African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Indigenous yak and yak-cattle crossbreed management in high altitude areas of northern Nepal: A case study from Rasuwa district

S. K. Dong1,2*, L. Wen1, Zhu L1, J. P. Lassoie1,2, Z. L. Yan 3, K. K. Shrestha4, D. Pariya5 and E. Sharma3
1School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China. 2Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-3001, USA. 3Natrual Resource Management Program, ICIMOD, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal. 4Agricultural Research Station (Pasture), NARC, Dhunche, Rasuwa, Nepal. 5Pasture and Fodder Division, NARC, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 09 July 2009
  •  Published: 31 October 2009

Abstract

This paper summarizes and documents the indigenous yak and chauri managements in high altitude mountainous areas of Nepal through on-the-spot surveys on the farmers from three villages of case study site, Rasuwa district, 35 households were surveyed with open-ended and pre-tested questionnaires, 20 key persons were interviewed with face-to-face conversation and 47 participants were involved in participatory rural assessment (PRA), transhumance characterized by the seasonal movements of livestock between different ecological belts is key grazing pattern in the case sites. Rotational grazing of the pasturelands according to feed availability is the example of deployment of indigenous knowledge adapted by local farmers. Cross breeding of yak with cattle (Tibetan cattle bull or Zebu cattle cow) is popular in traditional herd farming system. The breeding patterns in local yak farming systems reflect the seasonal availability and climatic variation, matching very well to transhumant grazing strategies. Supplementing the herd with a small amount of concentrates in harsh lean period is the traditional feeding management. F1 hybrid calf is carefully reared and F2 hybrid calf is killed by carelessly rearing is an indigenous practice to improve the herd productivity. Careful grazing management and herbal remedies for various diseases, pests and plant poisoning are good examples of indigenous knowledge in animal health care, although the interview and survey results indicate that most farmers believe their indigenous livestock managements are moderately efficient, there are still some problems and limitations for optimizing their yak and chauri management systems. More public supports are expected by local farmers to improve yak and chauri production systems, the potential indigenous industries in remote mountainous areas. It can be recommended and suggested from this case study that making better use of the vast indigenous knowledge that the local farmers possess is necessary when making improved management plans for yak and chauri farming system. Participatory research, policy-making and extension network should be developed to encourage the farmers to work together with professionals for better integrating the indigenous skills with advanced technologies. Indigenous institution development and farmers’ capacity building are imperative for better planning and successful implementation of livestock management program.

 

Key words: Indigenous knowledge, yak and hybrids, management system.