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10 forage and feed scr


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10 forage and feed scr

  1. 1. BIG IDEAS Mitigating feed and fodder shortages through development along the whole value chain B oth a problem and business opportunity: farming systems are unable to meet the rising demand for feed and fodder due to the demand-driven livestock revolution. For example in India, there is a deficit of 24% dry fodder, 33% green fodder and 37% concentrates and this deficit is further growing owing to the increasing demand for milk and meat products. A holistic approach is recommended, developing the whole value chain for feed and fodder. This will range from breeding for feed/fodder to processing, storage, policies and market access. Science with a human face November 2013
  2. 2. Solutions that are science based The value chain development will include: ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ Breeding programs that focus on: - dual-purpose cultivars with high fodder quality - high-tillering, fast growing, multicut forages with high palatability and digestibility - water and nitrogen-use efficiency - disease and pest resistance - feed resources free from/with low HCN, lignin, polyphenols, Oxalic acid, Aflatoxin Best-bet options for quality fodder production and mechanization of production and processing On-farm efficiencies and intensification Efficient utilization of common property resources Fodder warehouses establishment Advocating subsidizing/custom hiring of the machinery for fodder processing and better utilization Reviewing quality assurance of animal feeds Encourage and facilitate decentralized small scale business enterprises around feed and fodder Strengthening linkages between various actors – NARS-Milk Federations, Governments and NGOs Background on selected crops, adaptation and feed value Sorghum and Pearl Millet Sorghum and pearl millet are among the important dual-purpose and forage crops. Sorghum is a prominent forage crop in India occupying 3 m ha area out of total 8 m ha forage area in the country. Therefore there is large private sector interest in forage seed production and distribution. High biomass production, high palatability and digestibility, regeneration ability, drought tolerance (sorghum and millet need less water than maize per unit of biomass produced) and adaptability 2 A concept note for Ensuring nutritional security in rural India to a range of climatic and soil conditions make these crops most suitable for increasing the forage production across the world. Besides, sorghum and pearl millet are tolerant to salinity and heat. While the fresh and dry stover have high digestibility, the sweet sorghum bagasse based feed blocks are found to be at par with commercial feed blocks terms of animal intake and productivity. Chickpea and Pigeonpea Chickpea is a cool season crop grown on residual soil moisture and highly responsive to applied inputs. Its fodder is used as high protein fodder mixed with cereal straw and is fed to the cattle/goats as a nutrient-rich supplement augmenting the feed from the main cereal source. Pigeonpea is an important grain legume crop of rainfed agriculture. Owing to its drought tolerance and soil fertility enrichment ability it finds an important place in sustainable cropping system. By virtue of fodder quality attributes such as high nitrogen content and in vitro organic matter digestibility coupled with higher vegetative growth it augments excellently to mitigate fodder shortage in semi-arid tropics. Groundnut Cultivated in more than 100 countries groundnut is one of the major dual-purpose crops grown for its haulms as well as for pods in dry tropics. The haulms are rich in protein with high in vitro organic matter digestibility. This makes groundnut a preferred dual purpose crop. Further there is a high diversity for traits related to its haulm quality as fodder and with little or no trade-offs between pod yield and haulm yield. Groundnut de-oiled cake (after extraction of oil) is a prized concentrate feed for all classes of livestock. Its low fiber and high protein contents make it an even more valuable ingredient for poultry rations. Involvement Invest in the feed and fodder value chain. Contact A Ashok Kumar, Senior Scientist (Sorghum Breeding), E-mail: