Region: Isparta, Burdur, Antalya / West Mediterranean Region, Turkey
Climate, geography, and demographics:
• 36 792 km2
• Warm Mediterranean and cold semi-arid climates
• 400–1000 mm yearly rainfall, nearly all in winter
• Sea level (Antalya) to 1000 m a.s.l. (Burdur/Isparta)
• Mountainous and rugged terrain
• Population 2.6 million
• 20% of the population live in rural areas, main occupation is farming
• 10–400 households/village, avg. 6 people/household. Farm size between 0.5 and 50 decares
Pastoral activities, products and services: Typical animal breeding takes place within silvopastoral production systems involving tree and shrub species, sheep, and goats. Villagers graze their animals in high mountain plateaus. The milk and products obtained from sheep and goats are used directly by the producing family or sold on the markets of villages, towns, and cities. The milk is often made into cheese and/or butter, either by itself or mixed with cow milk. Breeders are typically not well organized, and there is no marketing mechanism for providing products to consumers on a regular basis.
History and context of current challenges: General problems encountered by villagers involve shortages of agricultural land and water for irrigation, decreasing forest yields and soil fertility, soil erosion, and migration to cities. Further, goats have been targeted as being harmful to forests. The “Action Plan for Reducing Goat Damage” was prepared in 2008, aiming to diminish the number of pure hair goats raised in Turkey, starting with the Mediterranean region encompassed by the study area. However, eventually the government made a radical change in forestry legislation and state forests were permitted for pure hair goat grazing in 2011 when it was accepted that goats are useful for the forests as long as they are grazed according to regulations. Positive results were seen in a short time, as the number of pure hair goats increased to over 10 million in 2014.
This CS will investigate the role of animal husbandry in reducing rural poverty, forest conservation and wildfire control, and decreasing the effects of drought and global warming. Other aspects of traditional animal production in Turkey will be investigated, including characteristics of traditional silvopastoral production systems, restrictions and opportunities, social structures of nomadic communities, and identification and mapping of migration routes, focusing on the development of regulations and policies for sustainable livestock management.