This project aimed to help Chinese research and development agencies to alleviate poverty and reduce environmental degradation on degraded grasslands by improving household incomes from livestock production while reducing grazing pressures.
Over the last 50 years grasslands in north-western China have become degraded, because people and livestock have increased five- to sixfold. Herders' household incomes are among the lowest in China, and grassland environments have degraded, typified by severe annual dust storms.
This project built substantially on a previous project (LPS/2001/094) which demonstrated that whole farm models could identify options to improve incomes and rehabilitate grasslands that could be implemented on farms. An external review of LPS/2001/094 strongly supported that project's work, but identified the need to improve the core production relationships used in the models had to be improved, the grassland sustainability developed, and model predictions tested in practice on farms.