Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profiles



 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

PAKISTAN

by
Dr. Dost Muhammad



1. INTRODUCTION

2. CLIMATE, PHYSIOGRAPHY, AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES

2.1 Climatic influences
2.2 Agro-ecological zones
2.3 Soils

3. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

3.1 Nomadic grazing
3.2 Semi-nomadic grazing
3.3 Local grazing
3.4 Grazing in the desert rangelands
3.5 Grazing systems in Baluchistan and Sulaiman mountain ranges


4. PASTURE RESOURCE

4.1 Pasture resources in irrigated areas
4.2 Pasture resources in rainfed areas
4.3 Pasture resources in natural rangelands

5. SEED PRODUCTION FOR PASTURE SPECIES

6. ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL INVOLVED IN PASTURE RESEARCH

7. REFERENCES

8. CONTACTS


1. INTRODUCTION

Pakistan is located between 24 and 37o N and 61 and 75o E. The climate is arid with low rainfall and humidity and high solar radiation over most parts of the country. Most areas receive less than 200 mm annual rainfall, except for the high altitude northern mountains, which receive more than 500 mm annually. The rainfall distribution varies widely: 60% of rainfall in Sind and Punjab Provinces occurs during the monsoon season i.e. from July to early September. Balochistan and the northern mountains receive maximum rainfall during October to March (FAO, 1987).

The total land area of Pakistan, including Azad Kashmir, is 88 M ha. The main land uses in the country are agriculture, livestock production, and forestry. About 5 M ha of the cultivated area (24% of total area) is rainfed while 16 M ha is irrigated. Mohammad (1989) and NCA (1988) estimated that around 60% (45.2 M ha) of the total area is rangelands. Most of these rangelands receive less than 200 mm rainfall, and are located on rocky soils, deserts, and rough topography. Therefore, productivity is very low and it is not possible to utilize them for sustained farming purposes. However, these rangelands partly support 93.5 M livestock during the summer (Mohammad, 1989).

Figure 1. Map of Pakistan

Heavy grazing over vast areas of rangelands has gradually put intolerable pressures on land, vegetation and its inhabitants, such as wild life, farmed livestock and pastoral communities. The main contributory factors are increases in human and livestock populations. This has lead to an expansion of dryland farming on marginal lands to satisfy the increasing demand for human food crops, and the cutting of shrubs and trees for domestic fuel consumption (Aleem, 1980; FAO, 1987; Umrani et al., 1995). As a result, more palatable grasses, legumes, herbs, shrubs, and trees that once covered the rangelands have been destroyed, or thinned out, and dominated by unpalatable low quality vegetation. Therefore, each year inadequate forage during the dry period, combined with drought years, causes heavy losses of livestock (Alvi and Sharif 1995; Grainger, 1990; PARC, 1998).

Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of Pakistan. About 75-80 % of the population depends on agriculture which contributes 30% to the Gross Domestic Product. Integrated farming systems are practised and shortage of feed is a major limiting factor in livestock production.

The livestock population, meat and milk production, and some import data for Pakistan are summarized in Table 1. Livestock is a major source of income in irrigated, arid, semiarid, and rain-fed areas of Pakistan. At present, sheep and goats obtain about 60 % of their feed from rangelands (Mahmood and Rodriquez, 1991), while horses, donkeys, and camels receive about half of their feed requirements from rangelands. In Balochistan, 90 % of the livestock feed is obtained from pastures (FAO, 1987).
 

Table 1: Pakistan statistics for ruminant numbers, beef, veal, buffalo meat and milk production, cattle imports and beef and veal imports for the period 1992-2001

Item

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

Cattle nos. (,000,000)

17.8

17.8

17.8

17.9

20.4

20.8

21.2

21.6

22.0

22.4

Buffalo nos. (,000,000)

18.3

18.7

19.2

19.7

20.3

20.8

21.4

22.0

22.7

23.3

Sheep nos. (000,000t)

27.0

27.7

28.4

29.1

23.5

23.7

23.8

23.9

24.1

24.2

Goat nos. (000,000)

38.6

40.2

41.6

43.8

41.2

42.7

44.2

45.8

47.4

49.1

Beef & veal prod. (,000 mt)

308

318

330

342

325

330

340

350

357

365

Buffalo meat prod. (,000 mt)

423

450

477

505

486

500

513

525

540

553

Sheep meat prod. (,000 mt)

212

225

238

253

172

176.5

180.5

185

190

195

Goat meat prod. (,000 mt)

344

370

399

430

292

300

308

315

323

332

Milk prod. (,000,000 mt)

16.3

17.1

18.0

19.0

24.6

25.7

26.7

25.6

26.3

26.3

Cattle imports (head)

n.r.

