Track 1-03

Description

Indian agriculture has traditionally been a mixed farming system since ancient times with integration of arable crops and livestock. It provides employment and livelihood to 70% of the rural population. Livestock are predominantly cattle and small ruminants that graze extensively on rangelands/pasturelands and common property resources (CPRs). CPRs occupy approximately 54 million ha area including permanent pastures in the alpine and temperate parts as well as seasonal grazing lands and wastelands. The productivity and carrying capacity of tropical degraded grasslands is very low, the average carrying capacity being 1.0, 0.7, 0.7 Adult Cattle Unit (ACU)/ha in semi-arid, arid and hill areas respectively. One of the options to increase livestock productivity is to grow more pasture by introducing higher yielding tropical grass varieties. Sehima nervosum, Heteropogon contortus and Chrysopogon fulvus are major species components of semi-arid tropical grasslands. These peren-nial grasses dominate two of the five major grassland covers, viz. Sehima-Dichanthium cover and Dichanthium-Lasiurus-Cenchrus cover.

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Development of New, High Yielding Tropical Grass Varieties for Increasing Productivity of Semi-Arid Grasslands in India

Indian agriculture has traditionally been a mixed farming system since ancient times with integration of arable crops and livestock. It provides employment and livelihood to 70% of the rural population. Livestock are predominantly cattle and small ruminants that graze extensively on rangelands/pasturelands and common property resources (CPRs). CPRs occupy approximately 54 million ha area including permanent pastures in the alpine and temperate parts as well as seasonal grazing lands and wastelands. The productivity and carrying capacity of tropical degraded grasslands is very low, the average carrying capacity being 1.0, 0.7, 0.7 Adult Cattle Unit (ACU)/ha in semi-arid, arid and hill areas respectively. One of the options to increase livestock productivity is to grow more pasture by introducing higher yielding tropical grass varieties. Sehima nervosum, Heteropogon contortus and Chrysopogon fulvus are major species components of semi-arid tropical grasslands. These peren-nial grasses dominate two of the five major grassland covers, viz. Sehima-Dichanthium cover and Dichanthium-Lasiurus-Cenchrus cover.