Increasing animal productivity on small mixed farms in South Asia: a systems perspective uri icon

abstract

  • Smallholder crop?animal systems predominate in south Asia, and most of the projected future demands for ruminant meat and milk are expected to be met from the improved productivity of livestock in these mixed farming systems. Despite their importance in the subregion, there is a paucity of information on research that incorporates animals interactively with cropping. Livestock research has tended to highlight component technologies, often treating diverse and complex mixed farming operations as a single system. Furthermore, little attention has been paid to social, economic or policy issues. Thus, many of the technological interventions have either failed to become adopted at farm level or their uptake has proved unsustainable. This paper reviews aspects of animal production in South Asia; the trends and forecasts for animal populations and products, constraints to productivity, research opportunities and some key examples of technologies that have failed to achieve their full potential on farm. A systems analysis of small-scale crop?livestock operations is advocated, as a precursor for targeting appropriate interventions at farm level to increase animal productivity and protect the natural resources base

publication date

  • 2002
  • 2002