Grazing systems and livestock production
in the three northern Governorates of Iraq

A report of results of surveys by the FAO range program1 during 2002 under UN SCR 986

Alexander Holm Rangeland Consultant FAO, Erbil Iraq
Handren Salih National Rangeland Officer FAO, Erbil Iraq.
Bayar Ibrahim National Rangeland Assistant FAO, Duhok, Iraq
Nahla Mohammed Ali National Rangeland Assistant FAO, Erbil, Iraq
Barzan Ezat National Rangeland Assistant FAO, Suliamaniyah, Iraq.
   
  February 2003
  FAO REPRESENTATION IN IRAQ
FAO Coordination Office for Northern Iraq

1Note: The Survey has been undertaken through a TCES operated project with technical backstopping from AGPC under the United Nations "Oil-for-Food" programme.

See also Overview of work undertaken under the Northern Iraq Rangeland Programme and
The Qapakian Project


Contents

Summary

Introduction

Animal populations and distribution
Government policy and law on grazing and use of rangeland

The Grazing Systems Survey

Survey objectives
Stratified selection of villages
Interviews and data collection
Data analysis

Results

Grazing patterns of livestock throughout the year
Livestock numbers
The annual feed budget for livestock
Livestock productivity
Application of national and regional law and strategies, regional directives and local law regarding use and management of the range
Survey Of Livestock Distribution And Productivity -(Community)
Survey Of Livestock Distribution And Productivity -Individual Livestock Owner


Summary

Use and management of the rangelands of Northern Iraq were assessed through a comprehensive survey during 2002. Over 500 individual livestock owners and community groups within 36 villages were surveyed. These villages were uniformly spread across the three governorates of Duhok, Erbil and Suliamaniyah and across the three main Agro-ecological zones of Lowlands, Uplands and Mountains. This survey was conducted to:

1. quantify the distribution of livestock throughout the year and establish the relative importance of range within the farming system in each agro-ecological zone,
2. establish an annual feed budget for livestock,
3. quantify livestock productivity, and
4. identify application of national and regional law and strategies, regional directives and local law regarding use and management of the range.

On average each village in the north has a total area of 810 hectares of which about 20 % is range and 20 % forest. Each village supports an average of nearly 2000 small stock equivalents consisting of 100 cattle, 680 sheep and 485 goat. (FAO survey 2000). A typical livestock owner has about 100 sheep, 65 goats and may have a few cattle (average of 10). Entire males are run at about 3 – 4 % of the number of female sheep and goats. Most cattle owners have at least one bull. Ten percent of livestock owners run only sheep (within the lowland and upland), 9 % only goats, 12 % only cattle (mostly in the mountains), 42% only sheep and goats and 30% run sheep, goats and cattle. There have been large increases in the total number of livestock over the past five or six years with 86 % of surveyed villages reporting ‘many more’ animals in December 2001 compared with December 1996.

Sheep and goats spend between about 60 and 70% of the year grazing local rangeland (village or nearby village areas), up to 25% grazing stubbles and the rest of the year penned during the winter months. Between about 50 to 70 % of the total annual nutritional requirements of all livestock is provided through grazing range and forest, both within the village area and beyond. Grain and animal feed concentrate provides about 20 % of the annual nutritional requirements, although this is mostly fed during winter when grazing is restricted. Hay, or low quality straw, provides about 5 % and fodder, mostly from oak trees, provides an additional 2 % of annual requirements for animals in the mountainous areas. Grazing of cereal stubbles and other agricultural crop residues and wastelands provides 20 - 25 % of the annual nutritional requirements of sheep and goats (less for cattle) in lowlands and 7 – 12 % in the mountains.

Local rangeland was grazed most commonly in March, April and May until stubbles became available in June until August or September in lowland and upland. Livestock owners in mountains, grazed their sheep and goats in distant rangeland during May to September, to some extent compensating for absence of stubbles from the farming system. Local rangeland was again commonly grazed from August until the onset of winter.

Sixty four percent of villages reported grazing their animals in range or forest of neighbouring villages while only 28% acknowledged that animals from neighbouring villages had grazed within their village area.

