April 1, 2023
  • The Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute (IGFRI) has asked the state government to identify land for a pilot project for pasture conservation. Several hectares in the state are under threat from invasive plant species.
  • Invasive species have spread over 14 lakh hectare in all districts, excluding Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti
  • Migrating shepherds are facing hardships due to the loss of pasture land in the area
  • The institute has asked the government to identify suitable areas to develop model grasslands, which can further be replicated in other parts of the state. The project will benefit several farmers, especially those engaged in dairy industry. At present, several farmers have to purchase fodder from Punjab and Haryana.
  • Herdsmen in the state own around 22 lakh sheep and goats. Their livestock are dependent on grasslands. However, the state has no policy for the protection of pastures. Shepherds are losing grasslands either to development projects or invasive species and weeds.
  • According to a study of Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University (HPAU), invasive species lead to 90 per cent reduction in the productivity of pasture land. Moreover, overgrazing also allows weeds to dominate over grass species, affecting plant biodiversity, the study mentioned.


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