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Because of an increasing demand for animal-source foods, an increasing desire to reduce poverty and an increasing need to reduce the environmental impact of livestock production, tropical farming systems with livestock must increase their productivity. An important share of the global human and livestock populations are found within smallholder mixed-crop-livestock systems, which should, therefore, contribute significantly towards this increase in livestock production. The present paper argues that increased livestock production in smallholder mixed-crop-livestock systems faces many constraints at the level of the farm and the value chain. The present paper aims to describe and explain the impact of increased production from the farm and farmers' perspective, in order to understand the constraints for increased livestock production. A framework is presented that links farming systems to livestock value chains. It is concluded that farming systems that pass from subsistence to commercial livestock production will: (1) shift from rural to urban markets; (2) become part of a different value chain (with lower prices, higher demands for product quality and increased competition from peri-urban producers and imports); and (3) have to face changes in within-farm mechanisms and crop-livestock relationships. A model study showed that feed limitation, which is common in tropical farming systems with livestock, implies that maximum herd output is achieved with small herd sizes, leaving low-quality feeds unutilised. Maximal herd output is not achieved at maximal individual animal output. Having more animals than required for optimal production - which is often the case as a larger herd size supports non-production functions of livestock, such as manure production, draught, traction and capital storage - goes at the expense of animal-source food output. Improving low-quality feeds by treatment allows keeping more animals while maintaining the same level of production. Ruminant methane emission per kg of milk produced is mainly determined by the level of milk production per cow. Part of the methane emissions, however, should be attributed to the non-production functions of ruminants. It was concluded that understanding the farm and farmers' perceptions of increased production helps with the understanding of productivity increase constraints and adds information to that reported in the literature at the level of technology, markets and institutions.
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Development of livestock production in the tropics: farm and
S. J. Oosting
, H. M. J. Udo and T. C. Viets
Animal Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, PO Box 338 6700 AH, Wageningen, The Netherlands
(Received 10 October 2013; Accepted 20 February 2014; First published online 27 March 2014)
Because of an increasing demand for animal-source foods, an increasing desire to reduce poverty and an increasing need to
reduce the environmental impact of livestock production, tropical farming systems with livestock must increase their productivity.
An important share of the global human and livestock populations are found within smallholder mixed-croplivestock systems,
which should, therefore, contribute signicantly towards this increase in livestock production. The present paper argues that
increased livestock production in smallholder mixed-croplivestock systems faces many constraints at the level of the farm and
the value chain. The present paper aims to describe and explain the impact of increased production from the farm and farmers
perspective, in order to understand the constraints for increased livestock production. A framework is presented that links
farming systems to livestock value chains. It is concluded that farming systems that pass from subsistence to commercial
livestock production will: (1) shift from rural to urban markets; (2) become part of a different value chain (with lower prices,
higher demands for product quality and increased competition from peri-urban producers and imports); and (3) have to face
changes in within-farm mechanisms and croplivestock relationships. A model study showed that feed limitation, which is
common in tropical farming systems with livestock, implies that maximum herd output is achieved with small herd sizes,
leaving low-quality feeds unutilised. Maximal herd output is not achieved at maximal individual animal output. Having
more animals than required for optimal production which is often the case as a larger herd size supports non-production
functions of livestock, such as manure production, draught, traction and capital storage goes at the expense of animal-source
food output. Improving low-quality feeds by treatment allows keeping more animals while maintaining the same level
of production. Ruminant methane emission per kg of milk produced is mainly determined by the level of milk production
per cow. Part of the methane emissions, however, should be attributed to the non-production functions of ruminants.
It was concluded that understanding the farm and farmersperceptions of increased production helps with the understanding
of productivity increase constraints and adds information to that reported in the literature at the level of technology, markets
and institutions.
Keywords: development constraints, value chains, feed availability, productivity, methane emissions
Increasing production in smallholder mixed-croplivestock
systems in order to respond to the increasing demand for
animal-source food (and concomitantly contribute to poverty
reduction, improved global food security and improved glo-
bal environment) faces serious difculties. In development
and research activities aimed at livestock production in the
tropics, the farm and the farmersperspective should be
taken into account.
Livestock production in the tropics dominates the global scene
when it comes to the number of animals, total output and
number of beneciaries that is, producers and consumers
(Table 1) when compared with livestock production in the
western world. Many contextual reasons make livestock pro-
duction in the tropics different from that in the West. This was
noticed when simple livestock technologies and organisational
infrastructure, which were successful in high-production
regions, proved unsuccessful when introduced in the tropics
et al
., 2011; Amankwah, 2013; Sumberg and Lankoandé,
2013). Climate, resource availability, input and supply market
(2014), 8:8, pp 12381248 © The Animal Consortium 2014
functioning, social and cultural factors individually and in
complex interactions create specic local opportunities and
constraints for livestock production (Poole
et al
., 2013). The
global importance, specicity and complex nature of livestock
production in the tropics make the specialisation tropical
livestock productiona relevant discipline within the Animal
In recent times tropical livestock production has become
more prominent in scientic and societal discourses for a
number of reasons. First, in developing countries the con-
sumersdemand for meat, milk and eggs has increased
considerably and will continue to do so (Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO, 2009). Second, the
contribution of livestock production in the tropics to global
greenhouse gas emissions is high (FAO, 2006; de Vries
and de Boer, 2009; Gerber
et al
., 2011; Herrero
et al
2011). Third, as many of the livestock keepers in the tropics
are poor (Table 1) livestock improvement could lead to
poverty alleviation (World Bank, 2007, 2009; Herrero
et al
2013). See Supplementary Material S1 for background
information about these drivers for change.
Scientic and policy literature in the eld of tropical livestock
production, explicitly or implicitly, presents an objective: to
increase the intensity of livestock production in order to meet
the increasing food demand; reduce the environmental impact
of livestock production per unit animal product; and contribute
to poverty alleviation (World Bank, 2007, 2009; McDermott
et al
., 2010; Herrero
et al
., 2013). Research and development,
policy making and extension aiming to increase livestock
production have been taking place since the middle of the
twentieth century. However, sustained adoption of the
intensication of livestock production has been relatively
marginal, which led Sumberg (2002) to conclude: [T]he...
technologies have not been able to reliably and economically
deliver benets of interests to large numbers of African
farmers. Apparently, benets perceived by others were
insufcient in the farmersperspective to intensify their
production and commercialise their marketing, or, in other
words, the aforementioned discourses are not clearly con-
nected to the reality of livestock farmers. We may assume
that the reality of smallholders is complex and what may be
a benet or cost in their complex reality is insufciently
understood by scientists, policy makers and development
practitioners (Sumberg, 2002; Bernard and Spielman, 2009;
et al
., 2010; Amankwah, 2013; Sumberg and Lankoandé,
2013). The present paper aims to highlight the possible and real
discourses at the farmerslevel that is, to identify reasons
why farmers in the tropics perceive intensication of livestock
production on their farms not simply as a benet but also as a
pathway towards increased costs, such as dependency on
inputs and reduced resilience. We do this by describing the
generic effects of intensication on farm size, the roles and
functions of livestock within farms and the risks associated with
competition between value chains, and we illustrate this by
means of a modelling study in which we show the potential
effects of interventions on production, methane emissions and
animal functions.
Tropical livestock production systems
In this section we will describe the global farming systems
with livestock production (FAO, 2009).
Mixed-croplivestock systems
Mixed-croplivestock systems are small farming systems
with crops and livestock. Smallholder mixed-croplivestock
systems have developed in regions with relatively good
conditions for agriculture. Farm sizes can be small (often less
than 1 ha due to division of land within families) because
small plots still give sufcient yields to sustain the families
living from it. This implies that the best lands are often in
Table 1
Human and livestock population (numbers in millions) in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
Poor livestock keepers
% of total
population Cows
Sheep and
Sub-Saharan Africa
Central Africa 123 30 24.4 22 33 6 97
Western Africa 297 133 44.8 59 209 13 470
East Africa 316 105 33.2 123 149 10 308
Southern Africa 57 23
40.2 20 41 2 177
South Asia
India 1208 546 45.2 206 109 222 10 753
Bangladesh 147 61 41.5 23 1 51 0 221
World total 6818 na na 1453 2062 941 19 842
Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia as percentage
of world total
36.3 na na 34.9 43.2 4.3 10.2
FAO (2013).
Living below $2 per day (Herrero
et al
. (2013).
FAO (2013). Herrero
et al
. (2013) gave an estimate of 53 million poor livestock keepers in Southern Africa.
Development of livestock production in the tropics
smallholder regions where land has become a scarce
resource. In less favourable regions, sizes of smallholder
mixed-croplivestock farms may be bigger, and land may be
or seem less scarce. However, prospects for high production
are also lower, because of these same unfavourable condi-
tions. Smallholder mixed-croplivestock systems often have
an intensive land use, which is the cause for the strong
interaction between crops and livestock (Tittonell
et al
2010; Amankwah
et al
., 2012). From the perspective of agro-
ecology, the individual smallholder mixed-croplivestock
systems producing for the local markets can be regarded as
elements of local ecosystems. In such local ecosystems,
livestock contributes to cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus,
contributes to crop production by its capital stock function
and by supplying draught power and transport, and converts
crop residues, household wastes and biomass of marginal
lands to valuable food products (Udo
et al
., 2011).
et al.
(2010) estimated that with regard to animal-
source food production in the tropics, 65% of beef, 75% of
milk and 55% of lamb are produced in such mixed-crop
livestock systems. In Kenya, smallholder farmers in mixed-
croplivestock systems contribute about 60% to 70% of the
national milk output (Bebe
et al.
, 2002; Omiti
et al.
, 2006;
et al
., 2009) and milk contributes 70% of the total
livestock revenue (Behnke and Muthami, 2011; Onono
et al.
2012) and provides a livelihood to the majority of rural
Grazing systems
Grazing lands are found where conditions for crop produc-
tion are unfavourable: where it is either too dry, too cold, too
high or too steep for crop production. Pastoralist systems
that is systems in which ruminants and their herders follow
the feed are relatively efcient systems found in such areas
et al.
, 2011). Following an increasing demand
for crops, grazing lands are gradually being turned into crop
land through irrigation and fertilisation. In addition, a trend
towards increased settling of pastoralists is reported in West
and East Africa (Sendalo, 2009; McCabe
et al
., 2010).
Rangeland system is another form of grassland-based
system, often characterised by an extensive form of beef
production on big private properties reaching thousands of
hectares. Productivity is low and intensication of rangeland
production may occur through irrigation and fertilisation, but
this may eventually result in turning the rangelands into crop
lands (Kimani and Pickard, 1998; Ayantunde
et al
., 2011).
Furthermore, smallholder mixed-croplivestock systems
may have a grazing component where grazing occurs on
communal lands. Overgrazing is a big issue here (Hardin,
1968; Jones and Sandland, 1974; de Haan
et al
., 1997; Kemp
and Michalk, 2007) because of high and increasing stocking
rates. An important aspect of communal grazing lands is
the nutrient transfer from these soils to farm homesteads
through grazing animals (Runo, 2008). This is benecial for
crop production at the homestead, but detrimental for the
soil fertility and productivity of the communal grazing lands
in the long run.
Industrial systems
In and around urban areas, very intensive systems, referred to
as industrial systems, are found with pig, poultry and dairy
production. Such systems benet from urban infrastructure,
from nearby markets, from by-products of urban and peri-
urban processing industries and from urban wastes as inputs.
Direct land use of such systems is often limited because of
high land prices in and around cities. Consequently, industrial
systems are highly dependent on rural farming systems for
inputs such as basal feeds and breeding stock. In addition,
accumulation of nitrogen and phosphorus occurs in such
systems and sustainable disposal is often a problem (Schiere
and van der Hoek, 2001; Gerber
et al
., 2005).
Scope for increased livestock production
Increased animal-source food production and the reduction
of environmental impact and poverty are targets set for
livestock production in the tropics.
Smallholder mixed-croplivestock systems could largely
contribute to these targets because of the following reasons:
(1) there are many of them; (2) beneciaries of these systems
are poor (Table 1); (3) they already have an important con-
tribution to food production; (4) they reside in high potential
regions; and (5) they will remain the dominant farming sys-
tem in the foreseeable future (Herrero
et al
., 2010).
Industrial systems with pig and poultry production close to
urban areas could contribute to these targets as they are sys-
tems with high resource use efciency resulting in high food
output for growing urban populations and low environmental
impact per unit of production (FAO, 2006).
The grazing systems could contribute to these targets as
they occupy considerable amounts of land and, therefore,
a small improvement per hectare could easily result in
high overall improvement. Constraints for improvement are
severe, however. Pastoralist systems are found in the most
unfavourable and marginal conditions and settlement of tra-
ditional pastoralist occurs for socio-cultural reasons (Sendalo,
2009; McCabe
et al
., 2010; Ayantunde
et al.,
The present paper will focus on mixed-croplivestock
systems as they are the largest contributors to livestock
outputs and they constitute the majority of livestock-keeping
Interventions and scientic disciplines
To narrow the gaps between productivity achieved under
temperate and tropical conditions Animal Sciences at rst
studied and introduced purely western technologies such
as breeds, housing systems, veterinary services, and feeds
and feeding management to the tropics. Introduction and
development of veterinary services were relatively successful
et al
., 1996; Amankwah, 2013) and had a good
costbenet ratio (e.g. Aklilu, 2007). However, many projects
introducing other types of technologies failed in the short or
long term (Poole
et al
., 2013; Sumberg and Lankoandé, 2013).
Mortality rates among imported full-bred animals were high
(de Jong, 1996), and improved housing systems and improved
Oosting, Udo and Viets
feeding practices were not widely adopted (Schiere, 1995;
et al
., 1996; Mekoya
et al
., 2008). In Kenya, close to
80% of cattle farmers in the highlands keep exotic breeds,
mainly breeds with a larger body size, which are perceived as
producing more milk (Bebe
et al
production per cow has remained relatively low and strategies
to increase yields have not been adequately adopted (Bebe
et al
., 2003b). For example, despite the fact that herd
improvement through articial insemination with superior
semen and herd replacement by high-quality heifers could
potentially improve the productivity of cows, these strategies
are not widely practised (Bebe
et al
., 2003a; Baltenweck
et al
2004; Bebe, 2008).
It was realised that technologies had to be appropriate
for tropical conditions, and research and development
concentrated on appropriate technological development.
Housing systems of local materials, (Bosman
et al
., 1996)
attention for traction (Gryseels, 1988), breeding with local
cattle (Samdup
et al
., 2010), local feeds (Mekoya
et al
2008) and practices (Schiere, 1995; de Jong, 1996) and
taking into account genotypeenvironment interactions
(Frisch and Vercoe, 1978; Seré
et al
., 2008) should increase
adoption by getting technology closer to the context of
farmers. However, such appropriate technologies alone or in
packages are not believed to have high adoption rates if not
accompanied by good markets and measures to overcome
institutional barriers (Barrett, 2008; Gildemacher
et al
., 2009;
et al
., 2012).
Therefore, economics and social science aspects were
introduced into studies of tropical livestock production (e.g.
et al
., 1996; Aklilu, 2007; Amankwah
et al
., 2012;
Sumberg and Lankoandé, 2013). Markets and value chains
were studied as pull factors for production increase (e.g. Kilelu,
2013). Input supply, milk and meat markets, chain logistics
and farmersorganisations were and are seen as important for
development (e.g. the International Livestock Research Insti-
tute (ILRI), 2011; Kilelu, 2013). The Social sciences, studying
institutions and stakeholders, claim that organisational struc-
tures and formal and informal rules associated with them
stimulate or hamper developments (Gildemacher
et al
., 2009;
et al.
, 2012). Moreover, social aspects such
as values and interests of stakeholders along the chain are
regarded in the development process often through
participative approaches (van Mierlo
et al
., 2010).
This evolution in reasoning and in the actions taken
in livestock (and other) development reects the fact that
tropical livestock production systems are complex and that
they operate in complex environments. The literature on
livestock production in the tropics by the authors mentioned
in the previous sections reveals that most of them see the
complex nature of tropical livestock systems and that they
recommend interdisciplinary approaches to meet the objec-
tives of development. However, the literature also reveals
that the theoretical frameworks used within tropical livestock
production research are the theoretical frameworks of the
disciplines: that is, feeds, housing, breeding and health for
animal sciences; markets and monetary ows for economics;
and structures and values for social sciences. The conclusions
and solutions offered to overcome constraints are kept
within the framework of each individual discipline. Some
authors seek a more integrated approach: Poole
et al.
discussed the importance of local and individual context
when it comes to commercialisation of smallholder agri-
culture; Pica-Ciamarra and Otte (2011) reported variation
between regions with regard to the development of demand
for animal-source food; Sumberg and Lankoandé (2013)
demonstrated that just the supply of improved animals in
an in-kind heifer scheme will not be the panacea for poverty;
and Udo
et al
. (2011) concluded Without development
policies that deliberately consider the opportunities and
threats faced by mixed-crop livestock farming households,
many of these households are likely to be excluded from the
increased market opportunities.
In the next sections of the present paper we will present
two approaches that allow for an integrated view on farming
system development from the farm and farmersperspective.
The rst one looks at the value chainlivestock farming
system interaction and the second one is a more technical
model linking feed quality and availability to maximal and
actual production of a total herd.
