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Crop-livestock linkages in watersheds of Andhra Pradesh

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GT-AES Rep no 29.pdf1.12 MB
Subrahmanyam, S.; Shiferaw, B. ; Rao, P.P.,( P. Parthasarathy Rao ) ; Rao, G.D.N.,( G.D. Nageswara Rao ) ; Bezkorowajnyj, P. ; Wani, S.P.,( Suhas P. Wani )
Publication Year: 
Publisher Details: 
India : International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
Report/Series/Bulletin Name: 
Global Theme on Agroecosystems
Report/series/Bulletin Number: 
Report No. 29

There are a number of studies that have looked at the impact of watershed programs on rural livelihoods with a focus on crops and related activities but few have considered the importance of livestock. This study focuses on the crop-livestock linkages in dryland villages under watershed programs and concentrates on the impact of watershed interventions on crop-livestock linkages and the implication to rural livelihoods. For this study, baseline data collected from six watershed villages in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India under the Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Programme (APRLP) were analyzed with a focus on livestock production systems, size and composition of livestock holdings, milk production and marketing, and the availability and utilization of feed within the context of the socioeconomic, agroclimatic and agricultural backdrop of the villages.

The impact of a watershed program on the crop-livestock system was studied by selecting two villages with the same agroclimatic conditions: one with a watershed intervention and the other without any intervention. The findings indicate that the bovine sector is more advanced in the watershed village compared to the control village with a shift in composition from work or draft animals to milch animals. Total increase in milk production in the watershed village is attributed to household level improvements in productivity, as a result of a better feeding regime. On a dry matter basis the quantity of fodder fed per adult livestock unit was 65–70% higher in the watershed village compared to the control village. In addition there was a dramatic increase in the quantity of greens fed which substituted for the use of concentrate feed usually composed of agro-industrial by-products. Conclusions indicate that the higher production of green biomass could be attributed to more intensive cropping resulting from improved moisture budgeting in the soils following the watershed intervention.

Finally, the report suggests a few simple indicators that can be easily used to measure the impact of watershed programs on rural livelihoods with particular reference to crop-livestock linkages.

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