Main Article Content
Background: Animal rearing has been an indivisible part of human civilization and culture from the very ancient periods. From centuries it is emphasized that livestock possession is a symbol of prosperity that not only enhances income but also diversifies the farming risks and stabilizes the farmer’s income, thus resulting in an improvement in the living standards of our rural farmers.
Aims: To explore and assess the present scenario of mutton production in terms of economics and prevailing farming practices in Quetta, a northwestern district of Balochistan province of Pakistan.
Place and Duration of the Study: Study was conducted in three sub-tehsils (Quetta, Khuchlak and Panjpai) of District Quetta from July to October, 2016.
Methodology: A survey of eighty-one mutton farmers / producers was conducted through personal interviews that were randomly selected from three tehsils of District Quetta to evaluate the economics and management of their production system.
Results: Results revealed that majority (51.85%) of respondents were above 41 years of age having literacy rate 81.48%, their major ethnical group was Pashtoon (62%) and most of them belong to agriculture and livestock related occupation (50%). Average farm land, covered area and covered space per animal were 1295, 479 and 5.52 square feet (sq. ft.), respectively. Maximum number (62.96%) of farm sheds was kacha. Average flock size was 80 and majority (66.12%) flocks comprised of sheep with relatively lesser number (33.87%) of goats. Shinwari sheep (52.02%) and Khurrasani goat (44.65%) breeds were the most preferred and prevailing breeds being reared in the study area. Commonly adopted feeding method by the farmers was a combination of natural grazing with supplementation (43.42%), while ground wheat was the main feed supplement. Most of the farmers got their animals through purchase only. Capital cost incurred in PKRs. were 313418/-, 4520/-, 6615/-, 548/-, 1591/-, 1996/- and 14994/- on feed & fodder, veterinary services, hired labour, marketing, transportation, miscellaneous and on building & equipment depreciation charges, respectively. Average gross revenue / income earned from mutton production in PKRs. was average 21092/-, 17.79/- and 27.79/- from sale of animal, wool/hair, empty bags and manure etc. Net return obtained by mutton farmers in District Quetta per animal in three months was Rs. 7045/-; while cost-benefit ratio observed was 1:1.32, 1:1.34 and 1:1.33 for Quetta, Khuchlak and Panjpai tehsils, respectively with an average of 1:1.33.
Conclusions: This study shows that the overall mean economic efficiency need to be improved by efficient utilization of resources.