Is Climate Change Well Understood?

The climate change is reality

A huge set of data and the prevailing situations are witnessed of a catastrophic climate change happening. Almost all the major part of the societies are agreed that climate change is happening and the agriculture system will suffer further. The floods, erratic or no rainfall, desertification etc. have adversely affected (and continue even with the faster pace) to alter agriculture production potential of arable farming and livestock productions system.

Livestock Production is Suffering Adversely

The neutral zones of thermoregulation in animals are very challenging and heat intolerance, especially in exotic high producing animals is a catastrophic. The food security is a real challenge and many parts of the world (in one or other farm) is facing hunger and malnutrition.

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Native Livestock have the Adaptation Power

But there are good and potential tools we have to adapt with the higher/lower temperatures and produce in very low input production systems; they are the native animals and plants genetic resources. Unfortunately, their role is seldom value and addressed accordingly which results in development faulty policies regarding food and agriculture. The keepers of the native breeds are void of a strong voice and are seldom heard by policy makers while formulating policies regarding the genetic resources and food security.

But the Native Livestock is under Threat

This situation is very complex and challenging. Many of the gene keepers (herders) are giving up their profession. Their historic lands for natural are either grabbed by the influential persons or secured from grazing at the name of nature conservation. One of the very alarming example is from the camel breeders of Rajastan India. The camel is really sinking and the population have gone down manifolds in last 3 decade. camel in Balochistan

The same is the situation in the Thal and Thar desert of Pakistan.

Conclusion

The time has reached to reconsider the existing policies regarding food and agriculture and give proper place and task to the native gene and its keeper to beat the challenge of food security in clime change context.

Camel, an incredible creature in difficult environment

English: Dromedary camel in outback Australia,...
English: Dromedary camel in outback Australia, near Silverton, NSW. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Camel, an incredible creature in difficult environment.

Arable Agricultural Farming and loss to Biodiversity

Arable farming promote land grabbing in South Asia and central Asian countries. Afghanistan and Pakistan are more prone to this phenomenon. In Pakistan, land grabbing already resulted in restrictions of livestock movement and narrowing the natural flow of water which resulted in severe floods in the country.

In Afghanistan arable farming resulted in the farm of land grabbing by warlords and restrictions of the livestock movement of Kochis. The arable farmers usually use high yielding crops with highbred vigor and diminish local verities of flora and fauna. High and intense use further erode local biodiversity.

http://www.saves.org.pk/pub/29.pdf

I hereby appeal national governments, policy makers and international organizations, especially FAO to highlight this issue and take steps to mitigate it.

Kakari Sheep Breed

Habitat: Kakari sheep is found in all Kakar belt. The main areas of the breed are Zhob, Loralai, Qillasaifulla, part of Pishin and Musakhail districts. The main tribe as indicated by the name is Kakar, also known as Thorghuazi. There are two main types of Kakari sheep, i.e. Thorghuazi and Bori. Bori is mainly found in Kakar Khurasan and Toba Kakari range, while Thorghuazi found in Zhob, Loralai and part of Musakhail districts.

Phenotypic characteristics: White body color, soft wool, Kooki & Zabarrghuzi (very small & droopy ear), all or partial of the face is black and head is usually black (figure 10.

Thorghuazi type is close to Bybrik, and can only differentiated on the basis of tribes, topography and production systems and wool (Kakari has soft long wool). The Bybrik has harder wool than Kakari.

Vegetation: The vegetation highly liked by the breed is much diversified, because of the diversity and vast area of the breed. Vegetation of the region is also different in different seasons i.e. spring and monsoon.  The vegetation very much like is composed of Surgulgi, Ozie, Saba, Barwaza, Murgha, Sargharri, Barawga, Chobrri, Saba, Murgha, Viza, Spanda, Tharkha, Sargarre, Ghozera and Barvaze etc.

Population: Population of the breed is about 3.2 million, one of the major breeds of the Pashtoon belt of Balochistan province. The trend is increasing again after the drought spell.

Special Traits:

v  The vide diversity within the breed is very important. Kakari are many types, i.e. mountainous & plain land, and smaller size (Abdullazai area) & larger size (Kibzai area)

  •  Hardy to dry years
  • Long  soft wool
  • Good in gaining weight and good for stall feeding

Option hope: Feed lot systems for fattening of lambs is the future hope for this breed

Economic importance: The breed is source of income in hard days and the breeders usually not intend to sell their sheep, especially females. The breed is usually use as subsistence type of production system; the milk is use as fresh, for tea and by-products like ghee, butter fats and Kurth like Kajalle. The meat is mainly use for Landi purpose, as the meat high local consumer preference, good marbling and taste. The wool is dense and is usually prefer for making local rugs.

Indigenous Livestock Breeds of Balochistan

In Balochistan province of Pakistan, there are many livestock species which are well adapted to the climatic conditions and produce a very much low-input livestock production models. Unfortunately, local livestock breeds are never discussed and document earlier by scientists with the perspectives and breeding goals of the keepers. Such poor documentation always smooth-tongued the way for dilution of the pure genetic makeup of the indigenous livestock breeds.

Balochistan is home to many precious livestock breeds and animal culture. Each tribe has its own grazing lands and adopted their own way of livestock production system. Poor documentation always misleads policymakers which resulting in deterioration of the breeds. It is the utmost need of time to characterize and document local AnGR with the perspectives of local livestock keepers while keeping their breeding goals in mind.

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Donkey is the hardiest animal and well adapted

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In this blog, each breeds the province will be discussed in detail.

Livestock Ecological Zones in Balochistan

Ecological zones of  Balochistan province of Pakistan

The ecological zones already presented in the literature are based on the agronomic prcatices, temperature, rainfall etc. In the present study the ecological zones were sketched on the basis of the local penology, type and production systems of livestock, temperature, rainfall etc. It was revealed that there are six ecological zones for livestock rather than four revealed by literature (Source: National Master Agricultural Research Plan, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council).

The following ecological zones were revealed in the province.

1. Suleiman Mountainous Region (SMR)

This region includes Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Barkhan, part of Loralai and Zhob, Musakhail and Sherani districts of the province. The Suleiman mountain series is located south to north and bordering between Punjab and Balochistan province. The region has rich culture and is the historic homeland of Pashtoon. The climate of the region is mild in summer because of the high altitude and rains in monsoon time. The temperature reaches to 32 C° in summer and drops below zero in winter. Some parts, especially the peaks of the mountains are very cold in winter. The annual precipitation ranges from 300-600 mm per year and the main source of rain is monsoon (GOB, 1999). Some areas receive snow and rains in winter also.

The SMR is the home tract of a wide plant biodiversity and the the vegetation of the region comprises trees like Zizyphus nummolaria (Karkana), Ziz. mauritiana (ber), Z. sativa (Helani), Oleao ferruginea (Showan), Oleao officinalus (showan), pistacia cabulica (wanna), tamarix indica (Ghaz), Prunus eburnean (Zarga, zangli badam) and salvadora oleoides (pilu or perpegh). Bushes of the regions are as fallowing. Haloxylon recurvum (Ghelmi), nannorhops ritchieana (Mazari or Pish), Caragana ambigua (makhie), alhagi camelorum, (Aghzai or Tindan) and periploca aphylla (Barar). The grasses include stipa capillata (Saba), cocculus leæba (Parwatgi), sorghum halepense (Barawa), allium sphærocephalum (khokhae) and Atriplex canescens (sargarae). Livestock agriculture is the centuries old occupation of the inhabitants. The region has wide biodiversity of livestock species and breeds. The major livestock breeds are as following.

Camel; Kohi, cattle; Kohi-Suleiman or Lohani, donkey; Shinghari and Sperki or Pidie, horse; Balochi, sheep; Kakari, Musakhaili, Kajjale and Bybrik and goat; Kohi Suleimani. The tribes of the region are Kakar, Sherani, Mandokhail, Babar, Harifal, Musakhail, Zamari, Marghzani, Essot, Jaffar, Buzdar, Syed, Kethran, Hasni, Mari, Zarkoon and Bugti.

2. Northern highlands (NHL)

This region includes hitoric Kakar Khurasan, Loralai, Zirat, Zhob, Pishin, Qillaabdullah and Quetta vallies. The region falls in the north of the province bordering Afghanistan. The area has very cold winter usually dry. The summers had been mild but some herders beleive that the temperature has been increased during the last few years. This region is severely affected and the rangelands are degraded due to many reasons, i.e. influx of Afghan Migrants, over population, deforestation and the long prevailed drought (1994-2004). The climate of the region is mild in summer because of the high altitude and some eastern part of the region receives rains in monsoon time. The temperature reaches to 30 C° in summer and drops below zero in winter. The region is the coldest region of the province. The annual precipitation ranges from 250-600 mm per anum and mostly receives in winter in form of snow (GOB, 1999).

the major vegetation of the region comprises trees like Zizyphus nummolaria, Oleao ferruginea, Oleao officinalus, pistacia cabulica, Prunus eburnean, Tamarax aphylla, Juniporis excels and Pinus Geranandiana. The bushes are the major feed of camel and comprises of Haloxylon recurvum, nannorhops ritchieana, Caragana ambigua, alhagi camelorum, and periploca aphylla. The grasses include stipa capillata, cocculus leæba, sorghum halepense, allium sphærocephalum, and Atriplex canescens.  The region has wide livestock biodiversity of livestock species and breeds. The major livestock breeds are, camel; Raigi, cattle; Kohi Suleimani, donkey; Shinghari and Sperki or Pidie, sheep; Kakari, Dumeri or Hernai, Gosalli or Kajalle, and goat; Khurasani and Kohi Suleimani. The tribes of the region are Kakar, Pani, Achakzai, Tareen, Syed, Ghilzai, and Barraich.

3. Central Brahvi Highlands (CBH)

This region comprises Mastung, Kalat, Khuzdar, mountainous part of Dhadar and Awaran districts of Balochistan province. The region is characterized by high and arid mountains with very hot summers and very cold winters. The temperature may reach to 49 C° in summer and fall below zero in winter. The rainfall of the region is low and erratic (100-200 mm per year) (GOB, 1999). The vegetation of the region consists of Tamarix, Halloxylon grifithii, Alhaji camelorum, Sacharum revanae, Chrysopogon aucheri, C. mantanus, C. schoenanthus, Cenchrus ciliaris and Pannisetum orientale. The livestock breeds of the region are Brahvi camel, Mangeli sheep and Lehri goat. The tribes of the region are Maingul, Samalani, Zehri, Raesani, Bangulzai, Lehri, Rakhshani, Bezenjo, Bajoi, Lango, Muhammad Shahi, Dehwar, Kurd, shahwani, Gichki, Mirwani, Muhammad Hasani and Gurgnari.

4. Kachhi Basin Region

This region comprises of Sibi, part of Dhadar, Jaffarabad, Naseerababd, Lehri and Jhal Magsi locale of the province. The region is plain area, formed of alluvial soil and slopes from north to south with an elevation of about 50 to 100 meters above sea level. The climate of the region is hot and becomes extremely hot and humid in summer. The harshness of summer is prolonged over the months of May, June, July, August, September, and October. It is mildly hot in April. Summer begins from mid March and lasts to the end of October. In winters the weather is pleasant all over the district. It lasts from December to January. The months of April, November and February are pleasant. The humidity is highest in summer, particularly in the area adjacent to the Pat feeder canal, where rice cultivation takes place. The type of vegetation in the region includes Spicigra (Kandi), Capparis Aphylla (Kirar), Salvadora Olevides (Khabbar), Sisyphus jujuba (Bari) and Calotropis Gi Gantea (Ak). The breeds of livestock are the famous Bhagnari cattle, Berberi goat, Balochi sheep and Aseel chicken. The tribes of the region, in the north there are Pani and Kakar Pashtoon tribes and in the south is Rind, Lehri, Somro, Bugti, Mari, Khoso, Jamali, Jatoi and Resai.

5. Chaghai Kharan Desert (CKD)

Chaghai Kharan is one of the famous ecological zones of the country and comprises of the districts Chaghai, Kharan, Noshki, Washuk and part of Makran. The region is unique of its kind and mostly comprised of disserted plains, steppe and mountainous desert. The region is located in the extreme west of Pakistan bound on the north by the desert region (Raig) of Afghanistan. The region is hyper dry and receives very less precipitation in winter and spring from the Mediterranean winds and very rare rains in the summer. The temperature of the region crosses the digit of 40 in the months of June, July and August. The summers are very hotter with minimum rainfall, which worsen the situation more. The region is home tract of many herbal plants and bushes which are being use for grazing of livestock especially camel and goat since unknown times. The speedy deforestation of those bushes, long drought and over grazing had adverse the condition of the region and its ecological landscape diversity is under threat.

