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Sheep being a small animal having good qualities to be used for mutton and wool production Sheep has a good fertility rate and is producing a lot of offspring under good husbandry management. Sheep farming in Pakistan is still traditional and intervention on modern lines is the need of the day to fulfill the increasing demand for quality wool and mutton. In the region mutton is highly appreciated and liked by the people and thats why the consumers are paying high prices for it. Sheep farming is very encouraging having less risk factors and is quite profitable if run according the modern husbandry practices. Farming in Pakistan is constrained by lack of money on the part of farmers. The concept of cooperative development at rural level can help these resource deficient farmers to join hands for common interests. This will make able the farmers to benefit their selves as well as rest of the farming community by providing cheap services while keeping in view their socio-economic conditions Goat is famous for its name poor farmer cow because it a small animal having good characteristics of milk production. Certain breeds of goat in Pakistan like Beetal goat have a great potential of milk production. But instead of these prominent breeds still goat keeping has not been highlighted to be introduced as a dairy breed in the remote areas. Goat a small animal and easily manageable can provide a good and cheap source of food like milk to the farming families.

Govt devolves Livestock & Dairy Ministry

ISLAMABAD, April 06, 2011: The Federal Government issued notification, copy of which is available with, regarding transfer of five ministries, including the Livestock & Dairy Development Ministry, to the provinces and other federal ministries. A notification issued by the government stated the ministries of Education, Social Welfare and Special Education, Tourism, Livestock and Dairy, Rural Development and Culture have been transferred to the provinces under the devolution plan described in the 18th Amendment. The link of original notification is given below, which was issued by Syyed Fayyaz Hussain, Joint Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat on April 05, 2011. Details about livestock ministry are given on page two of the notification.

0.320m animals exported

By Ahmad Fraz Khan By Iftikhar A. Khan SLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Friday that as many as 3,20,489 animals were exported to different countries under the commercial export of live animals through open policy since May, 2009. Minister for Livestock and Dairy Development Mir Humayun Aziz Kurd told the House during the question hour that the commercial export of live animals was started about 19 months back. During last two financial years, 70,440 cattle, 64,849 buffaloes, 1,84,777 goats and sheep, AND 423 camels were exported. Giving the break-up, he said a total of 5,515 animals, including 1,260 cattle, 1,825 buffaloes, 2,430 goats and sheep were exported in the year 2008-09. In year 2009-10 the export soared to 3,14,947 animals, including 69,180 cattle, 63,024 buffaloes, 1,82,347 goats and sheep and 423 camels. In addition, 6,976 animals were exported during the period through NOC issued by ministry of livestock and dairy development to foreign dignitaries through diplomatic channel. The countries where these animals were exported, inclu ded Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, Afghanistan, Oman and Bahrain. Minister of Food and Agriculture Nazar Gondal informed the House that various steps were being taken to increase production of special crops in the country. However, no jute has been produced in the country during the last three years..

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Livestock sector is a victim of neglect
Shortage of veterinarians and nonprovision of medicines and vaccines for livestock remain the main hurdles in the development of the livestock sector, say people.
Dairy farming, better milk and meat production would strengthen the economy of the country. But due to a lack of access to livestock officials and facilities, farmers fail to benefit from new methods of farming.


They were talking to Sindh Minister for Livestock Abid Jatoi on

Friday during his one-day visit, with a team of experts, to know reasons of the failure of the livestock sector here. In a meeting held with farmers and notables, he said the government was striving to ensure provision of vaccines to avoid death of livestock.

The minister said he had come with the team of experts to look into the matter and get recommendations from gross-roots to improve the industry. He said dairy farming, better milk and meat production would strengthen the economy of the country. A landlord and farmer, Haji Anwar Rajar, complained that in Umerkot and Tharparkar, people had a large number of livestock, but common man had no access to livestock officials. Thus, they failed to benefit from new methods of farming, and non-provision of vaccines and medicines caused losses for them.

He urged the government to establish an industry in Thar for manufacturing feed and preparing fodder for livestock as Thar was the hub of livestock. A large number of livestock had died due to scarcity of fodder and feed in Thar, he said. He held out assurance that their livestock would be vaccinated against PPR, a viral disease found in Thar, and vowed a stern action against officials responsible of poor performance of the livestock department Umerkot. Later, he visited a livestock experiment centre Nabisar. Secretary Livestock Mir Muhammad Parhiar and Umerkot DCO Ghulam Akbar Laghari accompanied the minister.

Courtesy: The DAWN

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The Livestock Revolution: Pathway to Poverty Alleviation
By Dr. Alamdar Hussain Malik

Home livestock

Globally demand for meat and milk rose greatly in the last 20 years. It will double in the next 20 years. The skyrocketing orders are fuelling massive increases in livestock production in poor countries. The extent and scope of the livestock increases are surpassing those of the Green cereals Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. This phenomenon has power to affect the global economy. It has power to transform the social and physical landscapes of developing countries. It is being called a livestock revolution. The stakes in it for the worlds poor are enormous. The Livestock Revolution could help relieve poverty and hunger worldwide. It could provide an engine for sustainable intensification of small-scale farming and marketing. It could also beget pollution, degradation and disease as it stretches production in nonindustrialised countries beyond capacities. The Livestock Revolution is driven by appetites of billions of people with small rising incomes. It cannot be stopped. It can be harnessed, however, for poor people worldwide, who keep most of the worlds livestock. An additional 2.5 billion people will live on this planet in 20 years. Analysts predict that demand for meat and milk will more than double in developing countries. By 2020, developing countries will produce 60 percent of the worlds meat and 52 percent of the worlds milk. From 1970 to 1995, poor countries increased their consumption of milk and meat by 175 million metric tons. That is more than twice the increase in developed countries and over half as large as the increased consumption of cereals made possible by the Green Revolution. The market value of the increase in milk

