Asif Hameed

Contact

+92 321 76 46 213, + 92 333 6145202 

asif_lsf[at]yahoo.com

Skype ID: dr.asif9

Institute

The University of Kassel, Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, Section Animal Husbandry in the Tropics and Subtropics, Steinstrasse 19, D-37213 Witzenhausen, Germany

PhD Project Title

Yak husbandry and its contribution to rural livelihoods in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.

Abstract of PhD Thesis

The yak (Bos grunniens: domesticated; Bos mutus: wild) is a long-haired humped bovid, a multipurpose animal that can survive in a low oxygen and cold environment at an elevation of 2000 to 6000 meters above sea level. The animal has the ability to graze diverse foliage from coarse shrubs to short grasses. The majority of yak population is living in the Central Asian highlands, which include parts of Tibet, China, India, Pakistan, nepal and Bhutan. Yak rearing in Pakistan is bounded to higher elevations (3,500–4,500 meters a.s.l) of Gilgit-Baltistan, where yak is an important means of livelihood through the provision of milk, meat, dung,  hair and hide. The Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan has an estimated population of 25,000, of which the livelihood is based on subsistence agro-pastoral activities, with low agricultural productivity caused by climatic constraints. The area is generally poor and resources deficient, physical infrastructure is inadequate, and off-farm employment opportunities are very limited as the wage labor sector is underdeveloped. The majority of the rangelands in Gilgit-Baltistan are regularly grazed beyond their carrying capacity. The overgrazing can be attributed to two main factors: lack of a grazing management system, and lack of a proper land tenure system, in which the sustainable use of grazing lands seems to be no one’s responsibility as they are a common asset. During times of feed scarcity (winter, spring), livestock death is common, especially in years of heavy snowfall. Supplementary feeds, such as hay or crop by-products, are generally not available except in very small quantities, and mostly for weak animals. The prime issues faced by yak husbandry and the yak-raising communities in Gilgit Baltistan include low productivity, lack of grazing and rangeland management, demarcation and closure of borders (restrictions on grazing on trans-border pastures), uncontrolled mating, poor disease management, lack of veterinary and extension services and lack of markets for yak produce.

Given the mentioned developments, yak husbandry is under increasing ecological and social pressure and is furthermore threatened by inbreeding, which decreases the animals’ body size and productivity, and by declining access to alpine pastures due to climatic irregularities, landslides and lack of workforce.

In view of the above-stated challenges to yak husbandry in the area, it is important to study how the ongoing changes affect yak-farmers’ livelihood strategies centering around this livestock species. A detailed analysis of the contribution of yak to the households’ food supply, employment and income generation and the respective effects of different yak management approaches will help to formulate policies aiming at sustaining poor rural communities of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Research Interest

Animal Husbandry in different production systems, Domestic Animal diversity, Livestock management, Sustainable Livestock Production for improved Livelihood

Educational Background

2006 - 2009

M.Sc (Hon’s) Livestock Management from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan

2002 - 2006

B.Sc (Hon’s) Animal Husbandry from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan

Professional Experiences

Jan 2013- Aug 2016

Program Manager, Lok Sanjh Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan.

May 2009 - Dec 2012

Research Associate/Project Coordinator, Lok Sanjh Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Mar 2008 - Apr 2009

Research Associate, Project “Dissemination of Technologies for profitable dairying at farmers level” University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Awards / Scholarships

2006 - 2009

University Merit Scholarship during M. Sc (Hon’s) Program at University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.

Publications

Books:

  • Visualizing Desert: People, agriculture, livestock and livelihood, Asif Hameed and Muhammad Tariq 2016 ISBN # 978-3-659-88333-0, Lambert Academic Publishing, A research study about THAL desert: Ecology, settlement pattern, livelihood opportunities, challenges and solutions.
  • Rain Fed Livestock Production Systems in Punjab Pakistan, Asif Hameed 2015,  ISBN # 978-3-659-71139-8, Lambert Academic Publishing, A research study about Prevailing Livestock Production trends, Economies, and Constraints in Rainfed Livestock Farming systems of Punjab.
  • Welfare of Equines, Asif Hameed 2014, ISBN # 978-3-659-57288-3, Lambert Academic Publishing, Assessment of Inhumanness factors and Cruelty Concerns in Equines.

Research Papers: