Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Figures
 List of Tables
 Part A: Resource papers
 Part B: Characteristics of Asian...
 List of participants

Group Title: Regional workshop on livestock production management: the proceedings
Title: Regional workshop on livestock production management
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053797/00001
 Material Information
Title: Regional workshop on livestock production management the proceedings
Physical Description: xii, 240 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Asian Development Bank
Conference: Workshop on Livestock Production Management, (1984
Publisher: Asian Development Bank
Place of Publication: Manila
Publication Date: 1985
Subject: Livestock -- Management -- Congresses -- Asia   ( lcsh )
Livestock -- Economic conditions -- Congresses -- Asia   ( lcsh )
Livestock -- Social conditions -- Congresses -- Asia   ( lcsh )
Agricultural development projects -- Economic conditions -- Congresses -- Asia   ( lcsh )
Agricultural development projects -- Social conditions -- Congresses -- Asia   ( lcsh )
Genre: international intergovernmental publication   ( marcgt )
abstract or summary   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
conference publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: "January 1985."
General Note: Abstracts.
General Note: "Organized by Fisheries and Livestock Division, Agriculture Department, Asian Development Bank."--Cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053797
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 003415577
oclc - 13001781

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Figures
        Page ix
        Page x
    List of Tables
        Page xi
        Page xii
    Part A: Resource papers
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Asian livestock production and management systems
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
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            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
        Meeting constraints to livestock production systems in Asia
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
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            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
        Some basic features of Asian livestock production systems and economic factors underlying productivity improvement programs
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
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            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
        The impact of sociology on livestock production management
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
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        A systems approach to institutions involved in agricultural development
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
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            Page 144
    Part B: Characteristics of Asian livestock production and management systems
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
            Page 148
            Page 149
        The basic systems
            Page 150
            Livestock in swidden agriculture
                Page 150
                Page 151
                Page 152
            Livestock in shifting agriculture
                Page 153
                Page 154
                Page 155
                Page 156
            Livestock in Normadic agriculture
                Page 157
                Page 158
                Page 159
                Page 160
            Livestock in transhumant agriculture
                Page 161
                Page 162
                Page 163
                Page 164
            Livestock in rainfed agriculture
                Page 165
                Page 166
                Page 167
                Page 168
            Livestock in irrigated agriculture
                Page 169
                Page 170
                Page 171
                Page 172
            Livestock in plantations and resettlement schemes
                Page 173
                Page 174
                Page 175
            Livestock in contract farming
                Page 176
                Page 177
                Page 178
                Page 179
            Commercial livestock farming
                Page 180
                Page 181
                Page 182
                Page 183
            Non-traditional livestock farming
                Page 184
                Page 185
                Page 186
                Page 187
        Country specific systems
            Page 188
            Commercial and smallholder beef/mutton production system, South Pacific Islands (Fiji, Western Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu)
                Page 188
                Page 189
                Page 190
            Smallholder meat production system (Peninsular Malaysia, humid lowlands)
                Page 191
                Page 192
                Page 193
            Small farmer cattle growing/fattening system (Korea, China)
                Page 194
                Page 195
                Page 196
            Smallholder draft, milk and meat system (dry zone of Sri Lanka)
                Page 197
                Page 198
                Page 199
                Page 200
            Smallholder meat/draft system (Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia)
                Page 201
                Page 202
                Page 203
            Smallholder dairy/draft system (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan)
                Page 204
                Page 205
                Page 206
            Smallholder dairy production system (Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand)
                Page 207
                Page 208
                Page 209
            Smallholder commercial dairy production system (China, Korea)
                Page 210
                Page 211
                Page 212
                Page 213
            Landless labor dairy production system (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka)
                Page 214
                Page 215
                Page 216
            Rangeland sheep and goat production system (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal)
                Page 217
                Page 218
                Page 219
            Sedentary sheep and goat production system (Bangladesh, India, Nepal)
                Page 220
                Page 221
                Page 222
            Highland wool, meat and mohair production system (India, Nepal)
                Page 223
                Page 224
                Page 225
            Traditional Asian poultry production system
                Page 226
                Page 227
                Page 228
                Page 229
            Traditional Asian swine production system
                Page 230
                Page 231
                Page 232
            Traditional swine and poultry production system of the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Western Samoa, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands)
                Page 233
                Page 234
                Page 235
                Page 236
    List of participants
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
Full Text


J.K. Camoens
R.E. McDowell
A.J. De Boer
K.P. Wimaladharma
R.J. Bawden
F.A. Moog
Organized by





January 1985

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the
participants and do not necessarily reflect those of the
Asian Development Bank or its Member Countries.


The importance of livestock production management is being increas-
ingly recognized among the Bank's developing member countries (DMCs)
as a crucial element to increase the productivity of livestock programs.
However, the adoption of a systems management concept in the planning
and execution of livestock production programs is still in the formative stage.
To assist DMC officials and experts to expand and update their knowledge
of current, systematic approaches to livestock production, the Bank pro-
vided an opportunity under its regional technical assistance for participants
from each DMC to attend a Workshop on Livestock Production Manage-
ment. The Workshop was held in Manila from 9-17 July 1984.
The Workshop's principal objective was to develop common strategies
to improve livestock production management by using a systems approach
as a methodological focus. The breadth of disciplinary interests and
geographical representation of the participants provided a unique oppor-
tunity for sharing experience and ideas. The Workshop was designed to for-
mulate applied systems to improve livestock production based on common
experiences and a mutual understanding of the shared problems and ex-
pectations in carrying out livestock programs. Twenty-eight officials attended
the Workshop, all of them involved in the planning and implementation
of livestock development. Most participants were Directors or Advisors to
their respective governments in the field of livestock production. Resource
speakers were also invited, along with Bank staff, to guide the participants
in viewing livestock production management from the systems perspective.
Organizing any regional workshop is a major task. However, this
Workshop on Livestock Production Management was an especially difficult
test of the Bank's "system," given the Workshop's innovative objectives, the
number and geographical representation of participants (32 participants
from 18 countries were involved), and the Workshop format, which depend-
ed for success on the generation of new concepts and solutions from the
participants themselves. The Workshop was a success, and for a job well
done I extend my gratitude to Justin Camoens, who directed and coordinated
the Workshop from its inception. Many others assisted in several ways, in-
cluding in particular the staff of the Fisheries and Livestock Division, Con-
sulting Services Division, Travel and Shipping Section, Controller's Depart-
ment, Office of Administrative Services, Consultants Administration Sec-
tion and Office of the Director, Agriculture Department.

I am very grateful to the resource experts who provided the framework
for developing the methodology used, and to the participants, whose con-
tribution led to the identification of livestock production and management
systems specific to Asia. The findings and applied systems methodology for-
mulated by the participants represent both an exciting and innovative ap-
proach to the field of livestock production. The methodology outlined in
these Proceedings should prove especially useful to planners and policy
makers involved in developing, improving and managing livestock produc-
tion systems and to the general reader interested in new approaches to
development. I firmly believe that the methodology can lead to more mean-
ingful livestock projects in the DMCs.

January 1985

Agriculture Department


The objective of the Workshop on Livestock Production Management
was innovative: to formulate a methodology whereby livestock farming proj-
ects can be identified and quantified by using the concepts and terminology
derived from systems analysis. In contrast with "hard" systems such as those
in the engineering sciences, agricultural systems are "soft" systems, making
it difficult to devise analytical frameworks that are compatible in differing
country and cultural contexts. During the Workshop the participants ex-
amined livestock production management from the systems perspective to
resolve this dilemma.
These Proceedings are divided into two parts. In Part A the concep-
tual framework is established in five background papers as presented by
the resource speakers. The initial paper by Dr. Justin Camoens outlines the
major issues and problems associated with linking systems concepts with
livestock management systems as traditionally conceived and provides the
configurative framework for the subsequent analysis. The second paper by
Professor R. E. McDowell takes the first step in establishing the basic
analytical model by linking the household to its crop and livestock produc-
tion activities through various inputs and outputs. Dr. R. J. Bawden's paper
further delineates these systems and defines their boundaries, objectives and
purposes. Dr. A. J. De Boer then provides the economic setting or parameters
for the analysis, and Dr. K. P. Wimaladharma puts the systems models in
their appropriate cultural and sociological perspective.
In Part B, termed "Characteristics of Asian Livestock Production and
Management Systems," the Workshop participants through intensive group
interaction were thus able to use the established systems framework to for-
mulate a methodology for analyzing livestock production systems in various
Asian contexts. As described in Part B, this methodology provides a means
to relate Asian,livestock producing systems to the physical environment,
culture, traditions, sociological considerations and- major institutional
frameworks within which livestock are reared, together with the linkages
and interactions that contribute to livestock production. While only 10 basic
systems and 15 country specific systems were explored by the participants,
many more exist which need to be described. The methodology presented
here can be used for this purpose and can assist policy makers in adopting
a systems approach to planning livestock development projects and pro-
grams. The essence of the methodology is a bottom-up approach, starting
from grass roots investigations and building important linkages around them.

For the DMCs, this approach is long overdue. In general, previous plans
and policies in the livestock sector have been formulated from such macro
considerations as national priorities, while the importance of the farming
household as a producing and consuming unit has been masked. Micro level
planning, as enabled by the methodology developed herein, focuses on the
ultimate beneficiaries of any program in livestock development and per-
mits more efficient allocation of scarce resources both natural and human.
For the Bank, adoption of this technique in planning livestock projects
becomes especially important, since it highlights the essential features of
livestock farming systems and describes their linkages and interactions.
By using the methodology described in these Proceedings, livestock pro-
duction systems can be graphically presented, permitting simplification and
ease of analysis which can readily point to appropriate qualitative interven-
tions. This aspect of the model is especially useful to policy planners and
managers of livestock production projects to highlight management
weaknesses or gaps that must be overcome in order to maximize livestock
productivity. Moreover, inputs and outputs can be quantified, both at the
macro and micro level; the analysis then can identify how much and where
external assistance might be required. This aspect can greatly simplify the
Bank's monitoring of existing livestock projects and can lead systematically
to identification of new livestock production requirements. Finally, interven-
tion strategies have been proposed based on the various systems described
for the Asian region. These strategies are useful both to the Bank and its
DMCs in providing an indication of the type and level of assistance required
within the livestock sector of each country and where possible projects can
be developed.
The analytical framework developed by the Workshop's participants
is simple, graphic, yet comprehensive. It should prove to be a useful tool
for improving management and productivity of the region's livestock projects.

January 1985 I

Deputy Director
Agriculture Department





by J. K. Camoens 3

by R. E. McDowell 37

by A. J. De Boer 67

by K. P. Wimaladharma 95

by R. J. Bawden 127




1. Livestock in Swidden Agriculture 150
2. Livestock in Shifting Agriculture 153
3. Livestock in Nomadic Agriculture 157


Livestock in Transhumant Agriculture
Livestock in Rainfed Agriculture
Livestock in Irrigated Agriculture
Livestock in Plantations and
Resettlement Schemes
Livestock in Contract Farming
Commercial Livestock Farming
Non-Traditional Livestock Farming


11. Commercial and Smallholder Beef/Mutton
Production System, South Pacific Islands
(Fiji, Western Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu)
12. Smallholder Meat Production System
(Peninsular Malaysia, Humid Lowlands)
13. Small Farmer Cattle Growing/Fattening System
(Korea, China)
14. Smallholder Draft, Milk and Meat System
(Dry Zone of Sri Lanka)
15. Smallholder Meat/Draft System
(Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia,
Peninsular Malaysia)
16. Smallholder Dairy/Draft System
(Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan)
17. Smallholder Dairy Production System
(Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia,
Philippines, Thailand)
18. Smallholder Commercial Dairy Production
System (China, Korea)
19. Landless Labor Dairy Production System
(Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka)
20. Rangeland Sheep and Goat Production System
(Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal)
21. Sedentary Sheep and Goat Production System
(Bangladesh, India, Nepal)
22. Highland Wool, Meat and Mohair Production
System (India, Nepal)
23. Traditional Asian Poultry Production System
24. Traditional Asian Swine Production System
25. Traditional Swine and Poultry Production
System of the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Western
Samoa, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands)



Figure No. Title Page


1 A Model of Farming as a Human Activity System 6
2 Modified Model of Farming as a Human Activity
System 6
3 Integrated Livestock/Crop Production Systems
in Asia 6
4 Schematic Representation of Asian Livestock
Production and Management Systems 8
5 Quantification of a Small Farm System 29
6 Digestibility of Grasses in Temperate and
Tropical Areas and Grain and By-Products
of the Tropics 43
7 Variation in Digestive Coefficients for Portions
of the Stems and Leaves of Tropical Grasses 43
8 Daily Milk Yield by 10-day Intervals for Cows
on Grazing 47
9 Traditional vs. Improved Models for Milk
Production in the Highlands of Ethiopia 53
10 Lowland Rice System in Asia, Permanent
Cropping, High Integration of Crops and
Animals (animals confined) 74
11 Tree Crop Farming in Asia, Long-Term
Cropping, Low to Moderate Integration
of Crops and Animals (animals tethered
or roving) 74
12 Relationships Among Various Components in a
Farm System for Northeast Thailand 75
13 Interrelationship in the Allocation of Resources
and the Production of Intermediate and Final
Products in Non Som Boon Village,
Thailand, 1971 75
14 Flow of Activities in Research and Development
of Mixed Farming Systems 83
15 Output Trade-Offs for Dual Purpose Cattle
or Buffalo Herds of a Fixed Biomass 83
16 Net Costs and Returns in Bovine Enterprises 85
17 The Stages in the Checkland Methodology 133
18 Conceptual Model of an Institution 138

19 Expanded Version of Conceptual Model of Root
Definition 140
20 A Model of Farming as a Human Activity System 141
21 A Livestock Project Viewed as a Human Activity
System 142


22 Livestock in Swidden Agriculture 151
23 Livestock in Shifting Agriculture 155
24 Livestock in Nomadic Agriculture 159
25 Livestock in Transhumant Agriculture 162
26 Livestock in Rainfed Agriculture 166
27 Livestock in Irrigated Agriculture 170
28 Livestock in Plantations and Resettlement Schemes 174
29 Livestock in Contract Farming 178
30 Commercial Livestock Farming 181
31 Non-Traditional Livestock Farming 185
32 Commercial and Smallholder Beef/Mutton
Production System 189
33 Smallholder Meat Production System 192
34 Small Farmer Cattle Growing/Fattening System 196
35 Smallholder Draft, Milk and Meat System 199
36 Smallholder Meat/Draft System 202
37 Smallholder Dairy/Draft System 205
38 Smallholder Dairy Production System 208
39 Smallholder Commercial Dairy Production System 212
40 Landless Labor Dairy Production System 215
41 Rangeland Sheep and Goat Production System 219
42 Sedentary Sheep and Goat Production System 221
43 Highland Wool, Meat and Mohair Production
System 224
44 Traditional Asian Poultry Production System 228
45 Traditional Asian Swine Production System 231
46 Traditional Swine and Poultry Production
System of the Pacific Islands 235


Table No. Title Page

1 Major Asian Livestock Production and Management
Systems 14-23

2 Major Feeds for Livestock on Small Farms in Asia 44

3 Estimated Energy Intake by Cattle Expressed as
Multiples of Maintenance Needs from Natural
Improved Grass Pastures or Natural Rangelands 45

4 Can a Cow Weighing 450 kg Prior to Parturition
Be Expected to Consume Sufficient Energy and
Protein from Grazing to Produce 3000 kg Milk
When Grass Is Medium or High Quality? 46

5 Can a Cow Weighing 385 kg Be Expected to
Produce 1,800 kg of Milk with 4.2 per cent Fat
in a Lactation of 265 Days When Fed by Grazing
Alone? 47

6 Estimated Consumption of Plant Parts 48

7 Can a Cow Be Expected to Produce 4,200
kg/Lactation and Be Overfed or Underfed When
Offered Free Choice of Green Chop Napier Grass? 49

8 Supplementation of Fresh Sugarcane Tops for
Zebu Cattle 49

9 Milk Yield for the First 150 Days of Lactation
When Grazing Tropical Grass Pasture or Grazing
with Supplementary Feeding 50

10 Performance vs. Feed Digestibility 54

11 Percentage of Lactations, by Parity, Terminated
by Problems of Health, Reproduction and Death
for Buffalo in Two Large Herds in Pakistan 56

Table No. Title Page

12 Season and Parity Effects on Measures of Breeding
Efficiency of Nili-Ravi Buffalo in Pakistan 57

13 Estimated Milk Yield and Feed Requirements
(TDN and Multiples of Maintenance) for Native
Cows and Various Crosses with Holstein 60

14 Native vs. F1 Crosses of Brahman x Native and
Charolais x Native Cows in Thailand 61

15 Prevailing Systems of Agriculture on Small Farms,
Main Regions of Use, Major Crops and Animal
Species, and Feed Sources for Animals of Asia 73

16 Estimates of Straw to Grain Ratios in Four
Regions of India for Modern and Local Varieties 77

17 Estimates of Internal Rates of Return 86

18 Average Annual Work Inputs by Age, Sex and
Type of Activity (in hours per person per year),
Java 103





J. K. Camoens

Senior Livestock Specialist
Asian Development Bank

4 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management


It is fashionable today to talk of the "Systems Approach" to many
activities. Yet, systems came into existence with the creation of the universe.
One hears of transportation systems and galactic systems, of data manage-
ment systems and operational systems; college professors even talk of the
"honor system" where the professor has the "honor" and the students have
the "system." In agriculture, the recognition that "systems" exist caught many
scientists and technocrats by surprise. Agricultural development was often
attempted from the narrow focus of scientific specialities and technical
disciplines. The existing "systems" dealt with them in an uncompromising-
ly devastating fashion with less than successful results from which the
scientific and technical world is still reeling. The shock of discovering that
systems exist in agriculture and in livestock development has sent many a
technocrat into hiding beneath the cover of some kind of "system."
A system comprises interrelated and interacting components (or sub-
systems) within whose boundaries there are tangible and intangible elements
(subsystems, components) possessing objectives and purposes, requiring in-
puts to produce outputs and whose equilibrium is influenced by support-
ing, catalytic and opposing other systems and subsystems.
The clock may be viewed as an example of a system. Its boundaries
are defined by its casing, face and back; its components and interactions
are identified as its wheels, cogs and springs; its objective is to move its arms
at specific intervals; its purpose is to show time; its inputs are some form
of energy mechanical, electrical or solar; its outputs are the movements
of its arms; its relations to other systems are to the energy source and its
servicing system.
Describing and analyzing livestock production and management systems
are done with the purpose of understanding and possibly improving them.
The "system" for accomplishing this exercise can in itself be entertaining.
There is little doubt that all analysts attempt to identify components, in-
puts, outputs, efficiencies, interactions, impacts, linkages, perturbations and
potentials. The difference is whether a purist or a catholic approach is
adopted. When it is recognized that the ultimate objective is to understand
the system, whether one purchases a clock and takes it apart to understand
it or whether one makes the parts and puts them together may be just ap-
proaches to reach the same objective. Considerable ingenuity is required
to ensure that finally the purpose of the clock is achieved that it shows
time accurately.

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 5



To understand livestock production and management systems, it is
necessary to define their boundaries, identify their components, recognize
their purposes, determine their linkages and interaction, quantify inputs
and outputs and estimate their efficiency. The diagrammatic representa-
tion in Figure 1 (3, 4) provides a framework to begin the analysis. It pro-
vides the analyst with a methodology to identify boundaries and interfaces
with other systems and subsystems, chart inputs and output flows into and
from the system under study, describe its objective and purpose and within
the system analyze its subcomponents (subsystems) as those capable of self-
growth autotrophicc), those depending on other processes for growth
(heterotrophic) and those that depend on rearrangement of basic elements
(decomposing subsystem).
This initial approach brings the analyst to the point where the posi-
tion of the clock in the environment is identified; its function, objective and
purpose recognized; its source of energy determined; and the major cogs
labelled. Extending this approach to the study of livestock production and
management systems, it is possible to move into viewing crop production
as autotrophic, livestock production as heterotrophic and natural processes
intervening to transform some primary output of both these as decompos-
ing. Inputs and outputs of the system can now be described, and impacting
forces (perturbations, etc.) identified. It permits viewing the livestock farmer
as a manager who analyzes, decides, allocates and innovates (see Figure 2).
This completes the first phase of the development of a methodology for
understanding livestock production and management systems in macro-
analytical terms. This phase has much in common with the techniques ex-
pounded on previously (5).
The clock being a man-made device (designed system) permits the
analysis of finite parts and functions, interactions, inputs and outputs.
Livestock farming systems are an evolutionary product of myriads of years
of adaptation traceable to the earliest humans (Adam's vocation is unclear,
but Abel was reportedly a husbandryman.and Cain a farmer). To under-
stand its infinite components may require the lifespan of Methusaleh, the
memory of an elephant and the patience of Job. Nevertheless, the analogy
of the clock (though a "hard" system) can be extended to "soft" systems such
as livestock production and management systems.
The systems analyst now proceeds to fit the parts together (cogs, wheels,
springs) into a meaningful whole wherein precision of position of each com-
ponent gives meaning to the terms "interaction," "interface" and "pertur-
bation." A methodology for this was developed with livestock production
in mind (8). Figure 3 is a worksheet showing the major components

6 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Figure 1. A Model of Farming as a Human Activity System (source: 4).
Present st. M E= [ = = 1 M C: 1 = : ] Improved stM- e

Figure 2. Modified Model of Farming as I Human Activity System ( Adapted from Figure 1 )

Figure 3. Integrated Livestock / Crop Production Systems n Asia ( Adapted from 8)

Roo P. Buffalo Goa.
P1ntion Cropa Sheen, P ,
Fruits B:dc

1o0. F.-
SF-- I ......0 I -

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 7

of the model, with spaces left for adding other components to be identified.
Using this technique microanalysis of agricultural systems is made simple,
adding meaning and depth to our perception of household, crop, livestock,
inputs, outputs and interactions among these. The second phase of the
development of a methodology is provided at this point.
These analytical tools provide a gross measure of understanding of a
situation where none existed before. Bearing in mind that "analytical
systems" have the purpose of providing insights into components, purposes,
linkages, inputs and outputs, the approaches discussed above can be
synthesized into a working model to study Asian livestock production and
management systems. The resulting product, which retains the analogy of
the clock, is shown in Figure 4. Armed with the knowledge that only the
"synthesis" of the guillotine led to anyone losing his head, the synthesized
model will be used to describe qualitative characteristics of major Asian
livestock production systems.


Asian livestock farming systems have boundaries, components, objec-
tives, purposes and interactions between components and with other systems;
are influenced by the environment; and have inputs, outputs and related
efficiencies. The factors determining the structure and the wide variations
in Asian livestock farming systems are the result of:

(i) the climatic, cultural, traditional and sociological environment;
(ii) on-farm resources (internal inputs);
(iii) the technological environment;
(iv) off-farm resources, linkages and interactions with other systems; and
(v) the political environment.

These characteristics define the boundaries of each different livestock
production system. The main components are the farm household the
hub crops and livestock. The objective of these systems is the production
of crop and animal products. The purpose to a significant vast majority
of farmers is pure survival, less often barter and trade; capital accumula-
tion is often of secondary concern except in commercial systems. These com-
ponents have strong interactions (linkages) with each other and other systems.
They are influenced by the environment: climate, culture, traditions and
the sociological setting. Institutional systems interface with them. The in-
puts are farm labor, owned or rented land, varying amounts of capital and
technology. The outputs are livestock-related commodities (meat, milk, draft
power, manure, skins, hides, fur).

8 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Figure 4. Schematic Representation of Asian Livestock Production
and Management Systems.

~I Lln~pnkp.Ith oth ."

Flo ofi. I InppM
ndkt. highl. InOof
-Indima-d-Wi mp.Mn.P

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 9

Qualitative and quantitative differences in the factors and in the
elements that make up each factor further contribute variety and complex-
ity to the Asian livestock farming systems and add enjoyment and excite-
ment to the analysis.

The Climatic, Cultural, Traditional
and Sociological Environment

Some physical factors that exert an influence on livestock production
management are climate, physiography, soil fertility and water availabili-
ty. These determine the distribution of crop types and consequent labor
demands and the types of livestock that predominate within farming systems.
The species reared by farmers is determined by the physical environ-
ment. Cattle are ubiquitous, reflecting their high degree of suitability to
varying climates and cultures. The dairy buffalo is a product of the sub-
continent. The Southeast Asian buffalo is a creature of the humid tropics.
The adaptability of the goat makes it desirable in both the arid and humid
environments. Donkeys are the natural mode of transport in mountainous
areas, while the ox is a lowland animal. Dairying is established in those areas
where inherent soil fertility is high, requiring lower inputs in terms of fer-
tilizer, while beef farming is a feature of extensive rearing on poorer soils.
Duck rearing is governed by perennial water availability while camels are
less dependent on high levels of rainfall.
The types of livestock management practices within farming systems
are also determined by the physical environment. Nomadic pastoralism is
established in areas of low and seasonal water availability. Transhumant
and sedentary pastoralism is a consequence of a more readily available water
supply. Extensive grazing management is practical where feed availability
is low, and intensive management where feed availability is high. Shifting
cultivators in the humid tropics depend on fast-reproducing species and do
not use animals for draft.
The importance of cultural, traditional and sociological factors in deter-
mining the functioning of livestock farming systems is often underestimated,
if not totally overlooked in the analysis. Cultural factors generally account
for the long-term effects of the dynamics of civilization on the system, while
traditions refer to much more recent innovations on cultural practices.
Sociological factors relate to the immediate influence of cohabiting humans
on systems.
The adoption of an integrated livestock/crop farming culture (or
system) through domestication of ruminants happened in places where wild
animals were available. Hence, as a cultural influence, domesticated horses
and ruminants are abundant on the continents but not on the island na-
tions. The use of draft animals emerged as a tradition in more recent times
with the development of yokes, harnesses and the plough, thus changing

10 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

farming systems. Social influence on livestock farming systems may be ex-
emplified by recent regulations in certain urbanized countries to exclude
livestock from townships, as has occurred in West Asia.

On-Farm Resources

The main resources internal to livestock farming systems in Asia are
land, labor, crops and livestock. Where permanent pastures are available,
extensive grazing is the common management system in beef, sheep and
goat production (Pakistan, Indonesia). Some extensive livestock manage-
ment is possible in the Philippines. In Korea, limited land availability dic-
tates that livestock production management has to be intensive, and pig,
poultry and dairy production predominate. Intensive livestock rearing is
a feature of the crowded Indonesian islands, with extensive rearing and
smaller livestock resources on the sparsely populated islands.
The ownership of land ranges from landless agricultural laborers of
the Asian subcontinent through small cultivators with less than 0.5 ha on
Java to the owners of extensive grazing lands in the Philippines. Extreme
land ownership patterns have led to extreme differences in management
practices. Those with their own land holdings feed home-grown fodder and
agricultural by-products. Farmers with no available land use purchased fod-
der and concentrates. While farmland is rented in low moisture, high
population areas, in the humid tropics this is seldom the case.
The labor available is derived primarily from household members and
to a marginal extent from hired labor, especially during periods of peak
agricultural activities such as harvesting. Family labor is less available in
Southeast Asia because of smaller family size, but more available on the
subcontinent. Extended family systems in Asia and the Pacific also make
more adults available for farming. Women and children are major con-
tributors to farm labor in Southeast Asia. Female labor (both wives and
daughters) is less utilized for farm activities on the subcontinent, though
they are important for logistical support to farmers. In specialized dairy
colonies female labor is utilized to a lesser extent. Asian livestock farming
households experience considerable fluctuations in labor availability, in-
fluenced mainly by the seasonality and intensity of labor requirements, e.g.,
dairying versus beef production, extensive versus intensive pig or chicken
The crops grown directly influence the livestock farming system main-
ly because of draft animal requirements and the by-products available for
livestock rearing. Where the predominant crop is rice or wheat, agricultural
by-products are used by ruminants, thereby allowing livestock in effect to
subsidize crop production. In maize, orchard and vegetable growing areas
pigs and poultry appear to be better integrated into the farming system.

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 11

Typically, the rural livestock raiser has few animals. Some areas,
however, such as the dairy colonies of the Asian subcontinent, are
characterized by livestock raisers owning large numbers of cattle and buf-
falo. Geographical, cultural and other factors also influence production
systems; for example, in Indonesia pig rearing is a common feature of West
Kalimantan but is not significant in East Kalimantan.

The Technological Environment

The extent to which technological advances permeate the system and
are diffused to the level of livestock raisers dictates to a large measure the
intensity and efficiency of livestock rearing practices. Such differences are
readily observable in the case of Luzon in the Philippines and Java in
Indonesia, where the availability of technical advice and extension make
these two areas the most productive in their respective countries. The lack
of such amenities on islands south of Luzon in the Philippines and on the
outer islands in Indonesia results in lower degrees of specialization in livestock
rearing and adoption of less advanced production methods.

Linkages and Interactions with Other Systems

The strength of public sector institutions in the various countries has
a discernible effect on the efficiency of livestock farming systems. Public
sector involvement, even if it is only marginal, is important in that it pro-
vides policy guidance and regulatory services that very often dictate the direc-
tion and growth potential of livestock farming systems. For instance price
controls on livestock products through government intervention often depress
farm gate prices and serve as disincentives for expanded production. This
is readily seen in countries where meat and milk prices are under the pur-
view of local governments. Taxation and control of imports of animal feeds
in some countries constitute another case where industries such as poultry
and pig rearing are subject to foreign exchange availability. A common
feature of governmental policies that influence growth of livestock farming
systems is the apparent lack of recognition that importation of cheap milk
powder, even on a grant basis, is a deterrent to dairy development and in
the longer term tends to encourage more imports rather than promote ex-
panded domestic production.
Private sector institutions play a key role in most Asian countries where
public sector controls are not exercised. An important facet of private sec-
tor support in livestock farming systems is in marketing and providing farm-
ing inputs, which in the public sector tends to be either inefficient, expen-
sive, untimely or various combinations of these. Inputs required by farm-
ing families on a daily basis are readily available from informal institutions.
The private sector is responsive to risks faced by farmers and caters even

12 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

to family emergencies such as illnesses. Informal institutions provide a
valuable transfer mechanism for technology, inputs and marketing and
operate kerb markets for the provision of credit facilities.

The Political Environment

The political philosophies of countries often determine the structure
and functions of livestock farming systems. Collectivization under an
authoritarian regime is a case in point. Curbs on the availability of inputs
into the system through tight fiscal control are common in many parts of
Asia. Political decisions to give preference to farming groups or species of
livestock change the complexion of livestock farming systems, as do deci-
sions to limit or encourage imports and exports. Subsidies provided, taxes
and levies imposed due to political considerations have a direct effect on
livestock farming systems.


The systems approach is merely an orderly way of organizing impor-
tant characteristics to permit intelligent analysis. Recognizing that livestock
rearing is a part of the agricultural systems of Asia, ten basic systems are
identifiable. These are livestock production in: (i) swidden agriculture,
(ii) shifting cultivation, (iii) nomadic herding, (iv) transhumant agriculture,
(v) rainfed agriculture, (vi) irrigated agriculture, (vii) plantation agriculture,
(viii) contract farming, (ix) commercial production, and (x) non-traditional
livestock enterprises. The classification is based on the evaluation of
agricultural systems as influenced by water availability, degree of per-
manence of households and impact of technology. The chief characteristics
of these basic systems are presented in Table 1 and expanded in Part B
(see Systems 1-10 and Figures 22-31).

Livestock in Swidden Agriculture

Swidden agriculture is based on harvesting natural resources with little
concern for their replenishment. Household and communal labor are the
main inputs from within the system. Forests, rivers, the sea and lakes pro-
vide virtually everything required for sustaining the household in reasonable
comfort. Hunting, gathering and fishing are the objectives; the purpose is
subsistence. The system is labor intensive land ownership, capital and
technology being unknown.
Game provides the major animal outputs of the system. The rearing
of domesticated livestock is confined to species that require little labor, feed
or management inputs; are prolific; and are able to fend for themselves.

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 13

Semi-domesticated pigs and poultry are thus the natural choice. Left to pro-
vide for themselves, these animals thrive mainly on what can be foraged
from forests and their fringes and partly on household wastes. Their hardy
nature and natural resistance to most diseases common to the locality make
them ideal for this type of system, where much of the available labor is
devoted to harvesting forest products.

Livestock in Shifting Agriculture

Shifting cultivators also harvest natural resources but differ from swid-
den agriculturists in that they cultivate most of the staples required for sub-
sistence. Forests, the seas, rivers and lakes provide a varying quantity of
the requirements of the household. The objective of the system is some
cultivation, hunting, fishing and gathering for the purpose of subsistence,
mainly, and secondarily for barter and trade. Shifting cultivators exhaust
the natural soil fertility of one place and move to another site where they
clear land for cultivation by slashing and burning. The system is labor in-
tensive, with land ownership, capital and technology playing minor roles.
Livestock plays an important part in this system. Hardy species of
poultry and pigs predominate. Partial confinement of livestock is practiced
for several reasons to protect them against predators, to provide them
with shelter from inclement weather, to control feed intake, to collect their
outputs, and to protect crops against their marauding.
Crop wastes and by-products are fed to livestock as available, sup-
plemented by household refuse. Animals forage for the rest of their re-
quirements. Breeding is non selective and at random, seldom arranged. Con-
tacts with neighboring settlements lead to the periodic introduction of bet-
ter stock for breeding. Productivity is barely sufficient to provide households
with their needs, which have to be supplemented by hunting and fishing.
Disease control is not practiced, though total confinement is adopted in times
of outbreaks in an attempt to prevent losses.

Nomadic Livestock Production

Nomadic herdsmen are primarily livestock raisers given to migration
along predetermined routes for pasturing stock in summer and winter. This
is a type of husbandry adapted to arid and semi-arid regions. The only
household inputs are labor and sheep and goat flocks, sometimes cattle,
yaks and chauries (hybrids between cattle and yaks). The major input -
stock feed is provided off-farm. Rangelands are the main source of feed,
supplemented by grasses in forests and by-products and stubble of seden-
tary farming systems. The system is labor intensive but somewhat depen-
dent on capital, with low land and technology dependence.

14 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Table 1. Major Asian Livestock Production

Type of Contribution Influence of Resources Level of Linkages
System of Livestock Climate Culture On-Farm Ex-Farm Technology Public Private
Sector Sector

Large Strong,
live as

Large Strong,
live and
move in
family or

Labor: tribal Forest Generally Generally Inter-
and family; products, ignore any avoid this tribal,
Land: none; wild game, technologi- sector, some
Livestock: fish. cal changes, trading.
chicken, pigs;
Capital: none.

Land: none;
chicken, pigs,
goats: Imple-
ments: some
tools; Capital:

wild game,

Generally Some contact Between
aware of but largely households
technological ignored and with
changes but because of neighboring
financial inaccessibility. villages.
to purchase
these is
limited; may
obtain by
barter or

by jungle
along rivers).
Humid tropics.

by moving
and returning
to the same
spot every
10-15 years).

provides most
of animal
manure, fuel,
mainly from
game and
wild fowl.

provides most
of animal
manure, fuel,

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 15

and Management Systems

Disposal Adoption
Outputs of Products Intervention
Outputs ofroducts Interactions Constraints Strengths of New Interntn

Crops Livestock Private Public Technology
Sector Sector

Root crops. Chicken, None:
rice, maize, pigs, home-
vegetables, manure, consumed
all home fuel, wild and
consumed game. bartered
or bartered.

Rice, maize, Chicken, Self-
root crops, pigs, consumed.
fruits, manure, bartered
forest fuel, wild and
products, game. traded.

None Only within Extensive Virtually Only Much more
and between land clearing independent reluctantly; understanding
tribal groups deprives them existence and they trust is required of
and friendly of forest does not uti- their exist- their percep-
villagers. products lize subsidies, ing proven tions for liveli-
None with and game. Capital low. technology, hood and im-
formal insti- Labor inten- provement.
tutions, infra- sive; not Locating new
structure. accessible to settlements near
factors in- their habitat
fluencing might induce
change, change.

None Between Depletion Their Will adopt They are
neighboring of soil mobility new tech- amenable to
family units fertility permits wider nology if settlement if
and sedentary Reduction of utilization of shown to be their old
villages, available natural superior, customs of
Some with land because resources. Financial hunting and
formal insti- of agricul- Some cash status may fishing are not
tutions. Use tural devel- generation limit great- denied. If the
developed opment and due to sale er modern- preservation of
infrastructure forestry, of surpluses. ization. their tribal
when Generally Capital low. customs is
unavoidable, resist offi- assured they
cial inter- can be grouped
ference with into produc-
their estab- tion units on
lished condition that
customs their produce
and tradi- provides regular
tions. Labor cash incomes.
intensive. Generally, provid-
ed transportation
and markets, they
can be persuaded
to accept new

16 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Major Asian Livestock Production

Type of Contribution Influence of Resources Level of Linkages
System of Livestock Climate Culture On-Farm Ex-Farm Technology Public Private
Sector Sector

3. NOMADIC High: provides
(characterized all animal
by movement protein.
to highlands clothing,
in summer tents, carpets,
and lowlands fuel, draft,
in winter). transportation,
Arid and fertilizer for
semi-arid rangelands.
regions. Asian

4. TRANS- High:
HUMANT provides all
(characterized animal
by having protein,
permanent clothing.
settlements tents, carpets,
from which fuel, draft.
they migrate transportation,
in summer to fertilizer for
richer pasture rangelands.
lands). Arid
and semi-arid.
Asia and hill

5. RAINFED High:
cereal culti- provides
vators almost all
(characterized protein
by being requirements,
sedentary, fuel, manure,
depending draft, trans-
mainly on portation,
cereal culti- capital accu-
vation from mulation,
rams), Asia- savings.


Strong. Usually small Range- Practice Generally Between
generally stock (sheep, lands, crop only only with and within
travel as goats), camels, residues of traditional veterinary tribes,
family and yaks, Land: sedentary grazing extension villagers and
tribal none: Labor farmers, methods, and tribal traders.
units. family: No concern agents.
Tribal Capital: some for improving
regula- feed resour-
lations ces or water.
impor- Primitive
tant. weaving

Large Strong; Land: some Range- Though still Strong Strong
commu- either owned lands, traditional, because of mainly for
nity living or rented; crop contact sedentary obtaining
as related Labor: family residues of with seden- nature, credits,
family and joint sedentary tary farmers Depend on marketing,
and family; farmers, has trans- public sector purchase of
tribes. Capital: some; Some pur- ferred some institutions essential
Livestock: chased advances in for various inputs.
sheep, goats, feeds and technology, support
chicken, forage. services.
camels: Crops:
fruits, vege-

Large Weak Land: owned Purchased Advanced Agricultural Markets,
or rented; ipus such and readily extension credit
Labor: family a seeds, adaptable if and research agents,
or hired; s ck and demonstrated agencies, transpor-
Capital: some; fertilizer; successful. educational station,
Stock: mainly hired draft institutions, commu-
ruminants, animals, credit and nications.
pigs, chicken, tractors. cooperatives.
other stock.

