See on www.bbc.com
The present era’s Pakistan is cradle of animal domestication. The well known civilizations of Gandhara, Mohan jododo, and Mehergarh are the inimitable examples. The ruins excavated from the said civilizations, resulted in finding the sculptures of many important livestock species, especially, cattle, equids, sheep, goat and chicken. The native/indigenous chicken is the descendant of the said chicken of old ages. Exception to the industrial breeds, there are three main strains of the native chicken; i.e. Agro-pastoralist strain (Watani or Desi), Pastoralist strain (Pahwali), and Agrarian/Riverine strain (Desi and naked neck). Aseel (Kulengi) breed is additional to the above said breeds/strains. It is a large sized breed and usually use for cock fighting as a game bird.
Chicken Genetic Resources of Pakistan
- The Agro-pastoralist chicken, usually known as Watani or Desi is found with the semi-pastoralists communities of the country. This breed is also widely adapted by the agrarian societies of the country because of its special traits of adaptation and production in zero input systems. This chicken is found in almost all parts of the country, producing 50-60 eggs annually. Broodiness is the salient feature and is highly adapted to local conditions. Such breeds usually depend on the kitchen waste and vegetation of the nearby.
- The Pastoralist chicken is known as Pahwali or Kochani, it is highly adapted and produces 40-50 eggs annually. This breed is trans-boundary and found in the bordering areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Pashtun nomads are the custodian of this breed. This breed also gets broody and depends on the rangelands’ vegetation, seeds and insects.
- Agrarian/Riverine strain (Desi and naked neck), it is found in Indus delta (the warmest region of Pakistan), produces comparatively more eggs than the other Desi strains. This strain is getting popularity both at national and international levels because of its unique potential to resist high temperatures. This breed can be a good tool to create sustainable chicken production system in global warming scenario. This breed/strain also gets broody and depends on the kitchen waste and cereals.
- Aseel (Kulengi) is one the distinctive breed, usually use for game (cock fighting) and meat purpose. This breed is predominantly use by the agrarian communities and hobbyists’. The bird gets larger size and attains good weight when enough feed is provided. This chicken is usually feed enough with grains and oil seed to make it vigorous and strong. In some parts of the country, it is getting importance as meat animal (desi meat). The meat is very much liked by the society and now its meat is available in luxury hotels in big cities.
Past Efforts to Improve Egg production at Rural Level
In different time period of Pakistan, exotic (pure or crossbred) chicken breeds were introduced to improve egg production. The aims of such intervention were either to upgrade local breed or to commence a new breed with high production potential. Introduction of exotic breeds (pure or crossbred) and other inputs from central facilities were not sustainable. As soon as the development projects ended, the new breeds introduced also disappeared.
FAO introduced Fayoumi and Doki in Pakistan several years ago. Today they may be found, if at all, only as a fancy breed or mixed with native breeds. Such projects make good reports but the breeds are forgotten with the end of projects. The only breed that survives sustainably in the rural areas are native breeds (already discussed briefly).
Unfortunately, the western educated poultry and rural development experts do not like these native chicken breeds. They look for an ideal breed that produces more eggs, larger sized eggs, has higher body weight, do not get broody, etc. However, scientist can develop a breed like that (RIR-Fayoumi Crosses). But the million dollar question is whether a breed like that can survive in the rural areas. This cannot be bear by a country like Pakistan. It can survive and produce so long as the necessary inputs like feed, shelter, health cover and better overall management are provided.
We forget that the indigenous scavenging breeds that produces only some 60 eggs (on average) do so at virtually zero input (no cost). Several trials have established that these birds have the genetic potential to produce around 100 eggs or so. These are producing 60 eggs only because they can scavenge only enough feed to produce only that many eggs. Every few years or so there is news about a new rural breed. But few years later no one hears about them because these disappear into oblivion with the development projects that introduced them and what remains is the original scavenging indigenous breeds. Frankly speaking, there is nothing between the scavenging indigenous breed and the modern hybrid chickens. There are really two options for development of poultry in the rural areas:
The indigenous breeds have been around for hundreds of years and are well adapted to the areas. Their major problem is high mortality due to diseases like Newcastle, Pox, new respiratory disease and parasitic infestation. These can be easily prevented through vaccinations and treatment. Training rural women in these skills have been very effective. This has drastically reduced mortality and empowered women.
