Plant Production and Protection Series No. 31
(Rev. 1)

Transhumant
Grazing Systems
in Temperate Asia

Edited by
J.M. Suttie
and S.G. Reynolds

   
 
Table of Contents
 
   
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Rome, 2003

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ISBN 92-5-104977-7
ISSN 0259-2525

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Table of Contents

Foreword

Acronyms

Contributors

Acknowledgements

Executive summary

Chapter I - Introduction

Chapter II - Cold, semi-arid Asia

Summary
Introduction
Buryatia
People’s Republic of China
Kyrgyzstan
Mongolia
Risk in herding
Strategies for cold semi-arid grazing land

Chapter III - Mongolia case study 1: Studies on long-distance transhumant grazing systems in Uvs and Khuvsgul aimags of Mongolia, 1999-2000 - B. Erdenebaatar

Summary
Selection criteria
Study sites and sample households
Ecological and natural conditions of the study sites
Land-forms and altitude range
Soils
Climate
Vegetation forms and species composition
Pasture condition
Human population
Current management
Timing and pattern of herd movement and household
Seasonal availability of other resources (water, natural salt licks, etc.)
Community decision-making
Movement patterns
Turgen sum
Rinchinlkumbe sum
Exceptional 1999 summer and 2000 winter-spring movements in Turgen
Trees
Community and households
Work outside the household
Production estimates
Fodder balance
Community participation
Discussion

Chapter IV - Mongolia case study 2: Haymaking from natural pasture in Arkhangai, Mongolia - V.I. Lkhagvajaw and B. Erdenebaatar

Summary
Introduction
Experimental treatments and techniques
The experimental sites
Results

Effect of ice irrigation
Effects on total phytomass
Burgast (Site 2)
Khusluurt (Site 3)

Cart design
Conclusions

Chapter V - China’s pasture resources - Zizhi Hu and Degang Zhang

Summary
Introduction
Soils
Vegetation
Climate

The East Monsoon Zone
The western arid and semi-arid area

Features of Agricultural Zones

The northeast
Inner Mongolia and along the Great Wall
Yellow River, Huai River and Hai River
Loess Plateau
Middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River
The southwest
South China
Gansu and Xinjiang
Qinghai-Tibet

Ruminant livestock production systems
Farm type and size
Livestock species and breeds

Cattle
Yak (Bos grunniens)
Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)
Sheep (Ovis aries)
Goats (Capra hircus)
Horse (Equus caballus)
Camel (Camelus bactrianus)
Swine (Sus scrofa domestica)

Feeding systems

Extensive grazing system
Tethering
Uncontrolled grazing

Integration of livestock into farming systems

Beef production with maize stover
Sheep production with ammoniated straw

Socio-economic conditions

Legislation
Extension and veterinary services
Market constraints

Pasture and forage resources

Area and distribution of grassland

Grassland classification

The Vegetation-habitat Classification System
The Comprehensive and Sequential Classification System
Grassland types
Index of grass yield
Grassland protection
Grassland nature reserves

Dominant plants of the main grassland zones

Dominant plants of the Temperate Steppe
Dominant plants of the Alpine Steppe
Dominant plants of the Temperate Desert
Dominant plants of the Alpine Desert
Dominant plants of the Warm Shrubby Tussock
Dominant plants of the Tropical Shrubby Tussock
Dominant plants of the Temperate Meadow
Dominant plants of the Alpine Meadow
Dominant plants of Marshes

Opportunities for pasture improvement

Grassland use
Grassland deterioration and control strategies
Grassland improvement
Closure
Reseeding
Surface tillage
Burning
Forage grasses and artificial grassland
Forage cereals
Grain legumes as forage
Root tuber, stem tuber and melon forages
Other cultivated forages
Aquatic forage crops

Cultivars and seed production

Seed production

Defining economic zones of grassland agro-ecosystems

Grassland zones

Current grassland situation and proposed strategy for each zone

Inner Mongolia-Ningxia Arid Grassland Zone
The Northwest Desert-shrubland
Qinghai-Tibet Alpine Shrublands Zone
Northeast Forests Zone
Loess Plateau and Huang-Huai-Hai Plain Zone
Southwest Karst Shrubland Zone
Southeast Evergreen Broadleaf Forestshrubland Zone
Research and education

Chapter VI - China case study 1: Studies on traditional transhumance and a system where herders return to settled winter bases in Burjin county, Altai prefecture, Xinjiang, China - Wan Lin Wang

Summary
Introduction
Fodder production and Project 2817
Livestock

The Kazakh horse
Kazakh cattle
Kazakh sheep
Others

Natural pasture management
The groups studied

The Treatment Group
The Control Group

Studies on the treatment group (Project households)

Crop production by the Treatment Group
Animal production by the Treatment Group.