One third of all villages surveyed, reported that they took their sheep and goats to graze in distant rangeland during the year. About 40 % of villages in the more mountainous regions took their animals to distant rangeland in Iraq and Iran but then less than 6% of total grazing time is spent in these pastures. About 20 % of villages in the lowlands took their animals to distant rangeland, although none ventured into Iran.

Livestock owners report annual increases of up to 90 % of the number of adult females and annual sales of mostly male animals and aged females of 36 % of the adult female sheep and goats in their flocks. The results are higher in the lowland and uplands than in the mountains. In general cattle do not perform as well as sheep. Most lambs and kids are born in December, January and February,. Sheep and goats are sold mostly in May, June and July. Cattle births and sales are less predictable. Most villages report producing milk, yogurt and cheese for exchange for other goods or for sale, however the total amounts are insignificant. Highest production is from April to August.

Livestock owners report that their livestock begin to loose weight in November and do so through to February and even March in the mountains. Most animals gain weight from April to September.

All land in Iraq is owned by the State. For some farming land, rights have been transferred from the State to occupiers to utilize, exploit, rent the land or sell the right itself. Most, if not all, grazing and forest land has been made available to village communities for their communal use. At the village level, there is either a Mukhtar, who is the Head of the Village, or there is an Anjuman (or village council), depending on the size of the village. They are responsible for village administration, and are either elected or appointed by the Governor of each Governorate.

In most villages, all forest and rangeland is available for communal grazing where traditional rights to graze the rangeland are still recognized (89% of villages surveyed). In a small percentage of villages (6 %) the headman has a separate area for grazing from the other livestock owners.

Over half the surveyed villages reported that local rules were applied to control the use of range and forest within the village. About 75% of villages in the mountainous areas and only 40% of villages in the lowland areas recognized some rules controlling their use of forest and range. Most villages recognised local authority rules against cutting down green forest trees, but there was no control over shreaving practices (cutting of green tree foliage for fodder). About 20 % of villages reported local rules to control time of grazing of rangeland, whereby grazing was prevented from parts of the range until later in the year. In one village, local rules were used to allow grazing in one part from November to June and another from June to October. Local rules (and presumably local authority rules) are imposed by head men in about 20% of the villages and by village councils in 14% of the villages.

There were no rules regulating numbers of animals or grazing pressure. In general, if there was feed available then it could be grazed. Control of grazing in distant rangeland or alpine pastures is determined solely by availability of feed and local weather conditions.


Introduction

Almost 50% of the total population within the three northern governorates of Iraq (Suliamaniyah, Erbil and Duhok) is directly involved in agriculture. The main farming system is sedentary agro-pastoral based around human settlements - rural villages, of which there are almost 5000 (Table 1). Farmers possess, or have the right to farm, a piece of land and usually have communal rights to use the forest and range within well-defined village boundaries.

Table 1 Distribution of land uses and livestock numbers within the three northern governorates

Duhok Erbil Suliamaniyah Total
Number of villages 1217 1182 2542 4941
Number of farmers 47716 53965 115348 217029
Arable area (%) 29.0 36.7 35.6 33.8*
Non-arable area (5) 21.6 27.4 17.6 22.2*
Forest area (%) 28.4 13.7 17.9 20.0*
Range area (%) 16.1 18.3 25.2 19.9*
Cow 61161 130567 313443 505171
Buffalo 652 174 3322 4148
Sheep 433310 603265 2323611 3360186
Goat 273486 570310 1551822 2395618
Small Stock Equivalents (SSE) 1182981 2207472 6344337 9734790
*Average

Three general agro-ecological zones can be identified each with a characteristic farming system (Figure 1).

Lowland AEZ in the southern part of the region. Annual rainfall is between 250-600mm and topography is relatively flat between 300-600 m in altitude. The region supports a mixed dry-land farming system based on rainfed cereals (wheat and barley), which may be grown in rotation with lentils and chickpeas in higher rainfall areas. There are strong interactions with pastoral systems. Livestock graze the stubble of the harvested crops and may graze the growing crops of barley in dry years. Barley grain is fed as a supplement and straw is collected and stored for feeding during winter. Otherwise, animals graze, nearly treeless areas of natural pastures (range), based mainly on annual legumes, annual grasses and some perennial grasses.

