Global Environment Facility and undp



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Source: Partap, 1993
Livestock and agroecological diversity There is great diversity in indigenous livestock breeds in Nepal because of climatic and physiographic differences and prevalent traditional animal husbandry systems. Twenty-four breeds of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, pig and poultry are recognised in Nepal (Table 2.20), but the strains within each breed have not been adequately identified. Among known breeds, pure Siri cattle have become extinct in Nepal and crossbreeds of Siri cattle are only seen in small numbers. Lulu and Achhame cattle are on the verge of extinction. The Yak population is also decreasing at the rate of 1.41% a year. Lime buffalo is perhaps endangered and likely to disappear soon. Lampuchhre and Kage sheep are at risk. The Bampudke pig is on the verge of extinction while Chwanche and Hurrah pigs are only seen in small numbers. Breeds and strains of domestic animals, including poultry, in different ecological belts are yet to be identified and characterised.
Table 2.20 Indigenous and exotic livestock genotypes in Nepal


AGROCLIMATIC REGION

ALTITUDE (m)

LIVESTOCK

INDIGENOUS GENOTYPES

INTRODUCED GENOTYPES

Trans-Himalaya/High Himalaya

>2,500

Cattle

Yak, Lulu




Goat

Chyangra





Sheep

Bhyanglung, Baruwal




High Mountains

2,200-4,000

Cattle

Yak, Kirko

Brown Swiss crossed with Yak (experimental basis)

Goat

Sinhal




Sheep

Dhorel, Baruwal

Merino, Polworth, Ramboullett, Border Liceister, Romney Marsh

Mid-hills

800– 2,400

Cattle

Hill cattle, Achhame, Khaila

Jersey, Holstein, Brown Swiss

Buffalo

Lime, Gaddi

Murrah crossed with Lime

Goat

Khari

Jamunapari, Barberi , Kiko

Sheep

Kage, Baruwal

Merino, Polworth, Ramboullett, Border Liceister, Romney Marsh

Pig

Chwanche




Poultry

Sakini

New Hampshire, Austrolorp

Lower Hills/ Siwalik Hills

300–1,500

Cattle

Hill cattle, Achhame

Jersey, Holstein, Brownswiss

Buffalo

Parkote

Murrah crossed with Parkote

Goat

Khari

Jamunapari, Barberi

Sheep

Kage

Polworth, Ramboullett, Border Liceister, Romney Marsh

Pig

Chwanche, Bampudke




Poultry

Sakini

New Hampshire, Austrolorp

Terai

<300

Cattle

Terai cattle

Hariana, Jersey, Holstein

Buffalo

Terai buffalo

Murrah

Goat

Terai goat

Jamunapari, Barberi and Beetal

Sheep

Lampuchhre





Pig

Hurrah





Indigenous livestock breeds and genetics There are at least 17 species of livestock in Nepal, five Bovidae, seven Aves, two Equidae (excluding mules), one pig (Sus scrofa), one rabbit (Oryctolagus cunuculus) and one elephant (Elephas maximus) species. Domestic animals include cattle (Bos taurus and B. indicus), buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), yak (Bos grunniens) and its crosses with cattle, goat (Capra hircus), sheep (Ovis aries), equids, poultry (fowl - Gallus domesticus, duck - Anas platyrhyncos, and pigeon - Columba livia), pigs, and, more recently, rabbits for meat and the Angora type for wool. Buffalo, cow, and goat milk are the major livestock products, with an annual production of 600,000 tonnes, 260,000 tonnes, and 51,000 tonnes respectively. Buffalo is the most important source of meat (95,000 tonnes annually), followed by goat (35,000 tonnes), pig (10,000 tonnes), poultry (9,000 tonnes), cattle (which is illegal to slaughter) (4,000 tonnes) and sheep (3,000 tonnes) (Wilson 1997). The density of livestock per unit of arable land is high (Tables 2.21 and 2.22).
The selection and distribution of various indigenous types of animals raised in different parts of the country are guided by socio-economic values and ethnocultural preferences, climate, animal husbandry systems and, in some cases, marketability. The annual status of feed supply and social preferences are two major factors that determine the type of animal and livestock management system in rural areas. Thus conservation of livestock genetic resources, incorporating both preservation and sustainable use of farm animals, exists mainly in small farming systems where farmers own few animals but keep several species (Shrestha 1984; 1998). These farming systems are characterised by small land holdings and low use of technology and inputs. Owning livestock, which is mainly for subsistence, is a risk reduction strategy as these farmers live in remote locations isolated from market services (Wilson 1995).

Table 2.21 Livestock and poultry populations in Nepal and comparison growth rates with

those of the Asia-Pacific region


LIVESTOCK

POPULATION IN 1995 (‘000)

AVERAGE ANNUAL GROWTH RATE (%)

1985-1995

Nepal

Asia-Pacific

Cattle

6,838

0.3

1.2

Buffalo

3,278

1.2

0.7

Goat

5,649

1.3

3.9

Sheep

919

1.5

-0.2

Pig

636

3.9

2.6

Duck

395

4.3

6.6

Poultry

10,000

5.7

7.1

Table 2.22 Livestock density (heads/ha) on cultivated land in Nepal




PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGION

LIVESTOCK DENSITY (MILLIONS)

SPECIES

Cattle

Buffalo

Goat

Sheep

Pig

Poultry

Mountains

2.18

318

120

321

153

30

483

Mid-hills

7.44

217

119

208

27

21

431

Terai

4.05

171

71

107

10

12

192

Nepal

13.67

206

98

174

30

18

333

Source: Wilson (1997)

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