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 17

and Management Systems (Continued)

Disposal Adoption
Autputp of Products Intervention
Outputs of Products Interactions Constraints Strengths of New Intrenti

Crops Livestock Private Public Technology
Sector Sector

None Sheep, Home- Virtually With other Overstocking Use marginal Their Expanding
goats, consumed, none tribal groups times of lands that wandering pastures and
wool, bartered and settle- good have little nature ranges; pro-
mohair, between ments that pastures: alternative precludes hiding more
carpets, tribes, they frequent overgrazing; use: low the adop- watering points;
milk of with in their uncontrolled dependence tion of new extension to
sheep, villagers: migration, animal on public technolo- limit stock
goats, sold to health, little sector logies numbers to
camels, traders flexibility to support. except for prevent over-
yaks. and at account for carpets, grazing.
fairs, risks. etc.

Cereals, Sheep, Partially Virtually With Careful Diversification Quite Introduction
cash crops, goats, home- none nomadic planning provides readily of irrigation
fodder, wool, consumed, except tribes, necessary aversion if available for higher
fruits, carpets, largely where settlements, for alloca- of risks in at reason- yields and con.
mohair, traded for govern- established tion of times of able cost sistency, better
milk of cash; ment other systems scarce re- fluctuations and can be varieties.
sheep, virtually agencies such as cereal sources in a in weather, proved to be development of
goats, no barter, procure mills, process- diversified pasture, etc. remune- infrastructure
cattle and products ing industries, kind of rative. and access to
their prod- such as activity, markets and
ucts. wool. processing
industries, provi-
sion of inputs to
increase yields.

Cereals, Chicken, Partially Sales to Strong with Weather Risks are Readily Improvement
vegetables, pigs, draft self- coop- private sector dependent averted by adopted of animal
cash crops, animals, consumed, eratives, for supply of and outputs growing sub- because of quality, reduc-
oil seeds, milk and most sold process- inputs and tend to sidiary crops ease of tion of quan-
fodder, milk prod- to private ing in- disposal of fluctuate and livestock, contact with ties, promo-
ucts. traders. dustries, outputs: and be un- Contiguity of relevant tion of more
market- moderate with predictable. farms makes agencies efficient use of
ing or- public sector Fragmenta- transfer of and per- by-products.
gania- for advisory tion due to technology ceived straws and by-
tions, services, division of easier; by- gains, products pre-
govern- community inheritance, products for servation.
ment and local capital and animals
procure- governments, labor inten- available.
ment sive.

18 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Major Asian Livestock Production

Type of Contribution Influence of Resources Level of Linkages
System of Livestock Climate Culture On-Farm Ex-Farm Technology Public Private
Sector Sector

cereal culti- provides
vators almost all
(characterized protein
by being requirements,
sedentary, fuel, manure,
depending on draft, trans-
cereal culti- portation,
nation from capital accu-
irrigation), mulation,
Asia-wide. savings.

Moderate Weak Land: owned Purchased Advanced Agricultural Markets,
or rented; inputs such and con- extension credit
Labor: family as seeds, stantly pro and research agents,
or hired; stock, gressive; agencies, transpor-
Capital: fertilizer, gradual re- educational ration,
some; Stock: hired draft placement of institutions, communi-
mainly rumi- animals, draft animals credits and cations.
nants, pigs, tractors, with tractors, cooperatives,
chicken, other irrigation
stock. regulation

7. PLANTA- Medium: only Uncertain None
TION as a supple-
(characterized ment to cash
by permanent purchases;
tree crops, sometimes
rubber, oil draft and
palm, orchards, manure to
coconuts). keep weeds
Asia-wide. down.

Land: owned Purchased High, mainly Strong Strong for
or rented, or inputs, because of because of supply of
developed by e.g., ferti- transfer support in essential
government; lizer, from seed pro- inputs,
Labor: family agricul- established duction, processing,
or hired; rural enterprises, research and marketing,
Capital: imple- improved transpor-
some; Live- ments, production station,
stock: technologies communi-
ruminants, and initial cations.
chicken, pigs assistance in

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 19

and Management Systems (Continued)

Disposal Adoption
Outputs of Product Interactions Constraints Strengths of New Itervenion

Crops Livestock Private Public Technology
Sector Sector

Cereals, Chicken, Partially Sales to Strong with Need to keep Constant and Readily Improvement
vegetables, pigs, draft self- coopera- private sector irrigation multiple crop- adopted of animal
cash crops, animals, consumed, tives, for supply of facilities ping, regular because of quality, reduc-
oil seeds, milk and most sold process- inputs and operating, supply of cash ease of tion of quan-
fodder, milk to private ing in- disposal of water charg- incomes; less contact with cities, promo-
products, traders, dustries, outputs; es, over dependent on relevant tion of more
meat. market- moderate irrigation, subsidiary agencies and efficient use of
ing or- with public salinity, de- crops or live- perceived by-products,
gani- sector for pendence on stock, gains, straws and by.
nations, advisory ser- irrigation products pre-
govern. vices: very facilities servation.
ment pro- strong with and large
curement irrigation purchased
agencies, regulatory inputs and
authorities, established
markets and
capital and

Oil palm, Small; Both public and private Strong Monocul- Assured in- Rapid Integration of
rubber, mainly sectors depending on interactions ture runs come sup- because of livestock to use
cocoa, sugar- ruminants, structure; livestock for with both high risk of ported strongly strong pastures under
cane, fruits, chicken, domestic consumption public and market by national structural plantations;
spices, copra. and for local trade. private prices and agencies and linkages with provide addi-
sectors for crop fail- supplies most appropriate tional organic
advisory ures, gluts export organiza- fertilizers and
services and and world earnings. tions. supplementary
inputs and demands, incomes; local
outputs. Subsidized production of
if public food to reduce
sector initi- purchase prices.
ated; capital

20 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Major Asian Livestock Production

Type of Contribution Influence of Resources Level of Linkages
System of Livestock Climate Culture On-Farm Ex-Farm Technology Public Private
Sector Sector

8. CONTRACT High: market- Small Minimal, Land: owned/ Labor: High: mainly Strong: for Very strong
FARMING oriented location- rented or hired: supplied by supply of for supply
(Nucleus smallholder specific commercial; Feed: parent livestock of stock,
Estates) (semi- production of Labor: family; provided farmer, support feed, mar-
farm, live- commercial Capital: by parent services. keting and
stock farming, pigs, less often owned; farmer manage-
integrated ruminants. Livestock: Capital. ment
farming), poultry, pigs, borrowed; advice.
ruminants: Stock:
Feed: some. provided
by parent.

9. COMMERCIAL Very high: Small None Labor: family Labor: Very high Small; gn- Very strong
pig and poultry; market- or hired; hired; because of rally inde- for supply
meat, ranches, oriented Land: owned Feed: pur- transfer from pendent and of inputs,
dairy, production, or rented; chased; established more marketing
Capital: Stock: enterprises, advanced of outputs.
owned, purchased than public transfer of
borrowed or or credit. sector enter- technology,
company; prises; some coopera-
Livestock: research and tives, seed
pigs, cattle, animal health stock.
poultry; support.
Feed: some.

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 21

and Management Systems (Continued)

Disposal Adoption
Outputs of Products Intervention
Outputs of products Interactions Constraints Strengths of New Intervention

Crops Livestock Private Public Technology Strategy
Sector Sector

Usually Broilers, Mainly Little:
root crops, eggs, since the only if
coconuts, cash porkers, farmers parent
crops, some some are on farm is
cereals and ruminants, contract govern-
vegetables. to supply meant
the parent owned.

Strong with Generally Support of Readily Improvement
private sector controlled parent farms since it of breeds; im.
enterprises by the provides adopts provement of
and market- decisions inputs, tech- technolo- feed quantities,
ing and pro- made by nology and gical change quality and
cessing indus- parent farm marketing introduced nutritional
tries, with little for profitable by parent values, low
latitude for livestock pro- farm. costs of pro-
innovations duction, and duction, com-
or adapta- assured in- petitiveness
tions; highly comes; acts with imports.
dependent in concert
on prices with private
set by sector and
parent farm; gains strength
may relegate and protec-
crop pro- tion from it.
duction to
an unimpor-
tant level
and depend
on purchas-
ed food.

Negligible; Porkers. Mainly Virtually Strong with Capital and Cooperation Very rapid Improvement
except some broilers, private none. private sector technology- between to keep of breeds;
animal feeds, eggs, sector institutions intensive; enterprises pace with improvement
breeding channels, and enter- low profit brings strengths rising prices of feed quanti-
stock, prises such as margins; and viability; of inputs ties, quality and
meat, processing high disease may develop and low nutritional
milk. industries. risks; subject into mono- profit values; low
milk to market polies. margins, costs of pro-
products, forces; duction; cor-
imported petitiveness with
feeds; imports.

22 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Major Asian Livestock Production

Type of Contribution Influence of Resources Le of Linkages
System of Livestock Climate Culture On-Farm Ex-Farm Technology Public Private
Sector Sector

10. NON-TRADI- High: market- High due Minimal Land: owned. Labor: High: by Little: only Very strong
TIONAL oriented small to adapt- only inso- rented; hired; emulation in terms of for supply
LIVESTOCK farm and ability of far as Labor: family: Feed: from similar health and of stock,
SYSTEMS commerical species consumer Capital: sometimes successful regulations feed, mar-
operations to environ- prefer- owned; Feed: purchased; ventures regarding the keting and
involving ment. ences are some, mainly Capital: elsewhere, species growth manage-
quails, involved. household borrowed; and imports/ ment
pigeons, wastes, or Stock: exports, advice.
rabbits, by-products purchased.
crocodiles, of commer- seldom
pheasants, cial pig and self,
poultry produced.

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 23

and Management Systems (Continued)

Disposal Adoption
Outputs of Products Intervention
Outputs ofProduct Interactions Constraints Strengths of New Inteention

Crops Livestock Private Public Technology Strategy
Sector Sector

Variable and Quail. Mainly Almost Very strong Level of Provides for Readily Integration of
dependent on pigeon, never with private technical a specialized since the some of these
location. rabbit sector enter- and man- and captive continued stock into exist-
and croco- prises and agement market; cash operation ing commercial
dile meat, marketing expertise incomes high. of the enterprises
eggs, and processing may be enterprise mainly to
crocodile industries, limiting; depends on provide efficient
skins, consumer new techno- marketing;
preferences logy specific strong research
may dictate to the effort required
quantities species to better
and species; growth, understand the
risks high. management of
production from
these species.

24 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Management of stock is limited to herding them from feed source to
feed source, stopping at watering points. Nomads move as units linked by
blood relationship, with varying degrees of cooperation and hostility among
tribes. Livestock productivity is adjusted to feed availability, with flock/herd
sizes increased or decreased as pastures permit. Once-a-year mating in the
fall is common, with the animals allowed to graze winter pastures and give
birth in the spring. Stock is fattened on summer pastures for sale on the
Natural control of diseases is a consequence of nomadic herding, as
flocks/herds are seldom in one place long enough to be seriously affected.
Slaughter in the face of an epidemic is practiced as a preventive measure.
In circumstances of uncontrollable epidemics, e.g., massive outbreaks of
ectoparasites, it is not uncommon for nomads to abandon their flocks to
their fate in unaccessible mountains.
Livestock provides the main daily requirements of nomadic folk food,
shelter, fuel and apparel. Surplus stock is always traded for cash a custom
developed over centuries of nomadism. Among the rudimentary livestock
production and management systems, this one is perhaps the most monetized

Livestock in Transhumant Agriculture

Transhumant livestock production systems develop from nomadic
systems around permanent sources of water, with crop cultivation sup-
plementing livestock production. The system is found in the arid and semi-
arid regions of Asia. The chief on-farm input labor is divided be-
tween animal production and crop cultivation, with the value of outputs
favoring the former. Cereals are cultivated, along with some cash and
vegetable crops and fruits. The system is labor intensive, land dependent
and low capital and light technology dependent.
Livestock comprise mainly sheep and goats, cattle, buffalo, yaks and
chauries. Management of these is by herding on rangelands close to set-
tlements. Following harvests, crop by-products and stubble become the chief
source of stock feed well into winter and early spring until rangeland pastures
reappear. Animals are herded to rangelands and may remain there for the
period of feed availability, usually from the spring to the fall. Mating is
arranged once a year, in the fall, when mates are introduced into the
flocks/herds for spring birth.
Transhumant farmers use the large ruminants for a variety of purposes
cultivation, drawing water, transportation and milk/meat production.
Large ruminants subsist on crop by-products, home-grown fodder and
Being sedentary, the transhumant system has stronger linkages with
supporting systems, notably for disease prevention, treatment and control,

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 25

and for markets. Formal and informal systems contribute inputs and sus-
tain the system.

Livestock in Rainfed Agriculture

Rainfed agricultural systems are sedentary in nature, situated in areas
of seasonal rainfall (greater than 1000 mm/year) and involve crop produc-
tion and livestock raising partially for subsistence and partially for sale. On-
farm resources comprise land (owned or rented) for crop cultivation in ad-
dition to household labor. The system is labor intensive, capital and labor
dependent and technology receptive.
The major off-farm resource is water, which determines the crops
grown. Cereals (wheat, rice, barley, maize) predominate, with vegetables,
some cash crops and fruits supplementing production and income.
In rainfed agriculture, the large ruminants are important on-farm
resources. Confined rearing is the management adopted. Feed consists of
grasses around settlements, communal grazing lands and crop by-products.
The usual purposes in livestock rearing are: for the supply of manure to
fertilize crops, for stubble removal, puddling and land preparation and as
a convenient means of savings. As such, high levels of productivity are not
emphasized. Cheap on-farm feed and utilization of surplus labor make
livestock a useful means of obtaining products at low cost, mainly for home
The sedentary nature of rainfed farmers and the fairly well developed
infrastructure in most locations make inputs quite readily available from
both formal and informal institutions, the latter being the chief avenue for
sales of produce.

Livestock in Irrigated Agriculture

Irrigated agricultural systems are an age-old device to intensify pro-
duction through the control of water. Though applied initially in the arid
and semi-arid parts of the world, the system is being adopted on a large
scale Asia-wide to support intensive double and triple cropping. Crop pro-
duction is the major activity of the system, with livestock playing a support-
ing role. The system is labor and capital intensive, land and technology
Depending on local customs and traditions, ruminants, pigs and poultry
are the main livestock reared. Livestock production is secondary to crop
production in this system. Confined rearing, partially or totally, is the usual
management technique. Feed is provided from farm-grown pastures, cut
and carried from irrigation canals, and from crop by-products and residues.
Productivity is variable and is dictated by the contribution of crops to the
system and the availability of labor and capital for livestock-related activities.

26 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Draft power has been gradually replaced by agricultural machinery and
manure by chemical fertilizer.
Strong support for livestock rearing is provided by both formal and
informal institutions especially for animal health, improved husbandry and
marketing. Other inputs are also readily available. The use of these inputs
depends on the perceived gains from expanded livestock rearing as com-
pared to more inputs for crops.

Livestock in Plantation Agriculture

In plantation agriculture, the production of rubber, oil palm, coconut,
tea, coffee, sugarcane and spices utilizes most available resources and pro-
vides cash income beyond subsistence needs. Livestock rearing in this system
is often only a continuation of the traditions of laborers, not often encouraged
by plantation managers. Fluctuations in world prices for the commodities
produced and resultant decreases in real incomes are incentives for planta-
tion workers to revert to their customary livestock rearing activities as a hedge
against diminishing purchasing power. This system is neither land, labor,
capital nor technology dependent for livestock rearing.
Ruminants, pigs and poultry form the meager livestock base on plan-
tations in relation to resources available. Surplus labor is the chief household
input. Confinement at night and extensive grazing during the day for
ruminants, total control of pigs and partial confinement of chickens are
the management practices in vogue. Ruminant feed is obtained from grasses
growing in association with plantations. Non-ruminant feed comprises by-
products such as coconut cake, palm oil kernel and molasses from associated
processing plants. Some supplementary feed for non-ruminants is purchased.
In this low input system, output is proportionately low. Because of the
infrastructure supporting the establishment and operation of the planta-
tions, support from other systems is strong, including formal and informal
institutions. The system has potential for further improvement by utilizing
available feed resources and developed infrastructure.

Contract Farming of Livestock

Contract farming of livestock is a system where one species of livestock
is raised on a semi-commercial scale to supplement income from crop pro-
duction. Many variants to the system of share-cropping may be found in
Asia, and these make significant contributions to national outputs of animal
products. The system is labor, land, capital and technology intensive.
The system is a small-farm operation undertaken by households in con-
junction with cash crop cultivation. Pig farming in Asia operates along these
lines, and to a lesser extent beef and dairy production. On-farm inputs are
only household labor, less often land. Capital, technology, feed and

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 27

management advice are off-farm inputs provided by a person or agency (the
patron or parent farmer), who also undertakes marketing and the delivery
of essential services. Some form of dividing the outputs between client and
patron or parent farmer is adopted which has peculiarities associated with
local customs and traditions. The repayment may be in cash, though in
the commonest form the net value of output is shared (after deducting cost
of inputs provided by the patron or parent farmer) between the contract-
ing parties.
The system depends on purchased feed and good quality stock. Manage-
ment advice provided by-the patron or parent farmer is usually sufficient
to yield satisfactory returns from the sale of outputs. Productivity tends to
be high as a consequence, with good prices acting as an incentive for in-
creased production and improved productivity.

Commercial Livestock Production

Commercial livestock farming systems are profit-motivated enterprises
specializing in production of a single species of domestic animal. Rarely
are they found integrated with crops, though some stock feed may be grown
(maize, fodder). They may be associated with aquaculture. The system is
labor, capital, land and technology intensive.
In its usual meaning, "household" does not exist in this system. All the
inputs to the system are off-farm. Land is purchased, rented or leased; stock
and stock feed purchased; animal management expertise hired; and out-
puts entirely marketed. Strong linkages are thereby established to a host
of other systems, mainly in the private sector. Public sector involvement
is minimal, confined most often to enforcing animal health, environmen-
tal control and taxation legislation.
Animals are managed in total confinement. Feed quality and quan-
tities are maintained according to acceptable nutritional standards, modified
as appropriate. Disease control, prevention and treatment are by qualified
personnel hired by the system. Productivity is high by national standards.
Commercial enterprises are situated close to major population centers
and cater to urban demands. To a large extent this system sets the
technological, management and marketing pace which other systems

Production of Non-Traditional Livestock

This system involves the production of game and wild animals for a
specialized market. It is a highly specialized system which was traditional
in most parts of Asia but which gained importance as an industry because
of foreign markets. The most common species raised are crocodiles, snakes,
rabbits, quails, pheasants and miscellaneous game. The system is highly
labor, capital, land and technology intensive.

28 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Except in hobby farming of rabbits and fancy birds, the system is not
operated by the "household" in the sense used here. All inputs are external
to the system, provided by other related systems. Land is purchased, rented
or leased. Labor is hired. Capital is often borrowed or invested by entities
other than the operator. Stock is purchased, usually from overseas. Technical
expertise is provided by experts who are hired initially until sufficient know-
how is imparted to the local personnel.
The linkage to other systems and subsystems is very strong, particular-
ly those in the informal sector. Marketing is through the informal sector.
The formal institutions link with this system in providing supervisory and
regulatory services.


Qualitative systems analyses as described above add to knowledge and
provides a gross picture of livestock production systems but are not useful
to formulate hypotheses and to test these. The luxury of seeking knowledge
for its own sake is being abbreviated for the developing countries by the
unrelentingly unsympathetic scythe of Father Time (knowledge for
knowledge's sake ends where hunger begins). Quantification of systems is
necessary before any meaningful improvements can be contemplated. The
model developed here provides an avenue for initial quantification. Single
farm situations should form the basis of preliminary quantification. In Figure
5, such a quantification is provided for a single farm in the Philippines.

Boundary, Objective, Purpose

This is a contract farming system strong in both crop and livestock pro-
duction (see Part B, System No. 8 and Figure 29). The objective is rice,
maize, pig and duck production. The purpose is twofold subsistence and
financial gain.

Resources and Management

The household comprises the farmer, his wife and five children aged
10, 12, 13, 14 and 16 years. Labor is contributed full-time (6 days/week)
by the farmer for crop production. The wife provides 5 hours/day for
livestock rearing. The children contribute labor on Saturdays, Sundays and
holidays as required.
Family land comprises 12,000 sq m of which 2,000 sq m is for the
homestead, piggery, biogas digester, orchard, fishpond and fodder. One
hectare (10,000 sq m) is devoted to rice and maize production. Two crops
of maize (April-August; December-March) and one crop of rice (August-

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 29

Figure 5. Quantification of a Small Farm System.

-Land -Hoo Labor (Hours
12,000 2 n Man : 6x8x365
S200Wl.2 On. 7,x
Hou : 2300. 2 Cl d. 5(10.12. Wif : 75S3S
Y m 13,14,16y.) ChildCh 2 x3x2
Orchard :300m2
Output Fishpond 200m2
Maiz: 25mt/ho Leu.n : 1000m2
Padi 2mt/ln Riol/Maiz 10000 m2 NI


Mai .:P3.00/kg



OututB Rim,., Ou nIth
IMaim Por- porni/month
76 P26.h
iStock 0 onum j(POurhae I inputs) Hom conwu d
Cash Cash -incom
Cndits, Fdsa t N HOUSEHOLD Servi. Policies
( IN~ ( Inputs MANAGING RSOUl CES ownus \ INSt17'&
> -Ii I I s sSSS S LTH
AlIotingu Op.aing, Innoan ing RESEARCH

c -ih8PARMS

-E : A betDecenbr s 4mo

DISTRIBU TION S0 Is A : 1m pr |grit
OM1I B Ty-roductlor A. ie

S2 m Manupr.g In

w Main: Apil-July '-/ m !!*
Dwmr March wh 8 g
Rimo : Auo t. D.a.mn.r RpSUC

DISTRIBUTION 1 So :4-4moprnt
COMMUNICATION I I 1-3m pragant

.1,th 8 1pl1ts
LEGEND: Porkers : 2 mo old
Linkage with oth sstn 6 3 mo old
s Unluka bwtmin -4 mooldr
....... FlI.f lnpm I'l"""^
Fl O.o O.p. B-.moold
Indicat high mportanc, Dk : 1
IndicMta modeatl Im.orn. u8.1o : 1 (dnft)
-..... Indicate slight important

30 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

December) are grown. Family labor is used with one buffalo providing draft
power to do one ploughing and two harrowing operations, which take 7
days/ha (seven plough units). Manure supplements chemical fertilizer for
the crops.
The livestock comprise 4 sows, 8 piglets and 30 porkers (2-6 mo); 1
duck and 8 ducklings; and 1 draft buffalo. The pigs are reared in total con-
finement. Feed is 70 per cent purchased concentrates; 30 per cent sludge,
greens, banana stems, sweet potato leaves and fresh leucaena leaves. Feeding
is ad lib. Boars are hired for mating, arranged after piglets are weaned at
one month old. Piglets are reared on the same feed to reach 75 kg at sale.
The duck fends for itself and its ducklings on household wastes and
in the fishpond and beds down under the house. The buffalo, tethered under
the leucaena shrubs, is fed only leucaena leaves and the by-products of crops.


The farm produces 5.0 mt of maize/year valued at $150/mt, and
2 mt/year of paddy valued at $140/mt. On the average 6 porkers weighing
75 kg each are sold per month at $1.25/kg, providing $563 per month gross.
Gross income annually is $750 from maize, $280 from rice and $6,750 from
pigs. The corresponding net incomes are: $600, $200 and $720, respectively.


The patron, through his agents, provides all technical support and ad-
vice, stock and feeds. The patron operates a feedmill and pig stock farm.
All outputs are marketed by the patron, who adjusts the farmer's accounts
for credits received. Support from other systems is only through the patron.


The farmer is almost totally dependent on the strong linkage with the
patron for the supply of all inputs except labor and family land, and for
the marketing of outputs. While this arrangement may appear unbalanced
to the exclusion of other systems which could support the farmer, the risks
associated with crop failures and livestock rearing are borne by the patron,
who provides inputs on credit terms while also shouldering price fluctua-
tions and spoilage associated with marketing. The average annual income,
roughly twice the GNP per capital, is high enough to provide surplus cash
for consumer goods. The biogas digester technique and the feeding of sludge
to pigs was innovated by the patron. The household needs for cooking fuel,
lighting, refrigeration are met by the biogas.

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 31

Intervention Strategy

Land is a fixed resource in this system. The major on-farm resource
labor does not exhibit any surplus, and demanding more labor input
from the family would require exploiting child labor. Altering the crop mix
would leave the family dependent on purchased rice, if this is reduced, or
leave unmarketable surplus maize otherwise. Besides, the cropping pattern
coincides with the weather pattern rice grown in the wetter months and
maize in the relatively drier months. Increasing livestock at the expense of
diverting labor resources from crops would affect subsistence production
and lay the family open to exploitation by other systems for food.
Strengthening linkages to other systems seems possible since quan-
titatively all linkages are 100 per cent to the patron. This would result in
changes in the agricultural pattern of the household.
This stage of quantification makes the system amenable to mathe-
matical treatment to provide clear directions about steps to be taken.


Intervention strategies should: (i) quantify current performance,
(ii) identify areas where weak linkages affect performance, (iii) determine
the causes of the weak linkages and (iv) be based on testable propositions.
The single farm analysis in quantitative terms sets the stage for plan-
ning intervention strategies. While a representative farm may provide data
to prepare a model in qualitative terms, i.e., identifying components, pur-
poses, linkages, inputs and outputs, larger samples are required to plan in-
tervention strategies. Means, variances and the nature of the underlying
distribution need to be computed to define quantitatively those areas that
are amenable to change. Sample sizes of above 100 from a representative
area normally provide reliable means and stable variances. Differences be-
tween locations for parameters under scrutiny can be easily established with
common statistical tests (chi-square, F-tests, the analysis of variance and
tests of differences between means such as Scheffe's test; 9, 10, 11).
For each homogenous population, the method described in Figure 5
can be applied to qualitatively identify components, linkages, inputs and
outputs. Quantification can follow as described above. Linkages can also
be quantified, e.g., outputs linking the household to informal institutions
and other systems can be expressed as proportions of total outputs, as codes
or as a dummy variable.
The quantitative data such as obtained for the system described above
permit decision-making on the importance of the inputs from the various
sources using mathematical tools. Working on the assumption that matter

32 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

is neither created nor destroyed, a representation of a system's outputs and
inputs would be:

Quantified outputs = Quantified inputs; meaning,
Quantified outputs = Quantified contribution of systems, i.e.,
Outputs (Y) = Function of (systems, X)

This can be represented algebraically as:

Y = f(X) (i)

Since several systems provide inputs, then the X's in (i) may be parti-
tioned as X1, X2, X 3.........Xn and equation (i) rewritten as:

Y = f(X1, X2, X3,.... Xn) . (ii)

To take into account human fallability in identification and quantifica-
tion of the outputs and inputs, the original equation is better written as:

Outputs = Quantified inputs + Unexplained inputs;

expressed algebraically as:

Y = f(X1, X2, X3 .... Xn) + error . (iii)

Each input (X) contributes proportionally to Y. If these proportions
for each X1, X2, X3, ....... Xn are denoted by B1, B2, B3, ... Bn, respec-
tively, equation (iii) now becomes:

Y= B1X1 + B2X2 + B3X3 ... + BnXn + error ... .(iv)

In matrix notation (iv) becomes:

Y = XB (the explained part) + error (the unexplained part). (v)

These last two equations (iv) and (v) are the familiar regression
equations from which the contribution of each input can be estimated from
the B's by matrix manipulation:

X'X B = X'Y; and

B = (X'X)-1 X'Y

S. ... (vi)

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 33

The importance of each input (X) can be estimated from the
significance of its contribution to output (Y) from the calculation of the
reduction in "sums of squares" explained by the regression equation and
from the resulting squared correlation coefficient (R2).
When the important inputs are identified in this manner, the systems
analyst proceeds to identify interactions between systems inputs. If Y is af-
fected by two factors A at levels i (i = 1,n) and B at levels j (j = 1,m),
assuming that Y has a part attributable to the mean of the population (u)
and an unexplained part the error (e) the representation in equation
(vii) below would apply:

Yijk= u + Ai + Bj + eijk .(vii)

To estimate the interaction between factors A and B, an interaction
component is introduced:

Yijk = u + Ai + Bj + (AB)ij + eijk .(viii)

This equation (viii) is the algebraic representation required for the
analysis of variance, from which the importance of the interaction may be
estimated. Expressing the statistical model in economic or financial terms
converts it into an econometric model.
At this stage, the appropriate intervention strategy can be
mathematically arrived at by linear programming techniques (1, 2, 7). The
difficult choice facing the analyst would be determining the function to be
optimized. Maximizing outputs for financial gain, maximizing labor usage,
land utilization and capital mobilization will each have to be examined in
the context of reality. Mathematical modelling must allow for factors that
cannot be quantified for instance, is labor worth more than leisure?
All models have some weaknesses. In contemplating intervention
strategies, some key questions have to be addressed (6, adapted):

(i) Why change?

(ii) Are sufficient data available about the system to identify areas
requiring change?

(iii) Is the contemplated change directed at a crucial element or at
a change in the entire system?

(iv) What effect will the change have on interrelated subsystems and
other linked systems?

(v) Will the change alter the input and output characteristics of
the system?

34 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

(vi) Are there sufficient resources available to sustain the needs of
an altered system?

(vii) Are there sufficient organized outlets to absorb the outputs of
the altered system?

(viii) Is the contemplated modification likely to lead to a growth of
the system or to its diminution?

The initial purpose of the analysis should not be to introduce change,
but to see if change is possible, feasible and desirable, and at what finan-
cial, economic and social cost. The concept that the analyst must reject
is that it is imperative to move from the "present" state to some "improved"
state. Slumbering tigers are best left asleep until their potential is fully ap-
preciated. The cardinal principle in planning interventions is to find out
what the farmers are doing and help them do it a little better.


To the undoubted disappointment of fellow animal scientists, this treat-
ment of livestock production management has made no examination of
livestock performance parameters. The reason can be related to the clock
analogy. If the clock loses or gains time, the cause may not be attributable
to its arms. The subsystems and components of the clock have to be ex-
amined to trace where input and output deficiencies have occurred and to
correct these in the appropriate places. Adjusting the arms may only give
an illusionary respite to the problem. The whole point in taking the "systems
approach" in livestock production and management is to bring home the
realization that livestock performance parameters are a function of the whole
system and not of independent phenomena. The whole host of subsystems
and components within the system has to be examined in perspective to deter-
mine the causes of low performance parameters and consequent loss of pro-
ductivity. On-farm, these apply to nutritional inputs, housing, breeding
policies and labor inputs; off-farm, support from systems supplying animal
health, feed, technical advice and marketing may be involved. In some
instances merely providing a market outlet for produce leads to improved
performance, highlighting the fact that strengthening a linkage can influence
performance. Rarely is it possible to affect performance without improving
linkages. Even more rare is the situation where the whole system needs

Asian Livestock Production and Management Systems 35


1. Anderson, D. R., D. J. Sweeney, and T. A. Williams, 1974. Linear
Programming for Decision Making, West Publishing Co., St. Paul.

2. Anderson, D. R., D. J. Sweeney, and T. A. Williams, 1982. An In-
troduction to Management Science, West Publishing Co., St. Paul.

3. Bawden, R. J., 1984. The Systems Agriculturist: The Neophyte Stirs;
In Connections, Newsletter of the Conference of Principals and Direc-
tors of Agricultural and Horticultural Colleges in the South West

4. Bawden, R. J., 1984. A Systems Approach to Institutions Involved in
Agricultural Development (in these Proceedings).

5. Checkland, P. B., 1981. Systems Thinking, Systems Practices. John
Wiley, New York.

6. Cleland, D. I. and W. R. King, 1975. Systems Analysis and Project
Management; McGraw-Hill/Kogakusha, New York.

7. Gass, S., 1975. Linear Programming, 4th Edition, McGraw-Hill, New

8. McDowell, R. E., and P. E. Hildebrand, 1980. Integrated Crops and
Animal Production: Making the Most of Resources Available to Small
Farms in Developing Countries, Working Papers, the Rockefeller

9. Scheffe, H., 1959. The Analysis of Variance, John Wiley, New York.

10. Searle, S. R., 1972. Linear Models, John Wiley, New York.

11. Snedecor, G. W. and W. G. Cochran, 1982. Statistical Methods, Iowa
State, Iowa.



R. E. McDowell

Professor, International Animal Science
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA

38 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management


In recent years, there has been considerable attention given to crop-
ping systems for small farms in Asia. Virtually none of the work has included
an animal component in spite of the fact that animals have been determined
as constituting an important subsystem on the vast majority of the farms
(10). Ignoring the role of the animal subsystem has led to less than desirable
acceptance of the use of improved varieties of cereal grains because of the
low feeding value of the straws. On the other hand, the animal scientists
have been less than judicious in recommending to governments the direct
transfer of technology, such as new breeds. It has not been appreciated that
in the cropping areas of Asia the production of crops (the crop subsystem)
is usually primary in farmers' decision-making. Therefore, recommended
interventions for changing the animal subsystem of the farm must be com-
patible with cropping. Animals, especially non-ruminants, are highly depen-
dent on crop by-products, but frequently the linkage of crops to the feeding
of ruminants is weak (low dependence). Ruminants do, however, show
important linkages to cropping, particularly in the form of power for land
preparation and transport on farms. The animal subsystem also supports
cropping by capital generation, which can be utilized for increased crop
In much of Asia, those interested in animal production must view the
farm as consisting of two major subsystems, crops and animals. Changes
in animal output must therefore be integrated with the crop subsystem. This
means the design of interventions in the animal system is more difficult than
for crops. Hence care must be taken in selecting intervention strategies. This
discussion will focus on the need to relate livestock production and manage-
ment to some of the identified constraints of tropical Asia.


Due to their origin, domestic livestock and fowl have certain feeding
behaviors with advantages and disadvantages that can be quite important,
especially in the exploitation of limited feed resources. Choice of species
is particularly important where numbers per farm are small.
About 80 per cent of Asia's livestock resources comprise the ruminants
and 20 per cent comprise pigs and chickens. Although a lesser resource,
more than 60 per cent of the meat produced in the region is from pigs and
fowl. Generally, per capital availability of meat is higher in those areas where
pigs and poultry are found in large numbers.

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 39


There is no blueprint for describing the role of these species in optimiz-
ing utilization of resources. The farming system and, more specifically, the
crops and the presence of other animals determine the importance of pigs
and differences found within the systems. On small farms, they are non-
competitive with human nutritional needs; yet, in these systems, poultry,
ducks, geese and turkeys are major contributors to household protein sup-
plies. In subsistence systems non-ruminants give low returns to feed input
but usually high returns to labor.


In many locations, especially where root crops are abundant as a cheap
feed source and where by-products such as copra and rice bran are available,
pigs are the species of choice. Many low resource farms raise one or two
pigs per year. The income thus derived often represents a principal source
of cash earnings. Commercialization in the pig industry is progressing rapid-
ly. Government policies to stabilize food grain prices by establishing large
storage depots tend to concentrate the processing of grains at large mills,
leading to a decline in grain by-products as a local on-farm resource. The
effect of this is to depress small-farm pig production.


Poultry are excellent scavengers. Most roam free and obtain their nutri-
tion from household waste, grass, insects and other consumable materials.
Selectivity of feed ensures a balanced supply of nutrients on a regular basis.
Confinement without regard to possible nutritional imbalances often leads
to high losses. Production of poultry is expanding rapidly through commer-
cial units, large and small, and with direct transfer of technology. This
creates an awareness of balanced feeding and in turn has become an incen-
tive for higher grain production in several countries.


In Asia ducks are associated with three major small farming systems
- coastal fishing, low elevation intensive vegetable production and lowland
rice (10). A major role is to glean residual grain from rice fields and assist
in the control of weeds and insects. Ducks are generally more valued in Asia
for egg production than for meat. Flock owners and frequently non-land
owners herd ducks from farm to farm to render weed and insect control
service. There is no evidence at this time that duck production on mixed
crop farms has an impact on farmer decision for cropping.

40 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Other Non-Ruminants

There are numerous species in Asia, such as guinea fowl, horse, donkey
and rabbit, which contribute to the food supply or render services. Except
for the odd farm, there are no significant crop/species interactions in systems
rearing these animals. Even though non-ruminants provide manure for fer-
tilizer, food and income, insure against crop failure and provide savings,
their principal value is in the utilization of human food by-products and
some crop residues.


For ruminants, the relationship among body size, gut capacity (GC)
and metabolic rate (MR) has a strong influence on feeding characteristics.
MR is a function of live weight (LW) or body size (MR = LW3/4) while
GC is a function of total weight. Goats and sheep have a high MR relative
to gut capacity. They must therefore consume feed which can be digested
quickly and of a quality somewhat higher than for most large ruminants.
Medium body size animals have a selective advantage in being able to re-
tain less digestible feeds like crop residues, permitting longer microbial
fermentation, while easily digested feeds (concentrates) pass on. Cattle, goats
and sheep have about equal efficiency in using the forage dry matter (DM)
of grass pastures in temperate areas, but species differences may be marked
in the tropics. This is because tropical plants are more differentiated, that
is they have highly lignified as well as unlignified parts. Animals which can
choose the most digestible parts have advantages. Dentition, muzzle width
and approach to browsing or grazing determine the ease with which
ruminants can select plants with different morphology.


The buffalo and carabao are the least selective grazers among domestic
ruminants. Each has a wide muzzle, large GC, high fermentation rate in
the rumen and slow rate of passage; hence they are effective users of high-
fiber feeds. The high rate of intake and slow rate of passage together enable
the buffalo and carabao to produce more microbial protein in the rumen
from low quality feeds such as rice straw. While these animals have com-
parative advantages over cattle, goats or sheep in the utilization of low quality
feeds, the slow rate of passage is disadvantageous on high quality feeds.


Cattle are classed as low selective feeders though slightly more selec-
tive than buffalo or carabao. Zebu types have a longer, more narrow head

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 41

and smaller muzzle than Bos taurus types. The Zebu has nearly 25 per cent
less digestive capacity in comparison with body size or MR; hence it is a
slow and more selective feeder than a Holstein, for example. Feeding
characteristics give the Zebu an advantage in Asia. However, the Zebu may
be less efficient in the use of crop residues than Bos taurus types and buf-
falo due to a lower fermentation rate and faster rate of passage. On tropical
grass pastures, the Zebu will select the best diet but will utilize less of the
forage DM than Bos taurus or buffalo. The conclusions are that Bos taurus
will tend to make best use of improved pastures; Zebus will do best on natural
grasslands where selection becomes important; and buffalo will do best where
opportunity for feed selection is low.