Upland AEZ in the inter-mountain areas of the central part of the region, where annual rainfall varies between 500 and 900 mm. Mixed farming systems occupy wide upland valleys. Cropping patterns are similar to the lowland system, with wheat and barley being the dominant crops. Sheep, goats and cattle are an important component of this mixed farming system. Livestock normally graze natural pasture and waste areas within the farm during winter and then graze crop residues during summer. Animals are fed barley grain when feed resources are limited. Natural grazing land consists of mostly treeless areas on slopes with southern aspects and degraded forest coppice or forest understory on slopes with northern aspects.

Hill and Mountain AEZ in the northern border areas with Turkey and Iran are characterised by steep landscapes and an annual rainfall between 800 and 1200 mm. The farming system is described as an ‘upland pastoral farming system’. Two sub-systems exist, the more common sedentary pastoral system and the nomadic pastoral system. The nomadic pastoral system is based on itinerant herders who seasonally move their livestock between lowland and higher mountain areas. Natural grazing land consists of restricted treeless alpine pastures above 2000 m and forest understory in lower altitudes. The steeper slopes are often inaccessible to all livestock except goat. Perennial grasses are common. Some leguminous herbs are present. Quercus sp. dominate the wooded areas. These and less dominant tree species (for example, Pistachio and Prunis spp) provide feed for livestock during winter through ancient practices of shreaving (cutting branches for fodder).

Figure 1. Tentative AEZ of northern Iraq


Animal populations and distribution
A census of agricultural production, animal numbers and land use from all rural villages in the three northern Governorates was completed by FAO during 2000. At that time there were nearly 10 million small stock equivalents (one sse = one adult sheep) in the north of which nearly two thirds were within the Suliamaniyah Governorate (Table 1). Animal densities were also higher in the Suliamaniyah Governorate (average 3.2 small stock equivalents/hectare) and lowest in Duhok Governorate (average 1.2 small stock equivalents/hectare).

Table 2 Average animal numbers and stocking rates (SSU – small stock units per total area) in villages in the three northern governorates from FAO survey data 2000.

 

Village area

Range and forest

Cattle

Buffalo

Sheep

Goat

SSE

Stocking rate

 

ha

%

Average number of adult animals in each village

 

SSE/ha

Dohuk Districts

Akra

811

33

132

2

680

418

2092

2.6

Amadia

910

50

24

0

90

125

422

0.5

Dohok Center

697

47

16

0

223

227

578

0.8

Shekhan

762

61

41

0

266

151

716

0.9

Sumel

682

23

26

0

654

180

1070

1.6

Zakho

754

53

24

0

197

176

566

0.8

Governorate

785

44

50

1

356

225

972

1.2

Erbil Districts

Choman

656

41

128

0

310

448

1806

2.8

Erbil Center

1127

12

80

1

908

353

1895

1.7

Mergasor

804

41

114

0

38

167

1074

1.3

Quaisinjak

1405

36

74

0

655

708

1964

1.4

Shaqlawa

803

36

109

0

728

548

2136

2.7

Soran

698

41

145

0

322

633

2109

3.0

Governorate

902

32

110

0

510

482

1868

2.1

Suliamaniyah Districts

Cahmchamal

1181

37

90

0

1470

1068

3286

2.8

Darbandikhan

1034

44

131

0

1234

494

2752

2.7

Dokan

770

46

204

0

713

710

2975

3.9

Halabja

542

37

128

0

614

252

1818

3.4

Kalar

1006

36

37

0

1659

567

2575

2.6

Kfri

2099

47

23

0

2535

569

3385

1.6

Khanaqin

854

31

53

8

1610

300

2457

2.9

Penjween

695

81

133

0

353

533

1885

2.7

Pshdar

449

61

130

3

831

672

2617

5.8

Rania

534

31

198

7

576

791

2924

5.5

Sharbazher

536

48

124

0

225

514

1671

3.1

Sul. Center

665

34

171

1

648

529

2421

3.6

Governorate

780

43

123

1

914

610

2496

3.2

North Governorates

810

40

102

1

680

485

1970

2.4

On average each village in the north has a total area of 810 hectares of which about 20 % is range and 20 % forest. Each village supports an average of nearly 2000 small stock equivalents consisting of 100 cattle, 680 sheep and 485 goat (Table 2).

