Research Paper

Indigenous farmer’s perception about fodder and foraging species of Semi-arid lowlands of Pakistan: A case study of District Kasur, Pakistan

Fahim Arshad, Muhammad Waheed, Nidaa Harun, Kaneez Fatima, Babar Ali Khan, Kaniz Fatima, Zaheer Abbas, Sadia Jabeen, Muhammad Majeed

Published on: 16 September 2022

Page: 510 - 523

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2022.67.510


This paper analyzes the current use pattern, farmers’ preferences, and conservation issues of fodders and forages growing in the agropastoral semi-arid lowlands of Kasur District, Pakistan. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews and participatory methodologies. Multiple data analyses (Relative frequency citation and Pairwise Comparison) and statistical tools (correlation and Tableau) were used for interpretations of ethnobotanical data. The current study reported 75 fodder/forage species belonging to 58 genera and 25 families. Poaceae (28%) was the most popular family followed by Fabaceae (20%). Most of the plants were herbaceous (40%) and were growing in the wild (85.3%). It was observed that livestock preferred shoot consumption (50%) in comparison to other parts. In addition, 37.3% of species were used as fresh feed, 44% of species were freely grazed and 18.7% were used as mixed feed. These plants were more palatable to goats (29%) followed by cows (23%), buffalos (20%), and sheep (15%). Moreover, 23 plants were considered to be high-value fodders and 08 species (Dicliptera bipleuroides, Ehretia acuminate, Kochia indica, Cassia obtusifolia, Melilotus albus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Poa pratensis and Lycium shawii) were recorded as fodder/forage for the first time in this geographical regime. Results reported only 7% abundant and 3% rare species in the study area which reflected the overexploitation of these natural feed resources. This study provided baseline data for the development of feeding strategies and also highlighted a serious conservation concern of these fodder plants. Proper cultivation, farming and in-situ conservation would underpin the sustainability of these plant resources.

Keyword: Agropastoral communities, conservation, fodder, forages, indigenous practices, livestock, semi arid

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