Seasonal pasture and livestock movement

Winter pasture
Spring and autumn pastures
Summer pasture

Studies on the control group (Nomadic households)

The population of the Control Group
The pastures of the Control Group
The basic transhumance pattern of the Control Group
Livestock production of the Control Group
Livestock production of the two groups

Agricultural income and expenditure

Differences in economic status

Project achievements

Chapter VII - China case study 2: Cold-resistant lucerne (Medicago sativa) for northern Xinjiang - Jichun Min

Summary
Introduction
Testing sites
Development of ‘Xinmu no. 3’ lucerne
Studies on other cultivars
Seed multiplication
Discussion

Chapter VIII - China case study 3: Pastoral systems, change and the future of the grazing lands in Tibet - Tashi Nyima

Summary
Introduction
Tibet Autonomous Region
Livestock and livestock production
Biophysical environment
Soil, vegetation and major types of grazing land

Alpine meadow soil
Subalpine meadow soil
Alpine steppe soil
Subalpine steppe soils
Mountain shrubby-meadow soil
Alpine desert soil
Subalpine desert soil
Meadow soil and marshland soils
Taupe soil and Brown soil
Nutrient and mineral contents of major soil types
Major pasture types
Agro-ecological zones

Livestock production systems

Crop-based livestock production system
Agropastoral production system
Pure pastoral production system
Agrosilvipastoral mixed production

Livestock production potential

Pasture carrying capacity
Potential of crop residues as animal feed
Feed-production potential
Potential for livestock breed improvement
Changing trends of pastoral systems and livestock production in Tibet
The number of livestock: quantitative increase towards qualitative improvement

Pasture management: towards a responsibility system
Grazing land development: towards intensified management
Meat production: hope from increasing the offtake rate of livestock
Milk: increasing market demand but stagnant production levels
Meat and milk production: the driving forces of their growth
Meat and milk production: where are they going?
Future grazing land (rangeland) needs for feeding the increasing population
Recommendations

Using the niches of the unique grazing lands and their biodiversity
Accelerating the development of livestock production in the cropbased systems
Promoting integrated stable development of livestock production in the pastoral system
Speeding up development of urban and peri-urban intensified livestock production

Chapter IX - The western Himalaya

Summary
Introduction
Afghanistan
India
Pakistan

Chapter X - Migratory goat and sheep rearing in Himachal Pradesh, India - Misri Bimal

Summary
Introduction
The people and their migration routes
Migration, management and land tenure
Grazing land
Botanical composition
Forage production
Fodder trees
Livestock
Wool
Meat
Herders’ opinions
Conclusions

Chapter XI - Pakistan case study 1: Agropastoral production systems of high altitude pastures of the upper Kaghan Valley, North West Frontier Province, Pakistan - Muhammad Rafique Sardar

Summary
Introduction
The Kaghan Valley
The graziers
Production systems
Grazing lands

Saif-ul-Maluk
Upper Kaghan Valley

Vegetation zones
Botanical composition
Forage utilization
Home and household
Grazing rights and fees
Winter grazing areas
Botanical composition
Grazing rights and fees
Livestock
Livestock products
Livestock health
Wild herbivores
Fodder and feed supply
Constraints of the system
Conclusions

Pastoralists’ perceptions of problems and needs
Potential of the systems
Prospects for improving management

Chapter XII - Pakistan case study 2: High altitude pastoral systems in Malakand Division, Pakistan - Khan Sanaullah and Ahmed Mukhtar

Summary
Introduction
Objectives of the study
General trends in hillside development

Land ownership and settlement
Plantation
Impact of hillside development on nomadic graziers
Nomadic graziers’ perception of problems

Conclusions
Recommendations

Chapter XIII - The eastern Himalaya

Summary
Introduction
Bhutan
Nepal

Chapter XIV - Bhutan case study 1: Transhumant cattle raising in western Bhutan - Tsering Gyaltsen and B.N. Bhattarai

Summary
Study area

The nothoue arrangement
Feed and fodder resources
Pastures at Thombu

The reasons for transhumance
Transect walk
General recommendations

Traditional transhumance benefits farmers and has advantages
Disadvantages of the system
Strategies suitable for immediate implementation

Chapter XV - Bhutan case study 2: Yak herders in Soe Yaksa, Chentok Geog, Bhutan, in 1999-2000 - Tsering Gyaltsen and B.N. Bhattarai

Summary
Background
Grazing lands
Improved pasture and sown fodder
Collection of wild plants
Traditional culture
Conditions governing the keeping of Monastery yaks
Constraints perceived by herders
Suggestions for intervention

Chapter XVI - Nepal case study: High altitude pastoral systems of Sailung and Thodung regions, Ramechap District, Nepal - S.M. Pradhan, D. Pariyar, K.K. Shrestha and J.R. Adhikary

Summary
Background
The Sailung system

The herding system

The Thodung system
Constraints and suggestions

Chapter XVII - Future directions

Summary
Introduction
The pastures
Major problems and constraints

Legal and land tenure problems
Impact of political and social change
Changes due to decollectivization

Technical constraints

Poor pasture condition
Other technical constraints

Socio-economic constraints
Marketing
Conclusions by zone

Conclusions from the Himalayan studies
Pasture condition in the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya

Conclusions from the Cold Semi-Arid studies
Possibilities for pasture improvement - feasibility
Interventions on grazing lands in the light of constraints involved

In the Himalaya
For cold semi-arid areas
Need for more information on vegetation and trends
Environmental impact

The future of herding as a lifestyle

Possible interventions for settled or agropastoral stock owners
Possibilities for improving feed supply

References cited and other sources used

Glossary

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