Docstoc

Migratory System of Goat and Sheep Rearing.doc

Document Sample
Migratory System of Goat and Sheep Rearing.doc Powered By Docstoc
					                    Migratory System of Goat and Sheep Rearing
                            in Himachal Pradesh - India
                                       Bimal Misri
                                Regional Research Centre
                      Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute
                        HPKV Campus, Palampur - 176062 (India)

Introduction


        Migratory pastoralism is very common in the Himalaya and a number of nomadic
communities practise this . Though with the changing times and availabilty of diverse
occupations a considerable decline has taken place in the number of pastoral nomads, yet this
system is still the only occupation of a large Himalayan population. Gaddi is a distinct tribe of
nomadic pastoralists found in the Himachal Pradesh state of India. This small Himalayan state
(total geographical area 55673 thousand ha) is situated in the north-west of india, flanked by
Jammu and Kashmir state on its north west, Uttar Pradesh on its east and Punjab on its south.
The Gaddis, in all probability, have derived their name from their native land, the Gadheran
which lies on both sides of the Dhauladhar ranges. These ranges begin on the right bank of river
Beas and extend upto Chamba and Kangra districts. These ranges have a number of peaks as
high as 5500 m above sea level, though the average altitude is about 2500m. In its north -east the
Dhauladhar leads to the higher Himalaya, while towards its south west it touches the Shiwaliks-
the lesser or outer Himalaya which merge into the plains.This continuity of the plains upto the
higher Himalayan ranges offer an excellent migratory route to the Gaddis.

         Gaddis are distinct people wearing a characteristic and striking costume and they form an
ixogamous union of castes of Rajputs, Khatris, Ranas and Thakurs. They are distinct from other
nomads in having a permanent house anywhere. During migrations, the elders of the family and
the women live in these houses. Gaddi habitations are situated on the Dhauladhar between an
altitude of 1000 - 2500 m. Oflate some of the Gaddis have migrated to other districts of the state
but the majority still lives in Bharmour region of Chamba. Out of a total population of 76, 859;
76,037 live in the region while 827 live in other nine districts. The fate of Gaddis living in
Kangra district is unique. They have not been recognized as a tribe by the local state Govt.,
inspite of the fact that they number between 28,000-31.000. However, culturally and ethnically
they are identical to the ones living in Bharmaur or elsewhere. While 30 percent of the Gaddis
are still fully migratory, 70 percent have adopted to sedentory or semi-migratory mode of life.
Many have shifted to other professions like Government jobs etc. Another major migratory,
pastoral tribe found in the area is the Gujjar tribe. They number 26,659 and are different from
Gaddis in their ethnicity, livestock rearing practices and migratory patterns (Anonymous, 1995).

The present study was confined to the Gaddi tribe only. During the second meeting of the
Temperate Asia pasture and fodder working group held at Dehradun during 1996 it was felt that
it is essential to undertake detailed studies on the migratory systems of livestock rearing in the
                                                                                               32
Himalyan countries so that the present potential and the threats to these systems could be
enumerated (Singh 1996). This paper is an outcome of a study undertaken on the Gaddi tribe of
the Himachal Pradesh state of India.

Material and Methods :

         The study was undertaken as per the proforma developed at the second meeting of the
working group and later published after scrutiny by eminent workers and modifiactions
suggested by them (Singh, 1996). The obervations were recorded in the printed off copies of this
proforma. The recording of data was not confined to only the tenth stopover. In some cases even
five stop overs were covered at a stretch, while in some cases (mostly at higher altitudes) the
requirement of tenth stopover could not be adhered to. This was because of the logistics of the
migration.
         Since the entire south west boundary of Himachal Pradesh adjoins the plains, there are
numerous migratory routes which are selected by various families according to their grazing
rights which have been established by way of usage since very long time. The significant feature
of these routes is that the grazier's home falls on the route chosen by him. For present study
following route was chosen since the homes of the graziers are situated around Palampur and this
facilitated the data recording about the family and sedentary activities.

       Bilaspur - Kaloli - Hamir Sidh - Bijri -Saloni - Hatera - Talashi - Hamirpur
       Mauri - Alampur - Pinala - Bhaura Van - Palampur - Gwal Tikkar - Utrala
       Dunhi - Parai - Jaloos(Jeet) - Chani (Holi Banghal).

       Though data were recorded from all the graziers encountered enroute but three families
were selected for continuous observations. These families belonged to Messers Singhu Ram,
Balak Ram and Jagdish Chand.

       The obervations recorded were both visual and actual. For determining the botanical
composition and biomass 1x1 m replicated quadrates were laid out. The vegetation was manually
clipped and weighed by a spring balance. The vegetation was seperated into different species and
their names were recorded. Incase of inability to identify the species, the specimens, after
assigning a code number were carried to the research centre for identification. Representative
samples were oven dried to determine dry weight. These samples were analysed for nutritional
parameters.

       Representative soil samples were collected from all the altitudes for the determination of
pH etc. For other observations, interviews were conducted with the graziers and field
observations were recorded. The data presented is in the form of averages with range.

