Sheep and goat production in upland Baluchistan, Pakistan
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Studies based on formal and informal survey information identified major production constraints and suggested research and extension activities. The industry is set within a harsh climatic environment and is characterized by small flocks obtaining most of their feed from relatively unproductive rangeland. Most flocks are poorly-managed secondary enterprises and are used as a store of wealth rather than as a commercial business. Major constraints to improved sheep and goat productivity are: (1) poor nutrition because of the low productivity of the rangelands and non-availability of economic supplemental feeds, (2) disease and parasite problems because of limited veterinary coverage, (3) poor flock management, (4) poor credit, marketing and transportation infrastructure, (5) no range management or control on the common tribal rangelands, and (6) poor breeding selection and genetic potential. Suggestions for research and extension activities include: (1) introduction of perennial legumes, cool season grasses, and shrub reserves to rehabilitate the rangelands, (2) grazing studies on number and kinds of animals and appropriate seasons of use, (3) dryland fodder production combining new forage species, fertilizer, and water harvesting, (4) increasing the nutritive value of crop residues and the use of non-conventional feeds, (5) extension programs to facilitate farmers to vaccinate and dip their animals, (6) credit and infrastructural improvement, (7) increasing the genetic potential of the animals. Socio-economic comparative advantage and marketing research is needed to determine how the industry might evolve in the future.
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