Universities and other public sector institutions can play a bridging role as; to improve indigenous breeds with some necessary inputs, producing specialized lines and distribute among women’s cooperative societies through the involvement of the local NGOs etc. Universities and communities linking is one of the top priorities of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan. These cooperative farming is sustainable particularly those that are close to markets for eggs and birds for meat. Once the farmers are organized and poultry farms operational, these will become self supporting because there are no operational subsidies in this enterprise.
Originally posted on DESERTIFICATION:
We are organizing a scientific session within the EGU 2014 General Assembly that explores Desertification and Land Degradation as the interaction of the human and biophysical worlds.
The session will be held in Vienna during the EGU meeting from April 27th to May 2nd 2014, and the deadline for abstract submission is January 16th, 2014;13:00 CET.
We are planning to publish and special issue in an international journal based on the papers in this session and would encourage you to submit a contribution
Click here to see more information
Artemi Cerdà, Lindsay Stringer and Jan Nyssen
Originally posted on Ann Novek--With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors:
“The conservation of blackbucks would include securing their habitat. Mainly, we want to keep their population intact by checking poaching. For this, we will take several measures such as engaging more manpower for vigil,” said a senior forest official.
Official sources said blackbucks are seen mostly in the Balukhand-Konark coastal plain in Puri district and Balipadar-Bhetnoi and other nearby areas in Ganjam district. At present, their population is about 2,300 in the state.
According to forest officials, in 2012-13, at least seven blackbucks had died in Aska region of Ganjam district. Official report said some died due to infighting and some fell prey to poachers.
“The backbuck population has increased since 2011 despite stray casualties. Going by the July 2011 census, there were 2,181 blackbucks in Aska, Buguda, Polasara, Khallikote and Berhampur forest ranges as compared to 1,672 in 2008. Their number was 551 in 1998,” said principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) S S Srivastav.
The Ghodaha reservoir in Ganjam district is home to thousands of freshwater turtles. The turtles often fall victim to smugglers and poachers. “The freshwater turtles face a threat from local people. There are instances of turtles being smuggled. So, our conservation plan would include forming a squad that would launch a drive to check poaching. Local settlers are eking out a living by traditional inland fishing,” said a forest officer. He said that awareness would also be spread among the people that catching alive or killing a freshwater turtle is a penal offence.
Originally posted on DESERTIFICATION:
A MESSAGE FROM DESERTNET INTERNATIONAL
We would like to draw your attention to the CALL FOR BEST PRATICES – EXPO Milano 2015 International Call for Best Sustainable Development Practices on food security.
All information is available at the following web-site: https://www.feedingknowledge.net/best-practices
With very Kind regards
The DNI Bureau
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE DONKEY: 8 MAY 2014
International Day of the Donkey will soon be with us.
We urge you to start thinking about it now !
How can donkeys in your community remind people – and people remind them – of how special they are ?
Some of these have already been used, but could be used again:
*** Processions of decorated carts (where cart pulling is the main work of donkeys)
*** Processions of decorated backloads (where backloads are the main work of donkeys)
*** Accompanied by humans in different cultural dress (in countries populated by different cultures)
*** Accompanied by different religious symbols (where different religions practised together;
donkeys have their place in the traditions of Islam, Christianity and Hindusim)
Banners/placards can be carried so as to remind onlookers of:
*** The long relationship between donkeys and humans: 6 000 years or more!
*** Donkeys as hard and reliable workers: relate to International Workers’ Day, 1 May!
*** The stamina and continuity of donkeys: live more than 50 years, still at work in most developing
countries because better than engines!
*** Donkeys as bridge between ancient and modern, rural and urban: technologies used in modern
conservation agriculture,refuse collection, etc. ideally suited to donkeys!
*** Donkeys the solution to non-invasive tourism: connecting humans to environments & wild animals, not
to mention traditional communities in a non-threatening way!
YOUR ACTIVITIES NEED NOT TAKE PLACE ON THE VERY DAY, IF SOME OTHER DAY OF THE WEEK
IS BETTER. JUST MENTION 8 MAY AS BEING THE MOTIVATION FOR YOUR DONKEY DAY ACTIVITY..
ALSO: We request that you take photographs and send them to email@example.com, who will both treasure them and distribute them.
You are reminded that International Donkey Day has a Facebook page, and we request that you visit and support it.
It can be found here: