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Natural Resource Enhancement Through Silvipastoral Establishment in Western Himalayan Region

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Document pages: 6 pages

Abstract: Livestock rearing is an integral part of rural livelihood in the Himalayan region. In spite of abundance of pasture resources, total biomass is insufficient to meet the forage demand. Indiscriminate grazing has caused an alarming decline in the carrying capacity of grazing lands and has caused severe land degradation. This study was carried out with the objective of increasing biomass potential, improving livestock productivity and to arrest environmental degradation. The study was conducted at Ghanetta and Dagoh (Kangra) and Jogindernagar (Mandi) districts in Himachal Pradesh through silvipastoral intervention in conjunction with soil and water conservation measures. Grasslands of the study area were of alluvial–loamy soil with shallow depths. Soil organic matter was 0.72 (Ghanetta), 0.76 (Dagoh) and 0.80 (Jogindernagar). Organic carbon content in the subsurface (15–45 cm) layer was only 30 to 39 of the surface layer (0–15 cm). Chrysopogon (20 ) was found the most dominant species, followed by Heteropogon (13 ). Average herbage production was 5.613 DM tonne ha (Ghanetta), 5.458 DM tonne ha (Dagoh) and 5.233 DM tonne ha (Jogindernagar). Leaf biomass of different fodder trees ranged from 0.23–0.60 DM tonne ha (Ghanetta), 0.16–0.51 DM tonne ha (Dagoh) and 0.21–0.59 DM tonne ha (Jogindernagar). Maximum biomass of 9.17 DM tonne ha was obtained at Ghanetta followed by 8.26 DM tonne ha and 8.23 DM tonne ha at Dagoh and Jogindernagar, respectively, showing substantial improvement in total biomass potential with silvipastoral intervention in conjunction with soil and water conservation measures.

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