The highest animal numbers are in the Akra district in Duhok, Harir – Soran in Erbil and Kfri, Chamchamal in Suliamaniyah (Figure 2,Figure 3,Figure 4). Most rangeland occurs as a broad belt between the cereal growing area on the plains and the mountains of the Upland AEZ stretching from Kfri in the south east to Akre. The proportion of forest increases in the mountainous country towards the borders of Turkey and Iran while the proportion of rangeland decreases.

Figure 2. Distribution of livestock and rangeland within the Erbil Governorate
Figure 3. Distribution of livestock and rangeland in the Duhok Governorate
Figure 4. Distribution of livestock and rangeland within the Suliamaniyah Governorate

Government policy and law on grazing and use of rangeland

National administration
According to the National Law on Unification of Categories of State Lands (1976), there are five categories of land in Iraq:

1. Pure State lands (Al-Arazi Al-Sirfa).
The State is the sole owner of these lands and no one has any legal rights upon these lands. The State can sell, hire, donate and exploit these lands without any restriction. The Ministry of Finance runs these lands as the representative of the State.

2. State lands granted as ‘de facto’ (Al-Arazi Al-Mamnuha bil-lazma).
These lands were granted in 1938 to those who occupied them during previous ages and used them for agriculture purposes. In effect these lands were granted to high-level State officials, persons in high positions in society and tribal leaders.

3. State lands authorized by registration (Al-Arazi Al-mufawaza bil-tapo).
These lands have been distributed to farmers who hold occupation rights, the right to farm the land and to grant these rights to another person, but the State retains ultimate ownership.

4. Endowment lands (Al-Arazi Al-mawqufa).
These lands were private in origin, but their owners donated the ownership back to the State and their occupation rights to religious or charitable institutions, i.e. the products of these lands are to be given to these institutions. The State runs these lands by the means of Ministry of Religious Endowments.

5. Abandoned lands (Al-Arazi Al-matruka).
These lands belong to the State and have been allocated to public utilities or for the benefit of village people. They include:
• Mountains.
• Natural range and forests.
• Rivers and their branches.
• Public Gardens and Parks etc.

In summary, all land in Iraq is owned by the State. For some farming land, rights have been transferred from the State to occupiers (often the Mukhtar or headman) to utilize, exploit, rent the land or sell the right itself. Most, if not all, grazing and forest land has been made available to village communities for their communal use.

The management and use of range and forest is controlled by the following National legislation:
• Forest Law No. 75 of the year 1955 and the Regulations issued according to it.
• Natural Pasture Law No. 2 of the year 1983 and the Regulations issued according to it.

Local Administration
Management of range and forest is entrusted to Departments of Agriculture within each Governorate. These local authority agencies recognize National legislation as the current authority for control and management of the northern range and forest areas. From time to time regional directives are also issued, for example to prevent grazing within watersheds of major dam catchments. Local authorities in the northern Governorates, with assistance from FAO, prepared and endorsed a statement of guiding principles on ‘Forest, Rangeland And Wild Animal Policy In The Northern Governorates Of Iraq’ dated September 2002.

At the village level, there is either a Mukhtar, who is the Head of the Village, or there is an Anjuman (or village council), depending on the size of the village. They are responsible for village administration, and are either elected or appointed by the Governor of each Governorate.


The Grazing Systems Survey

Survey objectives

While information is available in a general sense regarding animal grazing systems and productivity of livestock in the northern Governorates, there is limited current specific data. This survey was conducted to:
1. quantify the distribution of livestock throughout the year and establish the relative importance of range within the farming system in each agro-ecological region,
2. establish an annual feed budget for livestock,
3. quantify livestock productivity, and
4. identify application of national and regional law and strategies, regional directives and local law regarding use and management of the range.

Stratified selection of villages

Thirty six villages were selected for intensive data collection (Table 3), as follows

  • Twelve villages in each Governorate villages with more than a total of 500 sheep goats and cattle
  • Half the villages with a high proportion of cropland and half with a low proportion.
  • One third of the villages in each of the three agro-ecological zones.
  • Villages distributed more or less evenly throughout each Governorate.

Interviews and data collection

Teams of two persons in each Governorate visited all selected villages during January - March 2002. The community livestock owners and leaders were first interviewed together, and then all livestock owners with more than 25 sheep or 25 goat or 10 cattle where interviewed individually. A total of 533 individual livestock owners were interviewed.

Table 3 Villages included in the survey.

District

Village name

AEZ

Height (m)

Rain (mm)

Duhok Governorate

Amadia

Ghelbish

Upland

600

800-900

Amadia

Gulaka

Mountains

600

>1000

Amadia

Melemaydan

Mountains

600

>1000

Aqra

Amada

Mountains

300

>1000

Aqra

Balasan

Upland

300

800-900

Aqra

Dosara

Lowland

0

600-700

Aqra

Lokan

Upland

300

900-1000

Aqra

Shoosh

Mountains

600

>1000

Dohuk

Koremc

Upland

600

800-900

Shekan

Belan

Upland

600

900-1000

Sumeil

Kole

Lowland

300

600-700

Zakho

Malla Arab

Upland

600

800

Erbil Governorate

Erbil-Center

Daraban

Lowland

300-600

500-600

Koysenjaq

Smaq-sheren

Lowland

600-900

500-600

Mergasour

Hostan

Mountains

1800-2100

>1000

Mergasour

Kolke

Mountains

600

>1000

Mergasour

Shekhan

Upland

900-1200

800-900

Shaqlawa

Gomaspan

Upland

600-900

600-700

Shaqlawa

Hababan

Upland

600-900

800

Shaqlawa

Kawatean

Upland

900-1200

900

Shaqlawa

Zebarok

Lowland

600-900

600-700

Shoresh-degala

Bauaqub

Lowland

600-900

600-700

Soran

Bekhal

Mountains

900-1200

900-1000

Soran

Shewan

Mountains

900-1200

900-1000

Suliamaniyah Goverorate

Chamchamal

Khuawa Murad

Lowland

600

600-700

Chamchamal

Tootaqal

Lowland

300

500-700

Chwarta

Gallala

Mountains

1500

     >900

Chwarta

Zalan

Mountains

600

>900

Darbandikhan

Zmnako

Upland

900

700-900

Dukan

Bardashan

Mountains

300

>1000

Dukan

Free Zalla

Upland

900

800-900

Dukan

Kani Chnar

Upland

600

700-900

Kalar

Challa Rash

Lowland

300

400-500

Penjwen

Salyawa Taza

Mountains

1200

>1000

Qaradagh

Sarzal

Upland

900

700-800

Sangaw

Zalasutaw

Lowland

600

500-600

Interviewers were instructed to record answers and opinions, without expressing judgment, onto pre-prepared data recording sheets (Attachment 1, Attachment 2). Interviewers used a variety of methods to convert stated quantities into standard measures (for example to convert bundles of fodder into kilograms).

Villages were again visited in December 2002 for additional information.


Data analysis

Data were entered into an access data base. Some data records were subsequently rejected following routine checks (for example some livestock owners reported over twice as many lambs raised to number of ewes).

The annual feed budget for sheep, goat and cattle was estimated for each month by 1) assuming the feed requirement as 1.5 kg per day for adult sheep and goat and 9 kg per day for an adult cow, 2) calculating the amount of feed provided as supplementary feed as 100 % of grain and concentrate plus 50 % of fodder (oak branches) plus 20 % of dry straw, 3) subtracting the amount of feed provided from the assumed total daily feed requirement to provide an estimate of the feed supplied from grazing of stubble and range/forest and 4) proportionally allocating the amount of feed provided through grazing by the ratio of days spent grazing range/forest and agricultural stubbles/other crop residues to the total number of grazing days.