and meat production in this period totalled US$153 billionmore than twice the value of the increased consumption of wheat, rice and maize. Consumption of animal foods will grow even faster in future. The meat production to grow four times as fast in developing countries as in developed. Livestock contribute to the livelihoods of more than two-thirds (nearly 2.3 billion) of the worlds rural poor and nearly one person in eight depends almost entirely on livestock. This is new established fact that securing the assets of poor farmers, enabling them to expand their enterprises, and to market their products are key strategies to combat poverty. For poor farmers, the loss of one or two buffaloes/cows can mean no milk to drink and no money for medicines or childrens education. Livestock in developing countries often contribute up to 50 per cent of agricultural GDP and more than 20 per cent of total GDP. On smallholder farms worldwide, livestock provide up to 60 per cent of household income. The health of livestock is less compelling in the developed worldalthough the end result of poor livestock health is poor human health and greater poverty. Rapidly expanding demand for animal foods can be met by a series of price-driven adjustments. The Livestock Revolution is making increased livestock production inevitable and arguments against it academic. Livestock revolution is being driven not by new technology but by rising demand. Livestock can make an important contribution to the nutritional status and quality of life of people who live on small-scale farms. More than a billion people suffer from micronutrient malnutrition, which is successfully combated by adding milk and meat to a diet. Evidence is mounting that the essential role of animal-source foods in combating these chronic problems has been overlooked or understated. Farm animals sustain and renew themselves on a diet of straw, grass, leaves, crop wastes and household scraps. They convert these into foods rich in protein, energy, and nutrients. Calcium, vitamin B12, iron, and zinc, absent or scarce in cereals, particularly benefit women and are essential for the growth and learning of children surviving almost exclusively on starchy diets. It is difficult for a person raised in a materially rich country to appreciate the kinds of assets accumulated by people in poor countries living on the margin of economic respectability. The global role of animal agriculture in improving the quality of human life has always been emphasized during the 20th century and is expected to be even more important in terms of food supplies in the future. These facts indicate that the availability of foods of animal origin will play a key role in the nutritional problems in the future. Asian region raised 464 million cattle, 153 million buffaloes, 412 million sheep, 446 million goats, and 7080 million chickens in 1999 (FAO, 2000). But the Asian share of world total meat production has been quite low when compared to its animal population. Although the demand in developing countries for animal proteins is increasing, animal production is not keeping pace with the growth in demand. Consumption figures are lower than world average but the livestock industry is growing in this region, especially good progress has been made in the poultry sector. Judging from the animal numbers and meat output, there seems to be substantial room to make fuller use of livestock potential in this region. In Pakistan farm income could rise dramatically with the rising demand for livestock products, but whether that gain will be shared by those who need it mostsmallholders and landless agricultural workersis not clear. Handled correctly, this rising demand could improve the well-being of millions of poor. Handled incorrectly, or not handled at all, it could hurt those millions. What will largely determine whether the Livestock Revolution is more blessing or curse for the poor and rich alike is publicly funded research. The knowledge, policies and technologies produced by research can help to create a dynamic livestock sector able simultaneously to increase food, economic and environmental security to the poorest communities. Livestock production will offer poor farmers increasing opportunities to raise their living standards. Research that makes livestock and crop-livestock production efficient and sustainable will thus help the Pakistan farmers rise out of poverty. Perhaps the most important characteristic of livestock is that, unlike other agricultural products, they are flexible: they can be moved in response to variable rainfall conditions and can be purchased or sold in response to variable market conditions. Mobility is what makes livestock the bottom line in so many peoples shrewd risk and resource allocation. As mobile production units, they can be deployed so as to exploit non-arable areas and special patches in the landscape that would otherwise be of little or

uncertain productive value to humans. The improvement of livestock production will be particularly important in the coming years, in view of the future financial constraints in Pakistan public sector. There will be an increased need to use limited resources effectively. Economic structural adjustment programmes have resulted in farmers having cuts in subsidies, extension, and veterinary services. Any programmes aimed at alleviating poverty through livestock production will have to be based on sound knowledge of the situation in smallholder farming systems, including gender issues, in the context of the prevailing socio-economic conditions. Despite six decades of evolving approaches to alleviate rural poverty, poverty is persistent, widespread, and in some cases increasing. Surprisingly, this is true even in the face of overall claimed economic growth throughout the country. This established reality and deepening poverty underscores the fact that the causes of poverty are complex and that appropriate policy responses are inadequately understood. Buffaloes, cattle, sheep, goats and other ruminant animals are life-enhancing as well as life-supporting. Animals feed people and soils. They generate incomes. They are the major capital asset of smallholder farmers. They reproduce themselves under even the harshest conditions. They are highly specialised eaters of grasses and similar vegetation. They convert these organic materials indigestible by people into human food of the highest quality. Livestock are often the most important and most reliable form of capital storage. Animals act as readily fungible financial instruments and yield substantial interest in the form of both weight gains and new births. Animal products are an important source of disposable income. Where cash is severely scarce, the sale of even a single animal can spell the difference between life and death by providing cash with which to obtain essential foods or medical care. The small daily income gained by selling milk brings new opportunities to farm households, raising hopes as well as living standards. Dairying, in fact, acts as a cash cropand one that is heavily relied upon because it generates a more regular income than most other enterprises available to the poor. In severely cash-scarce environments, livestock-generated micro-enterprises and micro-assets allow people to plan for the future and see families and communities through hard times, when prolonged drought or rain or market fluctuations take their toll. Importantly, such livestock enterprises also act as a starter that enables people to raise themselves and their families from degrading poverty to low income to middle class. Livestock-keeping empowers women in particular. Women in developing countries often own livestock, particularly small stock, when they are denied ownership of land. Rural women worldwide typically participate directly or indirectly in some or all aspects of animal agriculture. On farms without large ruminants, much of the manual labour is done by women. During past four decades, the poultry farming in Pakistan has made a spectacular progress transforming itself from a backyard industry into a dynamic and sophisticated agri-based industry. During these years industry has grown in size, quality and productivity. In Pakistan, average consumption of eggs and poultry meat is well below that in developed countries. This is where the demand for poultry products will increase most in the future. Compared to other livestock sectors, the poultry industry is showing a characteristic tendency to a rapid application of advanced technology. There are some clear differences between poultry husbandry and the animal husbandry in general, which can explain the fast developments in the poultry industry, such as: a high rate of reproduction, a quick return on capital invested and the absence of the necessity to own large area of land. Several factors contributed to this trend and the first and foremost in increasing consumer preference for poultry meat among all communities. Since it is accepted by all communities, it can be called as the Universal Meat. Efforts have been made to improve the production quantitatively and qualitatively in the livestock sector. But marketing of livestock and livestock products, with few exceptions such as milk and eggs, is still to receive the attention of the planners and policy makers. The rural producers are a most unorganized lot. The scale of production is small and scattered. Marketing of livestock is associated with a unique set of conditions which makes it highly risky and laborious, besides prevalence of relative imperfection in the marketing mechanism. Marketing of livestock is mostly the forced one and under stress.

Livestock development programs in Pakistan have been hardly based on the understanding of the livestock production systems. The relationship between, biological, technical and social factors are important while implementing locally or internationally assisted development projects. The demand for animal protein has drastically increased past two decades which in turn increased commercially based livestock production systems to meet the market. There has been an over emphasis on single commodity development, and a technology driven orientation with little or no participation of farmers, and formation of stronger farmer based institutions. The increasing confluence of animals and human health problems, as well as the pressing issue of emerging diseases, require increased attention to livestock health. Climatic and environmental constraints that have limited a host of diseases to the equatorial latitudes are changing. Today, it is estimated that 55 percent of human diseases have animal origins. Targeting animal diseases may therefore lead to new drugs or vaccines for animal diseases. The number animals increased a less contribution to the increase of production of each sector whether meat or milk. Breeding programs, artificial inseminations and strategies used to upgrade the animal population not a successful one, particularly when applied to small mixed- farming systems. Government give less priority to rural livestock sector, resulting in underdeveloped infrastructure, limited access of farmers to markets and credit, low and fluctuating producer prices, inadequate producer organizations and weak marketing organizations. Most of livestock population is nondescriptive with low production potential. The strategy is to improve productivity through better utilization of available feed, with improving forage and pasture, upgradation program be undertaken with semen of exotic breeds and dairy breeds to increase meat and milk production. Increasing self-sufficiency on feed grain will be an important factor in future livestock sector developmental programs. Since feed cost is becoming the most important factor in livestock production, in the immediate future, animal producers and government policy makers must look closely at their available feed resources and produce more feed grains that need not to be bought with US dollars. There is no doubt that the present economic crisis has taught an important lesson for placing too heavy a dependence on imported raw materials in animal production. The environmental pollution emerged as a major challenge for further expansion of intensive system of livestock raising. Therefore waste disposal facilities must be developed and modern abattoirs should be available in major production areas instead of consumption areas. Meat production is done in unhygienic condition and meat industry is unorganized. Modernization of existing slaughterhouses and establishment of new modern and hygienic plants must undertake at national level. In Pakistan the statistics on livestock sector is not properly collected and maintained. Therefore proper data on animal population, production, marketing and disease incidence should be collected. Based on them short term and long term development plan should be prepared for the development of the sector. This inadequacy has to be overcome through periodic surveys on livestock industry. Lack of proper marketing and non-accessibility to markets, result in the exploitation of farmers by the middleman at various level. It is difficult for a small holder farmer owning one or two animals to organize their marketing properly. Thus, small-holder livestock farmers should be encouraged to organize themselves into cooperatives, associations or public groups to facilitate requisites inputs to increase meat production and improve its quality as well as to market their surplus produce at appropriate price. Livestock livelihood provides pathways out of poverty for millions of poorest people. Poverty reduction and growth strategies need to recognize the multi-dimensionality of rural livelihoods and the importance of farm-non farm linkages in facilitating rural growth. Policy priority therefore should be given to providing an enabling rural environment for commercial activities such as institutional innovations that support competitiveness of household producers, lower level of formal and informal taxes, and increased investment in public goods such as agricultural research, extension, and infrastructure. No single approach taken alone is likely to alleviate poverty. Specified breed development through genetic enhancement is essential for rapid growth in livestock production in the country. Focus areas needs to be identified in breed improvement instead of doing everything by everybody. Good research can result in reducing poverty paving the way for overall economic development.

* Dr. Alamdar Hussain Malik is Secretary/Registrar, Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council with the mandate to establish uniform standards of basic and higher qualifications for graduates & postgraduate in veterinary and animal husbandry profession and to regulate the registration, practice and conduct of the veterinarians

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Returns from goat farming
By Dr Ali Mohammad Khushk & Mohammad Ibrahim Lashari

Home livestock

SHEEP and goat farming has a great scope in Sindh due to climatic conditions, canal network, forest areas, pastures within valleys, grass along canal and road sides, and efficient labour force. The rearing of small animals has greater advantages over other livestock. This business not only supplements the farmers income but also compliments crop production by providing means of subsistence and employment in rural area. The province is home to many important sheep and goat breeds. Small ruminants for various reasons play an important role in agriculture since they do not require costly inputs. Their meat, milk and the converted dairy products are valuable goods. The products of small ruminant such as wool and skin are of secondary importance. Small ruminant farming is an integral part of agricultural production system. These provide protein, particularly to those living in rural areas. Goat and sheep flocks are maintained through traditional production system. Their feeding requirement is met through grazing. Their main management is climate, vegetation, resources, disease control and feed supplement. In a study, it was found that the majority 59 per cent animals are fed from fields, 20 per cent use stall feeding and 21 per cent grazing as well as stall feeding. About 51 per cent feeding is dependent on tree leaves, cut fodder and kitchen waste - 29 per cent on tree leaves and 20 per cent on cut fodder. The major portion of milk is consumed by kids/lambs and the remaining quantity by the family. A very small quantity of milk is marketed after mixing it with cow and buffalo milk. The sheep producer use traditional method of shearing i.e., cut by simple scissor. A majority of the 92 per cent respondents said that they shear their animal twice a year while eight per cent did it once. About 56 per cent sell wool on per sheep basis while 44 per cent on per kg base. On an average, sheep wool is sold for Rs8 per kg and Rs10 per animal. Multiple birth rates indicate that 60 per cent of sheep give single birth while remaining of 40 per cent twin births. Same 60 per cent goat give twin births while 29 per cent single, whereas 11 per cent goat give birth to triplets. Small ruminants are affected by bacterial disease with seven per cent reporting viral disease and six per cent, both bacterial and viral diseases in the study area. About 67 per cent get their animals vaccinated while 33 per cent are unaware of it. Almost every household uses family labour for milking. Similarly, for manure gathering 38 per cent use

family male labour and 14 per cent hire male, whereas 40 per cent use family female and eight per cent children. Marketing comprises movement of livestock and their products (food and raw material) from the farm to final consumer. In case of products, the marketing continued through processing which changes the nature and form or use of the product. It includes processing, grading and packing. The livestock markets are locally called Mall Piri held weekly in nearby towns where buyers and sellers strike deals. Such markets are held daily in big cities located in consumption areas. These offer good business for brokers and agents of big traders and marginal traders. Producers often hesitate to sell their animals in these markets because of the exploitation by agents, transportation problem, huge expenses involved in the form of marketing charges and feeding and the time consumed during visits. There are no standards to weigh livestock and their carcasses. The deal is struck through estimation which becomes the basis of price offered by a buyer. The brokers and agents are clever in bargaining while guessing the helplessness of a seller. Almost all livestock producers are simple and illiterate people. A primary market is a patch of ground near a village where livestock from same or surrounding villages is brought for sale. These are also designated as local or producer market. Secondary markets are located in towns to which livestock traded at village markets is brought for sale. These markets are also called transit markets. Local town committees control these markets. Tertiary markets are located in large cities where animals are usually brought from secondary or primary markets. These are also designated as regional markets. Import and export of livestock occurs internationally from one country to the other from the national markets. The purchaser directly contacts the seller and negotiates the price without the help of intermediary, while at other times a broker serves as a catalyst for settlement of prices. In Sindh, sheep and goat wealth is in the hands of poor people. Goat farming is carried out as a way of life instead at commercial scale. The goat farming units are not operated efficiently due to poor knowledge of modern practices. The system needs improvement. Courtesy: The DAWN

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Non-chemical methods to control parasites in livestock
By Dr Abdul Jabbar, Dr Murtaz-ul-Hasan, Dr Zafar Iqbal & Dr Zia-ud-Din Sandhu

Home livestock

THERE are many different species of nematode parasites that infect livestock but only few parasite species cause major problems, notably Haemonchus, Teladorsagia, Trichostrongylus, Nematodirus and Cooperia spp. The conventional method to control is with the use of synthetic chemotherapeutic drugs (anthelmintics). Consumers now demand that the agricultural products should be both clean and green. The demand for clean livestock products has followed adverse publicity about impact of agro-chemicals on human health, and the development of superresistant human microbial pathogens, caused by the use of antibiotics in intensive livestock

production systems. The term green refers to low-input operations based on grazing animals on pasture against feedlot or housed systems of production. The move back to pasture-based livestock management is driven by public concerns over hand feeding of animals and the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE; mad cow) disease scare; the emergence of multi-resistant microbes derived from selection by growth promoters commonly used in the intensive poultry industry, and the entering of chemical residues into the human food chain. There is a downside to organic/green farming in the livestock. Difficulties have arisen in adequate control of pasture-borne infectious diseases, particularly those due to nematode parasite infections. Investigations have concluded that nematode parasitism is the greatest economic constraint of grazing livestock production, whether in the industrialized or the developing countries. The most profound effects of parasitism are on sub-clinical production loss (i.e., not obvious by visual appraisal), of which farmers or their advisers are unlikely to be aware of. The assessment of animal health issues associated with organic farming are often based on farmers perceptions in questionnaires or surveys, rather than on detailed veterinary investigation. As a consequence, new and serious animal welfare issues might emerge in organic farming that are caused by distress suffered by animals as a result of uncontrolled parasite infections. To counter this, the move to green and organic livestock production has also been accompanied by an increase in research aimed at exploring non-chemical approaches to parasite control. Genetic resistance is ultimate in parasite control. It is economical, permanent solution requiring no extra resources and no additional costs. However, for most species of ruminant livestock, animals that have evolved to be highly resistant to parasite infection are not generously endowed with desirable productivity traits for wool or meat production. These innately resistant breeds are found in the tropics, where the formidable combination of malnutrition, environmental stress, long-term and often massive larval challenge and limited relief by way of effective anthelmintic treatment have imposed the harshest conditions for selection, resulting in survival of the fittest. However, attempts are being made to identify those genes that encode parasite resistance in laboratory animal models. With the aid of comparative genomic maps, the aim is to identify the locations of similar genes in ruminants and to develop transgenic animals in which genes for resistance are inserted into economically productive breeds. Pakistan has a galaxy of different breeds of livestock but none of them has been exploited for their potential of resistance against nematode parasite. This could be a very good research issue based on future demands. To date, vaccines against nematode parasites have had very limited commercial success. Early forays into this area were made using attenuated whole parasites and, although these showed some promise and marketing opportunities (notably the irradiated larval vaccine of the cattle lungworm, Dictyocaulus viviparus). Better nutrition could reduce worm burden in different livestock species. Due to internal parasite infection there is increasing endogenous loss of protein and a reduced efficiency of the animals. The increase in parasite challenge associated with the contemporary livestock production systems must come at a price with regards to animal productivity, particularly at times of sub-optimal nutrient supply, when the animal has to prioritize the allocation of scarce nutritional resources. Strategic feed supplementation, particularly to young and peri-parturient animals, can have long-term benefits, and research is now targeted at fine-tuning the ways, means and timing of doing this that would

be practical, profitable and, if needed, acceptable to the organic standards. Another important component of green ruminant production system could be the use of herbal drugs for the treatment of parasitic diseases. Anthelmintic medication has its origin in the use of plant preparations. In general, these were hazardous concoctions with low anthelmintic efficacy, especially in ruminant species, and they rapidly disappeared from human and veterinary use with the discovery of synthetic anthelmintic compounds. Although a large and diverse range of herbal de-wormers is used throughout the world, particularly in Asian and African countries, generally there is a lack of scientific validation of the purported anthelmintic effects of these products. In ruminants, the claimed efficacy is often associated with farmers observing the occasional elimination of tapeworm segments, which has little bearing on production, let alone parasite control. There is considerable and apparently expanding interest worldwide in traditional health practices in both the industrialized and developing countries of the world, including herbal de-wormers. However, for resource-poor farmers in developing countries, traditional herbal remedies based on local plants offer an alternative to the expensive and often inaccessible commercial anthelmintics. The use of plant/crops containing secondary metabolites (or nutricines) can also be a good method of parasite control in green system. The crops are either grazed or fed after preservation, with the main purpose of reducing parasite infections, and ideally they can be incorporated into crop rotation schemes. A specific group of plant polyphenols, the condensed tannins, has attracted attention in recent years. When animals are grazed on the leguminous crops which are rich in these compounds exert great effect to reduced GI nematode. For example, the administration of quebracho, an extract of condensed tannins, might reduce nematode burdens of the small intestine (Trichostrongylus colubriformis), but not those of the abomasum (Haemonchus contortus; Teladorsagia circumcincta). The epidemiological importance of reduced faecal egg counts continues to be investigated. Grazing of chicory (Cichorium intybus) by infected sheep has shown some promising results, in particular with regard to reductions in abomasal worm burdens. Keeping in view the worlds trend about tannin containing plants, the authors have also screened various plants containing condensed tannins and out of these a few showed very good results. For decades, various grazing management practices have been the cornerstone of epidemiologically based parasite control strategies in the temperate regions of the world. Not only were they cost efficient and highly effective, particularly when combined with anthelmintic treatment, but they also provided the opportunity for dual livestock species parasite control, such as with sheep/cattle interchange grazing. These concepts became established in the applied veterinary parasitology jargon, with the epithet of dose-and-move strategies. Another concept is the biological control. In the simplest words, biological control is to kill life with life and biological control of nematode parasites of livestock is almost exclusively associated with the nematodedestroying microfungus Duddingtonia flagrans. The microfungus has three very important attributes: (i) the ability to survive gut passage of livestock; (ii) the propensity to grow rapidly in freshly deposited dung; and (iii) the possession of a voracious nematophagous capacity. This fungus thus breaks the lifecycle by capturing infective larval stages before they migrate from dung to pasture, where they would otherwise be acquired by grazing animals. Field evaluation of this concept for a range of livestock species, in a variety of geo-climatic regions, has been under way for the past decade. At the same time, several potential stumbling blocks on the path towards product registration have largely been overcome.

First, it is now possible to produce large quantities of D. flagrans spore material; second, long-term field trials using D. flagrans have shown no adverse effects on the environment; and third, it has been established that the D. flagrans is ubiquitous and that very close genetic similarity exists between isolates from all regions of the world. The commonly used means of deployment of D. flagrans spore material is by a feed additive. To achieve optimal results, the fungal spores need to be continuously shed in the dung of animals at the same time that contamination of pasture with parasite eggs occurs. Thus, daily supplementation of fungal material is recommended during the predetermined period of time that biological control is to be effected. Clearly, much greater opportunities for this innovation would occur if effective methods of D. flagrans depot delivery were available. Courtesy: The DAWN

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Overview of Participatory Epidemiological tools

Home livestock

Overview of Participatory Epidemiological tools used during Participatory Disease Search Program in Distrct Pakpattan, Sahiwal, Okara and Toba Tek Singh of Punjab (Pakistan) Abstract The Transboundry animals diseases are great threat for the lives of animals/ livestock in the global village (WORLD). In those part of the world where TAD (Transboundry Animals Disease) Especially Rinderpest still exists, eradication will be achieved by a process of Participatory Disease Surveillance and intensive vaccination of infected population if found. The eradication program is in progress in Pakistan with the coordination of Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nation and European Union (EU). The ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL) and provincial Livestock departments are in action and Participatory Disease Surveillance Teams are carrying out PDS activities in the Targeted villages of their allocated Districts. From the month of May, 2003 the PDS team (B) started its activities and visited the targeted villages (randomly selected by the Data Analyst) of District Pakpattan, Sahiwal, Toba Tek Singh and Okara till December, 2003. By applying the different tools of Participatory Epidemiology, the onset of different Livestock diseases was observed which are shown at next page. The exercise of Proportional pilling with the local farmers was the actual key to determine the Livestock diseases prevalence and importance wise. The PDS Team (B) visited 263 villages of 04 Districts and contacted 4816 Farmers of area while conducting the 266 farmers meetings in the targeted villages. During this survey 152 Key Informants were interviewed for the prevalence of any contagious livestock diseases in the area/ village. The PDS team (B) visited 02 cattle markets for the observation of livestock movement within Districts and Within Provinces. The PDS team (B) also visited 14 specific area/village on the direction/report of TADCO or District Livestock Officer concerned to observe the Disease Incidence and collected 13 laboratory samples. The PDS Team (B) also visited 54 field veterinary institutions and contacted 176 veterinary staff personals while conducting awareness meetings. According to the contacted farmers and Key Informants interviewed, the Transboundry Animal Diseases are not present in the Districts covered except Foot and

