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‘Hortipasture’, ‘Silvopasture’ practices can mitigate fodder shortage in J&K: Expert

Post by Javid Sofi on Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Pulwama, Nov 28: With Jammu and Kashmir facing shortage of green fodder for livestock especially during winter seasons, experts have stressed on the need to adapt “Hortipasture” and Silvopasture” techniques for mitigating acute crisis.
Hortipasture involves growing various perennial grass species along with fruit trees and Silvopasture is the practice of integrating forest trees, forage, and the grazing of domesticated animals in a mutually beneficial way.
Dr Suhail Ahmad, Senior Scientist and In-charge of Regional Research Station, ( RSS), Indian GrassLand and Fodder Research Institute  ( IGFRI) Srinagar believes that adaptation of these two practices in a mission mode can bridge the gap between fodder availability and its demand.
“Within three years the fodder deficit can be reduced from 40 to 20 percent provided various line departments work together in a mission mode,” he said, adding that pastures are an important ecosystem from which many people derive their livelihood through grazing cattle and obtaining various herbs of medicinal value or vegetables.
He said that there is a need to increase their productivity by involving other departments including Forest department, Social Forestry, Agriculture, Horticulture and Revenue departments.
He added that they have been working on various perennial grass species which can be reintroduced in these pastures by traditional or modern methods.
Various grass species on which IGFRI is working include Dactylis, Phalaris, Bromus, Tall fescue, Timothy, Lolium, Lupin, White clover, Red clover and Sainfoin besides various oat varieties.
The senior scientist informed Rising Kashmir that they have planted various grass species between spaces of forest trees on trial basis in collaboration with social forestry in Pattan area of Baramulla district.
He added that they have been working on augmenting forage resource availability through development of Hortipastoral systems.
“A trail on hortipasture has been started in collaboration with CITH ( Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture) at our farm where the grasses have been planted between almond and apple trees ,” he said.
The scientist also said that the inter-cropping of various leguminous grasses with fruit trees helps in improving soil fertility by fixation of nitrogen.

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