This study is mainly concerned with the production and marketing of small ruminants being raised in Kovak and Asghara valleys of Balochistan, Pakistan. In all 61 farmers raising small ruminants were interviewed. The mean size of flock of ruminants raised was consisted of 134 animals including 89 sheep and 45 goats. The cost of production on average was estimated at Rs. 1,54,259 per flock. The major items of cost consisted of feed and fodder, veterinary medicines, repair and maintenance, shearing, chain & rope, shepherd and miscellaneous costs, which accounted for Rs. 1,02,237.48, Rs. 15,283.49, Rs. 5,213, Rs. 1,450, Rs. 361, Rs. 13,912 and Rs. 15,800 to the total, respectively. The average yields of wool of adult sheep of Balochi, Bibrik, Harnai and Rakshani were 2.30, 1.75, 1.83 and 1.25 kgs while that of young sheep of the same breeds were 1.75, 1.12, 1.10 and 0.96 kgs per animal, respectively. The average yields of hair from adult goat of Kajli and Khursani breeds were 1.20 and 1.12 kgs per animal, while that from young goat of Kajli and Khursani breeds were 0.70 and 0.75 kgs.
The net revenue per flock was estimated at Rs. 90,574. The net revenues in Kovak and Asghara valleys were Rs. 1,06,824, and Rs. 71,424 respectively. On overall basis, net revenue per animal per year was estiamted at Rs. 675.87 with Rs. 710 and Rs. 622 in Kovak and Asghara valleys, respectively. However, the net revenue per adult animal was Rs. 1,293 with Rs. 1,286 and Rs. 1,337 in Kovak and Asghara valleys, respectively.
A very high proportion of both sheep and goats raised (88%) in the study area was used for the household purposes, and only 12% were marketed. Steps should be taken to encourage marketable surpluses of both sheep and goats. In most of the cases, animals were marketed/sold out when the family needed to purchase the necessities of life from the market. This tendency should be discouraged through expanding credit facilities. Instead of fixing meat prices and imposing meatless days which depress the sheep and goat price, market must be freely operated on the basis of demand and supply forces. Lack of information constitutes a major hurdle to improving small ruminant’s market efficiency, and steps must be taken for the dissemination of market price so that farmers plan output more carefully according to seasonal price fluctuations. Step should be taken to encourage small ruminant growers to convert from rural farming to commercial farming.
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