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Transhumant Goat and Sheep Husbandry Practices in High Hills of Annapurna Conservation Area

Journal: International Journal of Environment, Agriculture and Biotechnology (Vol.5, No. 5)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1209-1214

Keywords : Annapurna Conservation Area; Husbandry Practices; Small ruminants; Transhumance.;

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Small ruminants are the most reliable source of meat in Nepal. However, national production is still insufficient to fulfill their demand. Transhumance pastoralism is a migration system in which farmers graze their animals in mountain pastures in warm seasons and lower altitude forests during colder seasons. Yak, sheep and Goat are reared under this system in Himalayas of Nepal. Farmers travelling through in Madi, Seti, Mardi and Modikhola basin follow transhumance system including Baruwal Sheep and Sinhal goat. A study was conducted to understand small ruminant husbandry system used by transhumant farmers. Farmers of 4 different locations were interviewed and focus group discussion was performed with inhabitants of nearby villages. Additional information were collected from ACAP and VHLSEC. Results revealed that number of transhumant farmers is decreasing. Migration pattern is determined by season (temperature, humidity, rainfall) and fodder availability in the region. This pattern was refined during centuries of practice. Mixed grazing by sheep and goat is beneficial since they feed on different type of pasture. Farmers are slowly adopting veterinary practices. However, treatment depends on value of animal. Animals except newborn lambs are kept open during night and protected by Tibetan mastiff dogs. Availability of better opportunities and decreasing market value of wool are two major constraints faced by farmers. As conclusion, transhumant farming system as present in the study region is an efficient way to exploit seasonally barren landscape to produce meat animals. This way of production can be applied to elevate lifestyle of people living in those landscapes.

Last modified: 2020-09-18 21:45:42