of China Australia Food Security Cooperation Initiative (CAFSCI)

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Integrated crop and dairy systems in Tibet Autonomous Region, PR China

Overview of Project

This project was aimed at increasing the output of dairy products in the Tibet Autonomous Region of the Peoples’ Republic of China (TAR) at the time of the project, milk supply was identified as being well below demand and deficits were predicted for the coming decade. Grain production in TAR, whilst sufficient to satisfy demand for human consumption, it also needed to be increased to support supplementation of livestock diets (particularly dairy cattle). The project was directed at increasing household income and industry productivity and at developing community-based initiatives in dairy, crop and fodder production for farmers in the central valleys of TAR (Shigatse, Lhasa, Shannon and Linzhi Prefectures). The objective of the project is to understand and utilise the key factors affecting the adoption of improved technology, this includes identifying the attitudes of farmers, practical constraints and opportunities in implementation of recommendations, and initiating strategies and structures for extension.

Key Outcomes of Project

The overall objective of the project is to improve the incomes of Tibetan farmers on mixed crop/livestock farms by boosting grain, fodder and dairy production achieved through the adoption of technology on farms. The project builds on two earlier projects in Tibet: CIM/2002/093 ‘Intensifying grain and fodder production in Central Tibet farming systems’ and LPS/2002/104 ‘Increasing milk production from cattle in Tibet’. Specific aims addressed in 2009 (the second year of the project) were: the establishment of research programs to improve methods of grain, fodder and dairy production; on-farm evaluation of methods to boost cereal, fodder and dairy production; and the enhancement of research and extension capacity in Tibet. An external review conducted by the Prof Dennis Poppi (School of Animal Studies & Veterinary Science, University of Queensland), Prof David Connor (Emeritus Professor, University of Melbourne) and Mr Wang Jian (Office of Poverty Alleviation and Integrated Agricultural Development of Tibet Autonomous Region) concluded that the project had achieved most of its objectives, already had a good record of publication, and could see signs of adoption of the results in cropping and animal nutrition practices in the field. However the reviewers also felt that, in reality, much data remained to be analysed, interpreted in context and prepared for publication for various audiences. Having lost much of the first year of the project because Australian members were unable to enter TAR, data collection was to continue in the final year (2011). Given that, and a detailed but ambitious plan to complete and publish all data from the project the reviewers supported a proposed extension of the project from the original completion date of March 31, 2012 to the end of 2012, with funding to support essential travel and other activities for effective interaction between key staff members.

Project Dates

01 Apr 2008 - 31 Mar 2012


University of Adelaide - Australia Industry & Investment NSW - Australia
Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Sciences - China
Tibet Livestock Research Institute - China
Tibet Agricultural Research Institute - China
University of Queensland - Australia
Department of Primary Industries and Resources - South Australia - Australia


Dr Ann McNeill



08 8303 8108

Launch Website