Back to news

Pakistani Team Travels to China to Explore Possibilities for Strengthening Yak Value Chains in Pakistan

The scope, size and scale of the production and marketing of yak products in Pakistan’s Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan districts is much smaller than it is in neighbouring China. Yaks, however, are an integral part of the lives of communities living in these high altitude districts, and in recent years local and regional agencies have been working to support and strengthen yak keeping in Pakistan and turn it into a viable income generating activity.

2 mins Read

70% Complete
Yak value chains, product and service value addition mechanisms and the government’s role in supporting these activities were some of the topics covered during the eight-day study tour. Photo credit: Alex Treadway

A team of yak value chain actors from Pakistan travelled to Lanzhou is Gansu province, China, in April 2017 to learn about the advancements in integrated yak farming practices that have been made in China. The exposure visit, which lasted from April 8 to April 15, was organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) under its Support to Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalaya (Himalica) programme and Pakistan’s Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP). The value chain actors came from Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan, and were guided by Ruijun Long, senior ecologist at ICIMOD, who led the team on behalf of ICIMOD and Lanzhou University. The group consisted of 11 people representing yak farmers’ groups, the private sector (processors), the AKRSP, and relevant government departments from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral.

The topics covered included integrated yak farming practices related to health, breed, fodder and pasture management, modern processing, and the sale and marketing of yak meat and other products in Lanzhou. The participants learnt about yak value chains, product and service value addition mechanisms–processing technologies, quality standards, business models, packing, packaging, and branding—and about the government’s role in supporting and promoting these.

Over the course of the five days they were in China, the participants visited several yak pastures and fodder production factories. They toured farm machinery plants, potato industries and research and development institutions to look at the latest developments in place. They also explored markets, processing industries that produce halal food, yak meat processing centres that run on the latest technologies, marketing institutions, and yak farming communities. They traveled to various parts of Gansu province, including Lanzhou city, Dingxi County and Linxia Hui, a Muslim autonomous prefecture, as well as Tianzhu Tibetan counties. The team had the opportunity to observe, analyze, question, and relate to the local context.

1. Briefing on e-marketing and business incubation Photo credit: Ghulam Ali/ICIMOD 2. Finished yak products on display for sale Photo credit: Ghulam Ali/ICIMOD

The participants found the exposure visit useful, relevant and interesting, even though yak meat production is a much bigger enterprise in China than it is in Chitral or Gilgit Baltistan. The participants said they are committed to integrating good practices into their local contexts. Farmers’ representatives are now looking at ways to improve fodder production and pasture management back home. They have learnt about the advantages of organizing communities, strengthening supplies to the market, and improving government relations to strengthen their farms and businesses. Members of the private sector, specifically processors, are committed to learning about the business and running it with a state-of-the-art benchmark set in place. The government and relevant department representatives for their part are committed to strengthening extension services, fodder production, and providing an enabling policy environment.

As a result of the exposure visit, the AKRSP signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gansu Light Industries’ Science Research Institute to strengthen and leverage the sea buckthorn industry in Pakistan.

The AKRSP is further committed to encouraging government-to-government and private sector partnerships among the Gilgit-Baltistan government, the Gansu Provincial Government, and Lanzhou University. These partnerships will focus on improving the yak and sea buckthorn value chains, on building vocational and entrepreneurial skills, and on encouraging the youth to engage in business partnerships and livelihood promotion in Gilgit-Baltistan. Lanzhou University has also made a commitment to send a multidisciplinary team along with a RMB 1 million (USD 145,000) grant to carry out a scoping study together with ICIMOD’s Hindu Kush Pamir Landscape (HKPL) initiative and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) in the HKPL area within the next two years.

Stay current

Stay up to date on what’s happening around the HKH with our most recent publications and find out how you can help by subscribing to our mailing list.

Sign Up

Related content

Continue exploring this topic

27 Mar 2017 Himalica
Bhutan’s Minister of Agriculture and Forests visits Himalica Pilot Sites in Barshong, Tsirang

The Bhutanese Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, visited Himalica pilot project sites in ...

6 Oct 2016 News
Pakistani Policy Makers Visit Upper Indus Basin Pilot Projects

A field visit to enhance understanding of ongoing International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) activities in Pakistan through exposure ...

4 May 2023 Press releases

尼泊尔加德满都讯——国际山地综合发展中心 (ICIMOD) 和可持续地球全球联盟 (GASP) 联手促进兴都库什-喜马拉雅(HKH) 的社会与环境变革。 双方签署了一份谅解备忘录 (MoU)以开展合作,联手促进农村及山区生活质量得到改善,同时为子孙后代保护该地区的生态系统。 兴都库什-喜马拉雅(HKH) 地区从阿富汗延伸到缅甸,横跨巴基斯坦、印度、中国、尼泊尔、不丹和孟加拉,拥有 10 个主要河流流域、四分之一人口和全球第三大冰冻水域。然而,科学家们越来越担心气候危机对该地区的影响,对整个地区居民的生命与生计构成威胁。 在合作伙伴关系下,国际山地综合发展中心 (ICIMOD) 和可持续地球全球联盟 (GASP)将促进与当地居民和弱势社区的磋商和参与纳入相关研究。 国际山地综合发展中心 (ICIMOD)将分享其与八个区域成员国的当地社区合作 的40 年经验,还会将其见解整合到更广泛的区域和政策论坛中。这种伙伴关系将使它们能够支持当地社区的声音和解决方案,并增加投资流量。 国际山地综合发展中心总干事白马·嘉措博士说:“与可持续地球全球联盟 (GASP)的这种伙伴关系能够加强我们在这一领域的工作——支持当地社区的声音与解决方案,并增加投资流量。通过我们在林业社区的工作,我们多次看到将当地见解融入政策制定的益处。 可持续地球全球联盟 (GASP)秘书长萨蒂亚·特里帕蒂 (Satya S. ...

20 Jun 2018 HICAP
Government of Nepal allocates public investment to Shardu Khola as a priority national urban watershed

In 2018, the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management (DSCWM) under Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Environment listed Shardu ...

23 Jun 2014 Himalica
Bhutanese journalists trained on adaptation

Under its capacity building component, the Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalayas (Himalica) Initiative conducted a five-day training for ...

25 Mar 2015 News
Local Stakeholders in the Koshi basin receive Training on WUMP Facilitation

A four-day training on Water Use Master Plans (WUMPs) facilitation was jointly organized by HELVETAS ...

16 Sep 2015 HKPL
Collaboration important for Wakhan National Park

ICIMOD and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock of Afghanistan (MAIL) jointly organised a one-day meeting 5 August 2015 to explore ...

Brick sector partnership enhances state of knowledge on science, technology, and policy in Nepal and South Asia

The project conducted interactive trainings and workshops, solicited feedback from the FNBI’s member associations for increased ownership, and mobilized local ...