, USA. It can be sown directly onto the steep slops and poor sites. It gives 4 cuttings a year (April - May) and produces 46 ton/ha of fresh fodder (Pandit, 1992).

5.2.2 Tagasaste (Chamaecytisus palmensis) (Christ) Hutch.: Tagasaste is leguminous shrub of temperate climate. It is a fast growing, drought resistant shrub of 4-5 m tall. This shrub is quite popular in New Zealand and Australia. The DM Production is up to 25 Mt DM/ha on a 1000 plant/ha basis. The plant is relatively free from disease and pest. Tagasaste is highly nutritious, CP content is about 22 % and digestibility is 71 percent. There is no any side effect reported to be found in tagasaste. Tagasaste was introduced at Khumaltar in around 1984. The plant germinated and grew up to knee height during the dry season but wilted and died during the rainy season due to the water logged conditions (LP Sharma: Personal communication). It was reintroduced in 1991 by the author and tested at Khumaltar. The plant well established and started to flower also but later the plant was uprooted and removed by the authority (Plate - 9)

5.2.3 Flemingia (Flemingia congesta Roxb.): It is a leguminous fodder shrub grows up to 2 m high. It has trifoliate leaves. It is popularly known as "Bhatmase" in Nepal. It is drought tolerant as well as survives short water logging conditions. It is suitable to all over Nepal ranging from Southern Terai to mountains up to 1200 m. It is also used as bush plant to support the creeping legumes such as Centro, kudzu Seratro and others. It was introduced by Nepal Agroforestry Foundation in around 1990 and tested at Manthali, Ramechhap and Kabhre district. The seed was brought from NifTAL, USA. It is popularly grown at terrace edge of the lowland. It gives 6 cuttings a year (April - May) and produces 44 ton/ha of fresh fodder (Pandit, 1992).

5.2.4 Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Steud.) (Syn. Gliricidia maculata (H.B.K.) Stued.: It is a fast growing deciduous leguminous shrub. It grows up to 10 m. It prefers tropical/subtropical climate and high rainfall. It could be grown in Southern Terai and hills up to 1500 m but performs well under high rainfall areas. It can be propagated by seeds, seedlings and stem cuttings. For better germination seed should be treated with hot water for 2-3 minutes prior to seeding. It is highly nutritious. The CP content is about 20 percent. The root, barks and seeds are poisonous to cattle (Smith and Van Houtert, 1987). It was considered as a substitute for Leucaena leucocephala. The plant was introduced by Forest Research Division in 1984 and tested at Bara district. In the 18 months of age the plant attended 3.3-m height. The plant was observed to flourish well at Palpa, Tamagadhi and Rampur. It was tested at Rampur Chitwan (3220 m) in 1983. The seed was brought from Hetaunda, Forestry Institute and the performance was found good. It was observed that the plant coppices well. It was also introduced by DLS/Second Livestock Development Project. 10 kg of seed was imported from Australia and tested at Janakpur, Ranjitpur and Pokhara Farm. The performance has not been recorded yet.

5.2.5 Guazuma (Guazuma ulmifolia L./OR Guazuma tomentosa): It is a leguminous fodder shrub grows up to 5 m high. It is drought tolerant as well as survives short water logging conditions. It is suitable to all over Nepal ranging from Terai to mountains up to 1500 m. Forestry Research Institute introduced it in 1985. It performed well. The plant was established in 1986 July during November 1990 the fodder yield was 10.1 kg/tree and in My, 1991 fodder yield was 13.3 (Amatya, 1992). It was also tested by Nepal Agroforestry Foundation in around 1990. The plant was established at Manthali, Ramechhap and Kabhre district. The seed was brought from NifTAL, USA. It is popularly grown at terrace edge of the cropland. It gives 3-4 cuttings a year (April - May) and produces reasonable quantity of fodder (Nepal Krish Ban Pratisthan: Nepal Agroforestry Foundation, 1993).

5.2.6 Ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit.: It is the most popular and widely grown multipurpose fodder species at tropical region of the world. It can be grown from low-lying Terai to 1500-m altitude. The species is widely used for fuelwood, timber and green manuring purposes. It is also used as windbreaks, firebreaks, shade and ornamentation. It can be grown in the tropical and subtropical climate. Depending on variety leucaena grow up to 20 m high. Fodder is highly nutritious, digestible and palatable to cattle, buffalo and goats. Due to the memosine content it is not recommended to the non-ruminants and sheep as it causes some side effects. Plant starts flowering at the age of 4 years. It flowers through out the year except December - January. It bears long and flat seed pot. The seedpods mature after 3-4 months of flowering. It is propagated by direct seeding and from nursery seedling or stump cuttings. For better germination the seed should be emerged in hot water (80 .C) for about 2-3 minutes prior to seeding. Usually planted in 1 by 1-m spacing. a) Leucaena leucocephala was introduced in around 1980 under the DLS/Livestock Development Project and tested at Janakpur, Ranjitpur, Pokhara and other places. The performance of leucocephala was found very promising and also liked by the farmers. It was used as a per species by the Government agency for multipurpose use such as fodder, fuelwood and for soil improvement. In 1983, seven different strains of Leucaena such as CIAT 17388, CIAT 17474, CIAT 17477, K 8, K 28 and K 67 were introduced and tested at Pokhara. The seed was brought from CIAT. During the late 1990s the popularity of the leucocephala started to decline due to the psylllid problem. Alternative to leucocephala many psyllid resistant varieties were introduced and tested in Nepal. In 1990, Second Livestock Development Project/DLS imported 100 kg of leucaena CV Cunningham from Australia and distributed at Janakpur, Ranjitpur and Pokhara Farm. The performance has yet to be reported. Varieties like K- 8 and K- 636 were tested at Bauhinepati under World Neighbor. K- 636 was found good for Terai and K- 8 performed well at lower hills. b. Leucaena diversifolia (Schlecht) Benth. It is a cold- tolerant species of leucaena (Brewbaker, 1983). It is also known to be psyllid resistant variety of Leucaena. In 1983, four different strains of L. diversifolia viz. CIAT–17388,CIAT 17461,CIAT 17485, CIAT 17505, CIAT 17489, CIAT 17503 were introduced and tested at Pokhara. The seed was brought from CIAT. Similarly, three varieties were tested at Rampur (altitude 320 masl) viz. K 29; K 156 and Nizgarh in 1983. The performance was quite good. The cultivars are most promising for Terai and hills. It can grow at higher altitude up to 1300 m.

