Tropical Grasslands (2005) Volume 39,152–159

Forest management innovations, forage development practices and livestock in the hills of Nepal

N.R. DEVKOTA1 AND F. FELLONI2

1Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences, Tribhuvan University, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal
2International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome, Italy

Abstract

Public programmes aimed at regenerating degraded forestland and supporting marginal farmers in the hills of Nepal, through leasehold arrangements and forage and livestock development measures, have emphasised exotic legumes (e.g. Stylosanthes guianensis) and grasses such as molasses grass (Melinis minutiflora) and napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum), along with the promotion of improved buffalo and goats. While introduced forage species were quite successful at low-medium altitudes, evidence suggests that technical packages should incorporate farmersí preferences and focus on the regeneration of local varieties, while considering traditional knowledge. Survey data indicate that the mean number of local goats per participating household increased while the mean number of buffalo per household was constant during the programme. This suggests that both forage and livestock development models need to be simplified in view of resource and marketing constraints and to be designed, implemented and evaluated with the full involvement of farmers.

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