Migratory routes and camping sites

               These are well defined, unmarked routes which initiate in the plains and after
passing through the lesser Himalaya i.e., Shivaliks where the dominant vegetation is scrub forest;
cross over the middle Himalaya supporting open grazing areas and coniferous forests end into
                                                                                               33
the subalpine, alpine and arctic zones where the dwarf vegetation does not support trees and
comprise, mostly, of grasses forbes and a few legumes. The migratory routes are only for the
transit purposes and the flocks stay for most of the time either in the lower hills, plains or in the
alpines. The transit from the plains or outerhills upto the alpine areas takes about three months.
The time consumed is highly variable and depends upon the distance. Each flock covers 7-8 km
per day starting the journey at 6.00 A.M. and breaking it at 6 P.M. Three stop overs are used for
overnight stay while at the fourth stopover the flocks stay for two nights. This is done to wear off
the fatigue. Even the choice of stay for two nights is elastic and at times it may not be the fourth
stopover but a place where the relatives or a friend of the grazier lives or better fodder and
grocery are available. This could mean a longer stay of 2-3 nights at second or a fifth stopover.
The three flocks under investigation, however, spent two nights at every fourth stopover. This
pattern of night camping continued upto Palampur, where the families stayed for fifteen days (1st
March - 15th March).

        The movement upto middle hills is always prefered through the river valleys. The river
sides provide a flat ground and easily accessible water resource. In case of rains and inclement
weather the river sides provide some shelters in the form of rock hangings etc. Above all the
movement is not as tiring as on the hill slopes.

       The graziers always carry a few aluminium utensils and a Tawa (steel pan) to make
Chapatis (local bread). At every stopover a frugal meal is cooked which include chapatis,
chutney (ground leaves of Aaonla/Tamarind/ Green Chillies and salt) and the goat milk.
Occasionally, the goat milk is turned into cheese and eaten. It is normally done at the stopover
where they stay fot two nights. At times, vegetables may also be purchased from the village
market and cooked. Ninty percent of the graziers do not carry any night camping kit like a tent.
They spend the night in open under their blankets. During colder nights even fires may be lit.

       The above described pattern of movement continues till the middle hills. Above this
region the grade of the slope becomes even 70 percent at places and no suitable place is found
for camping. Only a brief stopover is made for cooking a meal or a brief rest, otherwise the
movement is continuous till the flat pastures in sub alpine or alpine regions are reached.

Grazing Land

        According to the official statistcs, out of the total geographical area of 55,67300 ha,
12,23500 ha have been classifed as the permanent pastures and grazing lands (Anonymous
1995). However, it is very difficult to ascertain the actual area available for grazing. Besides the
area under pastures, following additional area is also available for grazing and during migration
these areas are extensively grazed.

        Forests
      a)    Open forest                                              33,34982 ha
      b)    Unclassified forest                                        86,848 ha
      c)    Forests not under the control of Forest Deptt.             94,770 ha

                                                                                                  34
     Fallow land                                                      55,700 ha
     Culturable Waste                                               1,26,400 ha
     Unculturable Waste                                             1,90,600 ha

       The entire grazing area is spread over in three zones, creating three distinct range types.
These types are :

       Sub tropical ranges of lower hills
       Subtemperate - temperate ranges of mid hills
       Alpine ranges of high hills.

       The altitudinal range varies from 300-4500 m above sea level. The area is spread over
undulated, slopy and hilly terrain with slope grade ranging between 30-70 percent. The soil
characteristis of the three zones are summarized below :

     1.    Subtropical ranges of lower hills : The soils are alluvial-loamy with shallow depths at
           the slopes; deficient in available nitrogen ; low - medium in available potassium. The
           soil reaction is neutral and the texture varies from loamy sand to sandy loam.

     2.    Sub-temperate-temperate ranges of mid-hills : The soils are grey brown, podzolic
           brown; shallow-deep; neutral-highly acidic. Available nitrogen varies from medium-
           high; phosphorus low-medium and potassium availability is medium.

     3.    Alpine ranges of high hills : These soils correspond to alpine humus and mountain
           skeletal soils which are rich in organic matter. The texture is generally sandy loam to
           fine sandy loam. The available nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are high. While
           the soil reaction is neutral-acidic.

       All the three distinct zones support diverse vegetation which is unique to each zones. The
outer hills have scrub forests of Lantana camara, Acacias, Adhotoda vasica, Dedonia viscosa,
Carissa etc. The herbaceous vegetation is very scarce and mostly comprise of grasses like
Cynodon dactylon, Bothriochloa pertusa, B. intermedia, Imperata cylindrica, Saccharum
spontaneum etc. At little higher altitudes the arboreal element is dominated by Pinus longifolia.
In the middle hills the Pinus longifolia gets replaced by Cedrus deodara. The other shrubby
plants are Cotoneaster racimiflora, Daphne oleoides, Desmodium tillaefolium, Indigofera
heterantha, Parrotiopsis jaequemontii etc. The ground vegetation is dominated by grasses like
Agrostis stolonifera, Andropogon tristis, Chrysopogon echinulatus, Dichanthium annulatum etc.
Most Common trees found are Quercus incana, Rhododendron sps., etc. The highest zones
support dwarf, mat like vegetation, mostly comprising of Poa triandra, Chrysopogon echinulatus,
Andropogon ischaemum, Festuca alpinum. F. rubra etc. Very few trees of Betula utilis may be
found. The bushy vegetation mostly comprise of Viburnum foetens, Sambucus wightiana etc.

      The climate of the study area is also very diverse. It varies from hot summer to the severe
cold winters. The outermost Himalaya situated in the south of the state experiences as hot
summer and a mild winter as the plains. This area also receive the monsoon rains and the total
                                                                                                35
precipitation ranges between 150-175 cm per annum. The maximum summer temperature goes
up to 40°C while the minimum winter temperature goes down to 10°C. The climate of the mid
hills is comparatively moderate. Both summers and winters are mild. The summer temperature
may go upto 30°C while the minimum winter temperature may go down to an average of 5°C;
though sometimes even the temperature may go down to freezing levels. The annual
precipitation, including occasional light snowfall and monsoon rains ranges between 75-100 cm.
The higher hills have typical cold climate. The maximum temperature during summer may not
exceed 20°C and during winters the minimum temperature may go down to -2°C. The
precipitation declines in these regions and may vary from 30 cm - 50 mm per annum,
progressively decreasing with the increase in altitude.

Botanical Composition :

        The biological diversity of the Himalaya is vertical and it is too variable at various
altitudes. In between the altitudinal zones it is very common to find some ecological niches. The
data collected on the botanical composition are massive and it may not be possible to present the
entire data in this paper. However the percentage composition of grazing areas (which did not
support bushes and trees) or Ghasnis, as these are locally known from three zones is presented in
Table 1. The species composition presented in the Table 1 is only a general pattern. In reality the
botanical composition is too degraded at the lower and middle hills. Apprarently the botanical
composition of the higher hills seems to be too inadequate for the flocks but the weight gain by
sheep and goats in these areas suggest otherwise. In lower hills from Bilaspur to Talashi the
ground vegetation was by and large absent. Only the bushes and trees provided the necessary
herbage. Sheep were observed browsing the leaves of Adhotoda vasica while the goats nibbled
the stems of this bush dominantly found at these altitudes. Carissa, another bush commonly
found was extensively browsed by the goats. The degradation in the lower hills may be upto
stage 3-4 in a scale of 1-4.

Table 1                 Botanical Composition of Ghasnis (grasslands) of three hill zones of
                        Himachal Pardesh
.................................................................................................................................
Zone                  Species                                                                                        % Composition
.................................................................................................................................
Lower hills Arundinelle nepalensis                                                                                                   7
                      Bothriochloa pertusa                                                                                          11
                      Cynodon dactylon                                                                                               6
                      Chrysopogon gryllus                                                                                           13
                      Dichanthium annulatum                                                                                          7
                      Eragrostis sps.                                                                                                8
                      Imperata cylindrica                                                                                           18
                      Saccharum spontaneum                                                                                          22
                      Other grasses like Themeda etc                                                                                 8
Mid hills             Agrostis stolonifera and A. gigantea                                                                          13
                      Alopecurus myosuroides                                                                                       7.6
                      Chrysopogon echinulatus                                                                                     39.4
                                                                                                                                         36
                      Dactylis glomerata                                                                                             5
                      Dichanthium annulatum                                                                                          4
                      Eragrostis sps.                                                                                                3
                      Festuca rubra                                                                                                  1
                      Imperata Cylindrica                                                                                           10
                      Pennisetum orientale                                                                                           9
                      Poa pratense                                                                                                   5
                      Trifolium repens                                                                                               2
                      Lotus corniculatus                                                                                             1
High hills Agropyron sps.                                                                                                          6.3
                      Agrostis stolonifera                                                                                        10.5
                      Andropogon ischaemum                                                                                        10.5
                      Alopecurus myosuroides                                                                                       4.2
                      Dactylis glomerata                                                                                            15
                      Festuca alpinum                                                                                              6.5
                      F. rubra                                                                                                       9
                      Lotus corniculatus                                                                                             8
                      Pennisetum flaccidiom                                                                                         13
                      Poa alpina                                                                                                     7
                      Phleum alpinum                                                                                                 6
                      Trifolium repens                                                                                               4
.................................................................................................................................
            The most common and predominant weeds of the lower hills are Ageratum conyzoides,
A. houstonianum, Lantana camara Eupatorium odoratum and Parthenium hysterophorus.

Flock Composition

        The livestock population of Himachal Pradesh state comprise of 21, 51, 616 cattle, 70,
0923 buffaloes, 10,74,345 sheep, 11,15,591 goats and 14,094 horses. It may be very difficult to
make an exact estimate of migratory sheep and goats but these may form about 70 percent of the
total goat and sheep population of the state. As far as the migratory pattern of livestock rearing is
concerned it is only sheep and goats which are reared under this system.

         The migratory herds are classified under 3 categories. Small flocks consist upto 100
animals having 60 sheep and 40 goats ; medium flocks consist 300-500 animals while the Large
Flocks comprise of 1000-1500 animals. The average composition of the flock remains same in
all the categories with 60 percent sheep and 40 percent sheep. Each flock includes 2-3 dogs. The
large herders also have 4-5 ponies to carry the essential supplies etc.

The migration and its management

        The migration is essentialy associated with finding better forage resources. During winter
months i.e. late October-early November to late February - early March the flocks stay in outer
hills or the plains which are locally known as Kandi Dhar. These areas are also Known as Ban
and in Kangra district these areas are claimed by Gaddis as Warisi i.e., inheritance. In historical
                                                                                                                                   37
past these areas were granted by the local kings as gifts to the Gaddi families and the grazing
rights are still maintained by the inheritors. The holder of the grazing rights is known as
Mahlundi and in the old days he would pay a tax to the King and in turn would collect it from the
Gaddis who would graze their flocks in his area. Now the situation has changed and the tax for
the inherited area is paid to the Government. However, a Gaddi is free to let others graze their
animals in his area against the payment of fee which may be in cash or kind.

         In these areas the owners of the cultivated lands often offer their fallow land to the flocks
for grazing of the aftermath of last crop which is rice. The flocks in the process adequately
fertilize, these lands and the land owners pay a fee to the flock holder. Now-a-days this fee
consists of providing the full rations required by the Gaddi flocks holder during the duration of
the field grazing. The upward movement starts in the month of March or after 15th of February
depending upon the length of the migratory route. In the case of farmers under observation in
this study, they started their upward movement on 10th February.
         In case of the small holders it is always the owner and his family members who
accompany the flocks. The medium sized flocks are also accomanied by the owner but in certain
cases contractual graziers known as Puhals are engaged. In case of the large flocks, the owners
always prefer to stay back and the Puhals are engaged for the migration of flocks. Puhals may be
friends or the natives of one's own village. The Puhals have to be provided food in the form of
maize flour and other essentials of food. For this an advance payment is made or in case of the
large flocks adequate quantities are provided which are hauled by the horses accompanying the
flocks. In case of this study each herders had two accomplices with him and the flocks had the
following composition.
         Singhu Ram             270 sheep              163 goats                       total 433
         Balak Ram              203 sheep              157 goats                       total 360
         Jagdish Chand 302 sheep                187 goats                      total 489

        After leaving the outer hills, the flocks travel upto the middle hills through river valleys.
The roads are always avoided. Enroute, the flocks are managed by the graziers and their dogs.
All the three flocks scattere to different sides but assemble at the pre-fixed stop over during
night. Each flock is lead by one of the graziers ; one remains at the tail end and the yongest of the
three keeps on running here and there to avoid straying of the animals. Tresspassing of the
animals into reserved and closed forest areas has to be avoided. In order to regulate the grazing
and verify the payment of taxes Rahdari check post have been established on all the migratory
routes. The checkposts were established by the erstwhile kings but now these are managed by the
Forest Department.

        By 10th March the graziers reached their homes at Palampur and it is a great time to
rejoice. The flocks are stationed in fallow lands for fertilization. It is the major reason for a long
stay at homes. A goat is slaughtered to celebrate the home coming. During the stay at home the
graziers prepare for onward journey in colder places by mending their clothes or even they
procure new ones. The essential repairs of the houses are done and all other matters relating to
the family affairs are settled. This is also the marriage time in the family when marriages of the
young ones are ceremonized.

                                                                                                   38
        The further journey upto the alpines is more arduous. There are very few stopovers and
the steep slopes are difficult to traverse. After reaching the alpines, it is a great time to rest and
organize the day to day routines.

        In alpines, the areas for grazing are again earmarked. Though there are no boundaries on
the field, the Gaddis by a continuous usage know their boundaries. The tresspassing into each
others areas is always avoided and this fact is ethically adhered to. However, in case of any
dispute, the entire community gathers and solves the dispute.

        The downward journey is also faced with the same problems and is performed according
to the same routines. The time of commencing upward or downward journey commensurates
with the marketing of the animals and mating of the animals. In March the traders start coming to
the graziers and strike deals for the purchase of animals for meat purposes. Similarily during
downward movement, the traders arrive in September when the sale transactions take place.
        The process of migration is very tough and has its unique problems. Enroute there are
frequent attacks on the flocks by wildlife, particularily the Cheetahs (leopard). The Gaddi dogs
are very brave and they always have a spiked band around their necks to avoid lifting by a
cheetah. Inspite of the dogs and a constant vigil by the graziers upto 10 percent of the flock is
destroyed by the wild life. In case of a natural death of the animal, the flesh is cut into slices and
dried which is eaten later. Inspite of the numerous vagaries of migration, the Gaddis, love it and
enjoy it.