These monthly estimates were then summed to provide yearly estimates of the feed requirements of livestock provided by feeding of grain, concentrate, straw/hay, fodder, grazing of rangeland and stubbles/crop residues.

Results

Grazing patterns of livestock throughout the year
In most villages, all forest and rangeland is available for communal grazing where traditional rights to graze the rangeland are still recognized (89% of villages surveyed). In a small percentage of villages (6 %) the headman (Agha or Makhtar) has a separate area for grazing from the other livestock owners. Sheep and goats are herded together because goats are good leaders and tend to spread grazing over larger areas. Sheep and goats are most commonly shepherded as separate mobs by each family (57%) or two or more families group together and share the shepherding duties by rotating the shepherding job between them depending on number of animals/family (39%). Families with larger numbers of animals do more of the shepherding. Because there are usually fewer cattle they are mostly shepherded together as one group or left to wander without shepherds.

Sheep and goats spend between about 60 and 70% of their time grazing local rangeland (village or nearby village areas), up to 25% grazing stubbles and the rest of the time penned during the winter months (Table 4). Sheep and goats from lowlands spend less time grazing rangeland and more time grazing stubble than livestock in uplands and mountains. Distant rangeland is used mostly by livestock owners in the mountains but then less than 6% of total grazing time is spent in these pastures. Cattle spend more time in pens (about one third of the year) and less time in stubble than sheep and goats. Cattle by and large were not grazed in distant rangelands.

Table 4. Proportion of the year spent by livestock in local rangeland, distant rangeland, stubble, pens or other.

 

Local

Distant

Stubble

Penned

Other

 

(% of year)

Sheep

Lowland

58.1

0.3

25.5

16.1

0.0

Upland

63.2

1.8

21.8

13.3

0.0

Mountains

66.6

3.9

11.7

17.7

0.0

Goat

Lowland

64.2

1.1

20.2

14.3

0.2

Upland

66.5

1.0

18.3

14.0

0.2

Mountains

73.5

5.5

6.9

13.9

0.1

Cattle

Lowland

60.8

0.1

5.4

33.4

0.4

Upland

48.3

0.0

16.7

33.9

1.1

Mountains

61.3

0.3

9.9

28.6

0.0

Local rangeland was grazed most commonly in March, April and May until stubbles became available in June until August or September (Figure 5) in lowland and upland. Livestock owners in mountains, grazed their sheep and goats in distant rangelands during May to September, to some extent compensating for absence of stubbles from the farming system. Local rangeland was again commonly grazed from August until winter.

Sixty four percent of villages reported grazing their animals in range or forest of neighbouring villages while only 28% acknowledged that animals from neighboring villages had grazed within their village area (Table 5) at some time during the past five years. About 30% of villages also reported that Iraqi livestock owners from districts outside the northern region had grazed their animals within the village area at least once over the past five years. Often these reported numbers were in the thousands. Animals from outside the region were grazed on local rangeland mostly in the months May to November with peak numbers in August, September and October.

Table 5. Use of grazing land in neighboring villages and use of village land by others.

AEZ

Graze animals in neighboring village

Village rangeland grazed by others

Village rangeland grazed by others

Neighbouring villagers

Other Kurds

Other Iraqis

Non-Iraqis

 

(% of villages)

Lowland

60

70

50

0

20

0

Upland

64

71

28

7

36

0

Mountains

67

42

8

17

33

0

Total

64

61

28

8

30

0

Figure 5. Pattern of livestock movements throughout the year as local rangeland (), distant rangeland (), stubble () and penned (). Liveweight gains (+) or losses (-) are shown for each month.


One third of all villages surveyed, reported that they took their sheep and goats to graze in distant rangeland during the year. About 40 % of villages in the more mountainous regions took their animals to distant pastures in Iraq and Iran, while 20 % of villages in the low lands did this, although none ventured into Iran. Most paid for the rights to graze these distant rangelands either to a village headman or some district authority (Table 6).


