China's northern and western grasslands support the livelihoods of 40 million people, many from ethnic minorities. Income levels are among the lowest of any Chinese farmers. More than 90% of these grasslands are degraded, resulting in other environmental problems that include frequent dust storms and declining biodiversity. Numerous reasons for grassland degradation have been canvassed for many years. High stocking rates are recognised as one of the more powerful factors affecting grassland utilisation and livestock production. This paper analyses the current farm conditions and relevant environment parameters, and presents the results of a modelling study of a livestock production based on the farming system in Siziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in western China. Siziwang is located on the desert steppe grassland ecosystem (300 mm average annual rainfall, 1,450 m altitude on the Mongolian Plateau, which extends into Mongolia). This study indicates that improving flock management and structure should lead to not only an increase in livestock productivity and whole-farm returns but also the rehabilitation of grasslands through significant and profitable reductions in stocking rates. Sustainable and profitable livestock production based on grasslands can be achieved in Siziwang and arguably across much of Inner Mongolia, complementing a range of Chinese Government policy initiatives.
|Title of host publication||Development of sustainable livestock systems on grasslands in north-western China|
|Subtitle of host publication||Proceedings of a workshop held at the combined International Grassland Congress and International Rangeland Conference, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, 28 June 2008|
|Editors||D.R. Kemp, D.L. Michalk|
|Place of Publication||Canberra, A.C.T|
|Publisher||Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
|Event||XXI International Grassland Congress and VIII International Rangeland Congress - Hohhot, China, Hohhot, China|
Duration: 28 Jun 2008 → 28 Jun 2008
|Conference||XXI International Grassland Congress and VIII International Rangeland Congress|
|Period||28/06/08 → 28/06/08|
Han, G., Li, N., Zhao, M., Zhang, M., Wang, Z., Li, Z., Bai, W., Jones, R., Kemp, D., Takahashi, T., & Michalk, D. (2011). Changing livestock numbers and farm management to improve the livelihood of farmers in Desert steppe and to rehabilitate grassland condition: A case study in Siziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. In D. R. Kemp, & D. L. Michalk (Eds.), Development of sustainable livestock systems on grasslands in north-western China: Proceedings of a workshop held at the combined International Grassland Congress and International Rangeland Conference, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, 28 June 2008 (pp. 80-96). Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.