Range production

        The biomass production varies a great deal in various zones. The botanical composition
and the percentage composition is also different in different zones. The estimations for the
present study were made after laying out quadrates of 1 X 1 m size. The quardrates were
replicated (3-5); the frequency of replications depended upon the area of study. In case of larger
grazing areas 5 quadrates were laid; while smaller areas were scored by 3 quadrates. The
herbage estimations were made only from the grass or herbaceous vegetation dominated areas.
The observations were recorded at the stopovers or about 2 km short of the stopover. This was
necessiated since the stopovers are the most convenient place to encounter the graziers. The
mean figures about the biomass production and its nutritive value are only representative and
generalized. (Tables 2 and 3). The values vary a great deal. Since the alpines were the priority
area of this study, observations were recorded during actual stay of the animals over there. In
case of middle and lower hills the observations were recorded during mon-soon and post
monsoon period which is the most productive period. During March-June these areas are
absolutely dry and the production figures are very low. The estimations about the biomass during
this period at lower and middle hills have been made by Misri and Sareen (1997) and the same
are presented in Table 4. During October-February, the winter months all the grasslands are
dormant and the growth is arrested. During this period the migratory flocks depend on the scrub
vegetation of the forests, while the sedentary livestock is fed crop residues and hay.
        The flock owner's reactions to the question of availability of herbage were very
interesting. Inspite of the low levels of biomass production in the alpines, they are more than
                                                                                                   39
satisfied with the production levels and the species composition of the pastures. Goat and sheep
gain 8-12 kg of weight in the alpines and the Gaddis atttribute it to Neeru grass (Festuca
gigantea). They are also happy with the available foreage resources enroute the migration. They
are only concerned about their winter abode i.e. the outer hills and adjoining plains where they
stay during winter. The closure of forest areas and low levels of forage production in river
valleys are a matter of concern for them. They would like the plantation of grasses, fodder
bushes and trees in this area and would like the Government to open more forest areas for their
flocks.
...................................................................................................................................
Table 2                 Biomass Production of grasslands in various zones. (Dry matter t/ha)
            (Means given in parenthesis)
...................................................................................................................................
Zone                                                                                                        Months
                                            July                            August                 September                      Mean
...................................................................................................................................
Low hills                               4.78-5.02                          3.40-6.65                6.70-7.42
                                           (4.9)                             (5.02)                    (7.06)                      5.66
Middle hills                            2.32-4.57                          3.65-4.32                3.90-5.13
                                          (3.44)                             (3.98)                    (4.51)                      3.97
High hills                              1.41-1.94                          1.93-2.87                2.32-2.84
                                          (1.67)                              (2.4)                    (2.58)                      2.21
...................................................................................................................................
Table 3                 Nutritive value of the pasture herbage in various zones (percentage
            in dry matter) Mean values
...................................................................................................................................
Parameters                             July                     August                          September                  Mean
...................................................................................................................................
Lower hills
Dry matter                                 35.13                          40.72                         43.67                   39.84
Crude protein                                4.32                           4.87                          3.91                    4.36
NDF                                        69.25                          70.29                         75.62                   71.72
ADF                                        43.12                          46.22                         48.12                   45.82
Calcium                                      1.32                           1.12                          1.31                    1.25
Phosphorus                                   0.13                           0.16                          0.14                    0.14
Middle hills
Dry matter                                 32.80                          39.25                         43.14                   38.40
Crude protein                                8.27                         10.22                         10.13                     9.54
NDF                                        71.32                          71.76                         74.27                   72.45
ADF                                        37.33                          38.46                         41.12                   38.97
Calcium                                      1.29                           1.47                          1.63                    1.46
Phosphorus                                   0.11                           0.17                          0.16                    0.15
High hills
Dry matter                                 33.26                          31.16                           39.9                  34.77
Crude protein                              10.10                            9.78                        10.32                   10.04
NDF                                        58.32                          62.51                         67.11                   62.65
                                                                                                                                    40
ADF                                      35.10                        34.70                        42.12                  37.31
Calcium                                   0.83                         0.91                         1.13                   0.96
Phosphorus                                0.19                         0.13                         0.17                   0.16




...................................................................................................................................
Table 4                 Biomass production at lower and middle hills during March-June
                                    (t/ha)
...................................................................................................................................
Month                                                                         Fresh Wt.                                     Dry Wt.
...................................................................................................................................
Lower hills
March                                                                        3.24                                          0.83
April                                                                        3.10                                          0.83
May                                                                          2.76                                          0.66
June                                                                         1.76                                          0.44

Middle hills
March                                                                    1.59                                        0.30
April                                                                    3.08                                        0.47
May                                                                      6.62                                        7.20
June                                                                     1.36                                        0.35

Fodder Trees

         Fodder trees constitute a major proportion of livestock feeding in the middle Himalayan
hills. It has been estimated that fodder trees and shrubs contribute green forage to the extent of
10-15 percent during monsoon; 80 percent during winters and 60 percent in summers to the
rations of ruminants in the Himalayan hills. Besides being found on common property lands and
forests, the fodder trees are grown by farmers on their farm bunds, terrace risers and homesteads.
84 major fodder trees and 40 shrubs have been reported from the Himalayan region to be of very
high forage value (Misri and Dev, 1997).

        As far as the migratory graziers are concerned, they do not own the fodder tree
plantations anywhere. However, they use the fodder tree leaf wherever available. The trees
growing in open forests and road sides are regularly lopped by the graziers. Sometimes, the illicit
lopping is done in the reserved forests as well. At times, the tree leaf fodder is purchased during
the migrations from the adjoining villages. The tree fodder is either fed at stopovers or during
winter stay in the outer hills. The tree plantations are at an approachable distance say .5-1 km
away from the stopovers.

      The migratory graziers as well as the sedentary farmers have remarkable traditional
wisdom about fodder tree leaf feeding. Most of the fodder trees contain tanins and other toxic
                                                                                                                                      41
constituents at a certain stage. In order to avoid the feeding of leaves at this critical stage, the
graziers have perfected a calender for fodder tree use as per the following sequence :

From April-June :
      Morus alba, M. serrata, Leucaena leucocephala, Robinia pseudoacacia,
      Albizzia lebbeck, Ficus glomerata, F. religiosa, F. roxburghii.


From July -October :
      Mostly grazing ; since adequate grasses are available during this post-
      monsoon period.
From Nov-March :
      Bauhinia variegata, Grewia optiva, Terminalia arjuna, Dendrocalamus-
      hamiltonii.

The leaf biomass production of six most important trees is presented in Table 5.
..................................................................................................................................
Table 5                 Leaf Biomass production of important Fodder Trees.
...................................................................................................................................
Tree species                                                            Age at lopping (yrs) Leaf Biomass (Kg/tree)
...................................................................................................................................
Bauhinia variegata                                                                     8-10                                     15-20
Dendrocalamus hamiltonii                                                               8-10                                     30-40
Grewia optiva                                                                          8-10                                     12-15
Quercus incana                                                                       10-12                                        8-10
Robinia pseudoacacia                                                                     6-8                                    10-15
Terminalia arjuna                                                                      8-10                                     40-50
...................................................................................................................................
            Nutritive value and farmers scoring for preference of some important fodder trees of the
region are presented in Table 6.