The goat is the most selective feeder among domestic ruminants. It
selects grasses when protein content and digestibility are high and switches
to browsing shrubs and trees when their leaves or bark have a higher nutritive
value. Their small mouth and prehensile lips are able to gather small leaves,
flowers or fruits. The performance of goats may be poor and mortality high
on low quality grasses, but they will thrive in heavy covers of browse where
cattle would be hard pressed to survive. The unique feeding strategy of the
goat permits it to complement sheep or cattle for best use of certain plant
communities, but where crop residues constitute the main feed source goats
may be at a disadvantage.


Sheep are mainly grazers but their body size requires that they be selec-
tive. They are able to digest fiber effectively, but on a low-quality diet such
as straw they are forced to ruminate in order to clear their rumen; hence
the ratio of energy derived from straw to energy expended for digestion may
be low. Sheep are flexible feeders, even browsing when required, which
makes them suitable for a wide range of environments. Their best habitat
is on natural rangelands in areas of less than 1000 mm rainfall and for
grazing cereal grain stubble. Their flocking instinct facilitates management
around crop areas. Sheep can complement cattle, particularly on short grass
Choice of a ruminant species or a mixture should largely depend on
feed resources. To place them otherwise requires special plans for feeding
in order to avert low performance and high mortality.

42 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management


Where fibrous feeds are available, e.g., in rice and wheat producing
areas, the ruminants play a vital role. With the animal feeds available in
Asia, however, farmers have to be extremely resourceful to obtain more than
marginal animal performance. On most small farms, the major crops grown
do not provide by-products or residues with sufficient nutrients to comple-
ment limits in grasses or other feeds. Sufficient by-products are available
in Asia to supplement animal feeds. Many of these have a wide enough
distribution to ensure availability to small farms. Some, such as the by-
products of industry, are traded at low cost. This section deals with some
guidelines on the utilization of feed resources.
Forage quantity and quality are highly variable in Asia, governed essen-
tially by geographical distribution and influenced by temperature, daylight
hours and water availability. In tropical areas (defined as those free of frost),
plant nutrients and digestibilities tend to decline with latitude. In the higher
elevations and in the sub-tropics, nutrients and digestibilities are inter-
mediate between the tropics and the temperate regions. The differences
result from the effects of climate and management. There are positive cor-
relations with latitude (and altitude) for crude protein, soluble carbohydrates
and cell wall digestibility of forage plants. Negative correlations occur for
total yield, usable nutrients, cell wall and indigestible lignin (12). The strong
negative correlation between cell wall and digestibility found in the
temperate regions (r = 0.7) does not generally apply in the tropics (r =
-0.37). Digestibility depends on stage of growth (Figure 6), parts of the plant
eaten (Figure 7), fertilization, water availability and the livestock species
involved. Tropical legumes have higher protein (but not higher digestibilities)
than tropical grasses and higher indigestible lignin, tannins and alkaloid
inhibitors (12). Some common feeds available are listed in Table 2.
When improved grass pastures are well managed and have adequate
water, cattle select a diet with average digestibility of 58 per cent, but the
quality of tropical grasses declines rapidly with age (Figure 6). Managing
the stocking rate is very important in high rainfall areas. The following
relates animal performance to the proportion of DM consumed from plant

Greater than 70% DM consumed-no gain or weight loss
50-60% DM consumed-0.25 to-0.35 kg average
daily gain (ADG) or 3-4 kg
30-40% DM consumed-0.40 to 0.50 kg ADG or 7-10 kg
Less than 20% DM consumed-<0.30 kg ADG or 3 kg milk/day

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 43

Figure 6. Digestibility of Grasses in Temperate and Tropical Areas and Grains and
By-products of the Tropics (source: 10).









-- YOI
S I 64 58




(45 D)


(60 D)







Figure 7. Variation in Digestive Coefficients for Portions of the Stems and Leaves
of Tropical Grasses.

44 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Table 2: Major Feeds for Livestock on Small Farms in Asia

(buffalo, carabao, cattle, goats) Swine Poultry

Native grasses (open) Banana stalks Grains (rice, etc.)
Native grasses (under tree crops) Kitchen waste Brans (rice, etc.)
Stovers (maize, sorghum, Brans (rice, maize, sorghum) Coconut meat
Oil seed vines (peanut) Coconut meat Root crops
Rice regrowth Root crops (cassava) Purchased feeds
Straws (rice, wheat, barley) Leucaena Leucaena
Improved grasses Meals and cakes Meals and cakes
Forage legumes
Meals and cakes (coconut,
peanut, oil palm)

Except at a very early stage (30 days) the digestibility of the tropical
grass may vary from 25 or more units in digestibility from top to bottom
(Figure 7; 14). At low elevations in Asia, seasonal change in temperature
will influence the yield of grasses and their nutritional quality. High intakes
of energy equivalent to 2.3 multiples of maintenance may be possible in
certain months (e.g., May to June in Puerto Rico) for improved grass pastures
and with heavy fertilization (2.5 mt/ha). The intake may decline to 1.6-1.7
multiples of maintenance during cooler months (November to February,
see Table 3).
For improved pastures, a monoculture or single grass is usually recom-
mended, but, due to differences in growth habits and susceptibility to diseases
or insects, a mixture of several species gives best results.
With maximum intake from grass of the tropics by cattle at 2.2 to 2.4
times the maintenance level, natural stands of grasses are excellent for about
three months (Table 3). This is true for wet-dry season areas with either
low rainfall (less than 600 mm) or high (greater than 1000 mm). When the
intake level is 2.0 multiples of maintenance, approximately 60 per cent of
the energy consumed will be available for growth or milk production. At
this level cattle may gain 0.6 to 1.0 kg per day, but when intake declines
to 1.5 times maintenance level, only 30 per cent of the nutrient intake is
available for production. The cycling of quality in natural grasslands is
similar in both low and high rainfall areas as illustrated by data from
Nigeria, Botswana and Mexico in Table 3.

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 45

Table 3. Estimated Energy Intake by Cattle Expressed as Multiples of
Maintenance Needs from Natural Improved Grass Pastures
or Natural Rangelands (adapted from 8)

Puerto Ricoa Natural Rangelands
Improved Northern Central Southern
Month Pasture Nigeria Botswana Mexico

January 1.7 0.8 2.1 0.8
February 1.6 0.7 2.0 0.7
March 2.0 0.6 1.7 0.6
April 2.0 0.6 1.4 0.6
May 2.3 0.5 1.2 1.8
June 2.3 1.5 1.0 2.1
July 2.1 2.3 0.8 2.1
August 2.0 2.2 0.7 1.7
September 1.9 2.0 0.6 1.2
October 1.8 1.5 0.6 1.2
November 1.6 1.2 1.6 1.0
December 1.7 .9 2.1 0.9
Average 1.9 1.2 1.3 1.2
ADG/Yearb 0.45 to 0.15 to 0.24 to 0.16 to
0.55 0.22 0.36 0.24

Rainfall (mm) 1400 to 450 to 400 to 1000 to
1700 500 500 1200

a Improved grasses with fertilizer and supplementary irrigation and stocking rate 2.5 head/ha.
b ADG = average daily gain.

The possibility of obtaining 3,000 kg of milk in 10 months from a cow
weighing 450 kg is explored in Table 4. The sole feed is assumed to be either
medium quality pasture (8.4 per cent crude protein CP and 50 per
cent digestibility) or high quality pasture (11.9 per cent CP and 60 per cent
digestibility) to meet all its energy and protein requirements. The desired
milk yield by month, daily requirements and expected nutrients from the
two pastures are compared in Table 4. On the medium quality pasture,
CP intake would be deficient the first five months and energy for three
months. With deficiencies severe in the early part of lactation, milk pro-
duction would be about 40 per cent less than expected. The three lactation
curves in Figure 8 illustrate the influence of pasture quality during the ear-
ly stage of lactation. On high quality pasture and with adequate oppor-
tunity for feed selection, the estimated requirements for both protein and
energy to produce 3,000 kg of milk or more could be expected. On the same
pasture, a change in stocking rate from 2.5 to 5.0 cows per ha will cause

46 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

a shift in performance to that for the 8.4 per cent CP, 50 per cent digesti-
ble pasture in Table 4. To produce the high quality pasture will of course
require application of nitrogen.

Table 4. Can a Cow Weighing 450 kg Prior to Parturition Be Expected
to Consume Sufficient Energy and Protein from Grazing to
Produce 3000 kg Milk When Grass Is Medium or High Quality
(Intake 12 per cent Body Weight per Day and Dry Matter
25 per cent)?

Medium (kg) High (kg)
Requirements (8.4% CP, (11.9% CP,
Mo. of Milk (kg) Body (kg/day) 50% Dig.) 60% Dig.)
Lact. Mo. Day Wt.(kg) CP TDN CP TDN CP TDN

1 514 17 428 1.60 8.0 1.16 6.9 1.64 8.3
2 450 15 428 1.50 7.6 1.16 6.9 1.64 8.3
3 407 14 433 1.41 7.2 1.18 7.0 1.67 8.4
4 364 12 435 1.26 6.7 1.19 7.1 1.69 8.5
5 321 11 438 1.21 6.5 1.19 7.1 1.69 8.5
6 300 10 441 1.13 6.2 1.19 7.2 1.69 8.6
7 236 8 444 0.99 5.6 1.21 7.2 1.73 8.6
8 188 6 447 0.85 5.1 1.21 7.3 1.73 8.8
9 165 5 449 0.78 4.9 1.24 7.4 1.76 8.8
10 45 3 452 0.63 4.5 1.24 7.4 1.76 8.9

With natural grasslands containing 10 per cent legumes in a moderately
wet area stocked at the rate of 1 cow per 3 hectares, it can similarly be shown
that a lactation milk yield of 1,800 kg may be difficult to support (Table
5). Protein intakes may meet only 70 per cent of requirements and total
digestible nutrients (TDN) may be only 80 per cent of requirements in cer-
tain months. These deficiencies are likely to reduce milk yield to below 1,000

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 47

Figure 8. Daily Milk Yield by 10-day Intervals for Cows on Grazing.

Estimated wvlue of patur,. 1st 30 days
Cow DM% CP% iag%
A 23j 13.2 57
B 195 12 54.3
C 23A 9A 51

Lactation yield (kg)
Cow A 4,687
B 3,069
C 2.056

. I I I . .
30 80 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300
Days of Lactation

Table 5. Can a Cow Weighing 385 kg Be Expected to Produce 1,800
kg of Milk with 4.2 per cent Fat in a Lactation of 265 Days
When Fed by Grazing Alone?

Requirements (kg/day) Total Estimated Intake
Mo. of Milk (kg) Body Maintenance Production Needs (kg) (kg/day)a

Lact. Mo. Day Wt.(kg) CP TDN CP TDN CP TDN DMb CP TDN

1 295 9.8 363 0.35 2.9 0.86 3.4 1.21 6.3 10.0 0.84 5.0
2 266 8.9 363 0.35 3.0 0.78 3.0 1.13 6.0 10.0 0.84 5.0
3 239 8.0 368 0.35 3.1 0.70 2.7 1.05 5.8 10.1 0.84 5.0
4 215 7.2 372 0.36 3.1 0.63 2.5 0.99 5.6 10.2 0.86 5.1
5 194 6.5 372 0.36 3.1 0.57 2.2 0.93 5.3 10.2 0.86 5.1
6 174 5.8 372 0.36 3.1 0.51 2.0 0.87 5.1 10.3 0.86 5.1
7 157 5.2 375 0.36 3.1 0.46 1.8 0.86 4.9 10.3 0.86 5.2
8 127 4.2 381 0.37 3.2 0.37 1.4 0.74 4.6 10.4 0.88 5.3
9 58 3.9 390 0.37 3.2 0.34 1.3 0.71 4.5 10.7 0.90 5.3

a Daily intake of DM 2.7 per cent or approximately 11.0 per rent of body weight per day of green material,
b Pasture forage contains 25 per cenlt D)M DM 50 per to.nt digestilbl and 8.4 per cent CP.

48 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management


The cut and carry method of pasture management (green chop) has
the advantage that carrying capacity can be increased. It has the disadvan-
tage of not providing animals the opportunity to select the more nutritious
parts of plants. The estimated consumption of parts of a plant like napier
grass is given in Table 6.

Table 6. Estimated Consumption of Plant Parts

% of Cut Plant Estimated %
Plant Part Weight Consumed

Growing point 5 100
Mature leaves 25 100
Old leaves 5 86
Upper stem 25 49
Lower stem 40 5

Green chop can be used with supplementation (Table 7) if 30-32 kg
of fresh cut grass are fed to a cow, supplemented with concentrates at the
rate of 1:2, along with 1.4 kg of molasses; it would then be possible to ob-
tain acceptable yields.

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 49

Table 7. Can a Cow Be Expected to Produce 4,200 kg/Lactation and
be Overfed or Underfed When Offered Free Choice of Green
Chop Napier Grass (42 per cent Digestibility and 5.0 per cent
CP) Plus Concentrate (1 kg/2 kg Milk) + 1.4 kg Molasses/Day?

Total Total Re-
Mo. Daily Intake quirements
of Milk Forage Intake (kg)a Concentrate (kg)b Molasses (kg)c (kg) (kg)
Lact. (kg) Int. DM CP TDN Int. CP TDN Int. CP TDN CP TDN CP TDN

1 24 30 7.4 0.37 3.1 12 2.4 9.0 1.4 0.02 0.8 2.8 12.9 2.4 10.7
2 21 30 7.4 0.37 3.1 11 2.2 8.2 1.4 0.02 0.8 2.6 11.5 2.2 9.8
3 19 31 7.5 0.38 3.1 10 2.0 7.5 1.4 0.02 0.8 2.4 10.8 2.0 9.1
4 17 31 7.5 0.38 3.1 9 1.8 6.8 1.4 0.02 0.8 2.2 10.7 1.9 8.6
5 15 31 7.7 0.39 3.1 8 1.6 6.0 1.4 0.02 0.8 2.0 9.9 1.7 8.1
6 14 31 7.7 0.39 3.1 7 1.4 5.2 1.4 0.02 0.8 1.8 9.1 1.6 7.8
7 11 31 7.7 0.39 3.2 6 1.2 4.5 1.4 0.02 0.8 1.6 8.5 1.4 7.2
8 10 32 7.8 0.39 3.2 5 1.0 3.8 1.4 0.02 0.8 1.4 7.8 1.3 6.9
9 8 32 7.8 0.39 3.2 4 0.8 3.0 1.4 0.02 0.8 1.2 7.0 1.2 6.6
10 7 32 7.8 0.39 3.2 3 0.6 2.2 1.4 0.02 0.8 1.0 6.2 1.0 6.0

a Cow consumes equivalent of 6 per cent of body weight of cut Napier grass.
b Concentrate 20 per cent CP; 75 per cent digestibility.
c Molasses contains 1,7 per cent CP; 60 per cent digestibility.


Supplementation is a useful means available to small-scale farmers'to
meet the feed requirements of livestock. There are numerous by-products
in Asia which can be used as supplements (Figure 6). As Table 8 illustrates,
some knowledge of the nutrient deficiencies of available feeds is necessary.

Table 8. Supplementation of Fresh Sugarcane Tops for Zebu Cattle
(source: 9)

Daily Intake of Tops (kg) ADG
Tops Supplement (kg)

No supplement 16.2 0 0.10

Molasses 11.6 1.2 -0.4

Cassava roots 13.7 1.2 0.08

Cotton seed meal 21.1 1.4 0.87

50 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Alkali treatment of straws improves the digestibility. The acceptance
of the practice would depend on returns to inputs.
Experience shows that intake of grass is negatively correlated with levels
of supplementation (4). Limited supplementation is recommended so that
intake of grass will not decline (Table 9). Supplementary feeding will usually
increase lactation length and persistence but may decrease fat content.

Table 9. Milk Yield for the First 150 Days of Lactation When Grazing
Tropical Grass Pasture or Grazing with Supplementary
Feeding (adapted from 13)

Milk Yield (kg/day) by Feeding System
10-day Graz. + Urea + Concentrates
Periods Grazinga Graz. + Maizeb Molassesc Lowd Highe

1 16.0 17.4 17.2 20.5 18.6
2 16.4 17.6 17.7 21.3 20.4
3 16.2 17.9 18.0 21.4 20.7
4 15.8 17.3 18.2 21.3 20.9
5 15.1 16.8 17.4 20.5 20.4
6 14.9 16.3 16.7 19.9 19.9
7 13.8 15.8 16.2 19.3 19.5
8 13.3 15.0 15.8 18.4 19.0
9 12.5 14.7 15.2 17.8 18.4
10 12.2 13.9 14.8 17.3 17.8
11 10.3 13.2 6.5 12.4 14.7
12 9.9 12.8 6.4 12.0 14.2
13 9.6 12.2 6.1 11.6 13.7
14 9.3 11.9 5.9 11.0 13.4
15 9.2 11.3 5.7 10.7 13.0
Lact. milk 3.189 3,660 3,819 4,338 4,671
% of expected 74.6 71.3 83.4 51.6

a Grazing only, 2.5 cows per ha.
b Grazing plus 1.0 kg of ground maize per 2.0 kg of milk in excess of 10 kg per day.
c Grazing plus 1.0 kg of urea (4%) with molasses per 2 kg of milk over 10 kg per day.
d Grazing and 1.0 kg of commercial concentrate per 2.0 kg milk in excess of 10 kg per day.
e Grazing plus 1.0 kg of commercial concentrate (20 per cent CP. 72.5 per cent TDN) per 2.0 kg of milk irrespective of
daily yield.

In summary the following conclusions may be drawn:

(i) Results are variable; therefore supplementation is largely site or farm

(ii) Long range effects require evaluation of several traits, such as
breeding efficiency, because supplements will often not pay in the
short range.

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 51

(iii) Supplementary feeding in early lactation will generally pay irrespec-
tive of the genotype of cattle, buffalo or carabao.

(iv) When the limiting nutrients) in grazing are identified, much better
animal response can be achieved with supplementation.

(v) Pelleted protein supplements appear to be the best form for grazing

(vi) For beef production from natural grasslands, supplements provide
no significant increase in gain; therefore supplements should be used
largely as emergency measures to increase the carrying capacity of

(vii) Supplements on excellent pastures may increase animal gains
significantly, but the practice is not usually economical, since about
50 kg of supplement will be required for each additional kg of gain
in excess of that for unsupplemented animals; low efficiency of gain
is attributed to reduction in forage intake.

Although the transfer of technology on the use of feed resources in the
tropics has been less than satisfactory, there are several new developments
which could prove beneficial. Among these are: (a) better methodology for
determining the feeding value of tropical forages; (b) more precise knowledge
of the digestive physiology of herbivores; (c) more precise means for deter-
mining the influence of chemical compounds, such as tannins, on the utiliza-
tion of browse and forage legumes; and (d) improvement in procedures for
identification of areas where mineral deficiencies may be serious. These
newer methodologies could be of special value for small-farm situations
where both quantity of feed and quality are marginal.


As a general guideline any forage for ensiling or making hay should
have at least 9 per cent CP and 58 per cent digestibility. In the humid tropics,
these levels may be difficult to meet. This is, however, possible in the sub-
tropical areas of Asia.