100

n.r.

n.r.

3

47

159

n.r.

n.r.

n.r.

Beef & veal imports (mt)

n.r.

n.r.

2

9

40

4

4

19

n.r.

n.r.

Source: FAO Database 2002. n.r. = no record

Total area under cultivated fodder crops in Pakistan is approximately 2.7 M ha with a production of 53 M tonnes of green fodder (Table 2). Average forage yields per hectare are about 19.4 tonnes. Despite the high levels of production, there is a shortage of meat, milk, butter and other dairy products in the country. The consumption of meat is as low as 4-5 kg/head/year, and total protein consumption is 45.8 g/head/day, of which only 12.2g comes from animal protein.
 

Table 2. Area under different fodder crops and total forage yields/ ha

CROPS

Area
(,000 ha)

Average yields (t/ha)

Sorghum

515.1

14.8

Millets

105.1

7.2

Guar

311.4

11.4

Maize

48.1

19.6

Moth

1.4

12.1

Other Summer fodder

495.3

33.4

Berseem

820.1

27.7

Lucerne

152.2

32.0

Shaftal

32.6

24.8

Oats

0.1

3.6

Rape & Mustard

22.1

15.7

Senji

1.3

1.0

Other Winter Fodder

209.2

21.7

Total

274.1

19.4


2.CLIMATE, PHYSIOGRAPHY, AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES

2.1Climatic influences

Pakistan has great climatic diversity due to variation in topography, altitude, and season. Four distinct seasons are recognized: A cold winter from December to February; a spring season from March to May; a hot summer from May to August (hot rainy season); and autumn beginning from late September until frost at the onset of winter.

Most of the rangelands of Pakistan are in arid and semi-arid zones characterized by low precipitation and extremes of temperature and low humidity. Moreover, drought also occurs in these areas (Umrani et al., 1996), and exacerbates the effects of overgrazing which results in complete and permanent loss of some species of vegetation.

The northern areas of Pakistan are located out of the monsoon rain shadow. The natural environment is harsh, arid with alternating temperatures which are low in winter and high in summer.

Pakistan can be divided into the following agro-ecological zones.

2.2 Agro-ecological zones

(i) The Indus Delta. The climate is arid tropical marine with moderately hot summers and very mild winters. The mean daily maximum temperature range is 34-45 oC in summer and 19-20 oC in winter. The mean monthly summer rainfall (July-September) is approximately 75 mm and in winter (December-February) it is less than 5 mm.

(ii) The Southern Irrigated Plains. The climate is arid subtropical and continental with hot summers and mild winters. The mean daily temperature range is 40-45 oC during May to July. The mean daily minimum temperature in winter is about 8.5 oC. The mean monthly rainfall is only about 16-20 mm in summer, with little rain in winter.

(iii) The Sandy Desert. The climate is arid (desert) subtropical with very hot summers and mild winters. The mean daily summer maximum temperature range is 39-41 oC and in winter, the mean daily minimum temperature is about 7 oC. The monthly rainfall varies from 32 mm in the north to 46 mm in the south. The winter is practically rainless. Dust storms are common during summer.

(iv) The Northern Irrigated Plains. This zone has a semi-arid subtropical continental climate. The mean daily maximum temperature in summer is 39.5 oC, and in winter, the mean daily minimum temperature is 6.2 oC. The mean annual rainfall range is 300-500 mm. Mean monthly summer (July, August, September) rainfall varies from 108 mm in the east to 75 mm in the southwest, while in winter, it varies from 14-22 mm per month.

(v) The Barani Lands. The climate of this zone is semi-arid with hot summers and cold winters and with a short dry season in early summer. In summer, the mean daily temperature is 38 oC . In winter, the mean daily temperature range is 3-6 oC. The mean monthly rainfall is approximately 200 mm in summer and 36-50 mm in winter (December-February).

(vi) The Wet Mountains. The extreme eastern part of this zone could be classified as humid, with mild summers and cold winters. In summer, the mean daily maximum temperature is about 35 oC. The monthly rainfall in summer is about 236 mm and in winter 116 mm. The western part of the zone is subhumid Mediterranean, with dry summers and rainfall confined to the winter and spring seasons only.

(vii) The Northern Dry Mountains. This zone consists of high mountains covered with snow. The mean daily minimum temperature varies from 1-7 oC. The mean monthly rainfall ranges from 25-75 mm in winter and from 50-100 mm in spring. In summer, it varies from 10-20 mm.

(viii) The Western Dry Mountains. The greater part of this area is semi-arid highland with mild summers and cold winters. Rainfall and snowfall is confined mostly to the winter season. The mean monthly rainfall in summer varies from 5-15 mm increasing to 45-95 mm in the northern region. In summer, the mean daily maximum temperature range is 30 to 39 oC and in winter, the mean daily minimum temperature varies from -3 oC to +7.7 oC.

(ix) The Dry Western Plateau. This region has an arid (desert) tropical climate with constant dry season. The mean monthly maximum temperature range is 38-44 oC. In winter, the mean daily minimum temperature range is 3- 6 oC in the north and 11.5-15 oC along the coast. The mean monthly rainfall in summer is meagre (2-4 mm) except in the extreme southeastern part where it is about 36 mm.

(x) The Sulaiman Piedmont. The climate of this region is sub-tropical continental and is arid and hot. The mean daily maximum temperature in summer is 40 oC. The mean daily minimum temperature in winter varies from 5.7-7.6 oC. The monthly rainfall in winter is about 13 mm, whereas in summer it is about 21-38 mm.

2.3 Soils

In most rainfed areas of Pakistan, the soils have developed from wind and water transported materials and consist of loess, old alluvial deposits, mountain out-wash and recent stream valley deposits. Some are derived from shales and sand-stones while the soils in central irrigated Punjab, NWFP, and Sind Provinces vary from clay loam to silty loam (Baig et al., 1985). The soils of the huge Thal desert, Cholistan, and Tharparker belt are alluvial with sandy textured sand dunes covering 50 to 60 per cent of the area (Khan, 1968). According to SSP (1968), the area consists of the following land forms:

(i) Sand ridges. Over most of the Thal desert, the alluvium has been blown into sand ridges and hollows. The soils of the ridges consist of very deep, structureless fine sand of varying degrees of calcareous and colour gradations. All the sand ridge soils are excessively drained and have an average pH value of 8.3.

Fine material from the ridges has been washed into the hollows and, where allowed to accumulate, has formed very deep, moderately calcareous, weakly structured soils. The soils of hollows are mainly well drained and have an average pH value of 8.4.

(ii) Abandoned channels. The soils of the abandoned channels are deposited materials with a wide range of textures (loamy fine sands to silty clays), and are moderately calcareous with pH values of 8.3 to 8.8.

(iii) Flood plains. Soils of sub-recent flood plains are moderately deep to deep, dark greyish brown, silty clay loams, and silty clays with weak to moderate structures and weak lime profile. In southern areas, reduced annual flooding and a high water table have resulted in alkalization. These soils are dense and strongly saline with a pH value of more than 9.

In Balochistan, about 80 % of the area can be classified as inter-mountain. The remaining 20 % consists of flood plains and alluvial deposits with a high potential for cultivation.

Based on configuration of the land surface, relative altitude, mode of deposition of the sediments, and degree and kind of soil profile development, Mian and Sial (1986) classified Pakistan into the following nine geomorphic units:

  • Pleistocene river terraces
  • Sub-recent terraces
  • Flood plains
  • Indus delta
  • Loess plains
  • Sandy deserts
  • Piedmont plains
  • Weathered bedrock plains
  • Mountains

Mian (1985) recognized two main rock groups in the northern areas of Pakistan including igneous rocks consisting mainly of granites and diorites and sedimentary and metamorphic rocks comprising mainly quartzite, slate, crystalline schist, marble and limestone. Most of the areas are without soil cover
 .


3. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

The livestock population in Pakistan is supported by feed resources derived mainly from crops, fodder, rangelands and other grazing areas, and from agro-industrial by-products. It is estimated that existing feed resources are deficient by 29 and 33 % for total digestible nutrients (TDN) and crude protein (DP) respectively. The details are summarized in Table 3.
 

Table 3. Estimates of available livestock feed and nutrients in Pakistan

Feed

Quantity
(M t)

TDN
(M t)

DP
(M t)

Green fodder

59.0

8.2

1.1

Dry roughages

48.8

18.2

0.3

Concentrates/agro-industrial by-products

3.2

2.0

0.4

Range/pastures

-

11.2

0.8

% deficiency

-

29

33

Source: Malik, 1988; Akram, 1987


The overall situation of feed resources available through various sources in Pakistan is summarized below:-

  • 70–80 % of digestible protein comes from grazing, wheat straw, maize, and millet stalks
  • Farmers experience two traditional stress periods of fodder shortage - during winter and early spring
  • Present feed resources permit animals to achieve only 40-50 % of their inherent productive capacity
  • Major feed resources in Pakistan are distributed as follows:

Grazing and crop residues 75 %

Hay & haylage 22 %

Oil cakes, meals, animal protein <1 %

After harvest grazing and food waste 2 %
 
 

  • Crop residues are largely comprised of wheat straw, dry maize, millet, and sorghum stalks

The following major traditional livestock grazing systems are practised in Pakistan (Mohammad 1989).

3.1 Nomadic grazing

Climatic conditions and seasonal forage availability dictate grazing patterns. Livestock migrate between alpine pastures and the Pothwar Plateau in the foothills of the Himalayas. The livestock spend April in subtropical and temperate forest grazing areas below 2,000 m. The livestock utilize the alpine areas from June to October, when low temperatures retard plant growth, and then herders descend towards the plains or low valleys. During winter, livestock graze in Pothwar scrub ranges, abandoned cultivated lands, or browse in valleys along water channels, roads, and grazing grounds between agricultural fields.

The herders pay a nominal grazing fee to the Syed families of Kaghan or the Khans of Indus Kohistan who control the use of alpine pastures. Overstocking has greatly reduced the grazing capacity of these rangelands.

3.2 Semi-nomadic grazing

This type of grazing is common in the northern areas and in the Chitral alpine pastures. Women look after the herds and spend the summer in alpine areas. Men maintain food supplies by travelling back and forth. The winter season is spent around permanent settlements.

3.3 Local grazing

In this system, livestock graze in cultivated lands or adjoining forests throughout the year. Communally owned areas are heavily over-grazed.

3.4 Grazing in the desert rangelands

In the arid regions of Pakistan, complexity, variability, and uncertainty characterize the grazing systems. Therefore, management practices are not simple. In desert rangelands, pastoral people respond quickly to available opportunities and challenges. Behnke (1994) reported that arid land pastoral communities usually practise an opportunistic form of resource utilization.

Livestock grazing practices in the Thal, Cholistan, Kohistan, and Tharparker desert areas are similar. The desert pastoral communities have ecologically adjusted themselves to utilize marginal areas which would otherwise not have been utilized. Other studies also suggest that the nomadic system is an excellent way of converting scarce vegetation into animal protein (FAO, 1987; Oxby, 1994).

Most of the population is migratory. In early winter, people leave their villages in search of better grazing and migrate into irrigated areas. In the early monsoon season, when forage is abundant during July –November, they return to their villages and leave their animals to graze. Private livestock are allowed to graze state owned rangelands after paying nominal grazing fees. Cattle, sheep, goats, and camels graze the Tharparker and Kohistan rangelands but buffalo are not common. Despite good breeds of cattle, sheep, and goat, the economic status of nomads is poor (FAO, 1987, Umrani, 1993; Bhutto, et al., 1993).

