International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security
Rangeland Management Options for Sustainable Improvement of Fodder and Livestock Production in the Dry Areas of Central and West Asia and North Africa
A. E. Osman1 and A. Larbi2
1 International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Arabian Peninsula Regional Program,
2 International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Aleppo, Syria
In the dry areas of Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA), livelihoods of millions of poor pastoral and agro-pastoral farmers depend on the vast rangelands. However, most rangelands in the region are progressively degrading and producing less forage and livestock products than their potential. This is partly due to poor management such as overgrazing by an increasing livestock population, frequent droughts and global warming. Accordingly, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and national, regional and international partners are conducting research-for-development to develop appropriate options that will increase fodder and livestock outputs, and improve ecosystems health in the smallholder rangeland-livestock production systems in the region. These include: collection and conservation of native and exotic species, identification of species with high water-productivity, fertilization and grazing management options, and community-based approaches. The paper summarizes ICARDA’s experience over the past two decades in evaluating different options for improving productivity and management of rangeland resources to reduce poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation in water-scarce environments.