Feed plays an important role in improving productivity in livestock sector. However, in most livestock sectors in Nepal, access to proper feed is a major constraint for its development. The feed market in Nepal is mostly concentrated in poultry which covers over 95% of the total domestic feed market.
Dairy farming is the dominant activity of the crop-livestock integrated farming practice among smallholder farmers in Nepal, with 80% of farm households rearing dairy animals (cows and buffaloes). In addition, the sector is the largest contributor of the livestock sector to Nepal’s agricultural GDP.
Nepal has over 27,000 fish ponds situated mainly in the Terai districts. The poor are mainly involved as small farmers who either own or lease small ponds to rear fingerlings up to table size for sale through small traders. Several ethnic groups are involved in fish production including the Malaha, Tharu, Mukhiya, Mushar and Majhi. However, only a small minority of ponds are managed by women.
The Pig sector is large and associated overwhelmingly with poor and disadvantaged groups. More than 90% of the 540,000 households involved in rearing pigs have either one or two pigs as ‘fatteners’, in simple, low-cost, low-input, small-scale systems. Pigs are reared mostly in rural areas, with women being central to pig-raising activities.
Rearing pigs help rural households have a safety net in terms of savings, nutritious food security and provide a source of cash for household expenditure.