Biology and Life Sciences
Received: 23 Jun 2018 , Published: 23 June 2018
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The major limitation in the development of livestock sector in SriLanka is poor availability of nutrients. The nutrient pool like rangelands is subjected to decline and still no proper effort is made to sustain and improve their productivity. Livestock policies in SriLanka are helpful to the horizontal expansion of livestock rather than vertical development of the sector, which cause further problems. With the increase of human population, these feed resources have been acutely restricted due to various reasons associated with development activities. Therefore, a unending need should be to maintain a broad spectrum of production and conservation, for sustainable management of the feed resource for the future. Currently, 1.6 million heads of ruminants in SriLanka annually require about 10.9 and 90.36 million tons of crude protein (CP) and total digestible nutrients (TDN), respectively. However, the respective availability of these two nutrients is 6.7 and 69.0 million tons and thus, CP and TDN are 38.10 and 24.02% deficient per annum. At present, livestock is receiving 51, 38, 3, 6 and 2% of nutrients from green fodder, crop residues, grazing vacant lands, post harvest grazing, cereal by products and oilcakes and meals, correspondingly. The gap between prerequisite and accessibility of nutrients could be diminished both through proper fodder research and extension policies in terms of better quality seed, seed rate, improved agronomic practices, and improved inputs. Rangelands are 60% of the total area of SriLanka and proper range management and improvement policies like artificial reseeding, introduction of exotic species, water conservation methods, community organization etc. could bring improvement. Agro industrial derivatives and non-conventional feed resources could be used for feeding of livestock if farmers are trained to do so. Situation may be further improved if fodder conservation techniques are introduced in livestock feeding systems. This paper reviews the current background of the feed resource and grass lands with a purpose of livestock perception through experiences of local studies carried out by many workers as well as authors.
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