Опыт управления пастбищами для мирового научного сообщества

Pasture management experiences for the global scientific community

23 November 2022

The CAMP Alatoo PF presented its work in the field of pasture resources management at the international conference "Pastures of Central Asia: Global Challenges and Global Opportunities.” The event with participation of representatives of educational and scientific institutions of the region, near and far abroad countries, and practitioners was held at the Samarkand State University (Uzbekistan) in the middle of November.

As a general information in the field of pastures, the CAMP Alatoo PF presented to the conference audience the initiatives for the improvement of the land conditions, through which modern approaches are adapted and used in Kyrgyzstan, including those, which are also widely spread in different countries around the world. Participants learned about methods of assessing grass productivity and rangeland cover and a mobile application developed on their basis, a web portal created for planning resource use at pasture committee level, and mechanisms for involving local communities in resource management. In addition, the speakers presented the publications prepared by the CAMP Alatoo PF on pasture issues, experience in site mapping and digitisation of geo-botanical maps. 

While participating in focused sessions and discussions at the conference, representatives of the CAMP Alatoo PF shared their observations and experiences on issues limiting effective resource management. In particular, during the field study, they concluded that despite of helping projects to improve pasture infrastructure, develop management plans, monitor the condition of lands, users did not change behaviour and attitudes towards resources. Zhyrgal Kojomberdiev, Project Coordinator of the CAMP Alatoo PF gave the following example: "Due to the heavy pressure on pastures in Bazar-Korgon district of Jalal-Abad oblast, local people were asked to graze cattle on plots of neighbouring district during one season. During this time their pastures could "rest" and recover. However, the people did not agree, fearing that their fellow villagers would occupy the vacant plots and graze their cattle. These plots have historical value for the people, as their ancestors used this land.  Social and cultural phenomena in farmers' behaviour play an important role in project implementation. This is the subject of the paper, in which we tried to understand how people's behaviour can be changed to achieve effective pasture management," he said.

The next barrier to the successful regulation of land use has been identified by experts; it is  non-stop increase in the number of livestock. In light of this trend, it is practically very difficult to comply with the established  stocking rate approved by the KR government.

If the state takes responsibility and shows political will in regulating access to pasture on the basis of a stocking rate to prevent unnecessary livestock grazing, a quota of access to pasture at the household level will be a relevant issue. This is necessary to ensure equitable provision of pasture access among farmers.  Otherwise large farms may receive large areas of land, while ignoring the pasture access rights of small farms.  In reality such cases do occur. For instance, in Bazar-Korgon district of Jalal-Abad oblast statistics show that 40 per cent of all livestock are concentrated in households, the number of which does not exceed 15 per cent. Thus, if the stocking rate works without quotas at the household level, in practice large farmers bring more animals to pasture, where fodder is very cheap, while small farmers have no access to resources. They are forced to keep cattle in stables and provide them with fodder, which is more expensive than grazing on pasture.

The conference organizers plan to publish the papers and presentations presented by the CAMP Alatoo PF and other participants in a special issue of the Samarkand State University Newsletter.  The analytical articles mentioned in this material will be posted on the Internet resources of the CAMP Alatoo PF.


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