My reply “Raziq Ark Biodiversityyes, it is a really serious issue…how the big companies and corporations play with our health? They always try to convince people to eat more and more… It is a dilemma. I think we should eat slow food and less food.”
Look at the role of glyphosate in spreading and seeding the diseases, especially cancer. It is found in Roundup, the popular brand of pesticides of Monsanto,, The Poisonous Fields
Australian friend replied as; “Julia Marie BellIndeed! I totally agree to Raziq. I would argue that the way to circumnavigate this toxic situation is to ” get your own back garden in order” so to speak and be the change that you want to see. I have chosen, and it has taken a lot of effort, work, and money to become as self-sufficient as possible. I have cut back on consumerism in a big way. I use no roundup on my farm, and all work and weeding are done by hand which is time-consuming and financially draining. However, the joy of being committed to a “good life” and living gently upon the earth( in the true Aristotelian sense) out ways the effort. My daily chant every day is “kindness” in the widest sense of the word. To sentient and nonsentient nature.”
It is a pleasure seeing the interest of people in the nutritional aspects of human beings.
I dream of the world where nobody plays with anybody’s health, food, emotions, status, and fate. What do you think? Is it possible? I think yes, with the people’s role, people politics, people agriculture, people intelligence.
Dr. Sajjad Khan is a well-known scientist and currently working as Prf. and Dean faculty of Animal Husbandry, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad Pakistan.
National goat show concluded here at Faisalabad (Pakistan) last evening on 21st October. It was very well attended the show as 663 animals competed for various beauty, weight and milk competitions. Beauty competitions were breed wise. Individual (male or female), pairs (breeding male and a breeding female) and flock (five adult females + 1 breeding male) competitions were held apart from goat kid beauty competition which was across breeds.
Represented breeds were various strains of Beetal (Faisalabadi, Makhi-Cheeni, Nuqri and Nagri strains), Nachi-the dancing goat (Boora, Sawa, Makra and Bulahi strains) and Diara Din Panah (Kala and Shera strains). Single strains of Barbari, Pak-Angora, and Teddy breeds also competed. While beauty competitions were within, weight and milk competitions were across breeds. Breeders and goat keepers competed for cash prizes, trophies and certificates and just for fun. The show was supported by my University, GEF-UNEP-ILRI FAnGR Asia project and the Directorate of Small Ruminants, Government of Punjab.
Animals started arriving on 18th and 90% had reached by 19th. Animals from the host district arrived on 20thmorning as well. As some had taken a 10-hours journey, rest was needed especially for milking goats. Competitions continued till late into the evening on 20th. The goat kid competition, held for the first time (to promote goat as a pet) was conducted on 21st, the day for prizes and trophies. Some 50 goat kids competed and were paraded (actually allowed to move around for about a minute) before young boys and girls (between 5-8 years of age) who were our no-card guests/visitors and had even helped farmers in handling goats during flock competitions.
Some 50 were randomly selected from about 90+ boys and girls present. We had 50 red ribbons to be worn to the goat kids. Every kid was individually explained to not follow his/her friends or parents (some had come) for making his/her choice, rather his/her own likeness. While farmers kept sitting with their goat kids, judges (boys and girls) marched in front from one side to the other and selected their champion. Some had done it while animal science students (girls) were tagging the goat kids in the start, while others did it on the spot. Nuqri goat kid won the first position with 7 ribbons followed by Makhi-Cheeni and Barbari goat kids. It is worth mentioning that many goat kids were purchased by the local residents’ price ranging between 80 and 400 USD/animal at the end of the goat show.
Highest weight was 179kg of a Beetal (Faisalabadi) buck while highest milk yield was of a Beetal Makhi-Cheeni goat producing 4 liters of milk on a voluntary intake as owners were not allowed to offer anything and competing goats remained in the custody of organizing committee before the beginning of emptying of udders till the last milking. Similar restrictions were imposed in weight competition. This was not a kidding season for goats because in our March competition last year, amount of milk by the winning goat was around 8 liters.
The most deficient information seemed to be scoring the dancing gait of Nachi goats while a lot of indigenous knowledge (apart from the typical nose and longer neck, foot sole was desirable to be visible while animal walks, as narrated by a Nachi farmer) awaits documentation. Love for this breed could be judged talking to a 70-year-old farmer who had raised this breed since he was 10. I hope to learn from him and similarly knowledgeable farmers in future.
