Cattle grazing in foothill areas is one of the main forms of negative impact on mountain forests and pastures. It is mainly due to overgrazing which creates a large grazing load, causes soil compaction, which affects the roots of trees. Potholes and hollows are also formed, which are deepened by rain flows, resulting in the formation of ravines that lead to many other negative outcomes.
The “Qodir Erkin Ezgusi” farm is located in the mountainous region of the Akhangaran district. Abdullo Qodirov, the head of the farm, for many years worked as a forester at Akhangaran forestry enterprise, and after retiring he took up farming. Aware of the issues and the damage caused by cattle grazing, Abdullo-aka decided to keep all the livestock in the stables (when animals kept in stationary premises).
The “Qodir Erkin Ezgusi” farm includes a garden of 10 hectares, where 0.5 hectares are allocated for the livestock shed - 150 goats, 100 sheep, 10 bulls, 4 cows and 20 calves. The farmed livestock is grown for meat and is fed with a special high calorie diet. In order to practice intensive livestock breeding, he needed additional funds. Credit loans, he could not afford as his farm is too small to cover the loan.
Abdullo-aka learned about the implementation of the Micro-grant Program of the UNDP/GEF and the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Ecology and Environmental Protection ‘Sustainable natural resource and forest management in key mountainous areas important for globally significant biodiversity’ Project. Abdullo-aka applied for the Program to reconstruct the existing livestock shed building. Upon full completion of the livestock shed construction, as stipulated in the grant application, the farmer planned to completely sell all small cattle, and create conditions to keep cattle only.
After purchasing and receiving all the necessary building materials specified in the grant application, the farm successfully completed all construction work. All small cattle were sold and cattle in the amount of 10 calves were purchased, and the farmer began to apply hydroponic feed technology to feed the cattle. In addition, thanks to the successful implementation of the Project, the farmer received a profit from the sale of fattened bulls 1.5 times more than in previous years, and on a unused land located near the farm, the farmer planted apple and pear trees. Clover was planted under these trees, which also serves as a green manure for degraded lands and at the same time is used as a supplementary feed to the hydroponic, to feed the bulls. It was not an easy task, which he successfully accomplished, because the land in this area is considered as not fertile.
Our successful projects demonstrate the possibility and efficiency of keeping livestock in stall conditions without grazing in remote highland pastures.