Mouth Disease Which was observed during the PDS activities by the PDS team (B). The Rinderpest Disease is not present in the area/targeted villages of these Districts of Punjab (Pakistan) Introduction Simply stated, Participatory Epidemiology is the application of Participatory Rural Appraisal techniques to the collection of epidemiologic information (Jeff Mariner, Andy Catley, ). In the activity of Participatory Disease Surveillance the participation by the community or target group is the main aspect. Participation can be defined as a voluntary process by which people influence or control the decisions that affect them selves by contributing their knowledge, resources and skills. Participatory approach leads the way we interact with the peoples and this approach of interaction begin and create / establish a relation ship / trust between the worker and the target group of people. While working with Participatory approach, the actual issues / data or informations could be derived from the people/target group. Participatory Epidemiology is also a wing of Participatory approach to locate, control and eradicates any disease from the particular area. In the Participatory approach the worker/researcher should be aware of attitude / behavior of the target group. The attitude / behavior of the target group or community make the research/surveillance more useful and valuable, so the active community participation is the main key for success full Participatory Epidemiology or Disease Surveillance. PDS is a rural community based program, so the PRA techniques were applied according to the needs of the farmers for their livestock health problems such as housing, feeding, vaccination and provision of veterinary aids etc. Brief of the Districts: The Districts under study are thickly livestock populated area of Punjab (Pakistan) and famous for the world known SAHIWAL cow and NILI RAVI buffalo breeds. The basic data of the districts is shown in the table.

Districts Pakpattan Sahiwal Okara Toba Tek Singh Total

Animal Population 912673 1900488 1557728 1147881 5518770

UC 63 89 114 66 332

Villages 765 529 912 531 2737

VH 3 5 18 20 46

VD 13 25 17 17 72

VC 27 59 54 67 207

VO 9 23 21 37 90

VA 34 47 67 107 255

Livestock Services status of the Districts The livestock services are mostly provided to the farmers by the Livestock and Dairy Development Department through its field staff posted at Veterinary Hospital, veterinary Dispensary or Veterinary Centers. The average animal strength for a veterinary institution or veterinary worker is shown in the following table.

Districts Pakpattan Sahiwal Okara Toba Tek singh

Per UC 14500 21350 13700 17400

Per Village 1200 3600 1700 2200

Per VH 304200 380100 86500 57400

Per VD 70200 76000 92000 67500

Per VC 33800 32200 28900 17150

Per VO* 101400 82600 74200 31000

Per VA 29500 40500 23200 10700

UC (Union Council) VH (Veterinary Hospital) VD(Veterinary Dispensary) VC (Veterinary Center) VO (Veterinary Officer) VA (Veterinary Assistant) One veterinary officer can provide efficient livestock services to 25000 heads of animals under ideal condition. Methods and Methodology Used The Participatory Epidemiology is a main tool to observe the disease incidence in a particular area as the Livestock keeper always try to get his sick animal recovered with his own or traditional methods of treatment and the mutual consultation of farmers leads to the symptoms of those diseases which were prevailing in that particular area some time. Selection of Area/villages The villages were selected randomly by the Data Analyst of Livestock and Dairy Development Department Punjab, but while working in the Districts/area some others villages were also selected for Participatory Disease Search activities to get the actual data/information of Transboundry Animal Diseases.

Criteria for the selection of villages High risk areas 1. The villages in which the livestock Traders are engaged with Karachi and Peshawar Livestock markets and they are keeping the livestock in the village /area. 2. The village where the livestock are mainly fed on common grazing area. 3. The villages near the boundary of high risk area/village. Other area 1. The village /area far flung from the metal road and veterinary hospitals. 2. The village/area near or in the river belt. 3. The village /area near the livestock markets. The PDS Teams trained in Participatory Disease Surveillance technique applied the tools of Participatory Disease Surveillance to get a valuable Participatory appraisal. The active participation of local farmers/ livestock owners made the activity more effective and authenticated. To get more and active participation the meeting time and place was the main consideration of the PDS Team. In every village / area the Participatory Epidemiology tools were applied with flexible manner according to the local situation so that the correct information/ data can be collected / complied. Following main activities were performed in the targeted villages / area as methodology for Participatory Disease Surveillance. Conduction of farmers meetings: Participatory Disease Search is based on the views and thinking of livestock keeper. The traditional veterinary knowledge with personal experiences could be elaborated freely in the informal gathering of farmers. The traditional names and variety of traditional prescriptions for different livestock diseases were intelligently described by the farmers of the area. The symptoms of Transboundry Animal Disease were also elaborated by the PDS Team while discussing on particular disease. The farmers gathering depend upon the time, place, local politics, conflicts and weather. The primary introduction of PDS Team builds a structure of confidence which leads to a valuable discussion of Livestock Diseases prevailing in the area. Following table is showing the farmers meeting detail district wise.



Villages Visited

No of Farmers

No of Farmers

Average Participation

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Pakpattan Sahiwal Okara Toba Tek Singh Total

78 57 90 60 285

Meetings 78 57 93 60 288

Participated 1481 1102 1657 1090 5330

19 19 18 18 18

Proportional Pilling The use of pictures, charts and banners for the identification of different diseases makes the things easier for the farmers to participate in the proportional pilling /scoring of Livestock Diseases prevalence and importance wise. The use of different types of things such as small stones, tablets, seeds, and beans etc for pilling creates the interest in the exercise. Generally the farmer/livestock holder enjoys the talk/discussion for his livestock health and production, and its the secret of a successful Disease Surveillance. Use of pictures Showing the symptoms of disease on picture, cartoons, and outlines confirms the faded outline of the disease present in the farmers /Key Informant mind. The typical signs of HS, Red Water, Mastitis, Foot and Mouth disease and diarrhea made the easier for the PDS team to understand the disease situation of area. In this regards the local names of different disease were also recorded for proper pronunciation. The PDS team was very careful while asking questions during farmers meeting or interviews not to raise farmers expectations concerning future services of the department. Open ended questions were asked making the farmers to think for answer. These questions were not preplanned and were according to the situation of the area, hence resulting the valuable data/ informations. The PDS team also probed the situation on the symptoms of Transboundry Animal Diseases while listening carefully to the farmers and gave respect to every individual opinion and observations with open minded. The data thus derived from the minds of intelligent farmers are shown in the following table for livestock diseases in targeted villages of districts under study. Prevalence District Pakpattan Sahiwal Okara Toba Tek Singh I HS HS FMD HS II FMD FMD HS FMD III PPHU PPHU PPHU PPHU Importance I HS HS HS HS II PPHU PPHU PPHU PPHU III FMD FMD Mastitis FMD

Mapping Mapping is also a very useful method to get the actual information from the farmers regarding their livestock movement and grazing area. This activity involves the farmers physically to create a map showing natural resources, such as canal, river, forest, grazing area, ponds and cattle trespass.

In this activity both literate and non-literate people can contribute to draw a map on the ground with an ordinary stick. The mapping exercise and the map made by the farmers can be used for the discussion as well as for participatory analysis. The mapping method is also useful for follow up questioning and visiting the risk area. Following graph is showing the mapping of under study districts.

Seasonal Calendar The onset of different livestock diseases in the particular area can be searched out through open ended questions to the farmers or Key informants during meeting /interviews. Seasonal variations and its perceptions of occurrence could be defined by the farmers by making seasonal calendar. The farmer has indigenous knowledge regarding the prevalence of disease in that area and by making the seasonal calendar on the ground the worker/researcher can identify the actual onset of diseases. To get the actual situation of disease, the worker/researcher should know or understand the traditional/local names of season and diseases. While interviewing or meeting with the farmer, the information regarding the local names can be got for reference. The use of pictures for seasons and diseases are necessary, so that the farmers can understand the disease while drawing seasonal calendar on the ground. By applying /constructing a one year time line on the ground and placing the picture of disease one by one, the onset of disease can be scored with small stones under each season. In this way the seasonal calendar grow slowly showing all information of diseases prevalence in particular area. The farmer can explain the interesting aspects of diagram / seasonal calendar on the questions of worker/researcher and by using the probing questions the actual situation/data could be derived from the diagram made by the farmers. The disease pattern got from the seasonal calendar made by the farmers during the PE is shown as under.




