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Rural needs: free (range) grazing

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India carries a huge livestock population. Small ruminants, namely, goats and sheep, play a vital role in securing the livelihood of small and marginal farmers and landless labourers. Such animals should not be blamed for the ecological degradation, soil erosion and desertification caused by human activities. There is an acute shortage of livestock feeds and fodders in India, and also a large gap between needs and availability, even more so in arid and semi-arid regions. The feeds and fodders available on community grazing land, on the roadside and in forests during the rainy season should be harvested and utilised during the scarcity period. The extensive system of livestock rearing should be replaced with semi-intensive and intensive systems for commercial milk and meat production. Locally available crop residues and agro-industrial by-products should be enriched and utilised for compounding cheaper, complete feeds for livestock as feed pallets and blocks.
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Keywords: goats; range grazing; small ruminants

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Central Institute for Research on Goats, Makhdoom, Farah, Mathura - 281122, India.

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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