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Survey Report On

PRESENT S TATUS OF BHAGNARI CATTLE IN SIBI REGION

LARGE RUMINANTS RESEARCH INSTITUTE, RESTRUCTURING & STRENGTHENING OF NATIONAL AGRICULTURE RESEARCH SYSTEM IN BALOCHISTAN, (PARC), SIBI

PRINCIPAL AUTHOR:

Dr.Illahi Bakhsh Marghazani
SENIOR SCIENTIFIC OFFICER LRI, SIBI.

CO-AUTHORS:

Dr. Mohammad Azam kasi
DIRECTOR GENERAL, L& DD BALOCHISTAN

Dr. M. Ibrahim Sultani
PROJECT DIRECTOR R&S NARS-B, PARC.

Dr.Mohammad Yousaf Lodhi
PRINCIPAL SCIENTIFIC OFFICER LRI, SIBI

Dr.Mohammad Jamal Marri
FARM SUPERINTENDENT BPRC, SIBI

Dr. Khalid Hamayun
SENIOR SCIENTIFIC OFFICER LRI, SIBI

ABSTRACT
I. B. Marghazani, M.A. Kasi, M. I. Sultani, M. Y. Lodhi, M. J. Marri, and K. Hamayun Large Ruminant Research Institute, Sibi

Sibi is among the hottest places in Asia. It is enriched in old norms and nomenclature. Sibi Horse and cattle show is an annual event that is being celebrated in this place since last several centuries. The nucleus of the event is the Bhagnari cattle. Its typical animals are massive with compact and well-proportioned body and limbs. It has natural ability not only to resist and survive in scorching weather conditions of the region but also to maintain itself in fodder scarcity periods. The inhabitants of the region are directly or indirectly related to this cattle breed. Even, their economic prosperity of the farmers depends a greater extent on the sale and purchase of this animal. Survey conducted in Sibi region showed that this typical breed is rapidly losing its naturally gifted vigor and strength due to crosses with prevailing non-descript animals. Farmers possessing and maintaining the true characters of this cattle breed are few in numbers. It is therefore, the emergence of recessive phenotypic or non-descript characters in the major part of Bhagnari cattle population is visible everywhere in its home tract. Consequently, farmers fetch poor prices due to its poor characters and loose vigor. To preserve the true characters and economic wellbeing of the farmers, this survey study strongly recommends the introduction of Artificial Insemination of true to type semen in non- descript Bhagnari cattle population.

INTRODUCTION Balochistan , the land of typical geography, can be categorized in various ecological zones. Sibi, lies in Midwestern zone, where the annual rainfall is less than 400 mm. It is the only plain area of the province extending up to Nasirabad zone. Inhabitants of the district practice settled farming. Nevertheless, sheep and at goats times from during winter, flocks of places situated at 4000 to more than 7000 feet above sea level (Zhob, Lorali) migrate to this area. The Afghan powindahs come from also neighbour

country come to these plains in search of grazing for their animals. People of the Sibi region predominantly have agricultural economy, with livestock as integral part of their life. Bhagnari cattle, the pride and prestige of the region playing a vital role in alleviating the poverty of the inhabitants. The present strength of this cattle breed is 1026861 in Pakistan , of that Balochistan possess more than 60% (Economic Survey of Pakistan, 2006-07). Sibi, being the home tract and hub of Bhagnari breed become the site of interest for us. It is therefore
ssi Map-District Sibi

this preliminary survey was carried out to investigate the present status of this cattle breed in order to improve and lessen pros and cons respectively.

SURVEY A general survey was conducted in six sampled villages of Sibi in order to study the Bhagnari cattle management, feeding practices and production parameters in prevailing circumstances. In addition to that, economic status and other social aspects of the farmers were also included in the Questionnaire. The sampled villages were, 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) Talli Marghazani Mizri Kurak Kolachi and Chandia
Survey team with farmers

Thirty (30) farmers from each village were interviewed. Survey team was comprised of Principal Scientific Officer and two Senior Scientific officers as depicted above. Survey results explain that Bhagnari cattle farmers can be categorized in two main types. 1) Progressive farmers or Purebred breeders and 2) Common farmers. Both these categories have their own specific way of Bhagnari cattle management and feeding as well as breeding practices.

Proportion of Bhagnari Cattle Farmers in Sibi region

Progressive farmers 15%

Common farmers 85%

Graph-1: Proportion of farmers major types in study area

Bhagnari cattle management under Progressive Farmers: Progressive farmers are in-fact Purebred breeders that usually keep pure breed Bhagnari cattle. They possess this breed more than 99% of their large ruminants. BhagNari cattle serves two purpose for them i.e., prestige and wealth. They manage it with special care and attention. Grazing to these animals is less practiced, however few farmers do graze their cattle at their own lands separately from community grazing cattle. They practice it in order to avoid cross breeding with non-descript cattle. These purebred cattle are not used for draught purposes. In feeding of cattle, they pay more attention. Basal diet comprises of Green fodder. Mostly Sorghum is used as green and grain. Supplementation includes different concentrates rations. In addition to that, desi ghee, milk

and eggs in different compositions known as Desi totkas (locally proved fattening ingredients) are used at periodic intervals. Housing management is simple and usually consists of Kaccha houses with the provision of clean water tanks and mangers. Open ventilators and windows provide more way for cross ventilation. Usually doors have wooden material and made by farmers by own implements used for agricultural purposes. Health of animals is observed excellent. They remain cautious against any disease to infect their cattle. Foot and Mouth disease is proved more troublesome as vaccines have no effect against the prevailing virus strain in the region. Mortality is reported in Purebred BhagNari calves due to this disease. Tick infestation is another problem faced by these farmers. They use veterinary medicines along with desi tactics to treat their animals against endo-parasites and bacterial diseases. In the management of purebred Bhagnari cattle the role of male member of the family is more prominent. Feeding, watering, care and all sorts of management practices are done by the males. These kind of breeders are more devoted and had dedicated their lives in keeping good health of their animals. At annually held Sibi Mela, they participate with great zeal and fervor with their animals in order to get distinction in various categories of breed competition. On the other hand, at the holy occasion of Eid-ul-Azha they sell their animals particularly in Karachi at very high prices in accordance with their beauty and grace.

