- The need for a national policy concerning the scientific mgt of rangelands has been recognized since independence in 1947.
- The CENTO range teams in 1964 and 1971 recommended for the formulation of a national range policy.
- The Pakistan Range Mgt Conference held in 1966 recognized the importance of involving livestock producers in major decisions regarding range policy, and recommended the creation of grazing advisory committees (including the representative of public) at provincial, divisional and district levels to outline range policy and programme and to implement these decisions, (PFI – 1966).
- The Working Group on Range mgt (1970) also stressed the urgency of the developing rangeland mgt policies.
- The National Range Mgt Committee (1973) outlined the following policy guidelines which should be implemented immediately.
GUIDELINES FOR RANGE POLICY:
- All rangeland will be developed primarily for livestock production consistent with the concept of multiple land use.
- The indiscriminate and unscientific practice of shifting cultivation and breaking rangelands for agriculture has proved unrewarding and harmed the land by reducing their productivity to support livestock. Shifting cultivation should be stopped in arid/semi-arid zones and on steep slopes. Regulated, scientific methods should be adopted and fodder crops could be cultivated to support the max number of livestock compatible with correct land use to increase economic returns.
- The legislation is needed to support range mgt agencies and their programmes.
- To develop and manage vast rangelands resources, independent and effective organizations will be created at provincial as well as federal levels. These organizations will be exclusively responsible for planning, developing and implementing range mgt schedule.
- To ensure cooperation, support, and participation; producers will be involved at all levels of project formulation and execution. Suitable technical, as well as economic incentives, will be provided to seed producers cooperation and encourage their participation in range mgt programmes.
- To optimize economic return from rangelands, efforts will be made to ensure proper feeding, mgt, marketing and upgrading of livestock through selection and breeding. Preparation of livestock feeds from agro-industrial wastes and by-products will be encouraged. In order to eliminate or minimize overgrazing, surplus livestock off-take facilities should be created to make max use of excess livestock. This would require streamlining of mgt, marketing, processing, and packing even export of livestock and its products.
- A balanced integration of rangelands, croplands, and forestlands is imperative to ensure the year-long optimum provision of forage and fodder to livestock.
- Scientific range mgt will improve the economic well being of stockmen. The range development programme will no longer be primarily concerned with the direct financial return to state.
- The national range policy should include the recommendations for various committees.
- Mgt or rangelands must be phased over next 15 years.
- During the seventeenth 5-year plan period, development of technical manpower, the establishment of research facilities and the creation of scientific awareness among the pastoralists may receive priority.
- Range mgt plans based on proper resource evaluation may also be prepared during this period.
- Range areas located in different ecological zones may be selected for demonstration projects concerning the scientific mgt of rangelands.
- Range research should be made an important component of each project. The eighth five-yr plan may primarily focus on large-scale adaptation of the practices demonstrated in pilot projects.
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Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani is working as Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu (techurdu.net) Forestrypedia (forestrypedia.com), All Pak Notifications (allpaknotifications.com), Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.