Grazing systems in tropical sub-humid and humid zones
In these zones, the vegetative activity exceeds six months:
These climates are suitable for a wide variety of arable or mixed cropping systems, including tree crop plantations. The types of natural vegetation suitable for grazing are more or less wooded savanna, open forests, flooded grassland and fallow. Large areas are not accessible to livestock : the tropical rainforest, inaccessible parts of flooded areas and, in Africa, the wooded savanna and riverine forest infested by tsetse fly. Protected areas and reserves for wildlife conservation are not open to livestock.
Grazing systems on close to common or open lands are generally confined to remote and underpopulated areas of savannas, or cropping areas. In regions where population pressure is already high, large part of lands is under cultivation, the major livestock systems are mixed farming. In tropical America and Oceania, where native vegetation is poor in forage species, part of the pastures are cultivated grasslands. These agro-ecological zones are particularly suitable for improved pasture establishment, at least if land tenure is modified.
Animal production is growing more rapidly in humid and sub-humid zones than in the arid regions and tropical highlands. Often cattle farmers and pastoralists recently arrived in these zones and are still learning hour to adapt the traditional production techniques.
The major environmental issues in these zones caused by the development of rural activities are the thorough and rapid change of the vegetation, especially deforestation, with the degradation of the natural resources, and, in these rainy climates, the loss of soil fertility caused by the leaching of soil nutrients.
Three main livestock sub-systems can be distinguished according to land tenure and degree of mobility:
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