3.5 Grazing systems in Baluchistan and Sulaiman mountain ranges

Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan. It constitutes about 45 % of Pakistan’s total geographical area but it has a small population compared with other provinces. Three grazing patterns i.e. nomadic, transhumance, and sedentary, exist in Balochistan (Bozdar et al., 1989; Nagy et al., 1989). In central and northern parts grazing systems are centuries old (Nagy et al., 1989).

The ruminant production systems are briefly described below:

Spring-summer nomadic transhumance: In this system, 56 percent of the sheep, 63 percent of the goat, 70 percent of the total camel population, a few cattle and 70 percent of households migrate between the highlands and the lowlands. In winter, the livestock move to the irrigated Sibi and Kacchi plains where they stay for about 4-6 months, depending upon rainfall in the highland region, which governs their return. Sorghum is the main crop grown in the Sibi and Kacchi plains.

Most of the grain, stems, and stubble are used to feed the migrant livestock and the livestock owners are required to rent land. With the beginning of the spring, the livestock return to the highland areas, where they graze for 6-8 months on rangelands.

Winter nomadic transhumance: In this system, 20 percent of the sheep, 10 percent of the goats, and a few camels of the Pawindas arrive from Afghanistan. Scarcity of fodder during winter coupled with extremely low temperatures force them to leave their country in search of forage. They stay in the area for four months and return again at the start of spring. During their stay, they depend mainly on leaves of trees, stubble, roughage from fruits and vegetables, and partly on forage from the ranges.

Sedentary nomadic: In this system of livestock feeding, 24 percent of the sheep and 27 percent of the goats remain all year in the area. They depend either on forage from the ranges or from crop lands. In winter, they receive silage made from wheat, barley, lucerne, and Alhagi camelorum.

The grazing patterns in Sulaiman Mountains are similar to those in the Baluchistan ranges.


4. PASTURE RESOURCE

The total pasture area in different parts of Pakistan is presented in Table 4. Due to misuse and centuries of overgrazing, the productivity of rangelands has been adversely affected. FAO (1987) has reported a critical stocking rate of 16 ha/animal unit for low potential ranges. At present, rangelands are producing only 10 to 15 % of their potential. This low productivity can be increased by adopting various management practices such as periodic closures, re-seeding, and improved grazing management etc.
 

Table 4. Area of rangelands in Pakistan

Province

Total area
(M ha)

Rangeland area 
(M ha)

Percentage of provincial area

Balochistan

34.7

27.4

79

Sind

14.1

7.8

55

Punjab

20.6

8.2

40

NWFP

10.2

6.1

60

Northern Areas

7.0

2.1

30

Azad Kashmir

1.3

0.6

45

Total

88.0

45.2

51

Source: NCA (1988)


Small-holders raise ruminants in limited numbers in conjunction with food and cash crop production. Although cropping patterns vary from region to region, they dictate forage quantity and quality throughout the year. Pasture resources in the ruminant production systems are presented below.

4.1 Pastures resources in irrigated areas

In this system, cut-and-carry feeding plays a vital role in ruminant production. Every farmer allocates a piece of land for planting fodder crops in irrigated areas of Pakistan. Usually milking buffaloes and cows are stall-fed with green fodder and concentrates. The non-milking and draught animals are maintained on straws, maize stovers, and community grazing lands.

During summer, most land is planted with sorghum, maize, cotton, rice, and sugarcane. Forage sorghum, millet, and maize provide the bulk of fodder for stall-feeding. Most of the area after rice and cotton harvest remains in fallow and is used for grazing of volunteer species. During winter every farmer plants mixtures of Egyptian clover (Trifolium aegyptium) and oats (Avena sativa) according to the land holding and herd size. Mixtures of berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum) with rice and wheat straw also provide feed during winter. Other crop residues such as dry maize and sorghum stalks, sugar cane tops, and rice stubble are also a component of livestock diets.

With the increased demand for milk, meat, and other dairy products, some farmers cultivate large areas with lucerne (Medicago sativa), berseem, oats, maize, and sorghum around the big cities and sell green fodder to farmers raising buffaloes and dairy cows. Urban cattle also graze on vegetable and fruit wastes. Community and government wastelands are utilized to some extent.