Table 6                 Crude protein (%) in dry matter and farmer scoring in order of
                        preference of some Himalayan trees.
...................................................................................................................................
S.No. Species                                                                                        C.P.(%)                          Score
...................................................................................................................................
1. Aegle marmelos                                                                    15.33                                      15
2. Albizzia lebbeck                                                                  18.94                                      21
3. Artocarpus chaplasha                                                              18.14                                      20
4. Bauhinia variegata                                                                15.91                                      17
5. Bambusa nutans                                                                    14.09                                      10
6. Bauhinia vahlii                                                                   12.81                                        6
7. Cordia Dichotma                                                                   12.37                                        5
8. Cedrela toona                                                                     14.82                                      12
9. Celtis australis                                                                  15.33                                      14
                                                                                                                                          42
10. Dendrocalamus hamiltonii                                                         18.72                                        4
11. Eugenia jambolana                                                                10.56                                        2
12. Ficus glomerata                                                                  13.93                                        8
13. F. benghalensis                                                                  10.29                                        1
14. Grewia optiva                                                                    20.00                                        3
15. Leucaena leucocephala                                                            15.22                                      13
16. Litsea glutinosa                                                                 14.60                                      11
17. Morus alba                                                                       16.64                                      19
18. Quercus incana                                                                   11.42                                        7
19. Robinia pseudoacacia                                                             20.45                                        9
20. Salix tetrasperma                                                                13.19                                      16
21. Terminalia arjuna                                                                13.98                                      18
...................................................................................................................................

Land Tenure

        Prior to the middle of last century the forests and pastures were nobody's concern.
However, with increasing pressure on these natural resources and an imminent threat to their
existence, first national Forest Law was passed in 1865. It was the first attempt to give absolute
powers to the Government to regulate most of the forests and pastures. The major outcome of
this law was the regulation of grazing in the forests to permit the regeneration of tree species.
Subsequentaly the Kangra Land Settlement was carried over during 1865-1872 which led to the
promulgation of 1878 Forest Law. According to this Law a system of Reserved and Protected
Forests was introduced to regulate most forests and the grazing lands. The settlement earmarked
grazing areas for each Gaddi family and the size of the flock was fixed. The migratory routes for
each family were also fixed and it was provided that each flock will move atleast 5 miles each
day stopping for one night at a stopover. The Gaddis did not appreciate these controls. Thereafter
the status of forests and pastures remained an important issue for discussions and evaluation by
many experts like Mr. Hugh Cleghorm and Sir Dietrich Brandis. Acting on the observations
made by Mr. Hart regarding the deteriorating condition of the pastures in Kullu area, the local
forest settlement proposed a ban in 1920 on grazing by the local flocks. However, the migratory
flocks were exempted from this ban. Goats were identified as a major threat to the grazing areas
and during 1915 farmers were asked to pay a higher grazing fee for goats, even the sedentary
goats were brought under this regulation.

       After independence following commissions were appointed to rationalize the grazing and
thereby regulate the land tenure (Verma, 1996).
               1.      1959 The H.P Govt., Commission on Gaddis
               2.      1970 The H.P Govt., Commission on Gaddis

       The second commission recommended a freeze in the size of the flock. During 1972 the
state Govt., again issued some orders for regulating the flock size. But due to political
compulsions none of the decesions were ever imlplemented with strict measures.


                                                                                                                                      43
        The present situation is almost fluid and the allocation of grazing lands and migratory
routes made during 1865 - 1872 land settlement is adhered to. The farmers are not the owners of
the land but as per the usage since centuries they have the grazing rights over these areas which
pass over as inheritance in the family. However, the graziers have to renew their permits each
year by paying a grazing fee of Rs 1.00 each sheep and Rs 1.25 per goat. The permits contain the
details about the flock, area of grazing and the migratory route to be used.

Community and House Hold

        The Gaddi community is a very small community (total number about 100,000) though
very well knit and spread over a large area of Himachal Pradesh. They have a very rich history of
ruling the Gadheran, their native land and the mention of their erstwhile Kings is very common
in their folk tales and songs. Most of the historians have traced their origin to Delhi and Lohore.
Gaddis are superstitious, god fearing, kind, honest and hard working people and practise
Hinduism as their religion. Only 18 individuals practising Islam as religion have been reported
from Bilsaspur (13) and Shimla(5) districts.

        Gaddis follow partiarchial and patrilineal type of family system. Father, the head of the
family is responsible to look after the interests of each member of the family but the mother is
equally responsible and works hard, and to some extent, harder than the father in field and house.
Because of their liberal approach the nucleus families are very common. After 2-3 years of
marriage a son is encouraged to start his individual family; 75 percent families are nucleus while
only 25 percent, mostly migratory, families are extended. Though most of the families may be
nucleus, yet they are woven in geneologically defined social bonds. They are grouped in Tols
(Groups or Clans). Each Tol consists of 2-3 generations of the same ancestary. Every village is
headed by an elder known as Pradhan and every body abides by his decesions. A group of
villages are organised into Panchayats, the recognized system of local governance. Local
disputes are settled at the level of Pradhan where as disputes between the villages are settled by
the Panchayet. Gaddis, generally have a small family. The families of three samples studied are
described below :

