Wednesday 3 March, 04:00 – 05:30 pm, Zijing C

Demand for livestock products has been growing and is projected to increase tremendously in the future. This has intensified competition for agricultural land and labour between livestock and crop production. Livestock production is an integral part of the indigenous farming systems used by smallholders in the mountains of the Asian Highlands. The diversity of these mixed farming systems has developed as a response to environmental conditions, especially temperature, rainfall, altitude, type and intensity of animal production and human intervention.

Trees can play an important role in increasing feed supplies on small farms and among landless livestock owners. These feed sources are especially important during critical periods of feed shortage, such as during the dry season. The traditional knowledge of mountain communities is a crucial component of indigenous farming systems, along with the suitability of diverse tree species in different agroecological zones. Climate and soil affect the distribution of trees and can determine the type of crops that can be grown. These in turn determine the feed base and the quantity, quality and distribution potential of livestock and animal production systems. Feed resources provide a direct link between crops and animals, and the interaction of the two largely dictates the development of such systems. In the context of a changing climate and the ever-growing demand for livestock products it is high time to promote well managed tree crops and livestock integration. Indigenous knowledge can be integrated with scientific evidence to revitalize traditional farming systems. For example,  traditional and scientific approaches can together indicate the climate suitability of trees, crops and livestock, and identify fodder trees that can provide highly nutritious feed to livestock. In turn, crops can be nourished by organic manure.

This session will present the experience and potential of the integration of tree crop and livestock in several agroecological regions in the Asian highlands. Expert representatives on animal nutrition, indigenous practices and potential tree distribution will present case studies and discuss how mountain indigenous peoples are using their knowledge and collaboration with scientists to develop innovations for future livestock production and environmental sustainability.

Chair: Dengpan Bu and Ruijun Long


  • Dengpan Bu (CAAS): developing the integrated crop-tree-livestock system in China
  • Sailesh Ranjitkar (ICRAF): Ethnobotanical approach for selecting tree fodder species
  • Yanfei Geng (KIB): Ethnobotany in fodder species for forest-based gayal (Bos frontalis)
  • Fan Zhang and Bill Bleisch (China Exploration and Research Society): Developing market value-chain for Tibetan pastoralists in NW Yunnan
  • Peilong Yang (Institute of feed science, CAAS): Feed resource in trees: utilization of cellulose by enzyme and microorganism
  • Ruijun Long (Lanzhou university): Integrated tree-crop-livestock system in the Himalayan region

Rapporteur: Sailesh Ranjitkar (ICRAF)