4.2 Pasture resources in rainfed areas

Nearly 24% of the rain-fed tract of the country is unfit for agronomic or forestry crops due to unfavourable soil or climatic conditions. These large areas of land produce grasses and bush. Livestock alone are capable of utilizing this extensive and renewable natural resource. Animal husbandry thus occupies a vital place in the economy of the rainfed areas.

Natural grazing on the vast rangelands provides about 20% of the nutritional requirements of cattle and 60% of that of sheep and goats. The flocks and herds of the land-less farmers subsist almost entirely on the rangelands. However, they have been badly over-grazed, and palatable species of grass have perished and been replaced by vegetation which livestock do not relish. The carrying capacity of rangelands has thus been greatly reduced to 10 to 50% of their potential.

The number of animals grazed is 3-4 times the carrying capacity of the rangelands. This not only causes a very poor state of health and production of livestock, but also widespread denudation and damage from water and wind erosion. The situation is further aggravated by the seasonal migration of large numbers of animals belonging to nomadic grazers, such as the Bakarwals from Kaghan (who spend the winter in the Pothwar and salt grass rangelands) and the nomadic tribes from Baluchistan and even Afghanistan in the D.G. Khan piedmont areas. The herders exploit the rangelands and contribute little to the conservation, sustainable utilization or improvement of the rangelands.

Supplementary feed must be provided to the livestock, especially during periods of drought and scarcity. For instance, perennial grasses, such as sudan grass, Bajra Napier hybrid, or sorghum hybrids could be grown on part of the cultivated land. Green fodder from these crops could be cut during the dry periods to improve feed supply during the lean period. Rapeseed can provide green fodder during January and February, even in drier areas.

A system of mixed farming is practised in some areas of this system, with crop and livestock husbandry very intimately integrated. This is reflected in the cropping pattern. Although separate areas of land are not set aside for fodder crops, there is often an admixture of crops with a view to obtaining some fodder for supplemental feeding of livestock. In large parts of the Barani areas during winter, the wheat and barley crops have admixtures of rapeseed, chickpeas, and mustards. The summer crops have admixtures of maize, millets, sorghum, and guar. Some part of every crop is fed to livestock.

This pattern of agriculture has several effects:

  • Makes it possible for nutrients from the soil to be derived from two levels due to differing depths of the root systems.
  • Increases soil fertility by combining cereals with leguminous crops that have the ability to increase soil nitrogen through the microbes in their root systems.
  • Avoids total crop failure in case of absence of rains because of the generally lower water requirements of the crops from which fodder is obtained.

One or two cuttings are often obtained from wheat etc. for fodder purposes. This cropping pattern has evolved to meet the food and market requirements in a traditional setting.

4.3 Pasture resources in natural rangelands

The vegetation of Pakistan has great complexity, comprising a wide variety of vegetation types, including desert, tropical, Mediterranean, and temperate ecosystems. These rangelands extend from temperate alpine pastures in the northern areas, to Mediterranean rangelands in the western mountains, and to the semi-arid and desert lands of the Indus Valley. Elevation ranges from sea level in the Thar Desert of Sindh Province to over 8800 m in the northern mountain region of the Himalayas. The rangelands of Pakistan have been divided into five major groups (FAO, 1987; Mohammad, 1989; Umrani et al., 1995). A brief description of each group is given below.

(a) Sub-alpine temperate zone. This zone lies between 2,000 m altitude and the snow line in Azad Jammu, Kashmir, Swat, Kaghan valleys, and northern areas. These areas provide excellent forage for livestock grazing during summer growing seasons (Khan, 1979). The major improved grass species found in the rangelands are Festuca arundinacea, Lolium spp., and Potarium sanguiserba.

(b) Sub-tropical humid zone. The sub-tropical humid zone is represented by chir pine forests but kail forests also occur on relatively higher slopes in Northern Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. The altitude varies from 1,000 to 2,000 m. Winters are very cold and grazing is only possible for 2-3 months during the summer season. The dominant introduced grass species are Chloris gayana and Dicanthium annulatum.

