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Kirgisischer Bauer mit Yakherde

Animal Husbandry

Tien-Shan and Pamir mountain range, Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a former Soviet republic in the heart of Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan has been an independent state since 1991. Over 90% of the territory is above 1,000 m above sea level. M. and 40% are above 3,000 m above sea level. M in the mountains of the Tien Shan and the Pamirs. The landlocked country with six million inhabitants has an area of 200,000 km² and is therefore around five times larger than Switzerland.

For a large part of the rural population, which comprises two thirds of the total population, agriculture and livestock farming represent the main source of income. Kyrgyz farmers generally practice a very extensive type of animal husbandry. Goats in particular are often kept in mixed herds together with sheep, cattle, yaks and horses, which supports an optimized and ecologically sustainable use of pastures.

This is in contrast to other Kashmir regions in the world that specialize entirely in the production of cashmere, such as Inner Mongolia in China or the Khövsgöl Province in Mongolia. In recent years, the number of goats there has grown so much and livestock farming has become so intensified that the fragile dry pastures are being overused.

 

Large goat populations in particular are problematic in terms of overgrazing because they graze the pastures much more intensively than other livestock species such as sheep, cattle, horses and camels. Since goats are less demanding in their eating habits, they can also feed on the roots of grass, which means that they no longer grow back. Ultimately, such overgrazing leads to increased soil degradation (e.g. through erosion), desertification and ultimately desertification.

This is also why we pay a fair price for the quality of the fibers and for sustainable pasture management in Kyrgyzstan. With our long-term commitment, we want to directly support the farmers in their original way of life and preserve their extensive livestock farming.

Kirgisische Kaschmirziegen
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