Livestock play a vital role in the global economy. It is an important component of the livelihood systems for the rural poor in developing countries including Pakistan where the demand for meat and dairy products is increasing. In these countries livestock farming is a subsistence activity carried out by smallholder farmers. In Pakistan dairy livestock is a dominant farming practice and milk is the most important commodity for farmers. These smallholder dairy farmers face a lot of challenges including low production, high input cost, poor quality feed, fodder shortage, drought period, long calving interval and outdated farming practices. It is hard to comprehend this system because of the complexity and highly significant interactions that occur between the various components of smallholders'' systems. Due to this complexity any managemental changes to the system often result in counter-intuitive production, economic and social impacts. In order to understand and analyse these impacts, an integrated systems approach is required. The current study is based on the development of a decision support simulation model called PIAT (Pakistani Integrated Analysis Tool) for smallholder dairy farming in Pakistan. The PIAT is a whole-farm simulation model which will be developed to such an extent that it can reliably simulate the key processes and interactions within the smallholder, crop-livestock farming systems in Pakistan. The PIAT will be developed from an already developed simulation model called IAT (Integrated Analysis Tool) which has been developed for the smallholder beef farms in Indonesia. The original IAT will be modified in such a way that it can reliably simulate the key processes and interactions within the dairy system of smallholders in Pakistan.The PIAT model will be used as a forecast tool to calculate the economic and environmental effects of the implementation of any intervention on dairy farms. The aim of the model is to evaluate alternative farm management strategies including crop, forage, and livestock options. This thesis describes the process of the PIAT development. The required data collection and parameterization is also explained in this study.
|Qualification||Master of Philosophy|
|Award date||20 Nov 2012|
|Place of Publication||Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|