5.2.7 Black Locust (Robinia pseudocacia L.): It is a tall tree like deciduous plant grows up to 30 m high. It is a native of North America. The plant is adapted to Temperate Zone. It can propagate by seeds, seedlings, and root suckers. The foliage is used as fodder to the livestock, as well as silage production in Bhutan (Nordmeyer, 1988) It can grow in between 1500 - 3500 m altitude in Nepal. The old leaves shed on November/December and new leaves come out in March/April. The plant bears flower on April/May. The plant bears pod and pod matures during September/October. It can be propagated from seeds, root suckers. It was tested at Rampur Chitwan (3220 masl) in 1983. The seed was brought from Hetaunda, Forestry Institute, the plant could not be established however, the performance was good (Shah, et al, 1990). Forest Research Division in around 1984 also tested it. The plant was observed to flourish well at Mustang region. It provides fodder during October/November and May - June. The fodder production varies from 50-240 kg/tree. It is highly nutritious CP content is 21.6 percent. TDN percent is 43 and Tannins 1.9 percent to be found in the foliage.

5.2.8 Sesbania (Sesnbania grandiflora (L.) Poir: It is a fast growing tree like fodder shrub grows up to 10 m high. It is drought tolerant as well as survives short water logging conditions. It is suitable to sub tropical climate and could be grown in Terai and Hills up to 1000 masl. It is frost sensitive could be grown only in frost-free regions. It is also used as ornamental purpose. The flowers and pods are used as vegetable. It was tested at Rampur Chitwan (3220 m) in 1983. The seed was brought from Hetaunda, Forestry Institute the performance was found good. Within the six months of age the plant attended 0.92-m high and the survival rate was 80 percent an up to the age of six month (Shah, et al, 1990). It was also tested by Nepal Agroforestry Foundation in around 1990 at Manthali, Ramechhap (altitude 500 masl). The seed was brought from NifTAL, USA. It is popularly grown at terrace edge of the lowland. It gives 3-4 cuttings a year (April - May).

6 Limitations of Browse • Presence of secondary compounds: Most of the browse species contain a wide range of inhibitors such as alkaloids, amino acids, cyanogenic, glycosides, organic acids hydrocyanic acids etc. (Bulter and Balay 1773; Panday, 1982; Barry and Blaney, 1987). These secondary compound affects on forage quality and animal performance by various mean. Pandey (1982) listed some species of browse trees and shrubs, which have ill effect on ruminant such as Bauhinia varietaga, Ficus roxburghii, Prunus ceresoides. Shrestha and Pakhrin (1989) concluded that the presence of high concentration of tannin in Ficus auriculata might be the reason for the decreased milk yield in buffaloes during the experimental period conducted at PAC, Dhankuta. Common secondary compounds found in some browse species:Leucaena leucocephala contains memosine; Gliricidia sepium- Caumarin; Salix spp- Tannins; Grewia tiliaefolia- organic acid Seneria jacobaea - Pyrrolizidine

• Production potential: Most of the browse tree/shrubs take 5 to 20 years to yield significant amount of fodder in Nepal (Pandey 1982; Hopkins, 1985). Individual DM yields is also low. Pandey (1982) estimated that on an average a mature browse tree/shrub produces 15-60 kg DM per year. Many indigenous browse species are difficult to establish and propagate, they requires certain altitude and ecological conditions. Altitude and lower radiation is the main reason for low DM yields. Most of the browse trees/shrubs produce relatively high amount of DM at lower altitude than do in high altitude. Pandey and Nosberger (1985) observed that at high radiation the growth pattern of Artocarpus lakoocha was higher compared to low radiation (<15 MJ/sq./d). Similarly, the rate of leaf appearance was lower at higher altitude (1200m and 1500 m) compared to low altitude (800m). At altitude 800m the maximum rate of leaf appearance in Artocarpus lakoocha was 118 leaves/month whereas at 1200 m and 1500 m the maximum rate of leaf appearance was 45 and 10 leaves/month respectively in hill area near Kathmandu (Pandey and Nosberger, 1985).

• Choice of browse species: There are over 550 species of tree/shrubs used as feed source in worldwide origin (Robinson, 1984). Pandey (1982) and Bajracharya et al (1985) mentioned that over 136 species of tree/shrubs have been used as a source of feed in Nepal. Feed value of indigenous browse species is assumed as low compared to introduced leguminous shrub species such as leucaena. Fast growing multipurpose shrubby species are much beneficial than do the tree species. Lower growing shrubby species offer much greater potential compared to tree species from the management point of view as well. Shrubby species can be grazed directly without additional labour cost of lopping or harvesting whereas fodder from tree species must be obtained by lopping of branches.