Indigenous Livestock Bio-Cultural Biodiversity of Balochistan province of Pakistan


Balochistan is the largest province of the country by area and majority of its populace live in the rural and remote areas. The major source of income among the rural and remote dwellers is livestock rearing. About 90% of the provincial land is comprised of rangeland. These rangelands provide feed and shelter to a wide diversified livestock breeds of the province. These rangelands are owned by communities of tribal people, and the only use is livestock production. The precious livestock breeds are well adapted to the diversified ecological zones of the province. The livestock breeds are multipurpose and fulfil a wide range of needs of the livestock keepers. On the basis of livestock production systems, penology, topography and climate the province can be divided in six ecological zone, stated as coastal, deserted rangelands, highlands of the norht of the province, Suleiman mountainous region, central Brahvi highlands and the hot region of Kachhi basin. The are 6 camel breed, 7 sheep breeds, 1 cattle breed, 4 goat breed and two donkey breed in the province. These breeds not only provide source of livelihood but also play role as comanions. Livestock breeds are evolved with the precious indigenous knowledge, hence threat to the breeds is a threat to the indigenous knowledge also. The local animal genetic resources are the part of the socio cultural life of the keepers. Many traditions and customary laws articualte around the livestock breeds. Though, appearently there is no threat to the animal genetic resources of the province, moreover some camel breeds, i.e. Kharani, Raigi and to some extant Lassi are under threat. Brahvi camel of central highlands of the province is almost loss and very rare herds can be found. Still there are major problems and issues, which can be threat to such preciosu animal genetic resource in the long run of the time period. The major issue is the deforestation and removal of the vegetation cover. The second most important issue is the social changes in the life of the livestock keepers due to interventions in their production systems and around them, i.e. expanding but non sustainable agriculture. Epedimic diseases also causing a great threat to the livestock breeds of the region and in the recent years PPR and abortion caused heavoc losses. The province is the cross road of the Afghan nomads who cross the province two times in a years and introduce many epedimic diseases in the region. They brought some diseases from the livestock of the central Asia, like PPR and  Ceramin Congo Heamorhagic Fever (CCHF). The Government support and interest is very rare for the livestock keepers. The livestock keepers as in the other parts of the world are neglected and there is no share of livestock keepers in the research and development policies of the province.

It is the time to study the production potential of the indigenous livestock breeds keeping in mind all the drivers of its production system. Also, it is necessary to study their social systems and work out the changes and the fectors responsible for these changes. Pakisatan is the signaturee of many important international conventions and treaties, i.e. MDGs, CBD, UNCCD, Right of Indigenous people, Climat Change and Global plan of action on animal genetic resources for food and agriculture, hence it is necessary to respect these conventions and abide by the rights of livestock keepers. The NGOs sector can help in the mobalization of the livestock keepers for breeds associations, demonstration plots of reforestation of local varieties of vegetation, training for animal health and care, documenting of the indigenous knowledge and liasing for their rights.

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