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Focus on... Livestock feed and fodder systems

An adequate supply of livestock fodder is crucial to the livelihoods of millions of people across the developing world, and not just for farmers, but also pastoralists and the large number of landless who depend mainly on common land for grazing. Livestock producers meet their fodder requirements through a combination of crop residues and grazing. Others cultivate forage crops or purchase fodder off-farm.

The estimated doubling of demand for meat and milk in developing countries in the next two decades offers significant opportunities for livestock producers to increase their incomes. However, the availability of and access to quality fodder remains an important constraint. In this edition of New Agriculturist, we feature some of the technologies and approaches being developed to address fodder scarcity and improve nutritional quality of fodder in different regions.

Latin America: ruminating over the options for fodder

Latin America: ruminating over the options for fodder

Several complimentary methods including optimising crop cultivation, use of native grasses and plants, and storage of silage are being promoted in Brazil and Mexico to ensure survival of sheep during the dry season.

Date published: January 2008

Fodder blocks: overcoming an uphill struggle

Fodder blocks: overcoming an uphill struggle

In the Himalayas of India, many farmers cannot afford the quantity and quality of feed their animals need, so productivity remains low. Compressed, 'complete' feed and dry fodder blocks could provide a solution.

Date published: January 2008

Cactus: an unlikely fodder solution?

Cactus: an unlikely fodder solution?

The arid conditions of the desert limit options for livestock keepers. But cactus can improve soil structure, act as a wind break, and provide an invaluable fodder supplement in marginal dryland areas.

Date published: January 2008

Fodder innovation: revisiting an old problem

Fodder innovation: revisiting an old problem

Scarcity of fodder remains one of the biggest constraints faced by livestock keepers in developing countries. By taking a new approach, it is hoped that national fodder systems can be transformed by stimulating the necessary processes for policy and institutional change.

Date published: January 2008

Improved cowpea for crops and livestock in West Africa

Improved cowpea for crops and livestock in West Africa

Cultivation of improved dual-purpose dry season cowpea to provide more grain and higher quality fodder from the same piece of land has transformed farming in the arid areas of northen Nigeria.

Date published: January 2008

More shrubs for more milk in Eastern Africa

More shrubs for more milk in Eastern Africa

Training farmers by building technical and entrepreneurial capacities to become fodder shrub seed and seedling distributors in the highlands of East Africa is helping to improve milk yields and improve soils.

Date published: January 2008

Sweet sorghum for food, feed and fuel

Sweet sorghum for food, feed and fuel

Sweet sorghum is a "smart" crop, providing grain for human consumption, stover for fodder and juicy stalks for use in biofuel production. Studies in India have found that after juice extraction, sweet sorghum bagasse can form part of a nutritious animal feed, giving dryland farmers an additional source of fodder and income.

Date published: January 2008

 

 

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