Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture

Sustaining farm ecology and economy by integrating livestock

Making the most of the natural ecological processes, often results in sustainability. Simple practices like integrating livestock and farming, makes both activities beneficial. Benefits are in terms of increased production, reduced costs,  enhanced family nutrition and better farm ecology. Developmental experiences reveal that pathways of development in vulnerable situations are not linear, leading straight out […]

Local communities, livestock and livelihoods

Bakarwals, the indigenous community in the Himalayas, have been depending on goats for their livelihoods. Their practices have not only sustained their livelihoods but have also sustained the ecology, in which they operate. With changing times, these local communities are adapting themselves to changing conditions and appropriate technologies. Bakarwals are primarily pastoral nomads rearing goat […]

Livestock – The engine and inspiration of mountain economy

Traditionally pastoralist communities, with easy access to community resources, managed farming and livestock seamlessly. But with gradual loss of ownership on common resources, they are adapting to changing situations by altering their livestock numbers and management practices. For the pastoralist communities of the Indian Himalayan region, livestock is the sole source of livelihood. Livestock is […]

Present practice and advice on feeding cattle – Are they sustainable?

Feeding cattle based on standards and prescriptions may not always lead to a better productivity of livestock. It may be cost intensive, harmful and unsustainable. Feeding cattle based on the understanding of rumen physiology and nutrient requirements is more cost effective and sustianable. Veterinarians in India are inundated with emergency calls post festivals like Sankranti […]

Livestock rearing in the Indian context

India has a rich heritage of rearing livestock and is home to number of indigenous breeds. The diversity of breeds itself is a risk mitigation characteristic. There is a temptation to move towards intensive production system based on exotic breeds which would increase the dependence on costly external inputs, thereby the costs as well as […]

Gender and policies in livestock production – Issues and opportunities

Paradigm shifts in the approach from “enhancing productivity and efficiency” to “inclusiveness and equity” has led to change in the perspectives on livestock sector. This can serve as a means to reduce poverty and promote development, only when it is implemented effectively on the ground.  Livestock plays an important role in the national economy contributing […]

About climate, meat and markets – High time to move towards agroecology and food sovereignty

As temperatures rise across the globe, meat and dairy have been found to be a major culprit. Still, the industrial meat industry actively facilitates the growth in consumption rates. We can only solve the climate crisis if we take meaningful steps towards agroecology and food sovereignty. Our global food system is one of the biggest drivers of […]

Local practices conserve livestock breeds

There is an alarming loss of local breeds of livestock for various reasons. Yet, there are many champions in local communities depending on livestock, who are conserving local breeds and making a living out of it. Its time for the government and policy makers to recognize such initiatives and support the conservation initiatives for sustainable […]

Pashu Sakhi – An alternative livestock extension approach

With access to knowledge and inputs, the goat rearers of Gondia district in Maharashtra are able to make a decent livelihood with goat rearing. A community based alternative extension system which is women centric, has also brought out a positive change in the lives of women and in the communities. Small livestock, like goat, sheep, […]

Biodiversity builds resilience

Erratic rainfall patterns coupled with monocropping systems have made farming unreliable and highly risky, especially in rainfed regions. Simple practices like water conservation can make a huge difference in preparing farmers to cope with these climate aberrations. Enhancing biodiversity on the farm is a proven solution for improving livelihoods, environment and reducing risks. Farming is […]