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Animal Husbandry in Cold Arid Region- The Kargil Perspective

Syed Mohmad Shah Mohmad Mehdi Akhone
Vol 11(10), 13-18

Just like its uniqueness in geographical location, climate and beauty, agriculture and animal husbandry too exhibit their own uniqueness in the cold arid Ladakh region. Its harsh climate and barren and slopy land provide a huge hindrance to agriculture in general and high yielding crops in particular. The topography, dissected with snow clad mountains and interrupted with lush green valleys in low altitudinal areas, offers an environment more conducive for livestock rearing than agriculture. Since, the livestock need fodder, the tribal farmer living in this part of the world has adapted himself to mixed agriculture-animal rearing, conquering all the difficulties posed by climate, mono-cropping system, non-availability of irrigation, barren and soil-less land, non-adaptability of high yielding crop and animal species. The importance and dependence on livestock sector can be assessed from the fact that the ratio of human to livestock is 1:3 in the region. The local tribal has benefitted from nutritional and livelihood security to social status and employment from the livestock. The current trend in urbanization has however cast a negative impact on animal husbandry in this region and might harm the interrelation between humans and livestock in a bad way, disturbing the fine ecological balance in this Himalayan range. The current fodder shortage, up to 40-60%, shall further compound the problem if long-term sustainable approach, taking peculiarities of mountain agriculture into consideration, is not planned and practiced in the coming days.

Keywords : Animal Husbandry Cold Arid Agriculture Fodder Scarcity Kargil Livestock Rearing Mountain Agriculture

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