1. Winter

HS, FMD, PPHU, Mastitis,

Enterotoxaemia, Pleuropnemonia, Diarrhea and PPR FMD, Rheumatism, Spring 3. Summer 4. Rainy season Abortion HS, Mastitis, Prolapsed Uterus and Milk fever I/Worms, Tympny and Autumn Impaction Tympny, Ticks, I/Worms and PPR Rheumatism, Prolapsed Uterus and



Key Informants Interviewed In the Farmer community certain local people are known as possessing the indigenous veterinary knowledge. Such farmers (Key Informants) were identified during the farmers meeting or visiting the area. The PDS team interviewed the key Informants and got valuable information regarding the Transboundry Animal Disease in the area under study. These Key Informants were categorized like, Elder of the village, livestock Keeper, Siaana of village treating the animals with traditional prescriptions, Livestock Trader, Butcher, milk man or veterinary practitioners. Triangulation: Participatory Epidemiology could only be beneficial if the data/information collected by applying different tools are considered to make a decision or diagnosis. Triangulation is very much useful for the making of diagnosis in veterinary medicine. The data/information got from different sources, case history of animal, owner interview, direct observation or clinical examination of effected animals is mentally combined to provide a provisional or final diagnosis. PDS Impact on the farmer The PDS Team during its activities interacts with the field veterinary staff and livestock owners/farmers. Being the owners of animals, the farmers are the main source of Information regarding livestock diseases as its prevalence and importance in their area. The working field veterinary staff is also a good source of disease reporting. During this study/surveillance following points regarding social behavior were observed. EXPECTATIONS FEAR DEMAND Result

Tools of Participatory Epidemiology are quite helpful to evaluate the disease situation in the village/area. The interest of the farmers/participants was very much appreciable while applying the exercise of mapping, seasonal calendar and proportional pilling. Working with the beans/seeds for the exercise of proportional pilling is very much effective when all the representatives of all groups living in the village are present and participating in the exercise. A reasonable farmers gathering (15-20) in one meeting is more effective having discussion on every aspects. The management and feeding aspects are being ignored by the farmers causing metabolic disorders in their livestock. The livestock diseases such as Hemoglobin urea, Mastitis and prolapsed uterus are main concern for the farmers. The livestock holders of the area/village are well aware about the severity of Hemorrhagic Septicemia and they are vaccinating their animals The Foot and Mouth disease was prevailing in the area/villages 3 months back but the farmers have no fear about the disease as the disease is not causing mortality in the livestock. The name of Rinderpest Disease is new for the farmers of area/villages, but the symptoms especially Diarrhea described by the PDS Team leads to think about the PPR in sheep and Johnes disease in buffalos and cattle. The old men of the area/village and the farmer which are selling their animals to the traders of Karachi were some time agreed with the symptoms of RP but in Karachi 5-10 year back. For more Detail: Dr Muhammad Rasheed In charge PDS Team (B) Phone: 0441-50305 Email:

All About/ Live stock

The growing livestock farming
By Dr Sardar Riaz A.Khan

Home livestock

Livestock is the second important sector of agriculture. While the share of agriculture in GDP declined from 26 in 1986-87 to 24 per cent in 2003-04, the share of livestock went up from eight to 11.4 per cent during that period. In other words, the share of livestock in agriculture increased from 30 to 48 per cent. Its foreign exchange earnings increased to Rs53 billion in 2003-04 which is 12.34 per cent of the total national export earnings as compared to its share of 5.3 per

cent in 2001-02. Despite the neglect of livestock sector, its share in GDP and that of agriculture as well as of export earnings increased. Pakistan is rich in its major livestock wealth as is evident from its population growth as shown in Table 1: Increase of livestock population between 1960-61 to 2002-03


1960-61 2002-03 Increase (million in numbers)

Baffloes Cattle Goats Sheep Camels Donkeys Horses Mules

8.2 16.4 10.4 12.4 0.4 1.4 0.3 0.1 (1966-67)

24.8 23.3 52.8 24.6 0.8 4.0 0.3 0.2

16.6 6.9 42.4 12.2 0.4 2.6 0.0 0.1





Source: Economic Survey 2002-03, Statistical Supplement . It is evident from Table 1 , that there was significant increase in the population of livestock, especially goats, buffaloes, sheep and cattle in the given order. Although, there was increase in the population of camels and bovines, but this increase except that of donkeys was not significant .Because their population was below one million in 1960-61 and it remained below one million even after 43 years in 2002-03. Similarly the data of live stock products from 1971-72 to 2002-03 is given in Table 2 .

Increase in livestock products Livestock 1971-72 2002-03 Increase products

(000 tons) Milk Beef 7800.0 346.0 27611.0 1060.0 20011.0 714.0

Mutton Poultry meet Wool Hair Bones Fat Blood




14.0 22.1 2.9 152.0 45.8 14.2

372.0 39.7 19.9 348.0 129.7 44.0

358.0 17.6 17.0 196.0 83.9 29.8

(million numbers) Egg Hides Skins 583.0 4.3 16.4 7991.0 8.2 40.3 7408.0 3.9 23.9

Source: Economic Survey 2002-03. Statistical Supplement It is evident from Table 2,that there was significant increase in livestock products such as milk ,beef ,mutton poultry meat and eggs etc .But inspite of significant increase in milk production mostly due to increase in the number of buffaloes ,cattle and milk breeds of goats and sheep ,the import of milk and milk bye-products increase from Rs226 million in 1978-79 to Rs770 million in 2002-03. Again, most of the big cities are facing shortage of meat due to smuggling of animals and meat to Afghanistan and Middle Eastern countries ,besides their export to these countries as well. This has not only caused meat deficiency in the big cities resulting in persistent increase in meat prices. For instance, due to such shortage of meat in Karachi ,animals were smuggled from India in 2002 .The situation was further compounded due to decline in supply of animals from Thar. Such shortage of meat and consequent price hike was also experienced in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad during this period. It has been reported that government is now considering to import animals from India This shows mismanagement that prevails in the sector as well as in case of crop sector suggesting that both these sectors of agriculture need attention of policy makers on top priority basis for immediate planning on sound economic parameters for attaining self sufficiency. Presently, livestock is the major economic activity of small and landless farmers ,tenants , sedentary ,nomadic and transhumance herders for their survival The major buffalo breeds are Nili-Ravi and Kundi ,while Sahiwal and Red Sindhi are the dominant milk breeds .Of the draught cattle Bhagnari and Dajal are heavy breeds ,Dhani and Lohani are medium , Rohani and Rojan are light breeds ,while Thari is a dual breed both for milk and draught purposes . There are around 31 breeds of goats which are raised mainly for milk, meat, skin, hair manure etc. Some of these breeds reared for specific purposes are Betal, Dera Din Panah, Jattan and Kamori mainly for milk, while Chamber, Shurri, Damani, Nachi, Potwari and Khurassani, Sindh Desi, Tapri mainly for milk and meet. Similarly, Kaghani, Hairy Goat, Lehri, Desi(Jattal) and Burgi mostly for meat and hair, while Kooti, Buchi,

