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Grazing Patterns and Practices in Pakistan

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In Pakistan, different areas have different grazing patterns. These are classified as:

  1. Grazing Patterns in Northern Uplands (Northern Mountains)
  2. Grazing patterns in Desert rangelands
  3. Grazing patterns in Balochistan


Here two types of grazing patterns are adopted:

Nomadic Grazing System:

  • In this system, people spend their summer in alpine areas and shift to scrub zones in winter.
  • Gojan and Bakarwals are following this system in northern areas. They do not have a proper settlement.
  • At the end of May, they start moving upward to the temperate zone.
  • The walk 20 km daily and rest at night near watering places.
  • They have trained dogs with them for guarding.
    • Problems:
  • Only one route for the journey
  • They carry their luggage and food on donkeys.
  • They also know the place where they have to buy eatables.
  • At the beginning of January, most of them reached their destination where they have prepared their houses.

Nomadic Grazing System - Forestrypedia

Semi-Nomadic Grazing System:

  • Practiced in Mithawan area of Loralai (D.G. Khan).
  • People have the settlement on uplands ie Mountains. Here they harvest maize and wheat in June and July. They spend the whole summer here.
  • In October-November they return to their permanent houses. On reaching they repair canal systems which had been disturbed by rain to some extent. They also cultivate wheat crops. The whole system of the agriculture is irrigation based.
    • Problems:
  • The food supply is very limited.


  • Grazing is continuous throughout the year.
  • Cholistan, Tharparkar, Thal, Kohistan Deserts can be grazed throughout the year.
  • The main factor which checks the grazing is the scarcity of water.
  • Rangelands are under the control of the forest department.
  • Permits of grazing are given by the forest department on year basis.
  • Adequate water for livestock is limited which affects the grazing ultimately especially in Cholistan and Tharparkar.
  • Wind energy is also used to haul the groundwater.
  • People are migratory.
  • People shift the animals to desert ranges after the occurrence of summer monsoon rainfall. The rainwater is stored in water ponds locally called “Tobbas
  • Animals are shifter to the irrigated area when the drinking water in tobbas is dried.
  • Forest department is digging the tobbas at a shorter distance to irrigate the area.


  • People in Balochistan move from higher elevation range to low lands during the winter season to places like Sibbi, Jaccobabad, and different parts of Sind.
  • These areas are grazed until the occurrence of spring rain in high lands where the vegetation is vigorous after rainfall.

In low laying areas Sorghum (a drought-resistant cereal plant, widely cultivated in tropical and warm areas. Use: food grain, animal feed, hay, and fodder) are grazed in agricultural fields along with natural rangelands.


  • In this system, the grazing must be prohibited for 1 year.
    • Advantages:
      • Proper regeneration
      • More seedling is established
      • Better livestock distribution
      • Plants vary greatly in their season of palatability.
      • Rest Rotational System is especially helpful in minimizing of drought.
      • Increased forage production.
      • Better livestock production.

For correction and improvements please use the comments section below.

Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani is working as Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu ( Forestrypedia (, All Pak Notifications (, Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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