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A narrative of the 30-year policy governing animal husbandry/a 9 billion cubic meter impact of a decision on the country’s water resources

According to the economic correspondent of Fars news agency, one of the most important issues of animal husbandry development in Iran is the issue of providing food and fodder for light and heavy livestock in the country.

Based on this, the pastures of the country generally get their water from rainfall and are irrigated in a rainfed manner, on the other hand, the feed provided from the source of agriculture is a part of the food that is provided for livestock in the form of agricultural crops. will be According to the statistics of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, 92% of the country’s livestock feed crops are supplied with water from surface and underground sources.

Feed sources from pastures are a type of rainfed cultivation, and pastures from agricultural areas are considered to be a representative of irrigated agriculture. According to the reports of the Statistics Center, the review of animal feed sources from 1381 to 1399 shows that in 1381, 47% of animal feed was obtained from pastures, 51% from agriculture and 2% from imports. The total animal feed consumed is estimated at 61 million tons.

Based on this, in 2019, livestock feed sources have reached 22% from pastures, 10% from import, and 68% from agriculture.

* Changing the pattern of animal husbandry in the last 30 years

The study of the pattern of animal husbandry during the last 30 years, based on the statistics of the Statistics Center, shows that the main focus of animal husbandry in the country has been directed from light livestock to heavy livestock. In this regard, in 1370, the amount of sheep killed in slaughterhouses was 154,384 tons, while cows and calves equal to 144,71 tons were killed in slaughterhouses.

Based on this, in 1380, we have seen a change in the composition of heavy and light livestock in the country, in the circumstances of 1380, the amount of sheep killed in slaughterhouses was 140,704 tons, while cows and calves equal to 228,508 tons were killed in slaughterhouses.

Also, in 2019, according to the most up-to-date statistics, the amount of sheep killed in the slaughterhouse was 151 and 875 tons, while cows and calves equal to 249 and 821 tons were killed in the slaughterhouses.

Based on this, from 1370 to 1399, the slaughter of light livestock (sheep) has decreased by 1.6%, while the amount of light livestock has grown by 73.4% during the same period. Due to the movement of the animal husbandry pattern from light livestock to heavy livestock, the ground has been prepared to reduce the use of the country’s pastures and focus on arable feed and livestock. Based on this, the country’s livestock feed supply has moved from the rainfed sector to the water sector.

A narrative of the 30-year policy governing animal husbandry/a 9 billion cubic meter impact of a decision on the country's water resources

This is while policies such as the flooding of grazeable lands in the country by the Natural Resources Organization are considered as other reasons for the reduction in the feed rate of pastures, the effect of which cannot be calculated due to the lack of statistics.

* The pressure of 9 billion cubic meters on the country’s water resources due to wrong animal husbandry policies

Substitution of agricultural resources instead of pastures in the country’s livestock feed pattern affects the country’s water resources. According to research studies, on 11 types of animal feed, the production of each kilogram of animal feed requires an average of 1008.2 liters of water.

In this regard, from 1380 to 1399, the amount of 9.69 million tons of animal feed resources that were previously supplied from pastures and using rainfed water resources has become dependent on crop cultivation. Based on this, 92% of the mentioned number is supplied from surface and underground water sources, which is equivalent to 8.91 million tons.

In this regard, the production of 8.94 million tons of animal feed based on agriculture, which used to be supplied from pastures’ dryland farming, requires 8983 million cubic meters of water. According to statistics, 8.91 million tons of animal feed requires surface and underground water resources and the production of this part of animal feed puts pressure on the country’s water resources.

* The water that is wasted in animal husbandry is more than the total consumption of drinking water for one year

In this regard, Mohammad Pourhamid, an expert in the field of water resources, in expressing the impact of wrong policies on the pressure on the country’s water resources, said: Policymaking is a pillar that guides the relationship between production and demand in different situations, and wrong policies in different sectors can lead to irreparable damages. to be

He added: When livestock breeding based on grazing is marginalized in the country with a wrong decision, the result is the loss of 9 billion cubic meters of water annually.

Pourhamid continued: When we talk about numbers and statistics, we must present it in a tangible way, the amount of water that is wasted based on the wrong policy in the field of animal husbandry is more than the total drinking water consumption of all people in one year.

According to Fars report, the cycle of wrong policies in the past years has a special contribution to the current conditions of the country’s water resources, and the failure to correct the procedures during the last 30 years can lead to disastrous results.

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