Water is required for normal physiological functions and is especially
important in the tropics. Providing more water can help in animal com-

52 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

fort, but there may be important trade-offs. For example, low water intake
slows the rate of passage of ingesta through the digestive tract. This ensures
higher levels of digestibility when feed quality is low, especially in CP, as
in rice straw. The physiological mechanism to recycle nitrogen is less effi-
cient with high intakes of water and feed. An animal's normal instinct is
to seek water when feed intake is low and it is under heat stress. Water helps
to maintain comfort and gives a sensation of fill. The desire to seek com-
fort and a normal state of hydration may have disadvantages on high fiber,
low protein feeds. In these situations, restriction of watering to alternate
days may prove beneficial.
There is also need for attention to quality. Water may contain com-
pounds such as sodium sulphate, magnesium and trace minerals far in ex-
cess of animal needs and may actually accentuate problems of malnutrition.


The mature cow in the tropics weighs approximately 350 kg. She re-
quires daily 10.0 MJ of metabolizable energy (ME), 2.8 kg TDN, 0.34 kg
CP, 14 g calcium (Ca) and 11 g phosphorus (P); annually, this translates
to 3,650 MJ of ME, 1,022 kg of TDN, 5,110 g of Ca and 4,219 g of P. Her
estimated average annual energy intake from grazing and crop residues is
about 3,920 MJ, which provides the energy for maintenance plus 250 kg
of milk. Under this system the calving interval is 18-22 months.
A reasonable goal would be for such cows to produce one calf per year
and 1,000 to 1,200 kg of milk (500 kg for calf feeding). There is a need
to increase total energy by 1,400 MJ and raise annual needs to about 5,500
MJ (14 per cent increase). Supplementation with by-products such as cotton-
seed cake or any similar feed with 12 per cent or more CP is required.. A
rate of 2.5 kg per day during lactation is recommended. Supplements of
a urea molasses mix at the same level have equivalent results. An on-farm
improvement could be effected through the introduction of improved
forages, especially forage legumes or trees like Leucaena leucocephela. Pur-
chase of off-farm supplements is simplest and requires little labor. When
cheap by-products are available in the area and remunerative milk sales
can be made, supplementation is of benefit to small farms. Use of on-farm
sources requires increased labor, some capital and adjustments in the crop-
ping system as well as overall improvement in management of the farm.
Figure 9 illustrates experiences in the highlands of Ethiopia, where a
profitable and acceptable system for dairy production was introduced. The
program was directed around increased milk production and the use of
crossbred cows. The average farm size was 2.8 ha, of which 1.7 ha was in
subsistence crops and 0.5 ha in cash crops. Crop residues and grazing of
fallow land provided 4.0 mt of DM. Since it was determined that 7.0 mt

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 53

of DM would be needed to raise the milk yield of the native cow from 380'
to 1,000 kg, the traditional system could not reach the projected goal. Under
improved Model I, the farmers were asked to replace their cash crop with
0.5 ha of improved forage for feeding a crossbred cow. At least 1,500 kg
of milk was needed to replace the value of the cash crop. Only 6.5 mt of
DM were available under the new system, less than the estimated needs (8.0
mt). The system was thus not acceptable to farmers. Improved Model II
consisted of a change in the whole system use of improved seed and bet-
ter land preparation for food crops in order to release 0.7 ha for forage
production. This model met the needs in DM and has been widely accepted
by farmers. It is also a clear example for multidisciplinary efforts of
agronomists, economists, animal scientists and others.

Figure 9. Traditional vs. Improved Models for Milk Production
in the Highlands of Ethiopia.

D for
Subsistence Crops Cash Crop Native I kg. Non-viable
1.7 ha 05 ha Cow Avail. M
4.0 7.0

Dry Matter

for Non-viable
1,500 kg
Subsiten Crops Forage improved Milk:
1.7 ha O eha Cow Av il.

Dry Matter

Subsistene Crops Fo ragC Ava k Viable
Crops !T n 20 a Viable

Dry Matter

54 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

For buffalo, carabao or cattle the relationship between performance
and feed quality as measured by digestibility of the total diet or ration is
as shown in Table 10.

Table 10. Performance vs. Feed Digestibility

Performance Digestibility (%)

Maximum genetic potential 70
Intermediate 60
Medium (cattle 11 kg milk; 0.5 kg ADG) 55
Maintenance of body weight 45
Loss in body weight 40

To obtain the corresponding levels of performance with goats,
digestibility needs to be 5 points higher, e.g., for maximum genetic poten-
tial 75 per cent digestibility, intermediate 65 and so forth. For swine and
poultry to perform at a maximum genetic potential digestibility should be
even higher: 80 per cent.
Feeds available on small farms in Asia are estimated on a yearly basis
at around 50 per cent digestibility. At this level, approximately 30 per cent
of the energy for ruminants is available for production purposes. A prac-
tical goal would be to increase the overall digestibility to 55 per cent. This
would enable the animal to use 60 per cent of the energy for production.
Such a change would increase the milk yield of a carabao from 500 to 800
kg a modest rise but a practical goal. The final conclusion on feeding
is that for all stock digestibility of rations could be increased by at least 5
percentage points by managing small farm resources. Such changes are feasi-
ble and do not have the risk of serious negative interactions with the crop


Generally, increasing inputs into livestock production systems may not
increase outputs correspondingly unless accompanied by improvements in
animal health. In small-farm systems in Asia mortality among young stock

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 55

is high (17 to 45 per cent) from birth to three months of age. Adjustments
in management could reduce this. Malnutrition, because too much milk
is drawn for sale or consumption, is usually the indirect cause of mortality.
Helminthiasis, colibacillosis and salmonellosis accentuate the impact of low
nutrition. Neonatal mortality is highest during the wet season in spite of
higher milk supplies. This is related to high levels of bacterial organisms,
other demands on labor, slaughter for food due to high prices of food grains
and low profitability. We know, for example, that in Africa neonatal mor-
tality is higher when women do the milking than men. Women see milk
as more food or returns from sales, whereas men are interested in expan-
sion of animal numbers for increased security or prestige.
The death rate among adult buffalo and cattle under extensive systems
is a little more than twice that for cattle in intensive systems (2 to 3 versus
5 to 6 per cent). The higher rate in the tropics is partially due to disease
but more so to long herd life (10-12 years). The risk of health problems
is about 5 times greater for females aged 7 years or older than for first
calvers. Culling in relation to morbidity at late ages needs further investiga-
tion. Mastitis may not have an important influence in situations where milk
yield is low, but when we plan for higher performance, management and
treatment to control mastitis is needed.
Overall, tick-borne diseases and internal parasites are most important.
It is difficult to establish priorities and execute effective programs and vir-
tually impossible to eradicate these problems because of the many reser-
voirs of vectors and the changes in environmental conditions that influence
tick-borne diseases and parasites.
Where governments ,have made a concerted effort to reduce the im-
pact of animal health problems, returns as measured by increased output
have been disappointing. For this reason, efforts to obtain large capital in-
puts for animal health are not going to expand significantly. This leaves
the major responsibility with producers for changes in both management
and investment. Numerous sets of data from tropical areas indicate that
the most frequent causes for termination of lactations and disposal in buffalo
and cattle herds are similar to those in temperate areas. This is illustrated
in Table 11. In Herd 1, cows completed 5.6 lactations with an average herd
life of 12.3 years, while cows in Herd 2 completed 4.5 lactations and lasted
for 10.6 years. The higher milk yield in Herd 2 (2,064 versus 1,702 kg) reflects
improved management and also demonstrates that culling to reduce mor-
bidity must accompany improved management to obtain higher yields. Even
if we combined the losses due to mixed and unknown causes with those due
to disease (Table 11), it is still clear that health is largely a function of
management and environmental factors.

56 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Table 11. Percentage of Lactations, by Parity, Terminated by Problems
of Health, Reproduction and Death for Buffalo in Two
Large Herds in Pakistan (adapted from 1)

Classification 1st Lactation 2nd Lactation 3rd Lactation

(1)a (2) (1) (2) (1) (2)
Mastitis 6.0 13.9 9.9 15.9 19.8 15.8
Reproduction 5.1 4.1 5.3 6.5 7.7 7.5
Mixed 0.4 3.7 2.9 2.6 2.6 3.6
Unknown 6.2 4.5 6.1 4.7 7.1 6.6
Milk let-down 9.5 4.5 1.5 0.0 0.8 1.0
Death 2.1 1.4 2.4 2.0 3.3 2.2

a 1 = Herd 1; 2 = Herd 2.

For improving productivity on small-farm systems, epidemiological ser-
vices are needed to identify the causes of neonatal mortality so that more
young can be reared for replacement, thereby permitting earlier culling of
In Asia and Africa (though not in Latin America) there is a tendency
for producers to depend on the government for animal health services. In
Latin America medications for parasite control, antibiotics and other drugs
are available in shops in rural villages. Perhaps in Asia the private sector
could be encouraged to provide outlets for the supply of essential medicines
to rural farmers. This would lead farmers to appreciate cost and would create
an awareness for faster turnover and sale of unproductive stocks.


There has been a great deal of speculation over the apparent late age
of first calving and low breeding efficiency of buffalo, carabao and cattle
in Asia. Some have suggested organic problems which need characteriza-
tion while others have identified climatic stresses as a serious deterrent. It
has been hypothesized that reproductive efficiency could be improved
through closer attention to livestock on farms in Asia, but implementation
of means to improve breeding efficiency has been poor. The usual assump-
tion is that higher reproduction rates are desirable and there are few con-
straints. Even if an Asian farmer deemed more frequent parturitions
desirable, he might not view this as acceptable in terms of returns to the
extra labor required for closer supervision of individual animals.

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 57

There are many recent technological developments which could im-
prove reproductive performance, including artificial insemination (AI),
estrus detection devices, synchronization of estrus, fertilized ova transfer,
progesterone milk assay for estrus and pregnancy detection and drug or hor-
mone therapy. Direct transfer of these technologies under the current
livestock farming systems on smallholder farms may meet with more limited
success than expected because of the marked influence of environmental
Evidence from Pakistan, India, Thailand and the Philippines with buf-
falo and cattle indicates that livestock are as fertile there as elsewhere when
natural service or fresh semen is used. There must be a marked improve-
ment in the delivery of these services to farmers for the technology to be
Values in Table 12 illustrate the influence of season on breeding effi-
ciency. Approximately 60 per cent of the parturitions for buffalo occurred

Table 12. Season and Parity Effects on Measures of Breeding Efficiency
of Nili-Ravi Buffalo in Pakistan (adapted from 1)

Calving Calving to
Days Interval Ist Breeding rvi
Open (days) (days) Conception
(days) (days)

Jan 273 564 202 1.8
Feb 250 551 190 1.9
Mar 232 537 187 1.7
Apr 192 500 175 1.5
May 181 486 163 1.6
Jun 188 485 168 1.4
Jul 180 481 153 1.6
Aug 203 485 156 1.6
Sep 205 473 134 1.8
Oct 225 490 157 1.8
Nov 255 534 186 1.8
Dec 263 535 211 1.7

1 249 548 214 1.6
2 236 530 206 1.6
3 221 515 220 1.6
4 208 501 187 1.7
4 229 498 179 1.7

58 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

in July-October. Calvings in this period were followed by 60 days earlier
return to estrus, 26 fewer days open and 43-day shorter calving intervals
than for calvings in other months. The variability was associated with fluc-
tuations in feed supplies rather than climate. Breeding efficiency tended
to improve with advancing parity, suggesting that mature cows were better
able to cope with environmental changes or that infertile ones had been
culled. Similar trends have been identified for cattle.
The hour of the day at which estrus detection is made can be impor-
tant. From 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, few buffalo or cattle will exhibit visible
signs of estrus. Most activity occurs just about sunrise and sunset. While
only about 27 per cent of the cows show estrus between 10:00 am and 4:00
pm, more than 96 per cent may be observed at sunrise and sunset. Frequency
of estrus among Zebu was also low from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am, but Zebu
males appeared most active as breeders during these hours.
While temperature may affect male libido and sperm production,
studies in the tropics show that low levels of nutrition can influence breeding
Hormone therapy to improve reproductive efficiency in tropical areas
has been tried. Much more knowledge is required on hormonal relation-
ships under stressful conditions before estrus synchronization for controlled
breeding or embryo transfer can be effective,
The reproductive efficiency of buffalo and cattle in the tropics will be
satisfactory when: the females are healthy; nutrition is sufficient to ensure
cycling; and the females are attended with vigorous, fertile males 2 to 4
years of age. The main failure of small-farm systems has been that individual
events which lead to high reproductive efficiency have not been individual-
ly identified and managed. The key to successful reproduction management
is to know the "normal" reproductive cycle of the female, to understand
how the environment may disrupt the cycle and to prescribe a realistic pro-
gram of preventive maintenance suitable to the needs of local conditions.
In a number of countries in Asia, there is a need for larger numbers
of draft animals. The situation may be improved by providing farmers
incentive to breed females. Where milking is not practiced, the female is
looked upon as a low output unit. She is used for draft power, which reduces
breeding efficiency. Encouraging the use of milk or milk products would
provide incentives to appreciately increase breeding efficiency.


In many areas, a change in animal genotype has been recommended
as the initial step for improved animal performance on small farms. Genetic
change should rightfully follow the provision of better feed supplies,
improved animal health, higher reproductive efficiency and identification

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 59

of markets that will give farmers an incentive for the extra care required
by improved breeds.
The introduction of improved breeds for crossing or upgrading local
cattle in Asia has gone on for nearly 100 years. At present, few if any coun-
tries have definitive policies on genetic improvement. From the late 1800s
to 1915, Colonials imported breeds from Europe on the assumption that
local stocks should be replaced. From 1920 until 1946, emphasis shifted to
the use of local stocks, but since then there have been large importations
of improved breeds based on the premise that progress in selection among
local breeds was too slow to meet rising human food needs. With less than
desirable success achieved with imported breeds and disappointment with
second and later generation crossbreds, attention is now returning to the
use of local stocks. Recent reviews (6, 7) give strong justification for wider
use of this approach.
In much of the tropics, prices paid to producers and the cost at which
feeds and forages are available are not attractive for either investment in
good cattle or creating infrastructure for supporting high milk or beef pro-
duction. The uncertainty of guidelines for producing generations beyond
the F1 cross has been a major factor in the utilization of crossbreeding.
Backcrossing the improved parent breed has been most widely practiced
for producing the second generation. This cross has low fitness for the tropics,
hence high losses. Other crosses, such as 3-breed, backcrossing to native
sire breed and inter se of F1 crosses have been tried without prominent
results. The major disappointment in later crosses has been that on the basis
of performance, including fitness and health, the F1 cross has generally
proved most successful. Synthetic breeds have emerged periodically but they
have met with only modest success beyond government farms. Another short-
fall is that national programs have tended to assume that one genotype is
suitable for all environments within the country. This ignores reality, as
nearly all countries have at least three types of milk or dual purpose systems
operating which have definite needs in genotypes: (a) extensive grazing that
decidedly favors local cattle; (b) sub-humid or humid areas with seasonally
abundant grazing but with low availability of concentrate supplements where
some crossing has transpired; and (c) the suburbs of large urban centers
or in high altitudes where high grade crosses-or improved breeds perform
reasonably well.
Animal nutritionists and animal breeders in temperate areas recom-
mend high inputs of feed with the objective of obtaining best biological ef-
ficiency. Such an approach assumes a strong relationship between economic
and biological efficiencies. In the tropics, where feed is limited, economics
is the primary criterion. Best biological efficiency in warm climate regions
is 4,000 to 4,500 kg of milk and 0.7 kg ADG on a sustained basis. Attempts
at higher levels of performance result in low efficiency in the use of feed.
Due to depressed appetite from heat stress the use of higher energy feeds

60 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

than are generally available is required (Figure 6). In addition, high feeding
to overcome depressed appetite (80 per cent concentrates) increases
maintenance requirements by 15 per cent, leading to low efficiency of feed
energy use.
Maximum sustained yields from well-managed, fertilized, and irrigated
tropical pastures are estimated at 3,000 to 3,200 kg of milk and 0.45 to
0.55 kg ADG. Feed resources restricted to those which can be provided
through medium quality grazing and crop residues will provide 0.25 to 0.35
ADG on a yearly basis. These forages, supplemented with 2.5 kg concen-
trates per day, will support lactation yields of 1,800 to 2,200 kg of milk.
With practical inputs of technology, farm resources in Asia will support
no more than 1,800 to 2,200 kg of milk and 70 to 100 kg gain per year.
On this assumption breeding plans should be directed to producing animals
which have an estimated producing ability about 30 per cent above proj-
ected feeding. A reserve capacity of 30 per cent is recommended in order
that the cow or buffalo is in a position to respond to improved feeding which
may occur.

Table 13. Estimated Milk Yield and Feed Requirements (TDN and
Multiples of Maintenance) for Native Cows and Various
Crosses with Holstein (source: 6)

Proportion Mature Expected TDN Multiples of
of Holstein Wt. Milk Yield Required Maintenance
(kg) (kg) (kg/day)

0 350 850 4.2 1.46
1/8 370 1345 5.2 1.60
2/8 400 1840 6.2 1.74
3/8 425 2335 7.0 1.86
4/8 450 2830 8.0 2.08
5/8 500 4015 9.0 2.12
6/8 575 5090 9.8 2.38
7/8 612 5900 10.2 2.45
8/8 650 7000 11.2 2.80

Examples are given in Table 13. At two equivalents of maintenance
a 4/8 or 50 per cent cross would correspond to the functional efficiency,
about 2,500 kg, for feed resources, which can be provided most economically.
Use of crosses with higher levels of improved breeding is unwise as each ad-
ditional 1/8th (12.5 per cent) requires 20 to 25 per cent more feed to main-
tain equal efficiency. Where it is known or suspected that the environment
will not support 2,500 kg of production, less than 50 per cent improved

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 61

breeding should be considered, such as grading with F1 cross sires, selected
sires of synthetic breeds or chosen native breed sires. Placing high grade
or pure European breeds in environments that will support 50 per cent or
less of their genetic potential markedly increases risks and results in low ef-
ficiency due to increased maintenance requirements (6).
Crossing large beef breeds with native type cows or using large breeds
such as Santa Gertrudis has limited value in low feeding environments. As
we consider a breeding program for meat production, close attention should
be given to economics. For example, if a crossing program results in a
decrease in a calf crop of 1 per cent per 100 calves due to difficult calving,
the surviving calves will need to weigh 1.8 kg more to cover the loss. Loss
of one cow per 100 head due to difficult calving will require 5.4 kg heavier
calves to offset the loss. When cow size is increased by 45 kg, the weaning
weight of the calf must be increased about 10 kg to compensate for the
maintenance needs of the dam. Switching from natural service to AI may
require 30-40 kg more weight per calf to cover costs. In principle, the poten-
tial annual fluctuation in weaning weight equivalent per calf could be about
50 kg when a large breed of sire is crossed with small cows. An experience
in Thailand illustrates the low returns to crossing with large breeds (Table
14). The crossbreds were heavier at all ages, but losses were greater and
breeding efficiency lower; therefore there was no difference in weight of
calf per cow per year, but problems with crossbred cows were greater. Also,
more land was required per crossbred cow. If a large breed is chosen for
crossing, then both males and females should be marketed as a terminal
cross to avoid increasing cow maintenance requirements. The same would
apply to buffalo-carabao crosses.

Table 14. Native vs. F1 Crosses of Brahman x Native and Charolais
x Native Cows in Thailand (source: 5)

Trait Native Brahman Charolais

Weight (kg)
Birth 16 20 21
Weaning 88 101 120
12 mo 107 131 147
18 mo 127 157 187
Mature females 281 400 450
% Weaned 66 65 49
Age at 1st calving (mo) 35 48 42
Wt of weaned calf/cow/yr (kg) 62 63 63
Stocking rate (ha/cow) 2.2 2.9 3.2

62 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Asians should exercise care in replacing their local Zebu with larger
breeds. It has been shown (2) that the indigenous Zebu of Malaysia was small
but had good efficiency for local conditions. Higher weight at maturity (400
kg or greater) has been associated with efficiency, but this is not the case
on low to medium feed resources. For best efficiency, cattle should be
marketed at 80 per cent of mature weight. Native type cattle can achieve
this level in 2.0 to 2.5 years, but in the same environment it will take 1.0
to 1.5 years longer for the large breed cross to reach the equivalent stage
of maturity. In brief, there is not solid evidence to show that large breeds
are superior in performance over small breeds when grazing tropical
With respect to buffalo breeding, the factors affecting milk yield and
growth rate in buffalo are similar to those for cattle (1). Selection could
be useful to increase the genetic potential for milk production and growth
rate. However, large seasonal effects on breeding efficiency, long calving
interval and late age at first parturition lead to lengthy generation inter-
vals and do not favor progeny testing. A number of writers have lauded
the longevity of buffalo. Until early mortality is reduced and more rapid
culling policies are instituted, selection programs may have little success.
Considering the characteristic feeding strategy of buffalo and carabao, is
it really wise to risk losing their unique ability for using low quality feed
by endeavoring to make them fit into other environments?
Some suggestions for consideration in planning strategies for genetic
improvement follow:

(i) Environmental constraints, particularly level of feeding, must be con-
sidered in developing breeding policies.

(ii) Programs for milk production should focus on the use of local stocks
or crosses with no more than 50 per cent improved breeding since
characteristics associated with fitness are severely influenced by
tropical conditions.

(iii) The use of large breeds in beef production programs is non-
supportable when feed resources consist of tropical grass pastures and
crop residues.

(iv) Breeding programs should be evaluated on multiple traits since milk
yield and growth rate are insufficient for estimating suitability to
tropical areas.
(v) For any long-term developments in genetic improvement to be
realized, the wishes and opinions of farmers need to be known and
respected. Animal breeders should be aware that farmers are in-
terested in a constellation of characteristics in their animals.

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 63

(vi) Since the vast majority of farms in Asia are small, government pro-
grams should focus on the production of males for distribution.
(vii) Much greater flexibility in breeding strategies is needed to arrive at
the best technology for tropical areas.
(viii) In programs directed toward improvement through selection, more
attention should be given to procedures for the identification of
superior females to serve as dams of bulls.
(ix) Rapid turnover rate-of sires is recommended where population
numbers are low.
(x) Progeny testing of sires, except for adding to pedigree value, is not
generally recommended. If pursued, sire comparisons should be over
short time spans (only first lactation performances used) and each
sire should have at least 10 progeny.


In Asia, animal production is a subsystem on smallholder farms. Crop-
ping is the primary subsystem; therefore proposed introductions of
technology to increase livestock production must be compatible with farmer
decisions on food and cash crop production. Purchased feeds will generally
be expensive; hence the best opportunities are presented by modest increases
in feed resources on farms at minimal cost. To execute this approach effec-
tively will require the animal scientist to take a more holistic approach to
livestock production. For this approach to be effective, close collaboration
with several disciplines will be required. In most cases, the objectives of
livestock improvement will be best served by analyzing the subsystem to
answer a limited number of key questions that could generate research. The
problems can then be given special attention to discern how current research
results can be modified or applied directly.

64 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management


1. Cady, R.A., S.K. Shah, E.C. Schermerhorn, and R.E. McDowell,
1983. Factors Affecting Performance of Nili-Ravi Buffaloes in
Pakistan. J. Dairy Sci. 66:578.

2. Camoens, J. K., 1980. The Indigenous Zebu of Malaysia, Ministry of
Agriculture, Bulletin No. 151.

3. ILCA, 1983. Pastoral Systems Research. ILCA Bulletin No. 16. In-
ternational Livestock Center for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

4. Konandreas, P.A., F.M. Anderson, andJ.C.M. Trai., 1983. Economic
Trade-off Between Milk and Meat Production Under Various Sup-
plementation Levels in Botswana. ILCA Res. Rpt. No. 10, ILCA, Ad-
dis Ababa, Ethiopia.

5. KURDI, 1982. Progress Report on Improvement of Beef Cattle Pro-
duction Through Selection and Breeding Systems, 1979-81. Kasetsart
University Research and Development Institute, Bangkok, Thailand.

6. McDowell, R.E., 1983. Strategy for Improving Beef and Dairy Cattle
in the Tropics. Cornell International Agri. Mimeo. No. 100, Cornell
University, Ithaca, NY.

7. McDowell, R.E., 1985. Crossbreeding in Tropical Areas with Emphasis
on Milk, Health and Fitness. J. Dairy Sci. 68: (in Press).

8. McDowell, R.E., 1984. Livestock Nutrition in Subsaharan Africa: An
Overview. In: Livestock Development in Subsaharan Africa. ed. J.R.
Simpson and P. Evangelou. Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado.

9. McDowell, R.E., 1978. Are We Prepared to Help Small Farmers in
Developing Countries? J. Animal Sci. 47:1184.

10. McDowell, R.E. and P.E. Hildebrand, 1980. Integrated Crop and
Animal Production: Making the Most of Resources Available to Small
Farms in Developing Countries, Working Papers, The Rockefeller

11. McDowell, R.E. et al., 1975. Tropical Grass Pastures With and
Without Supplement for Lactating Cows in Puerto Rico. University
of Puerto Rico Agri. Exp. Sta. Bulletin 238, Rio Piedras.

Meeting Constraints to Production Systems 65

12. Van Soest, P.J., 1982. Nutritional Ecology of the Ruminant. O&B
Books, Inc., Corvallis, Oregon.

13. Yazman,J.A., R.E. McDowell, H. Cestero,J.A. Arroyo,J.D. Rivera-
Avaya, M. Soldevila, and F. Roman, 1982. Efficiency of Utilization
of Tropical Grass Pastures by Lactating Cows With and Without Sup-
plement. J. Agri. Univ. Puerto Rico 66:200.

14. Yazman, J.A., J. Velez, J.A. Arroyo, and R.E. McDowell, 1983.
Evaluation of Five Tropical Grasses for Growing Holstein Heifers.
J. Agri. Univ. Puerto Rico 67:79.



A. J. De Boer

Agricultural Economist
Winrock International Livestock Research and Training Center
Morrilton, Arkansas, USA

68 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management


The growth of livestock industries in Asia has been uneven and, in
general, quite disappointing. Ruminant livestock populations have, with
a very few exceptions, not kept pace with growth rates of human popula-
tions (33). There have also been few examples of improved productivity from
these animal populations. The notable success stories have been the rapid
growth of commercial poultry and swine industries around some major urban
areas. These have been based on imported technology and, in some cases,
on a high proportion of imported feed ingredients.
Traditional livestock systems evolved to meet the needs of traditional
village-based agriculture. These needs have included the use of large
ruminants for draft power and manure and as a store of wealth. Small
ruminants are kept as a store of wealth to sell for emergencies and to pro-
vide high-quality manure. Pigs and poultry are kept for these latter reasons,
as well as to produce meat for household consumption and to utilize
household and crop by-products. These needs do not favor selection for pro-
ductivity (other than survival), the use of purchased inputs, sale of animals
at optimal ages for commercial use or the development of commercial market
channels for high-quality animal products.
Traditional village agriculture in Asia is undergoing profound changes.
The challenge for Workshop participants is to seek ways by which livestock
can make a larger contribution to national welfare by improving their
economic attractiveness. To accomplish this requires background knowledge
of the role of animals in traditional Asian farming systems, how these systems
are changing, how a "systems approach" to animal improvement programs
can help in designing and implementing projects and what types of infor-
mation are required to put this approach into practice.


The systems approach to animal agriculture evolved from the applica-
tion of principles taken from general systems theory, which was developed
to assist problem-solving in the physical sciences (14). It recognizes that
(a) animals are part of larger and more complex physical and human
systems, and (b) systems principles need to be applied to bring about more
efficient use of natural resources devoted to animal production (15).
The underlying rationale for using the systems approach is the need
to improve collection of new information, organize existing information and
rationalize the decision-making process. The systems approach to problem
solving includes: (a) description, (b) problem identification, (c) problem
analysis, (d) design, (e) testing, and (f) decision-making. The approach

Basic Features and Economics of Livestock Systems 69

requires that all elements significant to decision-making be incorporated
into a model which defines the boundaries of the system. The model clear-
ly specifies relationships and boundaries and represents a formal attempt
to approximate the real world system of interest. These include physical,
schematic and mathematical models. Specifics depend upon the types of
questions that need to be answered.
A variety of approaches has been developed to address these and related
types of questions. The "top-down" models for macro-planning help plan-
ners to translate needs into supportive policies designed to help farmers meet
production goals. The "bottom-up" types of system models focus on the
description, analysis and resolution of problems at the farm level. This has
become known as the Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E)
approach. Both of these approaches have relevance for improving livestock
production systems in Asia.


These models usually proceed from specification of targets, quantifica-
tion of resource requirements and resolution of constraints such as feed,
capital, manpower, processing, land and markets. Additional simulations
of policy options related to these constraints provide implications for resource
requirements that can then be incorporated into the planning and policy-
making process. Indirect uses of quantitative models used for this purpose
include identification of information gaps, model consistency, model bound-
aries, and causative relationships (17). Some important characteristics of
most Asian livestock production systems that must be considered in a for-
mal or informal modeling exercise include large seasonal variation in feed
supply, family and hired labor availability, traditional grazing and breeding
patterns, seasonal variations in draft animal needs and variations in the unit
of analysis (household, village, region) between seasons.
Moving to the level of herds/flocks, there is a range of bio-economic
models that focus on specific characteristics of the production system (5,
6, 20, 23, 24). The information generated by these types of models includes
the impact of animal genetic potential on system performance and the
impact of technical improvements such as reduction of calving interval,
increased growth rates, supplementation, reduction of mortality, milk yields,
and carcass weights and yields on overall system performance. The relevance
of these models to public policy formulation is highly variable. At best, the
models give an indication of which practices are potentially profitable at
the producer level and also indicate where government emphasis should be
placed to make these practices profitable.
However, by their very nature, these types of models are of little help
in assessing the nuts and bolts aspects of public policy such as price policy,

70 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

procurement systems, tailoring research results to meet the needs of small
farmers, getting that technology to the farmer and meeting the infrastruc-
ture needs for small-farm livestock development. Finally, these "herd/flock"-
oriented models have been of limited utility in the Asian context because
of small animal numbers per farm, importance of draft power, strong crop-
livestock interactions, vast differences in feeding regimes, a lack of well-
defined genotypes and the complex human and institutional factors often


For the above reasons, the systems approach to the development of
livestock production programs in Asia is best applied through some form
of FSR/E approach. Four stages are generally used for implementation of
this approach:

1. The descriptive or diagnostic stage includes subsystem linkages,
institutions, crop-livestock interactions, farmers' goals and motiva-
tions, and farmer constraints. Many of the above questions can
be answered as the structure of the production system becomes
clearer and as farms are grouped into similar units in terms of key

2. The design stage is where a range of strategies can be formulated.
Experience with livestock development programs under similar con-
ditions in other countries can be brought to bear on resolving
specific constraints, particularly dry season feeding, breed adapt-
ability to harsh climates and small-scale assembly systems for
livestock products. Many of the technical problems and the trade-
offs mentioned above become more evident at this stage. Once the
definition of what the farm family regards as an "improvement"
becomes clear, whole-farm models can be used to assess the im-
pact of various on-farm development strategies (11).

3. The testing stage involves on-farm testing and evaluation of the
most promising strategies. It is at this stage that farmer participa-
tion is crucial in sorting out the technological questions, social ac-
ceptability and marketing constraints that will probably arise from
the most promising strategies. It must also be determined whether
the production packages being developed are applicable to the
relatively homogeneous groups of farmers identified in Stage 1.

4. The extension stage involves extension of the most promising results
to groups of similar farms.

Basic Features and Economics of Livestock Systems 71

Formulation and execution of agricultural policy based on this approach
are handicapped by its "micro" nature wherein farming systems diversity
becomes apparent and the researcher has difficulty coming up with general
economic or agricultural policies that consistently produce the desired ef-
fect. Policy makers, on the other hand, desire policies that can be im-
plemented with available instruments at the national or regional level.
On balance, the lack of sustained progress in Asian livestock develop-
ment has not been due to the absence of macro-models, planning models
or supportive government policies but because (a) livestock rearing in tradi-
tional village-based systems has not been provided with adequate incentives
to expand production and (b) there have not been sufficient potentially pro-
fitable innovations for producers to invest in. In one of the few studies car-
ried out on the economics of traditional cattle and water buffalo produc-
tion (9), it was found that these animals produced implied rates of return
to capital similar to prevailing interest rates in the region. Given the role
of livestock on small farms and the lack of any easily applied appropriate
technology that would generate much higher rates of return, there was lit-
tle incentive to change. The rest of this paper will focus on some
characteristics of livestock production systems in Asia and how the systems
approach can be used to help improve the process of identifying, generating,
testing and evaluating innovations for livestock producers and those in the
livestock processing and marketing chain.


Livestock production systems should be classified into groups that will
respond similarly to changes in economic and technical circumstances. This
will provide homogeneity in input-output relationships and parameters and
should result in groups of systems that will respond similarly to a specific
development strategy (19).
Since the animal feed component tends to dominate the other produc-
tion inputs, most groupings tend to emphasize types of feedstuffs available,
the seasonal management of animal feeding and the resource requirements
for supplying different types of feedstuffs. Such classification allows an ag-
gregation to provide national feedstuff balance sheets (17). Feed re-
quirements by animal class, animal productivity level and the primary source
of feedstuffs are the delimiters. The primary type of product produced is
usually one of the variables used.
A feed-based model has been developed and applied previously (13,
15). Such models are very useful for making comparisons of production
systems, looking at various measures of system efficiency or aggregating
resources for meeting specific production requirements. However, they do

72 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

not give much insight into the key features of animal production systems
in Asia, namely, linkages, interactions, systems boundaries, seasonality, com-
plementary versus competitive resource use for animal production and ra-
tionality of the particular methods of production. Therefore, some specific
Asian farming systems involving livestock will now be examined in order
to expand upon how these factors need to be considered within the systems


Several studies have produced descriptive models of typical Asian farm-
ing systems which illustrate inputs, outputs, linkages and systems boundaries.
Some of these are now described.
Table 15 summarizes the major prevailing types of integrated farming
systems in Asia (26). To augment the level of detail provided in Table 15
and to assess the relative importance of each subsystem, specific sets of rela-
tionships and interactions are set out in diagrams. These diagrams cover
situations where crop-animal interactions are weak and those where strong
interactions are present. The terms "integration" and "interaction" refer
to a quantified flow of products between the crop and animal subsectors
and also to the degree in which farmers' decision-making reflects these in-
teractions. Figure 10 represents a case of strong integration while Figure
11 represents moderate to weak integration. In Figures 10 and 11, "Market"
represents all off-farm activities and non-land resources. The solid arrows
depict strong flows or linkages. The broken arrows represents flows where
less than 20% of total income is derived from the sale of crops and animals,
the interchanges were intermittent or no routine pattern of interaction was
present. Household fuel sources were identified for all systems.
A similar representative farm diagram for Northeast Thailand is shown
in Figure 12 (28). A much simpler diagram examining the economic returns
to traditional cattle and water buffalo production systems, also in North-
eastern Thailand, is presented in Figure 13 (12). These diagrams depicting
flows and relationships serve to describe how farming systems operate and
provide valuable information to those analyzing the agricultural sector and
the livestock subsector.
It is often desirable to have more details about the input-output coef-
ficients and the actual magnitude of these stocks and flows. This requires
a multi-disciplinary team to carry out detailed farm surveys, and a con-
siderable degree of experience and skill in working with farming systems.
In the Asian context, where a variety of crops are grown during dif-
ferent seasons, intercropping and multiple cropping are often present and
a variety of livestock species are kept under different management systems,
such exercises are complex. These exercises are important where (a) a

Basic Features and Economics of Livestock Systems 73

Table 15. Prevailing Systems of Agriculture on Small Farms, Main Regions of Use, Major Crops
and Animal Species, and Feed Sources for Animals of Asia (source: 26)

Farming System Major Crops Major Animals Main Regions* Feed Sources

1. Coastal fishing Coconut, cassava Swine P. T Coconut by-products.

and farming com-
plexes, livestock

2. Low elevation
intensive vege-
table and swine,
livestock important

3. Highland vegetables
and mixed cropping
(intensive), live-
stock important

4. Upland crops of
semiarid tropics,

5. Humid uplands,

6. Lowland rice,

7. Multistory (peren-
nial mixtures),
livestock somewhat

8. Tree crops (mixed
orchard and rubber).
livestock somewhat

9. Swidden, livestock
10. Animal-based

cacao, rice


Ducks TW, T, M. P. I

Cattle and goats SL, P, M, I
Swine C. TW. HK


Vegetables. rice,
sugarcane, sweet
potato, Irish


Maize, cassava,
sorghum. kenaf,
wheat, millet,
pulses. oilseeds,
peanut, etc.
Rice, maize,
cassava, wheat,
kenaf, sorghum,


Rice, vegetables,
pulses, chickpea,
mungbean, sugarcane

Coconut, cassava,
banana, mango.


Orchards, trees,
rubber, oil palm

Maize, rice, beans.
peanut, vegetables

Fodder crops

Swine, fish

Buffalo, cattle
sheep, goats


Cattle, buffalo

Cattle. buffalo,
goats, sheep.
poultry, swine

P. T, I



Swine, poultry. Asia (more
cattle, buffalo than 1000
mm rain)

Cattle, buffalo

Cattle, buffalo
swine, ducks,
Cattle, goats,


Cattle, goats,

Swine, poultry.
goats, sheep
Cattle, buffalo.
goats, sheep

T, P, I



P, I

P, M, South T


1. M. IN

rice bran

Marine products,
rice bran
Pastured with coconut

Sweet potato residues,
rice bran. fermented
residues from vege-
table crops
Crop residues, imported

Crop residues, rice bran
Crop residues, rice
bran. cut forage, sugar-
cane tops

Crop residues, waste
Crop residues
Bran, oilseed cake,
straw, stovers, vines,
hulls, hay

Stover, weeds, by-
products, sugarcane

Sugarcane tops, crop

Crop residues, weeds,
by-products, sugar-
cane tops
Cut-and-carry feeds
from croplands

Crop residue, by-
Grazing or cut-and-

Animals scavenge

Cut-and-carry fodder,
crop residue

*C = China, HK = Hong Kong, IN = India, I = Indonesia, M = Malaysia, P = Philippines. SL = Sri Lanka, TW = Taiwan, T = Thailand.

First proof 18 jan echee
second proof 23 jan echee

74 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Figure 10. Lowland Rice System in Asia, Permanent Cropping, High Integration of
Crops and Animals (animals confined; source: 26).

Off F.am:

Figure 11. Tree Crop Farming in Asia, Long-term Cropping, Low to Moderate
Integration of Crops and Animals (animals tethered or roving; source: 26).

on F...0 I FI

Basic Features and Economics of Livestock Systems 75

Figure 12. Relationships Among Various Components in a Farm System for
Northeast Thailand (source: 29).


.arm Fami-y esorces

Cash input Public land R Podde n
Interme e ad F l P s Naturalm B
sThailand, 11 source: ).
Gran Neighbors
S manure

Compost Feed Other cash

Residues Power


Sale Products Product Sa

Figure 13. Interrelationship in the Allocation of Resources and the Production of
Intermediate and Final Products in Non Som Boon Village,
Thailand, 1971 (source: 12).

