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Better Livestock Management Enhances Agricultural Water Productivity in the Nile Basin
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Better livestock management enhances agricultural water productivity in the Nile Basin


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Poster prepared by Don Peden, Amare Haileslassie, Denis Mpairwe, Girma Taddesse, Hamid Faki, Mengistu Alemayehu, Paulo van Breugel, and Tilahun Amede for the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food 2008: PN37—Nile Basin Livestock Water Productivity

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Better livestock management enhances agricultural water productivity in the Nile Basin

  1. 1. Better Livestock Management Enhances Agricultural Water Productivity in the Nile Basin Don Peden1, Amare Haileslassie1, Denis Mpairwe2, Girma Taddesse1, Hamid Faki3, Mengistu Alemayehu4, Paulo van Breugel1, and Tilahun Amede1&5 1International Livestock Research Institute; 2Dep’t. of Animal Science, Makerere University, Uganda; 3Agriculture Economics and Policy Research Center, ARC, Sudan; PN37: Nile Basin Livestock Water Productivity 4Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research; and 5International Water Management Institute Introduction Four strategies help increase LWP The CGIAR Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in 1. Select feeds and forages having high crop water productivity. 3. Improve market access, animal health, nutrition, genetics, and Agriculture confirmed: • Crop residues are by-products of food production. husbandry to reduce mortality, morbidity and stress and increase • The urgency and feasibility of increasing rainfed livestock and production, profitability, and LWP. • Their use as animal feed requires no extra crop water. crop water productivity. • Water managers need to integrate Animal Science based technologies, • Combining residues with more nutritious feed may be necessary to policies, and institutions into water management. • Livestock are major water users. Increasing numbers generate maintain nutritionally adequate and palatable diets. rapidly growing demand for more water to produce their feed. Example: Ethiopians farmers increased annual income from about $300 • Crop water productivity of forages is highly variable; there is need to to $1500 by integrated adoption of household water harvesting, cross- • Developing country livestock depend on multiple water use identify those that deplete the least amount of water for production. systems. Poor management leads to severe water degradation. bred dairy cows, zero-grazing and watering, and marketing. Examples: Residues from Sudan’s irrigation schemes enable herders to Therefore, there is great need to ensure that livestock use water Adoption of appropriate fatten cattle after trekking long distances to markets in Khartoum (left). technologies to enhance effectively, efficiently, and sustainably. Ethiopia’s highland farmers depend on residues to sustain animals that animal production in water harvesting develop-ment provide farm power, milk, meat, cash income and other benefits (right). leads to increased LWP and Nile basin livestock water productivity (LWP) Irrigated residues greater benefits to farmers. Sasakawa Global 2000 used for feed in • LWP is the ratio of net benefits derived from livestock products Khartoum (left). participating farmer benefits from dairying (left) and and services to the amount of water depleted in producing them. horticulture (right). Ethiopian highland • This project set out to describe the nature and distribution of farmers harvest major livestock-water interactions in the Nile and identify hot residues and grain to sustain life in the 4. Provide drinking water in areas having surplus feed resources. spots where opportunities exist to LWP through better livestock long dry season (right). • Provision of drinking water in areas with surplus feed enables herders and water management. to realize high LWP by utilizing already produced feed that has no • The research takes place in Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda. other agricultural value. 2. Conserve water through better management of animal use of pasture, riparian vegetation, cropland and water bodies. • Livestock keepers must limit grazing near drinking water to prevent Where are the Nile’s people & animals? overgrazing; ecosystem, land and water degradation; and low LWP. • Maintain green vegetative cover to maximize transpiration, plant production, and reduce evaporation, run-off, and contamination and Example: In Sudan, LWP is low. In some places, overgrazing reduces Country Area* Livestock Number forage production near watering sites. Elsewhere, animals cannot access degradation of water resources. (1000 system (% of (millions) available feed due to lack of water. Optimal balancing distributions of • Replenish soil nutrients and water holding capacity to maximize km2) Nile basin ) plants’ capacity to use water efficiently. animals, feed, and drinking water can enhance LWP over large areas. irrigated Grazing rainfed People Example: Overgrazing in Nakasongola, Uganda, rendered large Mixed Mixed Cattle Drinking 1000 Sheep Goats Average animal drinking pastoral areas non-productive. Re-seeding pasture raised biomass water deficit in the water m3/day Central Belt of Sudan production from nil to 3000 kg/ha/season and reduced sedimentation of (right) requires balance Sudan 1,932 75 22 <1 32 26 34 27 downslope valley tanks by 95%. Restoring vegetative cover promoted investments in watering Demand 1437 sites (left) to take Ethiopia 361 23 71 0 5 4 14 25 water conservation that results in increased LWP. advantage of surplus Supply 846 feed and increase LWP. Egypt 286 87 1 11 3 2 3 62 Makerere University Deficit 591 researchers re-seed Uganda 204 19 72 0 1 3 5 23 highly degraded pasture (left), Tanzania 86 11 76 0 <1 3 6 7 increase increase Conclusion LWP (right), and Kenya 47 13 78 0 1 2 4 12 improve downslope Improved institutional arrangements, policies, technologies, and Others 76 10 80 <1 1 1 1 14 water quality and availability in valley stakeholders’ behaviour in the context of integrated livestock and water TOTAL 2,993 61 34 1 45 41 67 170 tanks. management will lead to increased LWP and thus improved food security and livelihoods for poor livestock keepers in the Nile Basin. * Area refers to country land areas located within the Nile River basin only.