Labri, Gaddi, Kajli, Chappar and Tharki mainly for meat, milk and hair. Likewise,Teddy Pateri and Barbari are primarily raised for meat. In Northern areas due to severe cold weather ,shortage of food ,feed and burning material for warmth and cooking ,the Baltistani ,Jarakhel , Koai Ghizar and Piameri breeds of goats are used for mutton, milk, hair and dung to supplement animal dung for cooking and warming up as well as manure . Similarly, there are nearly 30 breeds of sheep, out of which 16 are thin-tailed and 14 are fat-tailed sheep. They are raised for different purposes depending upon the breeds such as mutton, wool, milk, fat, manure etc Again, camel is one of the most neglected animal in spite of its great importance in our arid, semi-arid regions, it is a valuable source of milk, meat, skin hair. fuel, bones, ploughing, riding and transportation in these regions where other sources are negligible or not sufficient. And yet, there is not a single camel research institute in the country. Camel and its by-products have great potential of their export to Middle East ,Africa and other countries. Policy makers and planners of livestock development should seriously consider to establish a national camel research institute in Thal, Cholistan, Thar and Chagai-Kharan based on technical and socioeconomic parameters as has been done by India at Bikaner in their Rajisthan desert . Thus, there is great potential of livestock development. The major problem areas are livestock management, breeding, feeding, health, marketing, besides education and training of livestock holders through effective livestock extension services. Fortunately, various advanced technologies in these areas are already well established. But the need of the time is to effectively apply them at grass root level. For instance, there is no significant interaction between veterinary extension staff and livestock Thus there is need of strengthening of efficient free veterinary services. Again instead of importing bulls from abroad, the high pedigree bulls of Nili-Ravi, Sahiwal and Red Sindhi breeds should be used for improving buffaloe and cow yields of milk. Likewise, most of the livestock farmers are not well aware that dry roughages like that of wheat, rice, barley straw, rice husk, stalk of maize, sorghum ,millet,pods and straw of pulses ,oilseed etc could be treated with urea and molasses to increase nutritive value of these roughages. Yields of fodder and its availability for a longer period should also be increased by growing high yielding varieties of fodders and following suitable crop rotations Similarly rain-fed fodder and roughage yields can be significantly increased by following modern rain water harvesting techniques. The draught cattle should be replaced by high yielding Nili-Ravi buffaloes, Sahiwal and Red Sindhi cows to increase milk yield. Presently dairy farms are mostly in urban areas ,these should also be extended to rural areas as well. Most of the ruminants, especially the small ones are kept on depleted rangelands.The prevailing sedentary, transhumance and nomadic overgrazing systems are the major cause of depletion of rangelands. Hence rangeland management needs multidisciplinary approach such as classification; determination of carrying capacity of stocking rate; deferred and rotational grazing; reseeding of rangelands; development of drinking water for livestock; Silvi-pastural management; forage conservation during lean periods ;use of urea-molasses models ;removal and burning of undesirable plant species; establishing of demonstration farms; mobile extension units; credit and other similar services. Courtesy: The DAWN

All About/ Live stock

Quality wool production

Although there is a strong need in Pakistan for wool and mutton development, no serious efforts have so far been made in this regard because of resource constraints. The province of Sindh possesses 16 per cent of sheep population in the country which are kept mainly for their meat.

Sheep generally breed once annually with total 80 per cent fertility. Mortality in lamb ranges between 10 to 15 per cent according to climate and it ranges between 5 to 10 per cent annually. It is the only animal which serves multiple purposes suitable in deserts and hilly areas where other animals fail to thrive, mainly due to lesser water and fodder availability. It is estimated that mutton and wool losses due to mortality is approximately 10 per cent whereas production losses due to improper feeding and parasitic diseases (both ecto and endo-parasitic) is not less than 30 per cent. The losses of wool are estimated up to 20 per cent due to faulty shearing as about 1/4 wool is left over body of sheep. The quality of skin is also lowered due to the fact that many cuts are left over the skin due to improper shearing. It is estimated that sheep have increased in numbers by more than 41 per cent during the period from 1986 to 1996. However, profitability has not increased due to lack of knowledge of breeding, management, nutrition, disease control measures, drenching against endo-parasitic and dipping against ecto- parasitic diseases. The district Tharparkar is richest in sheep population, which possesses 40 per cent of the province's sheep population and is most suitable for sheep and wool development. Other such areas in the province are those of Nara area of Khairpur and Kohistan of Dadu. The Kooka, Kachhi and Pak-Awasi breeds in Sindh are the most promising for wool production. These are medium-sized, but Kachhi can produce some milk as well. Fleece of more than 2.0 kg per annum can be obtained from them. The Kachhi and Pak-Awasi have good staple length of more than 7.0 cm. PakAwasi and Kooka have more than 60 per cent true wool fibres. More than one lambing per year can be obtained from these breeds through good management practices. The most fatal enzootic disease is Anthrax which is caused by a bacillus. It is contracted through water, food excretions or through a wound infection. The disease has very low incubation period of 1-3 days and its first sign is sudden death or very high fever. The wool development centres once established at taluka/ union council level, can serve training places for wool development where owners in the areas be registered and provided technical assistance and veterinary extension services. These services can be provided through trained leader or an NGO in the village. Pedigreed rams be also provided to farmers to improve the breeding. In Sindh the present population is about 23.5 million sheep from which 6.12 million kg wool is obtained. It can be doubled by providing modern techniques such as: 1. Control of ectoparasites; 2. Shearing with modern electric machines;

3. Keeping quality wool separate from lower parts wool; 4. Storing and protecting wool from parasites; 6. Selling wool at a time when it fetches the highest price.

Dr Baz Muhammad Junejo

courtesy Daily Dawn , 29 April, 2002

Organic Farming
Hadi Bux Leghari Composting is the transformation of organic material (plant matter, farmyard manure, poultry manure, sugarcane filter cake etc.) through decomposition into a soil-like material called compost. Microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) help in transforming the material into compost. Composting is a natural form of recycling, which continually occurs in nature. An ancient practice, composting is mentioned in the Bible several times and can be traced to Marcus Cato, a farmer and scientist who lived in Rome 2,000 years ago. Cato viewed compost as the fundamental soil enhancer, essential for maintaining fertile and productive agricultural land. He stated that all food and animal wastes should be composted before being added to the soil. By the 19th century in America, most farmers and agricultural writers knew about composting. Compost added to gardens improves soil structure, texture, aeration, and water retention. When mixed with compost, clay soils are lightened, and sandy soils retain water better. Mixing compost with soil also contributes to erosion control, soil fertility, proper pH balance, and healthy root development in plants. The standard means of disposal for most yard and food waste include land filling and incineration. These practices are not as environmentally or economically sound as composting. Yard waste, which is landfilled, breaks down very slowly due to the lack of oxygen. As it decomposes, it produces methane gas and acidic leachate, which are both environmental problems Land filling organic wastes also takes up landfill space needed for other wastes. Incinerating moist organic waste is inefficient and results in poor combustion, which disrupts the energy generation of the facility and increases the pollutants that need to be removed by the pollution-control devices. Composting these wastes is a more effective and usually less expensive means of managing organic wastes. It can be done successfully on either a large or small scale, but the technique and equipment used differ. Decomposition Decomposition occurs naturally anywhere plants grow. When a plant dies, its remains are attacked by microorganisms and invertebrates in the soil, and it is decomposed to humus. This is how nutrients are recycled in an ecosystem. This natural decomposition can be encouraged by creating ideal conditions. The microorganisms and invertebrates fundamental to the composting process require oxygen and water to successfully decompose the material. The end products of the process are soil-enriching compost, carbon dioxide, water, and heat. Composting is a dynamic process, which will occur quickly or slowly, depending on the process used and the skill with which it is executed. A neglected pile of organic waste will inevitably decompose, but slowly.

This has been referred to as "passive composting," because little maintenance is performed. Fast or "active" composting can be completed in two to six weeks. This method requires three key activities; 1) "aeration," by turning the compost pile, 2) moisture, and 3) the proper carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio. Attention to these elements will raise the temperature to around 130=-140=, and ensure rapid decomposition. The success with which the organic substances are composted depends on the organic material and the decomposer organisms involved. Some organic materials are broken down more easily than others. Different decomposers thrive on different materials as well as at different temperature ranges. Some microbes require oxygen, and others do not; those that require oxygen are preferable for composting. A more diverse microbial community makes for a more efficient composting process. If the environment in the compost pile becomes inhospitable to a particular type of decomposer, it will die, become dormant, or move to a different part of the compost pile. The transforming conditions of the compost pile create a continually evolving ecosystem inside the pile. Factors Affecting The Composting Process All organic material will eventually decompose. The speed at which it decomposes depends on these factors: Carbon to nitrogen ratio of the material. Amount of surface area exposed. Aeration, or oxygen in the pile. Moisture. Temperatures reached in compost pile. Tutside temperatures. Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratios Carbon and nitrogen are the two fundamental elements in composting, and their ratio (C:N) is significant. The bacteria and fungi in compost digest or "oxidize" carbon as an energy source and ingest nitrogen for protein synthesis. Carbon can be considered the "food" and nitrogen the digestive enzymes. The bulk of the organic matter should be carbon with just enough nitrogen to aid the decomposition process. The ratio should be roughly 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen (30:1) by weight. Adding 3-4 pounds of nitrogen material for every 100 pounds of carbon should be satisfactory for efficient and rapid composting. The composting process slows if there is not enough nitrogen, and too much nitrogen may cause the generation of ammonia gas which can create unpleasant odors. Leaves are a good source of carbon; fresh grass, manures and blood meal are sources of nitrogen. Surface Area Decomposition by microorganisms in the compost pile takes place when the particle surfaces are in contact with air. Increasing the surface area of the material to be composted can be done by chopping, shredding, mowing, or breaking up the material. The increased surface area means that the microorganisms are able to digest more material, multiply more quickly, and generate more heat. It is not necessary to increase the surface area when composting, but doing so speeds up the process. Insects and earthworms also break down materials into smaller particles that bacteria and fungi can digest. Aeration The decomposition occurring in the compost pile takes up all the available oxygen. Aeration is the replacement of oxygen to the center of the compost pile where it is lacking. Efficient decomposition can only occur if sufficient oxygen is present. This is called aerobic decomposition. It can happen naturally by wind, or when air warmed by the compost process rises through the pile and causes fresh air to be drawn in from the surroundings. Composting systems or structures should incorporate adequate ventilation.

Turning the compost pile is an effective means of adding oxygen and brings newly added material into contact with microbes. It can be done with a pitchfork or a shovel, or a special tool called an "aerator," designed specifically for that purpose. If the compost pile is not aerated, it may produce an odor symptomatic of anaerobic decomposition. Moisture Microorganisms can only use organic molecules if they are dissolved in water, so the compost pile should have a moisture content of 40-60 percent. If the moisture content falls below 40 percent the microbial activity will slow down or become dormant. If the moisture content exceeds 60 percent, aeration is hindered, nutrients are leached out, decomposition slows, and the odor from anaerobic decomposition is emitted. The "squeeze test" is a good way to determine the moisture content of the composting materials. Squeezing a handful of material should have the moisture content of a well wrung sponge. A pile that is too wet can be turned or can be corrected by adding dry materials. Temperature Microorganisms generate heat as they decompose organic material. A compost pile with temperatures between 90= and 140=F (32=-60=C) is composting efficiently. Temperatures higher than 140=F (60=C) inhibit the activity of many of the most important and active organisms in the pile. Given the high temperatures required for rapid composting, the process will inevitably slow during the winter months in cold climates. Compost piles often steam in cold weather. Some microorganisms like cool temperatures and will continue the decomposition process, though at a slower pace. Microorganisms do some "dirty" jobs: Many kinds of soil bacteria and fungi decompose organic matter into crumbly humus that does all those great things for the soil. The compounds produced by decomposition are also beneficial. Most of the nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in fresh plant residues are tied up in the unavailable organic form, which plants cannot use. Soil microbes change these tied-up nutrients into available inorganic (mineral) forms that plants can use. Several kinds of bacteria "fix," or capture, nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. The most important type is a rhizobia bacterium that lives in small nodules on the roots of legumes. Legumes are plants that produce their seeds in pods, such as beans, peas, and peanuts. The rhizobia have a symbiotic, or mutually beneficial, relationship with legumes. The bacteria live off sugars provided by the plant and supply their host with nitrogen. Mychorrhizae are a kind of mushroom fungi commonly found in most soils and infest the roots of many plants and trees. They cause no harm. They enhance the host's uptake of plant nutrients, especially phosphorus. They also improve water uptake, lessen the toxicity of salinity, and stimulate the growth of other beneficial microbes like rhizobia. Organic Matter, A Soil's Best Friend: Organic Matter in the soil includes plant and animal residues at various stages of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms, and substances synthesized by plant roots and soil microorganisms. Most cultivated topsoils contain about 2-4% organic matter by weight. Despite its small proportion, organic matter has a remarkable beneficial effect on soil behavior and crop yields. Organic matter in the soil is frequently in the form of humus, partially decomposed organic matter that has become dark and crumbly and continues decomposing at a slow rate. Humus benefits the soil in many ways: It can improve overall physical condition (tilth), especially in clayey soils. It can help reduce soil erosion by wind and water because it acts as a "glue" to bind soil particles together into "crumbs," called aggregates, which improve water intake rates and lessen runoff. Aggregates are

resistant to being moved by wind or flowing water. It stores and supplies nutrients, especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. These are slowly released for use by plant roots as organic matter decomposes. It is estimated that for each one percent of organic matter in the topsoil, over 500 pounds per acre of maize can be produced without additional fertilizer. It increases the water-holding capacity of sandy soils. Its high negative charge helps prevent positivelycharged nutrients from leaching. Per equal weight, humus has 30-40 times the negative charge of many clays and can account for the major part of a soil's nutrient-holding ability. In addition, negative charge improves a soil's buffering capacity, or its ability to resist changes in pH. It can reduce the incidence of some soil-borne diseases and stimulate growth of beneficial soil bacteria, fungi, and earthworms.

Market Price
Crops & Commodity


Poultry Market Rates

May 04, 2011 Poultry Rates Broiler Birds (live):
Chicken Live Eggs
Rs.138.00 per KG Per crate of 30 dzns | Retail Rs.62 per Dzn Rs.1770.00/ 1775.00

Cull Birds (live):

Rs 70 per kilo

Courtesy Daily Business Recorder