Livestock value chains and dynamics
Development of a farming system does not happen in isola-
tion. Farms are part of a value chain (here, broadly dened
as the total chain of goods from input supply to a farm,
through farm production, to market supply to the consumer
via processing, marketing and retailing). We present here the
so-called Livestock Value Chain Analytical Framework (LIV-
CAF). LIVCAF distinguishes four major livestock value chains,
each associated with different production systems, roles and
functions of animals within the production system, and
constraints for development (see Table 2).
The LIVCAF framework in Table 2 is used to illustrate the
implications of the transition from smallholder subsistence
farms to (more) specialised and commercial livestock farms.
The emphasis will be on the transition from the rural
rural value chain to the ruralurban value chain. The peri-
urbanurban value chain and the import chain may compete
with the ruralurban chain and affect smallholder transition
to this chain. Transitions from the ruralrural value chain to
peri-urban or export value chains are possible: a rural farm
could become a peri-urban farm when cities expand and/or
better roads make the city closer; an export chain could
develop, making local farmers producers for foreign urban
markets. Production developments in such situations most
likely follow the economic theory as most farms involved will
already be commercial farms and will not be discussed in the
present paper.
The ruralrural value chain is dominated by smallholder
mixed-croplivestock systems. The majority of world farmers
operate in such systems and almost three billion people
Development of livestock production in the tropics
depend on such systems for their food supply (Herrero
et al
2010). Production is carried out in rural areas for the family.
Local markets are the major outlet for surpluses and, more
importantly, for selling livestock in times of emergency (Omiti
et al
., 2009; Amankwah
et al
., 2012). Such livestock outputs
may reach urban markets but supply is irregular and of
secondary importance for urban consumers. As stated
before, livestock in mixed-croplivestock systems supports
crop production directly by delivering manure, traction and
draught power. Indirect support from livestock for crop pro-
duction is by serving as a capital store to be sold to buy seeds
and fertilisers (Doumbia
et al
., 2012) or for emergencies (Udo
et al
., 2011; Amankwah
et al
., 2012).
From the scientistsand development agentsperspectives
such smallholder farms should achieve increased agricultural
and livestock production. Technologies to increase produc-
tion are available; the increasing demand for food creates
good markets and we understand how farmers could over-
come institutional constraints for innovation. However, it
could be too easy to assume that the benets of increased
production and marketing will exceed increased monetary
and non-monetary costs at the farm level.
First, production increase at a farm implies that the farm
has to make a very drastic change with regard to the market
they produce for. If more is produced than what the family
can consume, farms will become market-oriented for part of
their production, and if more than a few farms in a village
increase their production local markets will become satu-
rated. For perishable products such as milk and meat this
market saturation often means a price reduction (Sharma
et al
., 2003) and farms will have to aim at markets with a
high demand, which are often in growing urban regions.
Such urban market-oriented farms become part of the second
value chain in Table 2: the ruralurban value chain. Farms in
this value chain are more specialised than the ones in the
ruralrural value chain, are market-oriented and they may
follow the generic pattern as described by Whittaker (2000)
for dairy development in New Zealand. At the moment,
land availability limits the establishment of new farms (and
this is the case in many tropical regions); a part of the
existing farms expand at the expense of others (hence, farm
enlargement and reduction in the number of farms) with a
concomitant increase in the production per animal and per
hectare. As a consequence, tropical farms with livestock pro-
duction for urban markets are, compared with non-market-
oriented farms, often bigger and obtain higher per-animal
productivity through higher use of inputs, including external
labour, land and capital (Tittonell
et al
., 2010; Jayne
et al
2010; Doumbia
et al
., 2012; Amankwah, 2013). Inevitably,
such farms are more specialised.
Second, the transition of livestock production from the
informal ruralrural value chain to the ruralurban value
chain implies that transport, processing and retail become
important steps between a farmer and consumers. However,
all stakeholders in these steps will want to take their share of
the economic benet, which may cause farm-gate prices in
the rural-urban value chain to be lower than at local markets
despite the higher consumer prices (Sharma
et al
., 2003;
et al
., 2009). Moreover, product quality demands in
the ruralurban value chain are higher than in the ruralrural
value chain because of processing requirements, the longer
time span between production and consumption, and con-
sumer preferences.
A third reason that limits the possibilities for smallholders to
enter the ruralurban chain with increased livestock production
is competition. Within farms, crop commercialisation competes
with livestock commercialisation. Many smallholder crop
livestock producers already have a market-oriented crop, such
as dry-season vegetables (Amankwah
et al
., 2012), coffee
et al
., 2011) and rice (Doumbia
et al
., 2012). Livestock
supports the production of these crops by supply of manure,
transport and draught, and by acting as a capital store. Com-
mercialisation of livestock production will at least partly affect
these crop-supporting functions of livestock by demanding its
share of available land, labour and credits.
A second competition for livestock is at the urban markets.
As Table 2 illustrates, the peri-urbanurban chain produces
predominantly for the urban markets. Peri-urban production
may have comparative advantage over rural production
because of economics of scale, better infrastructure for inputs
and outputs, and better connection with urban markets.
Imports also compete with rural products at urban markets;
imports of chicken legs and wings, cheap because they are the
least preferred parts in the region of origin (the EU), are
Table 2
Livestock value chains, associated livestock farming systems and constraints
(producerconsumer) Dominant livestock production system Level of inputs Major limitations for development
Ruralrural Mixed-croplivestock systems often subsistence Low Labour
Low priority given to livestock production
Ruralurban Specialised systems
Medium Land
Chain cooperation, infrastructure, logistics, knowledge
Urbanurban (Peri-)urban intensive production High Capital
Feed supply, water use, waste disposal
Externalurban High-input systems abroad Dependency on world market
Pastoralism can be considered a system that can uctuate between a subsistence system in lean years and a specialised, market-oriented system with high outputs in
ush years.
Oosting, Udo and Viets
considered a major obstacle for poultry production develop-
ment in Senegal,Ghana and the Ivory Coast (Dieye
et al
., 2007)
even for production by peri-urban farms (Mahama
et al
., 2013).
It should be stated that chains may also benet from each
other: The Indian National Dairy Development Board used
gains made on reconstituted milk from imports of cheap milk
powder to support local milk production by smallholders
(Candler and Kumar, 1998), and feed required by peri-urban
livestock farming systems may open a new market horizon
for rural smallholders.
From the previous section it can be concluded that live-
stock production increase is a big step for smallholders as it
implies internal changes within the farm, and production
for new markets in new value chains with different price
settings and different quality demands. It can be questioned
whether such big steps are easily made, especially because
they affect the way in which farms have to deal with per-
turbations (external and internal disturbances of the system
e.g. drought, oods, diseases, competition, wars, etc.). The
smallholder mixed-croplivestock farms in the ruralrural
value chain are resilient when judged on their ability to retain
the functionality of providing livelihood to families in times
of perturbations because of the following reasons: (1) the
diversity of farm activities and magnitude of the livestock
herd or ock; (2) the low dependency on inputs; (3) the low
dependency of farm activities on inputs derived from other
farm activities (referred to as interdependency); and (4) the
low dependency on markets (Dahl and Hjort, 1976; Kitano,
2004; Ten Napel
et al
., 2011). Farms in the ruralurban value
chain became specialised and consequently less diverse, and
acquired more dependency within the farm (e.g. where feed
crops are grown for livestock, if one of the two activities fails,
both fail) and within value chains, with regard to availability,
prices and quality requirements. Such specialised farms may
be robust in times of perturbations, but they have to take
institutional or technological measures to prevent perturba-
tions to affect the system for example, irrigation to prevent
droughts; housing systems to protect livestock against
climate, diseases and predators; creation of external feed
supply chains to assure feed supply; and disease prevention
measures. If such measures fail, such farms should be well
insured to avoid a total collapse of the system (Ten Napel
et al
., 2011).
The transition process is not a gradual process (Sharma
et al
., 2003; Udo
et al
., 2011). A subsistence smallholder
farm could keep a relatively small number of animals (up to
20 to 30 chickens) without investments. A larger number of
animals requires investments in housing, feed and veterinary
inputs and many more animals should be kept to cover the
investment costs (Aklilu, 2007). Hence, the transition of
ruralrural to the ruralurban value chain can be considered
a system jump.
et al
. (2010) described three pathways for the
dynamics of smallholder croplivestock farmers: (1) market
orientation (2) increasing dependency on off-farm income or
(3) marginalisation. These pathways were characterised by
et al
. (2009) as stepping up, stepping out and
hanging in, respectively. Resource endowment, which could
be the cause or effect of a stronger market orientation, was
better for market-oriented farmers. Doumbia
et al.
illustrated such a pattern for Mali. Rice farmers with better
resource endowment for example, a cattle herd that pro-
vided manure, cash and traction animals had a relatively
good position in rice production, whereas those lacking
livestock had to rely on working off-farm with a marginalised
income from crop production.
