SMALL RUMINANTS BREEDING IN MOUNTAIN REGIONS OF NEPAL: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Small ruminants (sheep and goat) are essential components of the mixed farming system of Nepal. About 13.6 million small ruminants in the country contributing to the food, nutrition, and economic security has been integral part of the mountain ecosystem and rural economy. Despite of their large population, country is facing great trade deficit in products like meat, milk, wool and fibres. Low production is associated with impoverished productive potential of indigenous breed that are reared under abysmally managed subsistence farming. This study has tried to review the existing breeds, breeding system and opportunities within the challenges to enhance production and productivity of small ruminants. The findings revealed that genetic improvement through selection and crossbreeding with enhance feeding and management practices can be powerful tool in increasing production efficiency of the animal. Crossbred of native breed of sheep Baruwal with exotic breed Polworth and Merino and native breed of goat Khari with exotic breed Boer and Jamunapari gave better performance of many production and reproductive traits. The increased productivity of small ruminants will not only be a boon for small holders but will also greatly contribute to the national economy.
artificial insemination, breeding, crosses, indigenous, exotic.