Improving productivity of common grazing resources in hot arid region of India through participatory pasture development
Improving productivity of common grazing resources in hot arid region of India through participatory pasture developmentwca2014-1761 Arun Misra 1,*Ram P. Singh 2Rajendra Singh 3Murari M. Roy 1 1 1CAZRI, 2KVK, CAZRI, 3GRAVIS, GRAVIS, Jodhpur, India
Livestock rearing is the major component in hot arid regions of India. Although there are relatively large areas as ccommon grazing resources, fodder scarcity is becoming an increasing concern for households. Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK- CAZRI), Jodhpur identified silvi-pasture system as a major thrust area for the district, and demonstrated its benefits to the farmers. The intervention was on a total of 56 ha common land in four gram panchayat (16 ha in village Ketukallan and 13 ha in Bhalu Ratangarh of Balesar Panchyat Simiti, 10 ha in Begaria and 17 ha in Govindpura of Osian panchayat samiti) during 2009-10 in collaboration with Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samithi (GRAVIS).
Technical backstopping and improved seed of range grasses were provided by the KVK, CAZRI and field implementation was facilitated by the GRAVIS through village committees in the respective villages. Improved cultivars of Cenchrus ciliaris (C.C. 358), Cenchrus setigerus and Lasiurus sindicus were sown in the interspaces of the trees planted at 10 m x 10 m. Tree components in the system were Acacia senegal, Acacia tortilis, Azadirachta indica and Prosopis cineraria. Among tree species, higher survival was observed in A. tortilis, followed by A. senegal and lowest in A. indica. After three years of establishment, productivity of common lands improved significantly (2.7 t/ha dry fodder from Ketu Kallan, 2.4 t/ha from Bhalu Ratangarh, 2.3 t/ha from Begaria and 1.5 t/ha from Govindpura) compared to natural pasture (< 0.5 t/ha). Farmers collected 6500 kg grass seed of Cenchrus ciliaris, Cenchrus setigerus and Lasiurus sindicus from developed slivipasture pasture in 2011-12, and provided to another NGOs for community pasture development. Harvested biomass was stored after chopping at the respective sites as ‘fodder bank’ and made available to the weaker section of the society during stress period. The feed back from farmers in those areas revealed that the productivity of animals increased due to availability of quality fodder during dry months. Thus the preference for rearing milking animals of better quality become evident against the prevailing practices of keeping large number of animals of less productivity.