The major vegetation includes tree species like Khanjak, (Pistecia Khanjak), Ghaz (Tamarix Articula), shrub like Taghaz (Haloxylon Amodendron), bushes like Hashwarg (Rhozya Stricta), Pog (Calegnum Polygonaides) Cotor (Stockcia Brohinca), Lara (Salsola Kali), Kandar (Alhogi Camelarum), Barshonk, Karwankush, Narronk (Salsola Arbuscula), Tusso (Gaillaina Aucheri) and grasses like Mughair (Atriplex Dimprphostegium), Kash (Sacchorum Siliare), Righith (Suoeda Monica) Shanaluk (Allium Rubellum). The breeds of the region are Kharani camel, Khurasani and Morak goat and Rakhshani sheep. The tribes of the region are Badeni, Muhammad Hasani, Maingul, Jamaldini, Sasoli, Sanjrai, Nothezi, Nausherwani, Malangzai, Siafad, Faqirzai and Hajizai.

6. Balochistan Coastal Region (BCR)

The region is comprised of Lasbella and Makran locale of the region. The climate of the region is hot and humid. The temperature reaches to 40 °C in summer and reaches to 6 °C in winter. The annual rainfall is very low and precipitates about 125 mm per year.

The extensive plains have vast area of sparse vegetation which includes plants species like Salsola sp., Panicum antidotale, Alerupus repens, A. macrstachyus, Cnechrus ciliaris, C. pennisetiformis, C. religerus, C. biflrus besides there are Prosopis cineraria, Salvadora oleoides, Capparis aphylla, Zizyphus sp and Prosopis juliflora. The breeds of the region are Lassi camel and Balochi sheep. The tribes of the region are Lassi, Bizenjo, Jam, Somro, Khoso and Jamali.

My Bios (Dr Abdul Raziq)

I opened my eyes in the home of Hassan Khan, a strong man of Kakar Pashtoon/Afghan tribe of northeastern Baluchistan, province of Pakistan. My forefathers had been living in that habitat along with their precious livestock breeds in the rich grassland of the region. Our family still has flocks of sheep and goat, rearing in agro-pastoral production system. I have built in knowledge of indigenous livestock production and PhD level modern expertise about animal agriculture. I had been working with the pastoral people for last 10 years, while motivating livestock keepers for their rights, access to grazing lands, benefit sharing of their animal genetic resources and resource development of the pastoral people under the patronage of society of animal, vet and environmental scientists (SAVES). I gave multiple training to the livestock keepers in remote for breed characterization and conservation, rangelands management and other valuable techniques. I had been providing veterinary medical camps to livestock of the pastoral communities. I am the pioneer and author of community bio-cultural protocols (BCP). I am also the author of the dry net report on the documentation of indigenous livestock breeds. I had been traveling with the Afghan nomads (Kochis) to work and document their indigenous knowledge of livestock husbandry. I had been working with the livestock and dairy development department of Baluchistan for extensive livestock production in the remote areas of the province.

I organized camel scientists and herder in Pakistan and founded Camel Association of Pakistan. Recently in Jan. 2010, we organized 3 days livestock keepers meeting under the patronage of SAVES and discussed the Bio-cultural protocol and organized an organization with the name of Indigenous Livestock Breeders Association (ILBA) for the livestock keepers of the country. I presented many international research presentations at various occasions. I have visited many countries and research stations.

Specialties

  • Extensive livestock production systems
  • Animal breeding & genetics and community-based breeding management
  • Biodiversity and climate change
  • Different aspects of dromedary camel, i.e. turning camel from a beast of burden to a sustainable farm animal
  • Indigenous knowledge of livestock and agro-ecosystems
  • Ethnoveterinary medicine and local knowledge, especially livestock keepers
  • Rangelands management and vegetation
  • Socioeconomic existence of pastoralism
  • Biocultural community protocol