The question is whether the process of increased market
orientation could occur to all farmers in a community con-
comitantly. As the theory of Dorward
et al.
(2009) and results
of Tittonell
et al.
(2010) and Doumbia
et al.
(2012) show,
it is likely that a fraction of farmers will step up and that a
portion will remain where they are that is, hang in or (at
least partly) step out. Developments in non-tropical regions,
where the number of farms reduced drastically (Whittaker,
2000), suggest that production increase is associated with
diminishing farm number and farm enlargement as a result
of the need for economics of scale. Hence, developing
farmers will be a pull factor on the labour and land of mar-
ginalised farmers. As a consequence, in the long term a
considerable part of the smallholders in a village will not be
part of the development: a part of them will have to become
labourers in their community or migrate to urban areas to
nd employment (Jayne
et al
., 2010; Tittonell
et al.
, 2010;
et al
., 2011).
Farm-level perspective
In the next section an approach is presented that studies
the whole herd rather than individual animals and contri-
butes to understanding the farmersperspective with regard
to animal breeding, feed improvement and the valuation of
non-production functions of animals.
If availability of high-quality feeds is limiting livestock
production, such high-quality feeds are imported. This is
especially true in the west. In most tropical regions, however,
export of high-quality feeds is more likely than imports; for
the vast majority of production systems in developing coun-
tries it can be stated that livestock production follows feed
availability. Feeding according to the animalsrequirements
is not common practice (Schiere, 1995).
This was modelled for dairy production in a small (virtual)
region with a total annual availability of 1000 tonnes of feed
dry matter (DM) on the basis of information from studies by
et al.
(2003) and Abegaz
et al.
(2007). This
availability of feeds determines livestock production. Dairy is
presented here as a representative example for ruminant
production; modelling for beef, sheep or goat production
revealed similar conclusions.
The assumption is that the total feed base consists
of 10 equal quantities of 100 tonnes of DM, referred to as
class 1 for the best feeds up to class 10 for the worst feeds
(see Table 3).
At a low stocking rate (dened as the number of dairy
cows relative to the total feed base), cows can select or be
Development of livestock production in the tropics
given the best-quality feeds. With an increasing number of
cows, more feed classes need to be included in the diet and
the (mixed) diets quality will decrease with decreasing
individual animal production (Figure 1a), an increasing herd
size maintained on the feed base (Figure 1b) and a curvilinear
relationship with total herd production (which equals herd
size times production per animal; Figure 1c). Intake and dairy
production were modelled for cows of 400 kg on the basis of
studies by Ketelaars and Tolkamp (1992) and Zemmelink
et al.
Figure 1c shows maximal herd output when up to class 4
feeds are being utilised. Inclusion of more feeds in the diet
(and feeding more animals) reduced the total herd output. In
the present modelling study we estimated maximal herd
output to be 1419 kg milk/day when up to class 4 feeds were
used and fed to a herd of 167 cows.
The rst implication of Figures 1a to 1c is that maximal
herd output in a situation of xed feed availability is not
achieved at the highest production per individual animal.
This implies that genotyperation-quality interactions may
be of importance. Selection of breeds and genotypes within
breeds with highest performance on high-quality diets might
perform worse than other genotypes at the feed quality for
maximal total herd output.
A second implication is that meeting non-production
functions of animals goes at the expense of total herd out-
put. Using a similar modelling approach, Zemmelink
et al.
(2003) and Abegaz
et al
. (2007) observed for regions in
Indonesia and Ethiopia, respectively, herds with many more
animals than the herd size for maximum production. If we, in
the present example, assume that up to class 7 feeds are fed
in order to maintain more animals to meet non-production
functions such as manure production, traction and transport
and capital store (all of which are favoured by a high number
of animals) then 347 animals can be maintained with a total
output of 875 kg of milk/day. Hence, 514 kg of milk is
sacriced to support 180 additional animals, and benets
of non-production functions are equivalent to at least the
value of 514 kg of milk/day. The estimate of the value of
non-production functions could be higher if monetary values
are given to the non-production functions of livestock, as
suggested by Moll (2005).
A third implication is the effect of feed improvement.
Feed improvement can be achieved by treatment of low-quality
feeds or by introduction of better feeds (Gerber
et al.
, 2011;
et al
., 2013). In the present example we elaborate the
effect of treatment with low-quality feeds. Sarnklong
et al.
(2010) reviewed options for treatment with rice straw. The rice
straw in their paper is representative of low-quality grass and
Chemical treatments (e.g. urea, ammonia or NaOH) and
biological treatments (by growing fungi on the straw or by
administering fungal enzymes to the straw) all aim to improve
straw digestibility by loosening the cell wall structure and
making the hemicellulose and cellulose fractions more readily
available for rumen digestion. Urea treatment is the most
propagated treatment in developing countries. The low-quality
feed is mixed with an equal weight of a 0.5% to 3% urea
solution and stored under airtight conditions for at least a
week. Ammonia will be formed from the urea and the alkaline
conditions will affect cell wall conrmation and improve intake
and digestibility. An additional benet is the provision of
nitrogen through the treatment.
The effect of treatment is negatively related to the quality
of the feed that is, absolute and relative treatment effects
were higher for lower than for higher quality feeds and
effects are negligible above an organic matter digestibility
(OMD) of 550 g/kg (based on Oosting, 1993). For the model-
ling study it was assumed that ammonia, urea, NaOH and
biological treatments yielded similar effects on OMD.
These principles were applied to the feed classes of Table 3
that is, only feed classes 5 and higher were treated and
treatment effect was higher for the lowest (class 10) feeds
(OMD going from 250 to 400 g/kg) than for the class 5 feeds
(OMD from 500 to 530 g/kg). The effects are presented
as solid lines in Figures 1 and 2. Treatment improved milk
production of individual animals and the optimum feed
inclusion for total herd production changed from class 4 to
class 5 at almost the same output level. The major effect was
that more animals could be kept without a reduction in milk
Table 3
Regional availability and quality of feed
Feed class
(tonnes dry matter/year) Examples
Organic matter
digestibility (g/kg)
1 100 Cereals, concentrates 850 200
2 100 Improved fodder trees, fodder crops 720 170
3 100 Local fodder crops, improved grass species, polishings of wheat and rice 620 160
4 100 Medium-quality grass 550 140
5 100 Good-quality coarse stovers, low-quality grass 500 100
6 100 Medium-quality coarse stovers, good-quality slender straws 450 70
7 100 Low-quality coarse stovers, medium-quality slender straws, tree leaves 400 50
8 100 Low-quality slender straws 350 45
9 100 Standing straw 300 40
10 100 Twigs, barks 250 30
Adapted from Zemmelink
et al
. (2003) and Abegaz
et al
. (2007).
Oosting, Udo and Viets
output. In our example, even some of the class 9 feeds could
be fed after treatment, maintaining a total herd output of
875 l, by almost 450 animals.
Economics, labour needs and practical feasibility (e.g. fungal
treatment is promising on laboratory scale, but process control
is difcult in piles of material because of fermentation heat)
have made adoption of treatments poor (Schiere, 1995). Roy
and Rangnekar (2006) described one successful case of urea
treatment in India, where treatment helps farmers overcome
storage problems in humid conditions.
A fourth implication is the study of methane emissions.
Enteric methane emissions were estimated on the basis of
the models of Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux (ARC)
(1980) and Oosting
et al.
(1993) assuming a linear decrease
in methane energy produced as a fraction of digestible
energy intake (DEI) with increasing quality of the diet (i.e.
methane varying from 120 J/kJ DEI for the poorest feed (class
10) to 75 J/kJ DEI for the best feed (class 1)). Increasing
inclusion of lower quality feeds resulted in an almost linear
increase in methane emissions from the herd (Figure 2a) and
in an exponential increase in methane emissions per kg of
milk (Figure 2b). Treatment (the solid lines in Figures 1 and 2)
had only marginal direct effects on methane emissions.
However, the indirect effect through milk production
increase is obvious (see Figure 2b).
Figure 1 Effect of inclusion of feeds of different quality in the diet
(class 1 is the best, class 10 is the worst) on individual daily milk
production (a), herd size (b) and total herd daily milk production (c) for
untreated (dotted line, squares) and treated (e.g. by urea or ammonia)
feeds in class 5 up to 10 (straight line, triangles).
Figure 2 Methane emissions for the total herd (a) and per kg of milk
produced (b) for untreated (dotted line, squares) and treated (e.g. by urea
or ammonia) low-quality feeds (straight line, triangles).
Development of livestock production in the tropics
For the diet with the highest herd production (up to class 4
included), methane emissions were 18.9 g/kg of milk, and with
the inclusion of feeds up to class 7 in order to feed a multi-
functional herd the emissions were estimated to be 51.4 g/kg
of milk. In the latter case, a part of the emissions should
be attributed to the non-production functions of livestock.
