SMALL FARMERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING IMPROVED FODDER AND FORAGE VARIETIES: RESULTS OF PARTICIPATORY ON FARM RESEARCH
Muhammad Zubair Anwar, M. Azeem Khan, Ikram Saeed, Akhtar Ali*, Shafique Zahid and Abdul Majid**
Livestock is an integral component of rainfed farming system. Livestock rearing is also a substitute of crop farming and provide security against crop failure in uncertain weather conditions. Estimates reveal that livestock contribution into an average annual income of a farmer is about 40% of the total household income. Livestock feeding is a critical component of livestock management in the rainfed farming systems. The most binding constraints are: persistent nutritional stress, lack of improved fodder varieties and lack of fodder preservation techniques for lean period. To resolve this issue improved fodder varieties and forage species were introduced. About 52 % women were of the view that in rabi season 50% grain yield was increased and 44% said that the increase in dry stalk was about 50%. While in kharif 72% respondents pointed out 55% increase in grain yield and similarly majority of the farmers (68%) pointed out 50% increase in dry stalk yield. Majority of the respondents (83%) appreciated the newly introduced plant species while about 17% have shown their interest in fruit trees.