Developing improved farming and marketing systems in rainfed regions of southern Lao PDR: Activities & results, Livestock and Forages Component 2010
Viengsavanh Phimphachanhvongsod, Tassilo TiemannDeveloping improved farming and marketing systems in rainfed regions of southern Lao PDR: Activities & results, Livestock and Forages Component 2010
1. Identify potential livestock feeding and management options, and adapt and evaluate these with farmers at key sites.2. Identify productive forage species adapted to the specific lowland conditions of southern Laos.3. Feed information back to other components and look for integration possibilities.
• Identifying PAFO and DAFO focus areas and villages apt for interventions• Introduce farmers with potential for livestock system improvements to the concept of forage planting• Improve livestock production systems and link to markets• Look for improved integration possibilities of the system• Germplasm evaluation and seed multiplication of potentially apt forage species
Farmer selection happened according to :• Overall poverty• Importance of livestock to farmers• Market opportunities for livestock and livestock products• Interest and capacity of farmers to participate• Accessibility of the site throughout the year
• We are working currently in 7 districts with more than 60 farmers• Initial weather related drawbacks led to a slow start• All farmers have now managed to establish plots, the required systems change is onlySavannakh Phone Ya Nang, Nakheilex, Nadeun, Kokyai, Lathoret starting cluster, Gaeng Luang, Labengkhok, Thathe, Khamsaee, NaphorkhamChampasa Donjod, Vengk Tao, Mai, NoneKhoun, Sackmaoug, NonYang, PakXan g, NaMakNgok, Moung, NoneDengTai, NoneYang, Pak Xang, NongBourNgo
• The adoption of forages requires a change in thinking and management• Livestock = Money = Security• Cattle and forage have to be seen as a unit• Planning and managing feed and feeding• Cattle has to be taken care of much more
• Promising species for ruminant production have been identified despite the demanding environm. conditions• Post harvest upland rice systems with forages seem to be in theory feasible, in practice they are constrained• For lowland rice systems no option could be identified yet, soil chemistry/aeration might be limiting
Challenges for post harvest systems include• No commercial forage seed availability for short term legumes• High management/labor costs• Potentially good return to labor only in intensive, specialized systems.
But…• Already small amounts of supplementary irrigation seem to be beneficial• Perennial rice forage systems might be a solution to some of these constraints
• Farmers can start forage seed production with “Happy Farmers” • Although the return to labor is quite good and risk relatively low, there has been little interest• Birla Lao pulp company tries to use forages as a strategy in their impact mitigation program • Establishment and management of forage plots in between Eucalyptus plantations could be challenging • Especially aspired free-grazing systems do require good management for sustainability• Linking farmers to traders will be the next challenge
• Farmer and district staff training is an important issue• Intensive follow up is constrained by the large area• Lack of institutional incentives make the successful intervention in each district dependent on the personal commitment and interest of the local staff• Slow and bureaucratic processes in place to ensure proper use of funds make work cumbersome