Earlier, we concluded that the economic benet of the non-
production functions was at least equivalent to 514 kg of milk/
day. Thus, a fraction (equal to
production sacriced/total
potential production
=514/1419) of 0.36 should be attributed
to the non-production functions. The outcome is that 32.8 g
/kg of milk is the methane emission attributable to the milk
production. These estimates are much lower than those by
et al.
(2011), but still higher than estimates for the
emissions/kg of milk (De Haas
et al
., 2011). Nevertheless, Figure 2b shows that reduction in
stocking rates will reduce methane emissions per kg of milk
produced. This mitigation option is highly recommended as it is
also benecial for livestock output (Figure 1c) and it lowers the
impact of livestock production on nature, water and other
agricultural land use.
Decreasing herd size will occur only if the benets outweigh
the costs of losing non-production functions. Hence, articial
fertilisation, short- and long-term nancial institutions and
mechanisation should become available reliably and at low
cost (Udo
et al
., 2011). Regulatory measures (taxes and quota)
could reduce the benets of keeping many animals.
If the non-production livestock functions could partly be
replaced by technology and institutions (the aforementioned
articial fertilisation, short- and long-term nancial institu-
tions and mechanisation), then whole farm production
increase could go along with strengthened agro-ecological
values: less livestock would imply less pressure on lands with
increased food security and income. Nevertheless, there will
be the need to nd balances between intensication of crop
and livestock production on the one hand and the agro-
ecological health of farming systems on the other. Trade-offs
between intensication and agro-ecological values should be
analysed and understood. Hence, it is a challenge for tropical
livestock production research to nd ways to deal with issues
such as undesired loss of biodiversity for example, when
local breeds are replaced by high-producing exotic ones;
social changes when farm intensication leads to fewer
farms; and threatened resilience of farming systems when
technologies and institutions fail in times of crisis.
The present review presented two approaches for analysis of
the farm perspective of production improvement. Both show
that the presumed generic drivers for livestock development
increasing demand for animal-source products and desire
of smallholders to escape from poverty meet important
barriers at the farm and value chain level. The LIVCAF fra-
mework sheds light on constraints for commercialisation,
such as the inevitable change of the subsistence-oriented
farming system, with its mechanisms of resilience, into a
more specialised, land-requiring urban market-oriented
farming system, which has to deal with lower prices, more
competition and higher-quality demands. Moreover, there
is only limited scope for a gradual shift from subsistence
to commercial. Benets of such transition will rst meet
mountains of monetary and non-monetary costs, which may
explain, at least partly, the resistance to adoption.
The modelling study showed that limited feed availability
affects breeding objectives and feed improvement. The model
gives a tool for quantifying the contribution of non-monetary
functions to a farmer or a farming community. Farmers sacri-
ce production in order to maintain other functions of cattle.
et al
. (2003), Abegaz
et al
. (2007), Budisatria
et al.,
(2007) and Udo
et al.
(2011) all argue that farmers optimise on
the basis of maximal output of all functions combined and not
on milk or meat production alone.
Both approaches presented in thispaperfocusonthefarming
system as a whole. The outcomes complement those of con-
straint studies on the level of inputs, markets and institutions.
The authors kindly acknowledge Laura Webb for critically reading
the manuscript and for correction of the English language.
Supplementary Material
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Oosting, Udo and Viets
... However, cattle productivity in these regions is underwhelming compared with most temperate zones characterized by high-input farming practices and yields correlated with the fitness of the breeds to their system. Furthermore, it results from the adverse conditions derived from the underprivileged economic, social, and climatic conditions of the region (Oosting et al., 2014). Therefore, although livestock activity is broadly represented in the tropics, many challenges must be overcome to achieve sustainable production systems that meet this crucial demand, mostly among low-income smallholders. ...
... There are several prospects for promoting SFS, and excellent results are described by the introduction of straightforward management practices. For example, Oosting et al. (2014) separated dairy cattle feed into ten classes, "1" being greatest quality and "10" being least quality, to compare herd performance. Overall, offering a greater-quality ration improves the average milk production per animal, reducing methane emissions per kilogram of milk. ...
... Pig farming adds value to local food waste and crop residue, which otherwise would be unsuitable for food production. In this way, pig production contributes to sustainable local agriculture by local mineral cycle and removing waste (Oosting et al. 2014). ...
... It is similar to Muys and Westenbrink (2004) who reported that small farms require minimum amount of inputs and lesser time and investment. But it must be noted that backyard farms may not necessarily contribute to national pork self-sufficiency (Oosting et al. 2014), although it enhances rural livelihood situation and availability of protein to improve household nutrition. ...
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The objectives of the study were to assess the fattening period followed by Bhutanese pig farmers for exotic breeds of pig and estimate the final carcass weight at village level. A close ended questionnaire was used for the field survey. In total, 274 households were interviewed between February to April, 2017. Respondents either owned pigs at the time of interview or had fresh experience of rearing pigs. About 77% of respondents owned exotic breeds of pigs and the remaining 23% reared local breeds of pigs, including the crosses. About 63% of respondents fattened exotic pigs for duration more than 11 months before slaughter, while about 37% of respondents fattened for more than 12 months. Over 68% of respondents achieved carcass weight of more than 70 kg per pig. Generally, about 42% of respondents achieved carcass weight of more than 70 kg per pig within the fattening duration of 8-11 months. About 82% of respondents practiced wet feeding comprising thin stillage (waste from a distillery of Army Welfare Project) and kitchen wastes mixed with other locally available feed resources. However, such feeding practices appear to have not met the nutritional requirement of pigs, which likely contributed to slow growth and prolonged fattening period. To achieve more carcass weight in short duration, farmers need to adopt proper feeding management with balanced ration.
... Las pérdidas productivas y económicas que pueden tener los ganaderos por efecto del estrés calórico causado por la variabilidad climática y el cambio climático generan preocupación en investigadores y tomadores de decisión (3). El desempeño de los sistemas se afecta, especialmente en ganaderías que se encuentran en pastoreo, en donde los bovinos y las pasturas se enfrentan directamente a las variables climáticas (4), con efectos negativos sobre la producción y reproducción de los animales (5,6) y, en la cantidad y calidad de las pasturas como es propuesto (7,8). ...
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Objetivo. La idea principal de este estudio fue cuantificar la relación entre las variables climáticas y la temperatura corporal timpánica registrada mediante el uso de sensores inalámbricos en vacas en pastoreo ubicadas en trópico bajo. Material y métodos. Se monitorizó la temperatura timpánica de veintiocho vacas en pastoreo, de varias razas, en lactación temprana. Los sensores se instalaron manualmente en el canal timpánico, registrando datos cada hora durante 17 días. Los datos climáticos se obtuvieron de la red de estaciones meteorológicas del Centro de Investigación de la Caña de Azúcar “Cenicaña”, el cual se encuentra ubicado en la ciudad de Cali, Colombia; estos datos se analizaron con el mismo intervalo de tiempo de la temperatura. La información se analizó mediante estadística descriptiva, matrices de correlación y modelos Random Forest, a través del software R. Resultados. A partir de los datos fisiológicos recolectados automáticamente y analizados mediante Big data, se evaluaron los procesos de termorregulación, a través, de variables de respuesta. Encontramos que las variables temperatura ambiental, humedad relativa y, radiación solar fueron los factores que más influyeron en el proceso de adaptación homeotérmica de los animales. Conclusiones. La introducción de dispositivos remotos, y el uso de una gran cantidad de datos para el análisis de indicadores fisiológicos, evita modificar el comportamiento natural de los animales y surge como una importante estrategia de diagnóstico y gestión en fincas ganaderas, ayudando en los estudios de estrés calórico, adaptación fisiológica y, prevalencia a enfermedades hemotrópicas, la cuales reducen la productividad de los sistemas.
... In the tropical zone of Latin America, cattle production is related to deforestation and soil degradation (Oosting et al., 2014), it generates profound changes in the ecosystems of the region and which causes negative effects on the ecosystem services they provide to broad areas (Rodríguez-Ortega et al., 2014). In Colombia, this phenomenon is also well know and is aggravated to the fact that cattle farming is the main economic activity for the rural sector of the country. ...
... At a national level, livestock contributes a significant amount to export earnings. It contributes 10 per cent of all formal export earnings (Oosting, Udo & Viets, 2014). Commercialization of the pastoral system would mean that all its components get adjusted to the new goals guiding the production process. ...
... Mixed crop-livestock systems are of great interest for food security worldwide but are challenged by intensification, and depend to a large extent on government policies and state investment in the livestock sector (Herrero et al., 2010;Sekaran et al., 2021). Mixed crop-livestock systems are still the most widespread type of livestock systems in the world, especially in the tropics (van Keulen and Schiere, 2004;Oosting et al., 2014). These systems account for about 2.5 billion hectares of land (De Haan et al., 1997;Thornton and Herrero, 2014) and produce about three-quarters of the world's supply of milk and more than half of ruminant meat (Herrero et al., 2013). ...
