Pakistan Studies

Factors Affecting Livestock Farming

This article discusses how natural and human factors affect livestock farming in Pakistan. 

The table given below illustrates the type of animals and both human and physical factors that affect livestock farming.

Animals  Human/Economic factors Natural/Physical factors
Cattle, Goats, Sheep
  • Medication
  • Provision of shelter
  • Skills
  • Mechanization (Machinery like used to milk cows, buffaloes, etc.
  • Climate
  • Vegetation
  • Diseases
  • Availability of water

Human Factors

1. Medication

Healthy cattle are essential for efficient beef and milk production. One may compromise the quality of production if he/she does not undertake proper measures for disease control.  Similarly, the livestock farms working on a commercial basis face severe losses due to old and new pandemics hitting the health of the livestock. 

Pandemics and diseases are natural factors that we cannot stop from occurring. But, the farmers can prevent their cattle from these health hazards through proper vaccination programs. In this regard, veterinary doctors have an important role to play. They need to collaborate with the farming communities to ensure the effective and right medication.

2. Provision of Shelter

The provision of proper shelter is another human factor that influences livestock production. The proper shelter is important to save livestock from too much heat or cold and predators, e.g. wolf, dogs, etc. The proper shelter also helps prevent production loss by preventing suffering and death as a result of extreme climate. 

In absence of proper shelter, the livestock would need more calories for normal functioning.  They lose minerals and water as they sweat due to direct exposure to the sun. In order to reduce their exposure to direct sun during scorching days of summers, it is important to provide proper shelter and shade. 

3. Farming skills

A skilled farmer can use all available resources effectively and efficiently to get increased and healthy production.

Unfortunately, most of the farmers in Pakistan are not skilled on modern lines. They lack skills in farm and resource management.  They do not any idea about what is farm planning, processing, and utilization of technology. Consequently, they cannot reap the benefits and potential productivity from their farming practice. 

4. Mechanization

The use of machinery and technology is an important part of today’s farming practices including livestock farming. Mechanization of farming enhances the yield both for family needs and commercial purposes. Moreover, it helps save time and money. For instance, machinery is used in milking high a number of cows which otherwise would need many people. Similarly,  we keep meat and other livestock products refrigerators to keep them healthy and fresh for weeks.

Thus mechanization of agriculture helps boost livestock production.

Natural Factors affecting livestock in Pakistan 

1. Vegetation 

Vegetation is one of the important natural factors affecting livestock farming. People practice more livestock farming in areas which are rich vegetation. Lack of vegetation discourages animal rearing.

2. Availability of water

Just like that of crop farming, an abundance of water is important for the practice of livestock farming. People related to animal rearing have special grazing places which they irrigate periodically for the growth of grass etc.

3. Diseases and pandemics

Different pandemics and diseases attack animals killing them wholesale. In absence of finding a timely cure can cause a huge loss to farmers.

4. Climate

As different animals live in different climates they cannot simply easily adapt to survive in a different climate. Only a few animals can survive the snowy winters of Karakorum, Hindukush, and the Himalayas. Trying to rear animals of hot places like that of Sindh and Punjab in Gilgit or Skardu will be counter-effective.

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