The show was telecasted live by at least five television channels. Introduction of Nagri strain of Beetal was the pleasant surprise for technocrats and so was the introduction of a colored strain of Diara Din Panah (Shera strain) which was even more attractive than the traditional black strain. Bucks with their cock screw longhorns, massive bodies (~100kg) and long hair really gave a dangerous look (as a friend called them terrorists). New strains of Nachi were also worth watching. It looks we need to redefine breeds to incorporate farmers standards and available. Information available in booklets on various breeds looks quite distant from reality.
Best animal of the show was a DDP buck (black strain). The best breeder was Mr. Nazir Masih with exceptionally good animals (1st in milk competition, 1st in flock beauty competition for MCB breed and 1st in individual female beauty competition in MCB breed).
As always it was a very pleasant and rewarding to organize and conduct a goat show. Interaction and exchange of ideas with farmers is an asset. Few photos are attached. More photos with video clips will soon be posted at project website (http://fangrpk.org/).
Livestock for Futures and Global Agenda of Action (GAA)
There is ever increasing demand for meat, milk and other livestock products because of crawling urbanization, developing economies, population pressure and awareness about livestock based food stuffs (contrary to developed countries, where the people are minimizing usage of animal products, especially meat). Up to 2050, there is a challenge of more meat and milk 74 % and 52% respectively to fulfil nutritional requirements. In the meanwhile some hot issues are also interconnected to livestock i.e. food security, environmental issues, feed and water scarceness, human health and biodiversity etc. In the above mentioned situation GAA stresses for a sustainable livestock production systems to keep a smooth course of animal based food products.
To understand the chemistry of sustainable livestock production, we need to know in depth about the current livestock production systems prevailing in at global level. In a broader sense there are two production systems like that of high input livestock production systems (HILPS) and small scaled livestock production systems (SSLPS).
High Input Livestock Production system (HILPS) is composed of high yielding genetic resources (cattle, pig, chicken, maize and soy), heavy mechanization/automation, large strips of land, heavy loans and subsidies, tax payer money, modern education/techniques, processing plants and corporate sector support. The system provokes import of feed resources, especially soy and export food items and even manure. Such system demands huge consumption of fossil oil which further complicates the question of sustainability.
On the other hand, SSLPS depend on a wide flora and fauna biodiversity. This system not only produces healthier food but also provides eco-system services and touristic opportunities. The system is highly sustainable and evolved with precious traditional knowledge. This system relies on local feed resources and high level import of feed resources is out of question.
Threats from High Input Livestock Production system (HILPS)
To beat the challenges of ever increasing food items, HILP is generally supported among the policy makers to beat this challenge. In contrary small-scaled livestock production (SSLP) is always neglected and even considered as backward and worthless. The rich industrialized livestock production system is getting more and more volume while engulfing small scale farming consequential in a threat to precious biodiversity of livestock and other related biomasses. The use of narrow based genetic material making it susceptible to catastrophe of certain genes’ linked diseases which further deepens the concerns about its sustainability. The present HILP is not sustainable and this bubble cannot inflate further. The rupture of this bubble can create further catastrophes which demands for making it sustainable. Regrettably, such theme is still embryonic among the policy makers.
In Europe, USA and other industrialized countries the number of farms are lessening and number of livestock is increasing. Such intensification provokes other problems like that of environment and animal welfare. HILPS is centered on high level import of Soy and corn from Latin America resulting in marginalization of small keepers over there and promote land grabbing. The precious and wide biodiversity of rain forests is on stake because of this mega monster.
To achieve the goal of sustainable livestock future, some suggestions are hereby presented in the ensuing lines.
Taking small scaled livestock keepers on-board at policy levels (local, national, regional and international levels) is the paramount need of time
Linking small farmers with the market through branding of its products and value addition
A diverse livestock production system based on a many pillars, like biodiversity, TK, culture, heritage, ecosystem services and management, native livestock breeds, is more sustainable and can produce healthy food
There is utmost need of time to understand and study SSLPS and evaluate in a broader module to compare with HILPS
Convincing consumers to pay more for the products come from the pastoral and small scale livestock keepers
Agriculture should declare as heritage but not only food production factory by the developing countries
Promotion of production in balance, not import feed and not export manure
The above paragraphs were written in the context of GAA of the FAO and Livestock for Futures Conference in Bonn, Germany.