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Mixed crop–livestock systems, the world's most widespread farming systems, promote farm resilience through diversification and allow for crop–livestock integration (CLI). Intensification and specialization challenge these systems. In Northwest Vietnam, the standard farm model is based on mixed crop–livestock family farms but is shifting towards more specialized farming systems. The aim of the current study was to identify the new balance between livestock and crops on farms in Northwest Vietnam and to examine the effects of specialization on CLI practices and production system intensification by identifying current CLI practices and performing a retrospective analysis of changes in these practices. One hundred farms were surveyed and 24 interviews on farm trajectories were conducted in Dien Bien district (Dien Bien province) between January and April 2022. Based on the level of CLI and farm diversification, seven types of farms were identified and classified into three categories: (B) mixed farms, (A) farms specializing in livestock and (C) farms specializing in crops. The study of farm trajectories revealed three main changes: the conversion of mixed crop–livestock farms into more specialized crop systems, a change from mixed crop–livestock to more specialized family livestock farms and a change in the management of large ruminant herds and their feed system from free grazing to forage-fed systems. Understanding these changes will help identify drivers and potential constraints to the development of new practices for the integration of crop and livestock farming.
... Pigs require lesser investment compared to other livestock species as they are prolific breeder and are good feed to meat converter (Klaas 2011). Pig farming adds value to local food waste and crop residue, and contributes to sustainable local agriculture by local mineral cycle and removing waste (Oosting et al. 2014). ...
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Study was conducted to assess the effect of feeding regime and castration timings on the production performance of fattener pigs. Feed conversion ratio, average daily weight gain, final weight including the cost-benefit analysis of fattener pigs reared under farm conditions with similar feeding and management practices were studied. Twenty-two piglets of same age, uniform size with equal sex ratio on the day of farrowing were included for the study. The animals were randomly assigned to Group A and Group B. The pigs in Group A were fed once in the morning, and pigs in Group B were fed twice in a day as per usual farm practice for 280 days. The birth weights were taken as an initial weight for all animals. All the animals were weighed before feeding in the morning on a fortnightly basis using portable digital weighing balance until weaning. Thereafter, the pigs from weaning until termination of the trial were weighed using electronic weighing scale. The male pigs in each group were castrated at 3 different stages; 14, 30 and 60 days after birth. Two-way analysis using ANOVA was administered for the data analysis. A significant difference was not observed in the overall mean final weights between the two study groups. The average daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio for pigs in group A and B were 0.339 g & 0.346 g and 4.02 and 3.65, respectively. The mean final weight of pigs castrated at 14, 30 and 60 days were 93.8 kg, 99.02 and 97.15 kg irrespective of group and the result did not differ significantly (p = 0.771). However, the study showed a slightly higher final weight gains in female (98.5 kg) when compared to male (96.5 kg) pigs irrespective of the group. The cost-benefit-analysis although not significant, revealed higher net-income by 46.62% in Group B than Group A. The study concludes that feeding frequency and castration timing does not affect the overall performance of fatteners pigs reared under similar management practices and environment condition.
... However, small holdings of few pigs with low inputs and poor biosecurity translates into low output and productivity (Beltran-Alcrudo et al. 2018). It is reported that the backyard farms may not necessarily contribute to national pork self-sufficiency but may help to increase rural livelihood and availability of local protein (Oosting et al. 2014). Small holder farming systems improve livelihood and food security for the poorest people (Dixon et al. 2001;Kumaresan et al. 2009). ...
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The study was conducted to understand attitude and perceptions of pig rearing farmers towards the future of piggery development. Data were collected from 420 respondents through face-to-face interview using semi-structured questionnaire between October 2018 and April 2019. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Majority of pig farmers were found to practice backyard pig production, and most of them are either illiterate (51%) or with non-formal education (32%). Pigs are reared mainly for income generation and household consumption. The study recoded only 6.2% of the respondents against 93.8% involved in breeding and fattening of pig, respectively. Majority of the respondents reported that the pig farming is profitable, and prefers to rear exotic pig breeds due to faster growth rate. Despite many challenges such as religious disapproval, inadequate and high commercial feeds costs and labour shortage hindering pig development in the country, more than 73% of the respondents reported to continue pig farming as a source of livelihood. Nonetheless, if appropriate policy interventions are not made, the pig farming is likely to decline and local pigs might extinct over the period.
Management of farming and food system under changing climate and increased population pressure is critical for the future of biodiversity. High yield farming results in higher emissions of greenhouse gases which are the main driver of climate change, thus damaging the farming system across the globe. The farming system and climate change have strong interactions among each other, and different agroclimatic conditions determine the types of the farming system. Therefore, to have sustainable and resilient farming systems, it is important to understand key drivers that determine farmers’ adaptive capacity under changing climate. The main drivers includes environmental pressure, water availability, crop characteristics, and socioeconomic conditions of farmers. However, farmers give less importance to climate change which leads to clear gaps in the implementation of outreach activities. Farmers with small land holdings are more vulnerable to climate change as compared to larger-scale farmers as they have lower resources to adopt new technologies. For designing of effective adaptation policies, it is important to understand what adjustments farmers make to cope with climate change. A previous study about the list of adjustments has shown flaws as more importance was given to climate change as compared to other socioeconomic drivers that alter farmers behaviours. Thus, non-climatic drivers should be part of analysis to design effective climate adaptation strategies and remove potential flaws. Hence after assessing all drivers, the following climate adaptation measures are recommended for farm-level adjustments to minimze the impact of disaster: altering the planting date, revising and updating crop varieties, implementing crop switching, and promoting diversification. A case study of smallholder crop-livestock system in sub-Saharan Africa was used to suggest possible adaptation and mitigation options under changing climate. These include (1) providing cushions to farmers against risks (e.g. insurance scheme, weather forecasting, and early warnings system), (2) improving skills and capacity of farmers and value chain actors, and (3) fostering farm investments (e.g. credit facilities, land tenure security, and value chain development). The reviewed work also emphasized the implementation of effective insurance schemes and weather-index insurance systems (WIIS) that can significantly benefit smallholder farmers. Furthermore, economic incentives, technical support, and collaborative networks can facilitate adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by farmers.
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The study purpose was to estimate greenhouse gases produced in agricultural sector in Teluk Bintuni Regency. Data were taken from 15 farmer groups from 15 districts, and 6 families of rice farmers assisted by Tangguh LNG’ CSR. The calculation method uses IPCC 2006 Tier 2. The correction factor used in calculating Bintuni’s GHG is adjusted based on land area, soil type, type of fertilizer, and type of irrigation used. The results show that paddy farming activities by rice farmers assisted by Tangguh LNG CSR produce CH 4 of 964.45 kg/year, or CO 2 of 20.253,54 kg/year. Fertilization activities on paddy fields produced direct emissions of 1344.51 kg CO 2 , indirect emissions of 436.97kg CO 2 , fertilizing activities of paddy fields using NPK produced direct NO 2 emissions equivalent to 456.70 kg CO 2 , and indirect emissions of 148.43 kg CO 2 . Fertilization activities on plantation land using ZA fertilizer produced direct NO 2 emissions of 2969.74 kg CO 2 and indirect emissions of 965.165 kg CO 2 , NO 2 emissions from NPK fertilizer produced direct emissions of 6074.467 and indirect emissions of 1974.20 kg CO 2 . It is necessary to further implement low-emission agricultural activities through fertilization of the right size and selection of rice varieties and low-emission irrigation systems.