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Others BhagNari Cattle Agriculture Progressive farmers Common farmers

Graph-2: Role of different nature of activities in the life of Progressive and common farmers

Bhagnari cattle management under Common Farmers: Common farmers usually keep Bhagnari cattle as part of agriculture system. Such farmers do own Bhagnari cattle with recessive phenotypic characters or non-descript cattle. These cattle types used for draught purposes, particularly for green fodder carrying. Grazing is usually practiced with community cattle. A common shepherd (professional by birth) charge Rs. 40-50/ adult animal per month for grazing hours. Cattle from the community gather at the head or tail of the village around one hour after sunrise. Grazing hours last till two hours before

sunset. Pastures are deficient in grasses, however, grazing do help animals in little exercise and little feeding after rains. In feeding management, these farmers feed cattle according to their maintenance requirements. Here, basal diet is also green fodder, but wheat straw or hay is mostly fed after grazing. The practice of supplementation ration is not common. Only milking cows are given little priority with the provision of wheat bran, rice polishing or dried bread. Housing management is simple enough ranging from tree shed to proper kaccha house. In the management of non-descript Bhagnari cattle, the role of female member of the family is more prominent. Feeding, watering, care and rest of the management practices are mostly done by the females. These nondescript Bhagnari cattle serve to common farmers as cash money. When a farmer need money for own livelihood or purchase of some agricultural commodities, the Bhagnari cattle fulfill the desire by placing itself in nearby market. But it is unfortunate, that these animals fetch poor prices. Although, these kinds of cattle are not properly fed, however, the main reason behind this mishap is non-descript or recessive phenotypic characters in Bhagnari cattle.

Characteristics of Bhagnari cattle Physical characteristics of typical Purebred Bhagnari cattle include massiveness with compact and well proportioned body and limbs. Body color is white or grey, deepening to almost black on the neck, shoulders, and hump in adult mature males. Head is medium sized with a short , strong neck. Ears are small and pointed. Dewlap is small while horns are short and stumpy. It has straight back, wide, muscular and drooping
Purebred Bhagnari Cow Purebred Bhagnari Bull

hindquarters and black tail switch.

Comparatively non- descript Bhagnari cattle are less massive with loose and illproportioned body and limbs. The body color of the non- descript Bhagnari cattle are completely white, red at the forehead, black Non-descript (or with phenotypic spots or completely grey. Pure bred Bhagnari cattle attain maturity at much earlier age than non – descript Bhagnari cattle. Weight gain, feed conversion ratio and other parameters are also comparatively better than non-descript animals. The more astonishing fact is that non-descript
Non-descript (or with recessive characters) Bhagnari Young stock recessive characters)Bhagnari Bull

Bhagnari farmers are more than 90% in the region, including less serious recessive phenotypic characters. Such an alarming situation needs to switch the attention of livestock policy makers from multi-discipline factors to single but the most important fact. It is essential to chalk out a comprehensive program to introduce pure Bhagnari semen in the region to eliminate Non-descript Bhagnari Suckler non-descript characters in the breed that in one or other way lessening the net profit of the farmers. Consequently, such an effort would certainly help to greater extent in poverty alleviation of the region. Now, it is imperative to write few lines about Artificial Insemination. It is a technique in which deposition of semen in the cervix is done by artificial means. It is devised for the genetic improvement of farm animals. The greatest advantage of this technique is the opportunity to spread superior germ plasm by the wide use of carefully tested selected sires. Artificial Insemination is being practiced widely in Quetta, Pishin, Mustong and Kalat for the insemination of exotic milch breed semen in to the local non-descript cattle. This practice has resulted in enhanced milk production. The matter in our case is little different as there is a need to inseminate local pure bread Bhagnari semen in to the local non-descript (or possessing recessive characters) Bhagnari cattle. During survey study, farmers expressed unawareness to this technique. But the positive attitude and willingness showed by them when asked about the tentative program of the project for

introducing pure Bhagnari semen in to their animals. On the other side, purebred Bhagnari breeders also expressed positive response in providing the services of their selected sires for semen collection. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Bhagnari cattle are the symbol of prosperity for the inhabitants of the region. Unfortunately, the non-descript heads are increasing with an alarming pace. The market value of non- descript cattle is negligible as compared to the purebred Bhagnari cattle. Consequently, their true potential remained unearthed. Considering such meaningless present status of Bhagnari cattle in the region, a plan to use the purebred semen in the home tract of Bhagnari cattle is highly recommended. With the passage of time and generations interval, it would be possible to preserve this genetic resource with its true type and potential. With such practical approach and timely effort, it would be possible for this breed to continuously serve for the prestige and economic blessings of the farmers in the region.

SURVEY GLIMPSES