(c) Sub-tropical sub-humid zone. The sub-tropical sub-humid zone covers Pothwar tract and the Salt Range. Soil erosion is a major problem. The zone has high potential for range re-seeding. The major introduced grass species include Chrysopogon aucheri, Chyrosopogon montanus, Panicum antidotale, Cenchrus ciliaris, Cymbopogon jawarancusa, Pennisetum lanatum, Cynodon dactylon, Saccharum apontaneum and Aristida depressa.

(d) Arid, semi arid desert plains. The Thal, Cholistan, D. G. Khan and Tharparker are located in this zone. High temperatures and wind erosion are major constraints. Rangelands in this zone have been heavily over-grazed by local livestock. The major introduced grass species are Cenchrus ciliaris, Lasiurus sindicus, and Pennisetum orientale.

(e) Mediterranean zone. The high lands of Balochistan including Quetta and Kalat Divisions are located in the zone. Low and erratic rainfall of less than 300 mm is received during winter. Nomadic and local livestock graze these rangelands heavily. The important grass species include Agropyron desertorum, Chrysopogon aucheri, and elmus junceus.


5. SEED PRODUCTION FOR PASTURE SPECIES

Pakistan possesses optimum climatic conditions for seed production of various pasture species. Despite a range of research programmes in all four Provinces of Pakistan, conscious efforts have not been made to produce sufficient quantities of seeds of the required forage grasses and legumes. The main reason may be absence of a local market for pasture seeds. On the other hand, Pakistan produces sufficient quantities of seeds of cultivated fodder cereals and legumes (Khan and Bhatti, 1996). Also, private seed companies produce and import seeds of some cultivated fodder crops. Details of seed production in Pakistan are presented in Table 5.
 

Table 5. Seed production of various fodder crops in Pakistan (tonnes)

Fodder Species

1995

1996

1997

1998

Sorghum spp. hybrid

350

500

700

1,000

Sorghum

850

1,000

2,000

5,000

Millet

670

1,200

1,800

4,300

Guar

350

700

1,200

3,300

Maize

10,000

18,000

32,000

36,000

Berseem clover

3,500

4,800

8,000

15,000

Lucerne

400

670

900

1,500

Shaftal clover

1,700

3,000

5,000

6,700

Oats

3,000

6,500

10,000

13,000


6. ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL INVOLVED IN PASTURE RESEARCH

Key Research Institutions and Personnel:

Ashiq Hussain. Senior Scientific Officer, Fodder Programme, National Agriculture Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan.

M.B. Bhatti. Coordinator Fodder Programme, National Agriculture Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Ghulam Akbar. Director, Range Research Institute NARC, Islamabad. Range agronomist with special interest in range management.

Muhammad Saleem. Forestry Department Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan.

Mukhtar Ahmad. Assistant Fodder Botanist, Barani Agriculture Research Institute, (BARI), Chakwal, Punjab, Pakistan.

Mukhtar Ahmad Chaudhary. Fodder Botanist, Fodder Research Institute, (FRI), Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan.

Dr. Nasir Mahmood Butt. Fodder Specialist, Neelum Jehlum Valley Development Project, Muzaffarabad, AJK, Pakistan.

Sardar Muhammad Rafique. Pakistan Forest Institute, Peshawar, NWFP, Pakistan.

Sartaj Khan. Senior Scientific Officer, Fodder Programme, National Agricultural Research Centre, (NARC), Islamabad, Pakistan.

Sarwat Naz. Senior Scientific Officer, Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI) Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan.
 


7. REFERENCES

     
    Akram, M. 1987. Animal feed resources in Pakistan. In: Proceedings of the APO Symposium on Animal Feed Resources. Asian Prod. Organization Tokyo, Japan.

    Aleem, A. 1980. Range management in northern areas. Pakistan Journal of Forestry, 30, 31-38.

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8. CONTACTS

For ICIMOD information on mountain areas of Pakistan and links please click here.

For further information on forages in Pakistan, seed sources, etc. contact:

Dr. Muhammad Dost
FAO Fodder consultant
Plant Production Section
Suleimaniyah
North Iraq
E-mail: muhammad_dost@hotmail.com

Periodic updating will be undertaken by Dr. Muhammad Dost.

This profile was prepared in 1998, edited by H.M. Shelton and livestock numbers and production statistics were updated by S.G. Reynolds in November 2002.