     1.     Mr. Singhu Ram (self) Mrs. Singhu Ram, Three sons all above 16 years. Total
            members 5
      2.    Mr. Balak Ram (self) Mrs. Balak Ram, mother and father of Balak Ram, Two sons
            aged 11 and 9 one daughter aged 6. Total members 7.
      3.    Mr. Jagdish Chand (Self), Mrs. Jagdish Chand mother and father, one
               brother, 2 sons both above 16 years ; total members 7.
               Out of three, Balak and Jagdish are literate. Both have gone to school upto 5th
and 6th standard respectively., All the women and singhu are illiterate. Singhu's three sons can
read and write and have gone to school only upto 4th standard. Balak's both sons are going to
school, Jagdish's brother has studied upto 6th standard and both his sons have also gone to school
upto 3rd and 4th standard. This group indicates 52 percent literacy. But this is not indicative of
the general situation. All the three families oberserved have their homes near Palampur where
excellent educational facilitis are available. The situation in some of the remote places like
Bharmour is absolutely different where adequate and convenient aducational facilitis are not
                                                                                                44
available. Incase of the entire community the literacy percentage is 30. Of late, due to the
introduction of some social welfare schemes like free education, books, uniforms, lunch and
cash incentives for Gaddis and other weaker sections of the society, the situation is really going
to change.
        The male members are exclusively responsible for the rearing of migratory flocks. As far
as the sedentary agricultural activities are concerned, the lands are ploughed and sown by the
male members. Clodding and weeding is done by the women members; harvesting is done
jointly. Tree fodder is collected by the men folk whereas the livestock rearing both grazing of
animals and collection of fodder from forest areas is done by the women. Firewood is also
collected by the women.

        As far as working for other households is concerned, it is common only around urban
areas like Kangra, Chamba or Palampur. Almost 45 percent women do a partime job in 2-3
houses every day spending 4-6 hours each and earning Rs. 600-800 per month. Sometimes the
graziers carry their families to outer hills or plains during winters. The women may work in other
households if their winter stay is near the urban areas.

Crops

            Crops have no role to play in the migratory systems of the Gaddis since the migratory
flocks are not fed any crop residues. The sedentary Gaddi's cultivate the small holdings which
vary between .25-1 acre of land per family. These lands have, invariably been provided to the
sedentary families after the introduction of agrarian reforms in the state. The major crops are:
                        Rice, Wheat, Maize and Barley.
                        Rice is transplanted during July, wheat is sown in early November, Maize is sown
between 20th May and 20th June while Barley is sown after snow melt at higher altitudes and
early November at lower altitudes. The average yields and grain straw ratios are given in Table
7.
.................................................................................................................................
Table 7                 Yield of grain and straw of major food crops
.................................................................................................................................
Crop                                Sowing time                         Grain yield                                     Grain-straw ratio
                                                                                       (t/ha)
.................................................................................................................................
Rice                                June-July                                       2.0-2.5                             1:5
Wheat                               Early-Nov.                                      1.8-2.0                             1:1
Maize                               20th May-20th June                              3.0                                 1: 1.5
Barley                              Early Nov or                                    1.8-2.0                             1:1
                                    April
.................................................................................................................................
            In most of the cases, the grain or the straw is not sold but conserved for domestic use. It
is only in case of the rich Gaddis that surplus grain may be sold. However, the crop residues are
not sold.


                                                                                                                                      45
Livestock

        The flock composition of Gaddis has been described elsewhere. Gaddis posessing 250
and above animals are generally considered to be well off. The major livestock products and
their availability pattern is described below.

Wool :          The sheep are sheared thrice a year and the production of wool
                is as below :
                January                                      500 gm/sheep
                April/May                                    800 gm/sheep
                September                                    1.5 kg/sheep
                Total each sheep                             2.800 kg/sheep

        The wool is basically collected for selling. The traders know the routes and the time of
shearing and accordingly reach the appropriate places to purchase the wool. The selling rates are
fixed by the Government. The present rate is Rs. 65.00 per kg of mixed wool. The black
coloured wool is held in high demand but after the introduction of sheep improvement
programmes, most of the wool available is either white or shades of white. Black sheep also
fetches a higher price as the black wool. At an average 5 percent of the wool produced is held at
home for weaving of clothes for domestic use.

Meat :

        The live carcass are sold at the beginning of upward or downward movement. The
mother stock is maintained upto the age of eight years. Lambs and kids aged 3-6 months are sold
in the plains or outer hills in March. The three month old lambs fetches a price of Rs. 350 while
six months old may fetch Rs. 700 each. Kids of same age may fetch Rs. 250-350 more since goat
is preferred for meat. At this age the body weight of lambs and kids is 9-12 kg. The second sale
is held in september when downward migration starts. By this time the lambs and kids are fully
grown and weigh between 20-22 kg.
        In this case also the traders go upto the subalpines and alpines to buy the animals. Sheep
fetches a price of Rs 650 each while the goat may fetch Rs 750-850. Each herder sells 40 percent
of sheep and 70 percent of goat every year, Though Gaddis are very apprehensive to reveal the
real income but a fair estimate will be as following:

         1. 100 animal herder; if sells 50 animals @ Rs 500 (average)
                                                      Total income: Rs 25,000 / year
         2. 350 animal herder; if sells 100 animals @ Rs 500 (average)
                                                      Total income: Rs 50,000 / year
         3. 1000 animal herder; if sells 300 animals @ Rs 500 (average)
                                                      Total imcome: Rs 150,000 / year

