The challenge facing herders and the Chinese Government is how to rehabilitate the vast areas of degraded grasslands across northern and western China without causing a decline in household incomes. The research results presented in these proceedings have shown that the initial step required of reducing stocking rates will maintain or increase net household incomes from livestock. Additionally, changing enterprises from mutton to fine wool, introducing better nutrition, using warm sheds, changing breeding management etc. can all be implemented within existing structures and would further improve incomes. Demonstration farms are needed, however, to enable local herders to understand and then effectively implement these initial changes. A core issue is to improve the efficiencies in livestock production to enhance the quality of products marketed. Better quality products will attract the price premiums that are developing, reinforcing win'win outcomes. Training to assist herders to move from survival to production thinking will be important. Subsequently, attention can then be paid to resolving better grassland management strategies to enable the more desirable species to recover. In some areas government payments may be needed to reduce stocking rates below financial optima for grassland rehabilitation. The rates of change in grassland condition are slow, and current grazing bans are arguably too short and without adequate follow-on practices to achieve the outcomes desired. The range of options that can be readily implemented is discussed as are needs for future research and development.
|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, ACT|
|Publisher||Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)|
|Number of pages||13|
|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|
Kemp, D., Han, G., Michalk, D., Nan, Z., Wu, J., & Xu, Z. (2011). China's grassland livestock farming systems: Strategies and tactics for improvement. 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. 177-189). Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).