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An Assessment of Socio-Economic Conditions of Graziers in Thal Desert Southern Punjab, Pakistan

A Khan, F Rasool, M Ishaque, M F Azhar, I Qadir, N Nadeem, H Farooq

Abstract


Rangelands are very important natural resources for livestock production in Pakistan. In remote rural areas of the country, livelihood of the majority of the graziers depended upon the practice of livestock grazing on range vegetation. In this study attempt was made to assess the socio-economic conditions of graziers in District Bhakkar. 100 graziers were selected randomly from 8 villages in Tehsil Mankaira of District Bhakkar. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data. Results revealed that 36 to 40 percent of all the graziers were illiterate while majority of the literate persons had primary education. Seventy two percent graziers of all the categories were land owner while the rest of the graziers were landless and land tenants. Area owned by all the graziers varies from 1.95 to 4.63 hectares.  On the average 70% family members of all the graziers were involved in open grazing as their major occupation. Livestock herd size of all the graziers varied between 8-121 animals. Majority of the graziers preferred to rear goats and sheep due to early maturity of these animals. The sources of feeding for livestock of graziers during emergency were wheat straw, gram straw and gawara straw, wanda, cotton seed cake. Seventy percent of all categories used to avail veterinary facilities while 30% did not avail the facilities due to more distance. Major source of grazing for livestock was crop harvested areas while the other minor sources were natural vegetation of road sides village wastes and along canals. The benefit cost ratio (BCR) varied from 2.18 to 3.03 which indicated the grazing practice in the study area is a profitable business. 


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