Land Labor Capital
x1 x2 x

Fodder Production Draft Power Grazing Production u
2 0 c a
---- t -- t-F^-- '

76 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

detailed profile of the units of interest is required and (b) the levels of effi-
ciency need to be determined for designing component programs. In most
cases, simplifying the production system down to a limited number of key
issues or key questions can provide focus in terms of (a) generating programs
that concentrate on these problems, (b) examining how current research
results and existing technologies could be modified or applied directly to
these areas, and (c) estimating the resources required to help overcome some
specific problem. In most cases, the issues will be related to improved animal
feeding systems, and to improved health, management and breeding/
reproduction practices needed to support an improved plane of animal pro-
duction. This will provide a focus on one or more subsystems leading to
evaluation of improved practices at the whole-farm or community level.


Diagrammatic representations of systems help us identify specific
features at the subsystem level for detailed examination. At this point, in-
teractions, trade-offs and conflicts become apparent. Some illustrations

Interactions between Livestock and
Improved Crop Production Programs

Increased crop output through higher grain yields using improved crop
varieties generally results in higher grain to stover ratios and poorer quality
crop by-products (Table 16). In addition, straw from modern wheat and
rice varieties shows a fairly consistent decline in TDN from about 45% to
less than 40%, providing less than the maintenance requirements of
Increasing cropping intensity should produce a larger quantity of crop
by-products but will require more labor and shorter fallow time for fields,
which means that it may not be possible to graze off crop stubble or to harvest
and store straw before the field has to be prepared anew.
Another cultural practice often required for higher crop yields is bet-
ter weed control, often by the use of herbicides. This reduces the number
of weeks available for animal feeding during periods when animals do not
have access to the fields. Higher crop yields also require more labor and
capital, so less of these are available for animal improvement programs.

Basic Features and Economics of Livestock Systems 77

Table 16. Estimates of Straw to Grain Ratios in Four Regions of India
for Modern and Local Varieties (source: 27)

Rice Wheat Sorghum Millet
Region Modern Local Modern Local Modern Local Modern Local

North and Northwest 1.5 1.9 1.3 1.7 na na 4.0 4.9
East and Northeast 1.4 1.6 1.4 1.6 na na 4.0 4.9
Southern 2.4 3.1 2.2 3.0 4.2 6.0 3.5 4.7
Central and Western 2.0 2.6 1.8 2.2 4.5 6.2 4.5 5.2
All India 1.7 2.2 1.4 1.7 4.4 6.1 4.2 5.0

Interactions between Livestock and
Maintenance of Soil Fertility

Crop management and animal husbandry practices influence the quan-
tity and quality of manure that can be collected, and financial considera-
tions largely determine the mix of fertilizers used. Alternatives include com-
posting or direct incorporation of crop residues into the soil. This reduces
animal feed supplies and consequently the amount of manure produced.
The production of green manure or short-duration fodder crops requires
additional fertilizer application and also reduces animal access to crop stub-
ble and necessitates fencing to keep out other- animals.

Interactions between Livestock and the
Provision of Household Energy Supplies

There are usually strong interactions among crops, livestock, forestry
and household fuel supplies. The household must give top priority to securing
daily supplies of fuel and water. Animal dung can be used as fuel, fertilizer
or building materials, or for gas production, which produces both energy
and fertilizer. Crop by-products can be used as fuel, fertilizer or animal
feed. If they are used for the latter purpose, manure is then another by-
product. Many types of trees can be used as fuel, animal feed and fertilizer
with trade-offs between these uses. The application of the systems approach
to the question of the most efficient use of animal dung in India found that
direct use of dung as fuel was more efficient than its use as fertilizer (1).

78 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Design Solutions in Cropping System and
Feeding System Interaction

Some suggested strategies which can be used to take advantage of the
crop/livestock interactions and improve the feed balance for animals (29)

(i) Catch cropping after a main crop;

(ii) Intercropping where the minor crop is produced for forage or to
provide additional crop by-products or residues;

(iii) Cut-and-carry systems using cultivated forages;

(iv) Multiple cropping;

(v) Special purpose crops;

(vi) Multiple purpose hedges and fodder trees;

(vii) Supplementation by tethering or grazing on non-arable land; and

(viii) Improvement of existing cropping systems by:

(a) Genetic improvement of a crop to improve its feeding value;

(b) Treatment of residues and by-products;

(c) Supplementation to improve digestibility of existing feed
resources; or

(d) Introducing additional inputs into the cropping system to raise

Combination of Interventions

The need for some combination of these interventions is obvious when
comparing animal efficiencies at various levels of feeding. Energy and pro-
tein wasted on maintenance represent the greatest loss to animal produc-
tion systems in Asia and elsewhere in the tropics. Cattle or water buffalo
produced under a low-energy ration typical of Asian farms require about
four years to reach mature weight, with total energy consumption of about
15,000 Mcal of ME. Cattle grown on a high-energy diet require about two
years to reach mature weight, consuming only 9,500 Mcal of ME. The dif-
ference is due to energy wasted on the extra two years of meeting
maintenance requirements. A comparison paper in this workshop (25) pro-
vides an excellent summary of feed requirements in typical Asian livestock
production systems.

Basic Features and Economics of Livestock Systems 79


One of the major uses of the systems approach has been in improving
the understanding of the existing agricultural processes. A related use is
to improve the application of existing research results and technology in
development projects (2).


The basic steps in designing and testing possible systems improvements
follow those that have been developed for improving cropping system pro-
grams. Some specific steps are detailed below.

(i) Selection of target areas. An initial effort is made to characterize
the region of interest in terms of homogeneous agro-climatic zones
and farming systems using secondary data, key informants, ex-
tension staff and village meetings. Aggregate characterization is
needed to ensure that subsequent efforts will be directed towards
production systems of major importance so that results will have
wider impact.
(ii) Site description and diagnosis. The system is now described in
terms of constraints and opportunities. The agro-economic pro-
files will generally involve the following components:

(a) Cropping system profile based on principles used in the
analysis of various cropping systems;

(b) Construction of a profile of animal feed supplies in well-
delineated time periods;

(c) Animal profile, which must describe the primary factors in-
fluencing feed requirements, such as gestation, lactation,
draft requirements, species, age, sex, size, exercise factors
involved in grazing, changes in herd/flock inventories and
seasonal weight changes; and

(d) Construction of a profile of apparent feed requirements
based on (c) above for the same time periods.

As (c) and (d) above indicate, the construction of profiles for most
animal production systems, even ones consisting of one or two
head, is much more demanding than for the agro-economic pro-
files typically used in the cropping systems programs, where

80 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

rapid rural reconnaissance techniques often suffice. However, most
ruminants obtain at least a portion of their feed supplies from
off-farm sources, grazing of crop stubbles or grazing of fields bunds
or borders. This can be considered exogenous to the major
research focus for improving the contribution of the cropping
system to animal production possibilities but improvement of
these forage resources often represents a viable, low-cost approach
that can be applied at the village level.

The next step is to make a preliminary validation of animal nutri-
tional requirements by matching up, for each time period,
available feed supplies with computed animal requirements. Large
deficiencies in available nutrients are usually observed due to some
of the factors mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Some ad-
ditional field work is then required to resolve these differences
and partition the seasonal nutrient flows by source (11).

The next step is a series of team meetings to map out the ex-
perimental programs for cropping systems, livestock systems and
overall system evaluation techniques. All interventions will fall
under four basic categories.

1. Adjustment of animal management practices with the cur-
rent stock of animals to better match up animal feed re-
quirements with seasonal feed availabilities.

2. Adjustment of animal inventories to better match up feed
demands and supplies and to increase productivity per head
of the remaining animals.

3. Modification of feed quality produced by existing cropping
systems through mechanical means, chemical treatment and
storage/preservation interventions.

4. Modifications of the cropping system to improve feed quali-
ty, feed quantity, seasonality of supply and the pattern of.
resource use on the farm, including draft power re-
quirements. Cropping system interventions may also be used
to improve the feasibility of preserving high-quality feed.

The coordinated work plan in each of these four areas must be
worked out in considerable detail. A choice must be made regard-
ing the overall analytical model that will synthesize the various
experimental results into a few measures to estimate system per-

Basic Features and Economics of Livestock Systems 81

formance. These measures must be relevant to the development
issues as well as to the potential clientele. Such measures would
typically include economic and financial returns per unit of
cropped area, per animal unit, per labor unit expended and per
total family unit.

A recent development which helps with this process is micro-
computer spreadsheet analysis, which can lay out feed resources
on one axis and feed requirements on the other axis. Changes in
any of the crop or livestock activities results in a recomputation
of all parameters related to that activity and calculation of new
feed balances for each time period specified (18). A recent study
in China successfully constructed cropping system profiles, feed
availability balance sheets and animal production system feed re-
quirements using a combination of interviews with representative
farms and group meetings with well-informed individuals (31).

(iii) Design, testing and evaluation of improved livestock production
systems. It has generally been more difficult to sort out promis-
ing production practices for livestock because of the strong in-
teractions noted above and because of fundamental differences
in the experimental unit (3) such as mobility of animals, long life
cycle of animals, lack of synchronization of experimental units,
multiple outputs over which some net value must be assigned, non-
market inputs and outputs, large and non-divisible experimental
units, personal attitudes and social customs towards animals, high
degree of management variability and few units available for

The design of interventions is also more difficult for animals than
for crops. Therefore, we should be careful in selecting a relative-
ly few new things to try out, and make sure that (a) if the new
technology is successful, it will have a major, easily observed
impact, (b) the new technology is compatible with existing crop-
ping systems or will not have a major negative impact on crop
output, (c) major increases in purchased inputs will not be
necessary, and (d) the technologies can be easily understood,
monitored and modified by available staff.

To help identify potentially promising new technologies, on-farm
trials will usually be of limited help because of problems with the
experimental unit cited above. In this area formal and informal
modelling can play an important role. Some specific examples
are discussed under the next section dealing with economics of

82 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

livestock production systems. Other ways to screen potential
technologies with little risk to producers include researcher
managed farms, unit farms and groups of farmer cooperators who
periodically assess subjectively the results of a project and suggest
avenues for improvement.

In setting up an evaluation procedure, it is essential that the
criteria are relevant to the producer, measurable and reflect a
perspective of long-term viability. It has been proposed (7) that
impact evaluation can generally be reduced to four operation
criteria, which also reflect basic properties of agro-ecosystems over
time: productivity, stability, sustainability and equitability.

The full cycle involved in using the systems approach to generate, test
and evaluate technology can now be summarized by means of a flow chart
(Figure 14). The obvious requirements for making this procedure operational
include (a) multidisciplinary teams of experienced personnel, (b) leader-
ship and vision, (c) a long-term perspective that allows the team to modify
the approach to conform to local bureaucratic and farming system con-
straints, (d) the ability to involve farmers and rural leaders in the entire
process, and (e) the flexibility to try new approaches and methods.


The four concepts upon which to build a framework for understanding
the economic rationale for Asian livestock production systems are (a) the
output mix from a given stock of animals, (b) the role of animals as capital
assets and the returns to these assets, (c) whole-farm economic performance,
which combines crop-livestock interactions, and (d) the basic purposes of
the economic unit (household, extended family or village).

Output Mix

This section refers primarily to large ruminants (cattle and water buf-
falo), where the output mix consists of draft power, meat, milk, calves, and
dung. When male animals are used primarily for draft power, we can depict
the trade-offs for a given number of animal units or a given biomass as in
Figure 15. If all male animals are used for draft power and replacements
purchased, meat output is restricted to culls only. A herd with no male draft
animals maximizes sales of animals for slaughter or milk production.
The economic factors influencing the mix include relative prices,
consumer preferences for products, producer preferences for specific animal

Basic Features and Economics of Livestock Systems 83

Figure 14. Flow of Activities in Research and Development
of Mixed Farming Systems (source: 34).

Select target area IY Development objectives

Describe target area

Select farming systems or T Research capabilities
land types to be included Development objective

Analyze existing systems

Component technology W Design alternative Development objectives, institu-
introduction and evaluation production systems tioal support, price and markets

Test alternative systems Economic conditions pric s

Extrapolation areas Confirm adaptation domain
Eapolation areas of acceptable alternatives

Pilot production program Institutional support

Production programs

Figure 15. Output Trade-offs for Dual Purpose Cattle or Buffalo Herds
of a Fixed Biomass.

Met A

from a given
animal biomass


from a given
animal biomas

84 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

production systems and the producer's subjective assessment of risks involved
in getting field preparation activities completed on time without having his
own draft animals. A review of Asian literature on the economics of draft
animals (4, 21, 32) indicated that unsubsidized land preparation costs per
hectare were generally higher with tractors than with draft animals. At the
same time, however, beef prices have generally increased more than prices
of other products, which puts additional pressure on farmers to sell their
draft animals or sell them at an earlier age (22). The net effect has been
increased cultivation by hand methods in heavily populated areas, increased
use of female animals for draft (21), increased conjunctive use of both
mechanical and animal traction and growth of specialized dairy or beef pro-
duction units such as in Korea.
A more formal model that incorporates the influence of double crop-
ping, capital shortages faced by smallholders, reduced value of draft animal
power and availability of communally grazed land predicts a steady decline
in draft animal stocks in the region (8). Given the economic conditions found
in Southeast Asia, schemes which distribute low cost heifers or steers to
smallholders may fail because the economically rational response of
smallholders may be to sell the animal for slaughter rather than maintain
it for breeding or draft power.
This model is also applied to the South Asian situation, characterized
by communal grazing and high value placed on milk and draft bullocks.
The model predicts high levels of concentrate feeding to lactating cows,
chronic shortages of fodder and very high calf mortality rates (8).

Livestock as Capital Assets

Several studies of Asian livestock production have focused on the role
of animals as capital assets and farmer decision-making based upon
maximizing returns to these assets (8, 12, 22). In situations where there are
few cash costs or returns, many of the costs and benefits of holding animals
must be imputed. In one such study (12), the internal rate of return (IRR)
to different livestock systems was calculated in three areas of Thailand. These
figures could then be compared to potential returns to similar assets or to
prevailing interest rates. Use of this procedure allowed comparisons among
traditional draft-based systems using native cattle and buffalo and newer
systems based on small-scale breeding operations using Bos indicus crossbred
stock. The typical time flow of costs and returns.is shown in Figure 16. The
IRR is calculated which equalizes the discounted streams of costs and
benefits. Returns were generated by imputed value of draft power, pro-
duction of young animals from breeding and sales of cull animals. The IRR's
calculated are shown in Table 17 and give a good indication of what was
actually occurring in the villages examined.

Basic Features and Economics of Livestock Systems 85

Economics of Mixed Farm Systems

Most Asian livestock are produced on mixed farms rather than as
specialized livestock units. Economic analysis of these involves the use of
methods which allow the analyst to account for the economic consequences
on the whole farm of a change made in the livestock activity. The building
blocks for this type of analysis are the farm diagrams used previously. The
specific technique will depend upon the purpose of the analysis but will usu-
ally involve partial budgeting, whole-farm budgeting, or linear
Partial budgeting is useful when examining the economic feasibility
of a specific practice or component technology and when the forward or
backward linkages to other components of the farming system are not strong.
Examples include ammoniation of rice straw to improve its feeding value,
deworming cattle and feeding a complete ration to pigs instead of rice bran.
In each case, the cropping sector linkages remain basically unchanged,
increased animal productivity should be quantifiable and increased returns
should be able to pay for increased cash inputs if the practice is economically

Figure 16. Net Costs and Returns in Bovine Enterprises.

Raise calf to
replacement age
and sell

0 -- I I I Age In
S 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Year
z -Raise calf.
(-) use, sell as cull
0 Age In
S1 2 5 6 7 8 9 10 ears
Buy replacement z
at maturity, use,
sell as cull
o Animal
0 I I Age In
1 2 5 6 7 8 9 10 Years

86 Regional Workshop on Livestock Production Management

Table 17. Estimates of Internal Rates of Return

Village Type Sex Enterprise Rate of

Mapkhae Cattle Male Raised from birth to 4, used as 15%
draft from 4-11, sold at end of
11 years as culls

Cattle Female Raised from birth to 4, bread
from 4-11, sold at end of 11
years as culls 15.5%

Buffalo Male Raised from birth to 4, used as
draft from 4-11, sold at end of
11 years as culls 15.2%

Buffalo Female Raised from birth to 4, used as
draft from 4-8, used as breeding
4-11, sold at 11 years as culls 26.5%a

Non Som Boon Cattle Female Raised from birth to 4, bred from
4-11, sold at end of 11 years as
culls 8.2%

Buffalo Male Raised from birth to 4, used as
draft from 4-11, sold as end of
11 years as culls 6.1%

Buffalo Female Raised from birth to 4, used as
draft from 4-8, used as breeding
4-11, sold at 11 years as culls 10.9%a

Nong Jek Lee Cattle Male Raised from birth to 4, used as
draft from 4-11, sold at end of 8.9%
11 years as culls

Cattle Male Purchase replacement males at 3,
used as draft from 4-11, sold at
end of 11 years as culls 16.0%

Cattle Female Raised from birth to 4, bred from
4-11, sold at end of 11 years as
culls -1.0%

.5 of male draft animal and breeding returns equal to non-worked breeding females.

a Returns assumed power return

Basic Features and Economics of Livestock Systems 87

Whole-farm economic models can be used to compare a sequence of
crop, crop-livestock or crop-livestock-aquaculture activities in terms of whole-
farm output, including food and money. There are several examples from
Asia (30), where labor inputs, capital inputs and productivity of land, labor
and capital are compared for crop, fish, livestock, crop-fish, crop-livestock,
fish-livestock and crop-fish-livestock farms. Such budgets can be constructed
from surveys of representative farms actually engaged in each activity or
set of activities, or the input-output requirements for each activity can be
synthesized through the use of farm budgeting techniques. This approach
is more useful in examining farm reorganization or the addition of new
activities (e.g., aquaculture, forestry) than it is in examining the impact
of improving one component of an individual activity. Linear programming
is a type of whole-farm budgeting which maximizes an objective function
(usually some measure of whole-farm income) subject to various constraints
which can include resources, family food requirements and other types of
sociocultural factors which influence the types of activities the farms engage
in. Linear programming models have been used to accurately represent com-
plex farming systems and can be very useful devices for screening potential
new technologies in terms of their impact on overall farm performance. As
mentioned previously, there are a variety of problems that limit our ability
to conduct on-farm testing of potential new technologies for livestock pro-
duction. A linear programming model which accurately simulates the opera-
tion of a complex mixed farm system can thus be a valuable tool for testing
how well specific component technologies or alternative management prac-
tices might perform under the actual producer conditions. Another study
(16) illustrates the use of this technique in planning dairy development pro-
grams in India.

Economics of Pig and Poultry Production

Concern is often expressed over the growth of large-scale, full confine-
ment pig and poultry units at the expense of the village producer. Such
units are said to increase a country's feed import requirements, use an
abnormally high ratio of capital to labor per unit of output and reduce
employment and income-earning opportunities for village units. The main
differences between traditional and modern pig and poultry units have been
summarized elsewhere (10). Modern units have higher levels of technical
efficiency. Large-scale units allow the use of specialized equipment and
services, a high reliance on purchased inputs, a higher degree of output
responsiveness to price changes, specialization of labor tasks, quality con-
trol over feed inputs and product output and the use of large-scale, low-
cost marketing outlets for their products.
Given the increasing availability of premix feeds, medicines and day-
old chicks in rural areas, small-scale, village-based pig or poultry units can

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