       The expenditure is only Rs 1.00 per sheep and Rs 1.25 per goat as grazing fee. Ten
percent animals ar lost due to wild life or other accidents. Some significant features connected
wtih the livestock rearing by Gaddis are:
                                                                                               46
     ¨     Health care provided by the Government is available only upto the middle            hills.
           There are no facilities in the alpines. These facilities are also quite far away         and
           unapproachable for the graziers.
     ¨     Most common ailments of the animals both sheep and goats are poisoning              after
           eating the noxious and poisonous weeds. The animals bloat after eating Ageratum
           and Upatorium. The traditional cure is feeding salt to the animals. The other most
           common disorder in animals is the Lantana posioning. The animals get drowzy after
           eating Lantana. The local practices call for chopping off an ear to let the animal bleed
           till the posion is drained off. The graziers watch the activity of the animal and when
           they feel that the poison is drained off, a paste of mud is applied to the wound to stop
           bleeding. The other cure for mild Lantana poisoning is feeding goat milk after
           thinning it by adding lot of water.
     ¨     The goat milk is never sold. It may be given free of cost to the acquintances
                enroute. The only use of this milk is the consumption by the graziers or making
           cheese for self use. Since it is not a marketable commodity , the           graziers have
           to spend a lot of time to stop the suckling kids from over feeding.
     ¨     The business in goat milk is considered unethical
     ¨     Besides open grazing the only supplement provided to the animals is the common
           salt. It is fed once a week to the animals by spreading it over the rocks at stopovers
           @ 3 Kg/100 animals.
     ¨     Incase of the death of animals. the flesh is cut into slices ond separated from bones;
           salt is rubber over and it is dried for future consumption.
     ¨     Hides are not sold but turned into bags to store and carry food items.
     ¨     The animal sacrifice is common on certain religious occasions , family celebrations
           or before crossing a pass in the hills. The animal meant for sacrifice (it is always a he
           goat) is first given a bath then the priest applies a paste of flowers and rice at its
           head and says prayers. A third person. who is not connected with the rearing of this
           animal, then kills it. The priest carries away the hide, head and one of the legs, the
           rest of the carcass is eaten by the family and friends. The important occasions for
           sarcrifice are;
                ¨       Putting new field under plough
                ¨       Removing the incapacity of field by improvement to grow wheat.
                ¨       Laying the foundation stone of a house.
                ¨       Celebrating births, get togethers and marriages.
                ¨       12th and 14th day of a death in the family.
                ¨       Before the start of a journey.
                ¨       Before crossing a mountain pass.

Lambing:

       There are two lambings in a year. The process of mating starts in September and by the
time the flocks reach the winter abodes the sheep and goat are pregnant. Here, the animals get a
comfortable stay and the lambing starts by end of February or in first fornight of March. It can
extend upto April in certain cases. After the upward movement starts the process of mating is
                                                                                                    47
repeated and the graziers prefer to start their downward movement after the second lambing
completes in the alpines. The mortality rate of the lambs is five percent in the alpines and three
percent in the outer hills. The twining percentage is only 10.

Community Participation

        Because of their being busy with their affairs, an inherent quiet nature and a dislike for
the Government officials, the respondent Gaddis were very apprehensive of the present
investigation. However, with the help of some local contacts and mostly due to some locals
working at our regional centre three families living around Palampur agreed to be the subject of
this study. The scope of the present study was only investigative and not participatory. Still the
following major points emerged out of the interractions with the flock herders- the Gaddis.


         ¨      They are happy the way they are:
         ¨      They are unaware of the fact that the forage resources can be improved.
         ¨      They are willing to cooperate in any endeavour of forage resource improvement.
         ¨      They are hesitant to reveal their economic status.
         ¨      They have started falling pray to the electronic media, particularly the cable T.V,
                which they watch while passing through urban areas.
         ¨      This exposure has resulted in the demand of providing schooling for the children,
                medical facilities etc.
         ¨      When asked whether they would leave the traditional migratory system, they were
                emphatic in replying that they could do it better if the entire system is improved.
         ¨      They would not agree for any enhancement of grazing fee; and are unware of the
                 resources from where finances could be arranged for improvement of forage
                 resources.
         ¨      They are ready to undertake any improvement measures in areas held by them as
                per usage, provided the inputs are provided by the Government.
         ¨      They would welcome to have seed for testing in their areas.
         ¨      They feel that the forage resources at the lower altitudes, where they stay during
                 winters, are dwindling and this should be the priority area for improvement.

Conclusions

     ¨       The migratory system of Gaddis has been going on for centuries and it shall go on
             since the economics of the entire system is profitable; of course with an input of very
             hard work; seperation from the family and an uncertain future.
     ¨       The present study is just a drop in the ocean; the entire system is so elaborate and
             perfect that with detailed studies spread over the entire state some          conclusive
             results could be obtained.
     ¨       Till the above is done, it is very essential that one model migratory route is identified
             and a detailed project is formulated for its improvement. This could act as a model
             for various graziers of other areas. The funding sources for such a project may be
             identified.
                                                                                                   48
References

Anonymous 1995 Statistical Digest. Deptt. of statistics; H.P Govt; Shimla, India.
Misri, B and Inder Dev. 1997 Traditional use od Fodder Trees in the Himalaya IGFRI Newsletter
           4(1)
Misri, B and S.Sareen 1997 Regeneration Dynamics of Mid-Hill Grasslands of Kangra Valley.
           Envis (accepted for Publication)
Singh, P 1996 Workshop Proceedings II meeting of Temperate Asia Pasture and Fodder
           Working Group Dehradun, India pp 85
Verma, V 1996 Gaddis of Dhauladhar. Indus Publishing Company, New Delhi: pp 149




                                                                                          49

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:6
posted:7/13/2012
language:
pages:18
shensengvf shensengvf http://
About