Analysis of livestock and fodder value chains in arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya
As in many developing countries, the livestock revolution is real in Kenya which presents huge opportunities to improve the livelihoods of the pastoral community through improved production and marketing in the pastoral land-use system. To attain the promise of Vision 2030 and unlock the potential of arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya, intervention strategies and production systems need to be aligned with the ongoing change in: demand/consumption for animal-source foods (ASFs) and in the production environment. The average per capita red meat consumption in Kenya is about 15–16 kg, approximately 600,000MT2 of red meat nationally. Of this, about 80–86% comes from the pastoral production system, while 20–25% of the meat supply comes from the neighbouring countries (through formal and informal cross-border livestock trade) with Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and Tanzania.
The Livestock component of the Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) program recently undertook a livestock and fodder value chains analysis to the inform design and implementation of high impact and targeted interventions across five counties in northern Kenya (Isiolo, Garissa, Marsabit, Turkana and Wajir). Operating with the framework of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Feed the Future Initiative in Kenya. The program promotes and upscales the utilization of improved technologies and innovations of selected value chains (livestock, dairy, and staple root and drought-tolerant crops) to competitively and sustainably increase productivity, promote agricultural growth and improve nutrition and food security, particularly among women and children. The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) leads the AVCD livestock value chain whose main goal is to increase incomes from the sales of livestock by 50% by 2018, lifting an additional 50,000 households in selected regions of Kenya out of poverty and improving their nutritional status.
Gracinda Mataveia * **, Abubeker Hassen** and Carina Visser**
* Department of Clinics, Faculty of Veterinary, University of Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique
** Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Goats play a vital role in food security and contribute to improved livelihoods for various resource-poor communities. In Africa, goats are deeply entrenched in almost every African culture, particularly within those communities that are not able to keep large livestock. Goats have a relatively high productivity in harsh environments, use inexpensive feed resources, have a short reproductive cycle and have higher prolificacy when compared to cows. These animals also have a beneficial effect on income generation and provide social and economic security to rural communities.
Goat production has increased during the last decade and there are currently more than 1 billion goats, globally. Approximately 96% of these animals are meat goats and are found in developing countries in Asia and Africa. The African goat population has also increased over the last five years to approximately 422.7 million goats, representing 40.9% of the world’s goat population. Approximately 35 million of these goats are part of the Southern African population. Mozambique has around 3.94 million goats, ranking fifth among African countries in terms of its goat population. Of the total number of goats in Mozambique, smallholder farmers keep 97.7%, while only 2.27% are part of medium-scale systems and a negligible 0.07% is produced in intensive systems.
Findings from a participatory evaluation exercise within the climate-smart villages of Ghana
Samuel Tetteh Partey, Franklin Avornyo, Mathieu Ouédraogo, Robert Zougmoré
Livestock production employs over 60% of rural households in the three northern regions of Ghana, making investment in this industry critical for alleviating poverty and enhancing food security. Among other factors, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture reports access to sustainable feed supply as one of the livestock industry’s key constraints. As most livestock are kept on a free-range system, forage of fair nutritive value is normally scarce in the dry season due to recurrent droughts, continuous over-grazing and lack of range improvement interventions. Often, palatable and productive perennial grasses, legumes and herbs become replaced with unpalatable, low quality annual species, with a concomitant loss of soil fertility. The nutritive value of available pasture species is therefore often poor with low levels of crude protein. The predominant small scale, subsistence livestock producers are also challenged with the financial resources to afford a continuous supplementation of concentrate feeds to their animals. Recent research has been directed to using tree leaves as fodder for livestock due to many advantages such as supply of good quality green fodder even in the dry season as well as high crude protein and minerals contents.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.