Feed resources of Pakistan

The major constraint in the development of the livestock sector in Pakistan is poor availability of nutrients. The nutrient reservoir like rangelands is subjected to deterioration and still, no proper attempt is made to sustain and improve their productivity. Livestock farmers hesitate to use non-conventional feed resources to improve livestock feeding because they are unaware of the usefulness of such materials and thus, they strictly adhere to the traditional feeding patterns. The ever-decreasing area under fodder production coupled with its scarcity period is the main factor which deteriorates the normal fodder supply. Livestock policies in Pakistan are supportive of the horizontal expansion of livestock rather than vertical expansion of the sector, which cause further problems. Currently, 121.1 million heads of animals in Pakistan annually require about 10.9 and 90.36 million tons of crude protein (CP) and total digestible nutrients (TDN), respectively.  However, the respective availability of these two nutrients is 6.7 and 69.0 million tons and thus, CP and TDN are 38.10 and 24.02% deficient per annum. At present, livestock is receiving 51, 38, 3, 6 and 2% of nutrients from green fodder, crop residues, grazing vacant lands, post-harvest grazing, cereal by-products and oilcake and meals, respectively. The gap between requirement and availability of nutrients could be minimized both through proper fodder research and extension policies in terms of better quality seed, seed rate, improved agronomic practices, and improved inputs (fertilizers, water, and pesticides). Rangelands are 60% of the total area of Pakistan and proper range management and improvement policies like artificial reseeding, the introduction of exotic species, water conservation methods, community organization etc. could bring improvement. Agro-industrial by-products and non-conventional feed resources could be used for feeding of livestock if farmers are trained to do so. The situation may be further improved if fodder conservation techniques are introduced in livestock feeding systems.