Table 6 (A)Use of distant rangelands by villages from each agro-ecological zone and (B) payments made for use of this land.

A

 AEZ

Animals grazed in distant rangeland

Distant Kurdish Rangeland

Rangeland in Turkey

Rangeland in Iran

Distant grazing controlled by local rules and agreements

 

(% of villages)

Lowland

20

20

0

0

0

Upland

36

21

0

14

7

Mountains

42

25

0

17

17

Total

31

25

0

8

8

B

AEZ

Animals grazed in distant rangeland

Payment for grazing rights

Payment to village head man

Payment to village community

Payment to someone else

 

(% of villages)

Lowland

20

20

0

0

0

Upland

36

21

14

0

14

Mountains

42

25

17

0

17

Total

31

22

14

0

6

Livestock numbers
There have been large increases in the total number of livestock over the past five or six years with 86 % of surveyed villages reporting ‘many more’ animals in December 2001 compared with December 1996. Increases were higher in the mountains than the lowlands (Table 7). These increases have continued through 2002 where 97 % of villages reported more or many more animals in December 2002 compared with December 2001.

A typical livestock owner has about 100 sheep, 65 goats and may have a few cattle (average of 10). Entire males are run at about 3 – 4 % of the number of female sheep and goats. Most cattle owners have at least one bull. (Table 8). There is however, huge variation in numbers of animals between livestock owners. About 50 % of the 481 surveyed owners of sheep and/or goats ran less than 100 head, 20 % ran more than 200 head and one owner had 1500 head. Only 15 % of the 305 surveyed owners of cattle ran more than 20 head and the most was 60 head.

Table 7 Comparison of reported animal numbers in December 2001 compared to (A) December 2000 and (B) December 1996 (five years before)

(A)

AEZ

Many-more

More

Same

Less

Many-less

 

(% of villages)

Lowland

0

80

10

10

0

Upland

28

57

0

14

0

Mountains

17

75

0

8

0

Total

17

69

3

11

0

B

AEZ

Many-more

More

Same

Less

Many-less

 

(%)

Lowland

70

10

0

20

0

Upland

86

0

0

7

7

Mountains

100

0

0

0

0

Total

86

3

0

8

3

More livestock owners in the lowland and upland AEZ own sheep and fewer own cattle than in the mountains. Most livestock owners in all three AEZ’s own goats.

Ten percent of livestock owners ran only sheep (within the lowland and upland), 9 % only goats, 12 % only cattle (mostly in the mountains), 42% only sheep and goats and 30% ran sheep, goats and cattle.

The annual feed budget for livestock
The estimated annual feed budget for sheep, goat and cattle in lowland, upland and mountainous zones is presented in Table 8. Grain and animal feed concentrate provides about 20 % of the total annual nutritional requirements of all livestock, although this is mostly fed during winter when grazing is restricted. Hay, or low quality straw, provides about 5 % and fodder, mostly from oak trees, provides an additional 2 % of annual requirements for animals in the mountainous areas. Grazing of cereal stubbles and other agricultural crop residues and wastelands provides 20 - 25 % of the annual nutritional requirements of sheep and goats (less for cattle) in lowlands and 7 – 12 % in the mountains. Grazing range and forest, both within the village area and beyond, provides the balance (48 – 70 %) of the annual nutritional requirements.

Table 8. Annual feed budgets for sheep, goat and cattle in the three Agro-ecological zones (AEZ) of the northern Governorates.
 

Grain

Concentrate

Hay

Fodder

Range

Stubble

 

(% of annual feed requirement)

Sheep

Lowland

19

1

4

0

50

26

Upland

22

2

5

< 1

48

21

Mountains

18

2

4

2

60

12

Total

20

2

5

<1

53

20

Goat

Lowland

15

1

3

0

60

20

Upland

22

2

5

< 1

53

18

Mountains

15

4

4

2

68

7

Total

17

2

4

<1

60

15

Cattle

Lowland

15

6

4

0

70

5

Upland

17

3

5

0

58

17

Mountains

13

7

5

3

61

10

Total

15

5

5

1

63

11

Livestock productivity
The overall productivity of sheep and goats in the northern Governorates is relatively high, in terms of animals raised and sold each year (Table 9). Livestock owners report annual increases of up to 90 % of the number of adult females and annual sales of mostly male animals and aged females of 36 % of the adult female sheep and goats in their flocks. The results are higher in the lowland and uplands than in the mountains. In general cattle do not perform as well as sheep. Most lambs and kids are born in December, January and February, (Figure 6). Sheep and goats are sold mostly in May, June and July. Cattle births and sales are less predictable.

Table 9 Average numbers of livestock, animals raised and sold each year in each Agro-ecological zone (AEZ).
 

Owners

Females

Males

Raised

Sold

Raised to females

Sold to females

 

 

(Number per owner)

(%)

Sheep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lowland

125

117

5

101

44

90

36

Upland

151

81

3

66

28

86

37

Mountains

72

112

6

83

38

74

33

Total

348

100

4

82

36

85

36

Goat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lowland

116

71

3

55

24

84

36

Upland

151

47

3

39

17

90

37

Mountains

127

80

4

57

24

77

34

Total

397

65

3

50

21

84

36

Cattle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lowland

70

8

1

6

2

80

21

Upland

98

14

2

7

2

57

12

Mountains

139

12

1

7

2

66

28

Total

307

12

1

7

2

66

22

Livestock owners report that their livestock begin to lose weight in November and do so through to February and even March in the mountains. Most animals gain weight from April to September (Figure 5).

Most villages report producing milk, yogurt and cheese for exchange for other goods or for sale, however the total amounts are insignificant (Table 10). Highest production is from April to August (Figure 7).

Table 10 Average annual production for sale of milk, yogurt and cheese in each Agro-ecological zone

AEZ

Milk

Yogurt

Cheese

                                    (Kg/head/year)

Sheep

Lowland

0.09

0.19

0.04

Upland

0.31

0.24

0.06

Mountain

0.01

0.03

0.03

Goat

Lowland

0.30

0.26

0.10

Upland

0.32

0.21

0.08

Mountain

0.02

0.15

0.08

Cattle

Lowland

0.00

2.20

0.05

Upland

0.26

0.39

0.03

Mountain

0.03

0.99

0.09

Figure 6. Proportion of lambs, kids and calves raised and numbers of animals sold to total number of females throughout the year in each Agro-ecological zone Figure 7 Production of milk and milk products throughout the year in each Agro-ecological zone

Application of national and regional law and strategies, regional directives and local law regarding use and management of the range.

Local range and forest
Over half the surveyed villages reported that local rules were applied to control the use of range and forest within the village (Table 11). About 75% of villages in the mountainous areas and only 40% of villages in the lowland areas recognized some rules controlling their use of forest and range. Most villages recognised local authority rules against cutting down green forest trees, but there was no control over shreaving practices (cutting of green tree foliage for fodder). About 20 % of villages reported local rules to control time of grazing of rangeland, whereby grazing was prevented from parts of the range until later in the year. In one village, local rules were used to allow grazing in one part from November to June and another from June to October.

There were no rules regulating numbers of animals or grazing pressure. In general, if there was feed available then it could be grazed.

Local rules (and presumably local authority rules) are imposed by head men in about 20% of the villages and by community committees in 14% of the villages.

Table 11 Rights to use grazing land and importance of local rules for controlling use of forest and range in each Agro-ecological zone (AEZ)

AEZ

Traditional grazing rights

All have same rights to graze

Local rules for use of forest and range

Community controlled rules

Head man controlled rules

 

(% of villages)

Lowland

90

90

40

20

20

Upland

86

93

57

14

21

Mountains

91

83

75

8

25

Total

89

89

58

14

22

 

Distant range and forest
Control of grazing in distant rangeland or alpine pastures is determined solely by availability of feed and local weather conditions.

Attachment 1 Livestock Distribution And Productivity
Attacment 2 Survey Of Livestock Distribution And Productivity -Individual Livestock Owner