Rural farmers in Zimbabwe and the whole of Southern Africa are set to receive a major boost in their livestock production through the expected launch of the beef value chain finance initiative this year. The initiative, whose pilot project was successfully undertaken in Swaziland, includes a loan scheme for smallholder farmers who want to take up beef fattening for the market. This came out during the on-going International Conference on Livestock Value Chain and Access to Credit being held in Ezulwini, Swaziland.
“Niji Foods, with the International Livestock Research Institute, with USAID support, is establishing three cassava peel processing centers to address this market gap.
A new extension brief by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) explains the principles of haymaking using tropical grasses and legumes. Produced by ILRI researchers and partners in Zimbabwe, the brief gives practical steps on how smallholder farmers can make hay from grasses and legumes such as cowpeas, velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) lablab (Lablab purpureus) including …
The government of the state of Odisha, in eastern India, and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) will work together to provide improved feed and fodder to livestock in the state (formerly known as Orissa) in a new three-year project.
The African Chicken Genetic Gains project is on a mission to bring ‘more productive chickens to African smallholders’. Led by ILRI, and backed by the deep pockets of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Chicken Genetic Gains project aims to improve the genetic makeup of African chickens. The initiative, which is initially being rolled out in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania, is part of what the Microsoft founder has called his ‘big bet’ on chickens, which also includes a promise to donate 100,000 of the birds to families and communities in the world’s poorest nations. . . .
This project is integrating sweetpotato feed into small-scale pig production systems, demonstrating to Uganda’s smallholder farmers three benefits of sweetpotato silage: increased pig productivity, affordable costs and labour savings. ILRI’s role in this project is to better understand pig feeding practices in Uganda, to investigate options for making sweetpotato silage, and to assess the economic viability of sweetpotato silage as pig feed, including the willingness of Ugandan farmers to pay for the silage.
A new regional push, focused on promoting four key actions to adapt agriculture and curb growing hunger, could help, Ajayi said. The best ways to assist southern Africa’s farmers, agricultural experts said, are by increasing their access to insurance for crop failure and livestock deaths, and giving them better weather advice via mobile phone.