Degradation of Common Pastures: An Economics Perspective of its Impact on Livestock Farming and Coping Strategies

The study has examined the farmers’ perception regarding deterioration of pasturelands, its impact on livestock farming and the factors affecting farmers’ willingness to contribute to a participatory pasture development programme. It is based on the primary data collected from sheep farmers of semi-arid and arid regions of Rajasthan in the year 2008. A large proportion of farmers have perceived deterioration of the pastureland which has resulted in the reductions of wool yield per animal (18%), body weight of sheep (20%) and age of disposal of lambs (45%). The major coping mechanisms adopted by the farmers have been identified are: reduction in total livestock holding (86%), reduction in sheep flock size (55%), grazing on alternative fodder sources (30%), increased frequency of migration (59%), increased duration of migration (41%), and disposal of male lambs at an early age (76%). The reduction of pastureland has resulted in cost escalation for sheep farming, particularly for the landless and small farmers. Double Bounded Dichotomous Choice (DBDC) method of Willingness to Pay (WTP) has been used to analyze the factors affecting the association of farmers with a participatory pasture development programme. The bivariate probit model estimated using this data has indicated that the expected cost and the concerns regarding inequitable distribution of benefits affect WTP negatively, whereas flock size affects it positively. The farmers in the arid region have been found more forthcoming towards a participatory management strategy. The study has highlighted the importance of awareness generation about the participatory management strategy and its incorporation as a component of livestock development programmes.

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Agricultural Economics Research Review, Volume 23, Number 1
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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