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Animal production is a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. Depending on the accounting approaches and scope of emissions covered, estimates by various sources (IPCC, FAO, EPA or others) place livestock contribution to global anthropogenic GHG emissions at between 7 and 18 percent. The current analysis was conducted to evaluate the potential of nutritional, manure and animal husbandry practices for mitigating methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) – i.e. non-carbon dioxide (non-CO2) – GHG emissions from livestock production. These practices were categorized into enteric CH4, manure management and animal husbandry mitigation practices. Emphasis was placed on enteric CH4 mitigation practices for ruminant animals (only in vivo studies were considered) and manure mitigation practices for both ruminant and monogastric species. Over 900 references were reviewed; and simulation and life cycle assessment analyses were generally excluded. In evaluating mitigation practices, the use of proper units is critical. Expressing enteric CH4 energy production on gross energy intake basis, for example, does not accurately reflect the potential impact of diet quality and composition. Therefore, it is noted that GHG emissions should be expressed on a digestible energy intake basis or per unit of animal product (i.e. GHG emission intensity), because this reflects most accurately the effect of a given mitigation practice on feed intake and the efficiency of animal production. Enteric CH4 mitigation practices Increasing forage digestibility and digestible forage intake will generally reduce GHG emissions from rumen fermentation (and stored manure), when scaled per unit of animal product, and are highly-recommended mitigation practices. For example, enteric CH4 emissions may be reduced when corn silage replaces grass silage in the diet. Legume silages may also have an advantage over grass silage due to their lower fibre content and the additional benefit of replacing inorganic nitrogen fertilizer. Effective silage preservation will improve forage quality on the farm and reduce GHG emission intensity. Introduction of legumes into grass pastures in warm climate regions may offer a mitigation opportunity, although more research is needed to address the associated agronomic challenges and comparative N2O emissions with equivalent production levels from nitrogen fertilizer. Dietary lipids are effective in reducing enteric CH4 emissions, but the applicability of this practice will depend on its cost and its effects on feed intake, production and milk composition. High-oil by-product feeds, such as distiller’s grains, may offer an economically feasible alternative to oil supplementation as a mitigation practice, although their higher fibre content may have an opposite effect on enteric CH4, depending on basal diet composition. Inclusion of concentrate feeds in the diet of ruminants will likely decrease enteric CH4 emissions per unit of animal product, particularly when above 40 percent of dry matter intake. The effect may depend on type of ‘concentrate’ inclusion rate, production response, impact on fibre digestibility, level of nutrition, composition of the basal diet and feed processing. Supplementation with small amounts of concentrate feed is expected to increase animal productivity and decrease GHG emission intensity when added to all-forage diets. However, concentrate supplementation should not substitute high-quality forage. Processing of grain to increase its digestibility is likely to reduce enteric CH4 emission intensity. Nevertheless, caution should be exercised so that concentrate supplementation and processing does not compromise digestibility of dietary fibre. In many parts of the world, concentrate inclusion may not be an economically feasible mitigation option. In these situations improving the nutritive value of low-quality feeds in ruminant diets can have a considerable benefit on herd productivity, while keeping the herd CH4 output constant or even decreasing it. Chemical treatment of low-quality feeds, strategic supplementation of the diet, ration balancing and crop selection for straw quality are effective mitigation strategies, but there has been little adoption of these technologies. Nitrates show promise as enteric CH4 mitigation agents, particularly in low-protein diets that can benefit from nitrogen supplementation, but more studies are needed to fully understand their impact on whole-farm GHG emissions, animal productivity and animal health. Adaptation to these compounds is critical and toxicity may be an issue. Through their effect on feed efficiency, ionophores are likely to have a moderate CH4 mitigating effect in ruminants fed high-grain or grain-forage diets. However, regulations restrict the availability of this mitigation option in many countries. In ruminants on pasture, the effect of ionophores is not sufficiently consistent for this option to be recommended as a mitigation strategy. Tannins may also reduce enteric CH4 emissions, although intake and milk production may be compromised. Further, the agronomic characteristics of tanniferous forages must be considered when they are discussed as a GHG mitigation option. There is not sufficient evidence that other plant-derived bioactive compounds, such as essential oils, have a CH4-mitigating effect. Some direct-fed microbials, such as yeast-based products, might have a moderate CH4-mitigating effect through increasing animal productivity and feed efficiency, but the effect is expected to be inconsistent. Vaccines against rumen archaea may offer mitigation opportunities in the future, although the extent of CH4 reduction appears small, and adaptation and persistence of the effect is unknown. Manure management mitigation practices Diet can have a significant impact on manure (faeces and urine) chemistry and therefore on GHG emissions during storage and following land application. Manure storage may be required when animals are housed indoors or on feedlots, but a high proportion of ruminants are grazed on pastures or rangeland, where CH4 emissions from their excreta is very low and N2O losses from urine can be substantial. Decreased digestibility of dietary nutrients is expected to increase fermentable organic matter concentration in manure, which may increase manure CH4 emissions. Feeding protein close to animal requirements, including varying dietary protein concentration with stage of lactation or growth, is recommended as an effective manure ammonia and N2O emission mitigation practice. Low-protein diets for ruminants should be balanced for rumen-degradable protein so that microbial protein synthesis and fibre degradability are not impaired. Decreasing total dietary protein and supplementing the diet with synthetic amino acids is an effective ammonia and N2O mitigation strategy for non-ruminants. Diets for all species should be balanced for amino acids to avoid feed intake depression and decreased animal productivity. Restricting grazing when conditions are most favourable for N2O formation, achieving a more uniform distribution of urine on soil and optimizing fertilizer application are possible N2O mitigation options for ruminants on pasture. Forages with higher sugar content (high-sugar grasses or forage harvested in the afternoon when its sugar content is higher) may reduce urinary nitrogen excretion, ammonia volatilization and perhaps N2O emission from manure applied to soil, but more research is needed to support this hypothesis. Cover cropping can increase plant nitrogen uptake and decrease accumulation of nitrate, and thus reduce soil N2O emissions, although the results have not been conclusive. Urease and nitrification inhibitors are promising options to reduce N2O emissions from intensive livestock production systems, but can be costly to apply and result in limited benefits to the producer. Overall, housing, type of manure collection and storage system, separation of solids and liquid and their processing can all have a significant impact on ammonia and GHG emissions from animal facilities. Most mitigation options for GHG emissions from stored manure, such as reducing the time of manure storage, aeration, and stacking, are generally aimed at decreasing the time allowed for microbial fermentation processes to occur before land application. These mitigation practices are effective, but their economic feasibility is uncertain. Semi-permeable covers are valuable for reducing ammonia, CH4 and odour emissions at storage, but are likely to increase N2O emissions when effluents are spread on pasture or crops. Impermeable membranes, such as oil layers and sealed plastic covers, are effective in reducing gaseous emissions but are not very practical. Combusting accumulated CH4 to produce electricity or heat is recommended. Acidification (in areas where soil acidity is not an issue) and cooling are further effective methods for reducing ammonia and CH4 emissions from stored manure. Composting can effectively reduce CH4 but can have a variable effect on N2O emissions and increases ammonia and total nitrogen losses. Anaerobic digesters are a recommended mitigation strategy for CH4 generate renewable energy, and provide sanitation opportunities for developing countries, but their effect on N2O emissions is unclear. Management of digestion systems is important to prevent them from becoming net emitters of GHG. Some systems require high initial capital investments and, as a result, their adoption may occur only when economic incentives are offered. Anaerobic digestion systems are not recommended for geographic locations with average temperatures below 15 °C without supplemental heat and temperature control. Lowering nitrogen concentration in manure, preventing anaerobic conditions and reducing the input of degradable manure carbon are effective strategies for reducing GHG emissions from manure applied to soil. Separation of manure solids and anaerobic degradation pre-treatments can mitigate CH4 emission from subsurface-applied manure, which may otherwise be greater than that from surface-applied manure. Timing of manure application (e.g. to match crop nutrient demands, avoiding application before rain) and maintaining soil pH above 6.5 may also effectively decrease N2O emissions. Animal husbandry mitigation practices Increasing animal productivity can be a very effective strategy for reducing GHG emissions per unit of livestock product. For example, improving the genetic potential of animals through planned cross-breeding or selection within breeds, and achieving this genetic poten tial through proper nutrition and improvements in reproductive efficiency, animal health and reproductive lifespan are effective and recommended approaches for improving animal productivity and reducing GHG emission intensity. Reduction of herd size would increase feed availability and productivity of individual animals and the total herd, thus lowering CH4 emission intensity. Residual feed intake may be an appealing tool for screening animals that are low CH4 emitters, but currently there is insufficient evidence that low residual feed intake animals have a lower CH4 yield per unit of feed intake or animal product. However, selection for feed efficiency will yield animals with lower GHG emission intensity. Breed difference in feed efficiency should also be considered as a mitigation option, although insufficient data are currently available on this subject. Reducing age at slaughter of finished cattle and the number of days that animals are on feed in the feedlot by improving nutrition and genetics can also have a significant impact on GHG emissions in beef and other meat animal production systems. Improved animal health and reduced mortality and morbidity are expected to increase herd productivity and reduce GHG emission intensity in all livestock production systems. Pursuing a suite of intensive and extensive reproductive management technologies provides a significant opportunity to reduce GHG emissions. Recommended approaches will differ by region and species, but will target increasing conception rates in dairy, beef and buffalo, increasing fecundity in swine and small ruminants, and reducing embryo wastage in all species. The result will be fewer replacement animals, fewer males required where artificial insemination is adopted, longer productive life and greater productivity per breeding animal. Conclusions Overall, improving forage quality and the overall efficiency of dietary nutrient use is an effective way of decreasing GHG emissions per unit of animal product. Several feed supplements have a potential to reduce enteric CH4 emission from ruminants, although their long-term effect has not been well-established and some are toxic or may not be economically viable in developing countries. Several manure management practices have a significant potential for decreasing GHG emissions from manure storage and after application or deposition on soil. Interactions among individual components of livestock production systems are very complex, but must be considered when recommending GHG mitigation practices. One practice may successfully mitigate enteric CH4 emission, but increase fermentable substrate for increased GHG emissions from stored or landapplied manure. Some mitigation practices are synergistic and are expected to decrease both enteric and manure GHG emissions (for example, improved animal health and animal productivity). Optimizing animal productivity can be a very successful strategy for mitigating GHG emissions from the livestock sector in both developed and developing countries.
