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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2016 → Opportunities and constraints of transhumant small ruminant production in the Chinese Altay Mountains

University of Kassel (2016)

Opportunities and constraints of transhumant small ruminant production in the Chinese Altay Mountains

Shabier, Alimu

Titre : Opportunities and constraints of transhumant small ruminant production in the Chinese Altay Mountains

Auteur : Shabier, Alimu

Université de soutenance : University of Kassel

Grade : Doktor der Agrarwissenschaften (Dr. agr.) 2016

This PhD thesis focuses on current livelihoods of agro-pastoral livestock keepers, their animal nutrition, herd and rangeland management strategies. It thereby aims to contribute to sustainable rangeland management, livestock production and household income in Qinghe county of the Chinese Altay Mountain region, located in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, PR China. In its first part the study characterizes the socio-economic situation and agricultural practices of agro-pastoralists through structured household interviews. The second part provides insights into the grazing behaviour and feed intake of small ruminants on seasonal pastures in this region, and into the quantitative and qualitative biomass offer on natural rangelands. The third part analyses the reproductive performance and annual growth of the local sheep and goat herds, and, by modelling improved feeding and culling strategies, tests herd management options that potentially improve the monetary output per female herd animal without increasing the pressure onto natural rangelands. Taken together, the results of the study suggest that, despite an increase and intensification of cropping and vegetable gardening in the region of Qinghe, livestock rearing is still the major livelihood strategy both in terms of prevalence and relative importance. However, livestock keeping is challenged by low biomass production on rangelands, due to the combined impact of high climate variability and highly localized grazing pressure on the seasonal pastures. Though government regulations try to tackle the latter aspect, their implementation is sometimes difficult. Alternatives to strict regulation of grazing periods and animal numbers on seasonal pastures are, in the case of goats, more rigorous culling strategies and, in the case of sheep and goats, strategic supplementation of the animals in the winter and spring season. However, for the latter strategy to become economically viable, an improvement of live animal and meat marketing options and an investment in local meat processing facilities that add value to the carcasses is needed. As the regional cities grow rapidly, the potential market to absorb diverse and good quality meat products is there, along with the road network connecting Qinghe county to the regional capital. Such governmental measures will not only create new job opportunities in the region but also benefit the cash income of pastoralists in this westernmost region of China.


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