| Grazing and rangeland development for livestock production |
|Management of rangelands and other grazing lands of the tropics and subtropics for support of livestock production. Technical Series Bulletin No. 23|
1. On the basis of experience in certain developed countries of the tropics and subtropics, there is justification for believing that very substantial increases in productivity of ruminant livestock is widely feasible, by application of known principles and practices in feed production, in livestock management, and in efficiency of marketing live animals or their products.
2. There appear to be important opportunities to improve the management of natural resources of land, climate and vegetation, when firm associations of lands with land users are arranged and legalized by government edicts. In regions where communal grazing of herds and flocks prevails, there should be an extension of responsibility for allocation of grazing rights by the village or tribal leaders, so that the livestock owners are entitled to prier and exclusive use of designated grazing lands. This would be similar to the allocations of croplands to families in village or tribal groups, which now is customary. In Moslem countries, there is ample precedent, stemming from the Koran, for communal control of grazing lands. With such control, the management and improvement of grazing lands become feasible, and profitable to the users.
3. The average feed requirements for growth and reproduction of different classes of livestock are rather well established. Also, methods for estimating the total forage produced on grazing lands have been established in some tropical and subtropical countries; and these are believed to be widely applicable. These criteria provide essential information needed for rational management decisions and practices that should result in significant increases in productivity of livestock enterprises to the benefit of the individual herders and farmers, as well as to the economic viability of the nations.
4. Specific programs for particular ecological zones and regions of individual countries will be necessary to more adequately exploit feasible opportunities for enhanced productivity of livestock. These are essential for more complete and adequate utilization of these often neglected lands and forage resources, and to the welfare of the people that depend on their herds and flocks for subsistence and for incomes. The basis for change lies in the existing lands, flocks, and people; and extension of appropriate technical knowledge is a prerogative of national governments.