Operation Flood, which was supported by the five projects now evaluated, is a huge undertaking. In 1996, it involved 9.3 million farmer-members supplying an average of 10900 metric tons of milk per day through 55 042 functional village cooperative societies to 170 milk producers unions (MPUs) who sold it as liquid milk and processed products. This vast organization grew out of a single small cooperative society in the state of Gujarat established in 1946. This growth has been supported by US$0.69 billion (1996 dollars, 25% of project cost), disbursed by the Bank, and US$1.1 billion (1996 dollars) of food aid from the World Food Program and the European Community. Even so, Operation Flood represents only 6.3% of total milk production and 22% of marketed milk in India. Total milk production has also grown rapidly since the inception of Operation Flood. In India's dairy industry, the Bank has followed a simple, consistent, and transparent development strategy: to support the expansion of dairy production by small producers through a successful indigenous development program. This program, despite substantial government assistance, enabling legislation, and government control of some aspec organizations, is now dominated by farmer-controlled village-level dairy cooperative societies (DSCs) and some regional MUPUs. The first four projects were audited by the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) in 1987, and studies were sponsored by the Bank, the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on the impact of the Bank-supported projects in Karnatake (Alderman 1987) and Madhya Pradesh (Mergos and Slade 1987). The final project, which closed on April 30, 1996, was audited in November 1996. This report is based on these audits and studies, the associated Project Completion Reports and Implementation Completion Reports, examination of other Bank documents, and interviews with Bank staff. OED missions also visited India in January and November 1996. As part of the study, a participatory farmer survey was undertaken in Karnataka, and a resurvey of villages, originally studied in 1983, was organized in Madhya Pradesh. A study of the level of protection of the Indian dairy industry was also undertaken. A workship at the Institute of Rural Management, Arand, Gujarat state, with 43 Indian participants was held to discuss a draft of this report in March 1997. The generous assistance of the Swiss Development Corporation in financing thhis workshop is gratefully acknowledged.
The objective of this study was to assess dairy heifer rearing practices in relation to varying levels of intensification in the central highlands of Kenya. Data were obtained from a random sample of 987 farm households in a cross-sectional survey. Grazing management, reflecting varying levels of intensification, had a significant influence on rearing practices for replacement animals. For calves, bucket feeding was more common (p<0.05) and tick control less common (p<0.05) in semi-zero and zero grazing than in free grazing farms. Semi-zero and zero grazing farms had lower (p≤0.017) median proportions of heifers to cows (PHC) (0.00 to 0.18) compared to free grazing farms (0.31). Compared to free grazing, semi-zero and zero grazing farms kept PHC in the farm lower by weaning replacement females one month earlier (p≤0.017) and selling them when (8 mo) 4 months younger. Lower PHC was associated with hectares of maize planted per unit cattle (p<0.0003), and cash spent on purchase of fodder per unit cattle (p<0.0818), but higher PHC was associated with the more available land per unit cattle (p<0.0248). Keeping PHC low is likely a rational choice by smallholder farmers to increase farm productivity because of scarcity of land to plant fodder, and scarce capital to buy supplementary feeds. Policy reforms supportive to vertically integrated dairy development can encourage farms with comparative advantage to produce replacement heifers for farms unable to produce their own replacements.
Urea treatment is a scientifically proven technology for improving the nutritive value of cereal straws. Though the technology has been tried at farm level in several countries, so far, farmer adoption of the technology on a larger scale has been limited. However, there has been a significant increase in farmer adoption of urea treatment of wheat and paddy straws in the milkshed of Mithila Cooperative Milk Union in Bihar state of India. A study was undertaken to probe and analyse the factors that contributed to the successful adoption of urea treatment of straw technology by the dairy farmers. The paper delineates that the main factors for adoption of the technology were appropriate support from the organisation implementing the programme, availability of straw in adequate quantity with the farmers, appropriateness and adaptability of the technology to the farmers' conditions and benefit of the technology as perceived by the farmers themselves. Moreover, farmer-to-farmer extension helped easy and quick dissemination of the technology.
Understanding agricultural innovation processes and recognizing the potential for catalysing them is crucial for many countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including Kenya. This is because the smallholder dominated agricultural sector remains critical to realizing economic growth and poverty reduction goals. There is a growing focus in agricultural innovation studies on understanding how innovation processes are orchestrated and particularly the role of innovation intermediaries that have emerged as specialised actors that support such processes.
Sesbania sesban is one of the exotic multipurpose fodder trees introduced in the Ethiopian highlands for livestock feed and soil conservation. Several on-station studies showed that supplementation with Sesbania improved intake and digestibility of basal diet and growth rate of animals. However, information about farmers' feeding practices of Sesbania and farmers' perception of the effect of Sesbania feeding on animal performance is limited. The present study was conducted to assess farmers' feeding practices and their perception about effects of Sesbania supplementation on sheep performance in annual (one wheat-based (WheatCL) and one teff-based (TeffCL)) and perennial (coffee-based (CoffeeCL)) crop-based livestock systems in the Ethiopian Highlands. Data were collected from 98 households by interviews using a structured questionnaire. Farmers had on average 6.9 years of experience using Sesbania as a cut and carry supplementary feed. Farmers in the WheatCL and TeffCL fed Sesbania throughout the dry season while farmers in the CoffeeCL had no specific season for feeding Sesbania. Farmers in WheatCL and TeffCL offered significantly (P < 0.05) more frequently and a higher quantity per feeding of Sesbania than farmers in CoffeeCL. Most farmers perceived increased lamb birth weight and increased body weight gain, earlier onset of puberty, and improved pregnancy rate of ewes and rams' libido. Perceived improvement was significantly more (P < 0.05) in WheatCL and TeffCL than in CoffeeCL. We concluded that Sesbania was appreciated across farming systems for its feeding value. The marginal advantage of Sesbania was lowest in the CoffeeCL with relatively good availability of good quality feeds compared to the WheatCL and TeffCL, which explains the less positive perception of production and reproductive performance of Sesbania feeding in CoffeeCL.
The Kenyan Government introduced group ranches in Kajiado District in the 1960s. They were aimed at addressing the problem of overgrazing and land degradation, said to be occurring in the pastoral arid and semi-arid areas, by converting communal to group tenure.This was expected to encourage the Maasai nomadic pastoralists to confine their livestock within ranch boundaries and reduce their livestock numbers. Although group ranches in Kajiado failed to meet these expectations, they secured the Maasai's traditional land against alienation by non-Maasai. Thereafter, the Maasai continued using their land along traditional lines, which is increasingly being recognized as the most efficient and sustainable use. Group ranch sub-division into individual plots in Kajiado began in the 1980s with government support. Further fragmentation of plots and sale, in many cases to non-Maasai, followed sub-division. Average plot sizes have decreased, while the number of fenced properties and the levels of cultivation have increased. Due to sub-division, the Maasai are gradually losing their best land and are being pushed into the drier areas. Sub-division will threaten continued extensive nomadic livestock production by decreasing mobility and the carrying capacity of group ranch land, increase the potential for land degradation and crop failures, and interfere with traditional wildlife migration patterns.
A diagnostic study of the development potential of livestock for the rice-based economy of the Office du Niger (ON) was conducted in Mali. The functioning of selected farming systems and value chains were studied by means of interviews, surveys and farmer group discussions. The findings show that in the ON rice remains the prime agricultural activity; although half of the farm households own cattle (for capital insurance and draught power), livestock management is troublesome because of a lack of grazing land and water points. Rice production is lucrative but approximately half of the farmers in the area studied do not have the land or capital to obtain a good harvest or sell at a profit. The ON supports rice farming through the provision of infrastructure and subsidies but the hierarchical structure of the ON's services and limited human resources hinder the timely availability and quality of its services. More affluent farmers do cope but poorer farmers have a problem to make ends meet. Diversification towards intensive livestock production might offer a new opportunity. The research station, dairy processing unit and dairy co-operatives are dynamic organizations and farmers appear eager to explore this opportunity but our analysis shows the revenue remains modest. We conclude that in order to improve the livelihood of the farmers, especially of the poor, it is critical to focus on institutional change within the rice sector. New forms of collaboration between the ON and the rice farmer organizations might solve most service delivery problems. However, this would require a long process of delicate brokerage, farmer organization and advocacy training. It would be important in the meantime to support activities that generate short-term visible results in the rice or dairy sector.