Farmer training for rural development through improved forage preservation
Mr. Muhammad Saadullah has started his professional career in July, 2007. He joined Pakistan Dairy Development Company (PDDC), an organization with a slogan of “Leading the White Revolution”. There he contributed as Farm Production Advisor and introduced modern housing, feeding and management practices through company’s model farm program those later on resulted in present day modern dairy industry. He served there for three and half years.
At the start of present decade dairy industry was flushing and modern dairy farms around big cities were being installed, but the industry faced serious problems regarding the feed and fodder availability. Saadullah joined DuPont Pioneer Pakistan Seeds as Market Development Officer/ Nutritionist. There he contributed as solution provider to industry and introduced modern techniques of forage preservation, bale silage, silage inoculants, improved hybrid seeds of forages, silage harvesting machinery and silage making techniques.
He joined University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences as Lecturer in December, 2011 since then he is contributing in teaching and research along with serving the farming community through UVAS 24/7 extension Services. He is a PhD scholar and working on Buffalo feeding management. He also served as Farm Manager at University farm and introduced modern forage production and conservation techniques, pasture development, irrigation techniques, methane digester and farm yard manure management techniques. He is also actively involved in industry- Academia led education and research activities like holding farmer days, dairy expos, workshops, seminar and symposiums.
Need for Project
Livestock is the Back bone of Pakistan’s economy contributing 11.4 % in national GDP. Country owns About 63 million animal heads and these animals are major source of food, i.e. Milk & Meat for masses of about 200 million people resides in the country. Additionally livestock produces farmyard manure a source of kitchen fuel and fertilizer for rural population and raw material for other industries like leather, wool etc. Pakistan ranks 5th in the world for milk production even though there is a huge demand and supply gap in dairy sector both for farm inputs and ultimately farm produce. The industry is composed of farmers that own on average 1.8 cows and the cows themselves produce on average 6 liters/day, but the most recent trend of commercialization in dairy industry and premium prices for farm produce has urged farmers to adopt new technologies of improved farm management practices.
According to an estimate 63 million animals annually requires about 10.9 million tons of crude protein (CP) and 90.36 million tons of total digestible nutrients (TDN). But the availability of CP & TDN is 6.7 and 69.0 million tons and so CP and TDN are 38.10 and 24.02% deficient per annum. Animals are receiving 51, 38, 3, 6 and 2% of nutrients from green fodder, crop residues, grazing vacant lands, post harvest grazing, cereal by products and oilseed cakes/ meals, respectively.
So fodder and forages comprise half of the current nutrient supply and has the ability to fulfill the total requirement. This is only possible by adopting new and improved fodder production and preservation techniques. As fodders are the cheapest source of livestock feed in our country and majority of livestock holders raise their livestock on fodder, forages and crop residues that comprises 97% of animals feed. Only 3 % of animal feed is coming from concentrates. On the other hand there is a huge gap between demand and supply of fodder in peri-urban farming and areas where fodder can’t be cultivated.
Fodder crops cover 16-19% of total cropped area in the country. The area under fodder cultivation with minor fluctuations is decreasing 2% per decade due to more pressure of cash crops. More over land holding per family are also decreasing due to traditional division of inherited land, but on the other hand no of animals are increasing day by day to cater the ever growing demand of milk & meat due to which pressure on land to produce more fodder per acre is increasing. Therefore, there is a dire need of introducing improved fodder production and preservation techniques for economical livestock production.
In Pakistan there is a seasonal shortage of green fodder during May-June and December-January. This gap can be covered by preservation of fodder in the form of silage and hay in fodder flush periods of March-April and July-August. Although preserving fodder through silage and Hay is a century old technique and is regularly used in Western countries but in Pakistan this has been recently introduced. Most of the farmers belonging to rural areas have agricultural land, they can grow and store forage in the form of hay and silage. But the most limiting factor in this regard is awareness among the farmers for adopting new techniques and processes involved in the fodder production and preservation.
There is a dire need to establish a training program for the hands on training regarding the use of modern machinery, equipments and techniques for the demonstration of best fodder production and conservation practices. In order to meet the current need of the industry and to train small and medium size dairy industry, a Silage and Hay making demonstration trainings will be arranged for the farmers at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Ravi campus in Pattoki, Punjab.
How to implement Training Program for rural development through improved forage preservation
Recruitment of farmers
Two farmer (One male other female) from each village around 30 km radius of University campus will be selected total 60 farmers will be selected. Farmers will be divided into 4 groups comprising 15 farmers in each group; each group will be given separate training. All the farmers will be given pick and drop facility to the university campus, training will be comprise of 2 days and framers will be given training on silage/ hay making using university equipments.
During the training farmers will be analyzed and 4 (two male and to female) farmers will be selected for a farmer demonstration day on their farm. On farmer demonstration day machinery for forage preservation will be shifted to their farm from university and hay and silage making activity will be performed at their farm, while other farmers of the same village will be invited to see the demonstration. This exercise will be repeated in next season and feed back of farmer using forage preservation technology will be shared with other farmers.
This project will help to demonstrate and disseminate forage preservation practices to the small framers and will be a life changing experience for them as on average a farmer spent 6 hours daily for the cut and carry of forage for their livestock, will save his daily time when he has storage for six months. Further forage shortage will be avoided which adversely affects the performance of the animals.
Available funds will be utilized for Silage wrapping sheet, Silage wrapping net, Hay wrapping thread, Fuel to operate machinery, Daily wages staff to support machinery operation and handling and transportation, Pick and drop charges for farmers, Mobility of University staff, Two day meal charges for the farmers, University charges for the use of resources, Others unforeseen, Funds utilized will be audited through university auditor.
Available Resources/ execution ability
Hay and silage making/ Harvesting equipment and machinery including Tractor (5 Numbers) Forage harvester (1 number) Hay mover- conditioner (1 number) Hay tedder (1 number) Hay Liner (1 number) Hay bailer (1 number) Silage Mini Baler (60 Kg) (1 number) Silage Trailers (2 number) Hay and silage packing machinery and material (Corn silage baler (1 number) Silage bale wrapper(1 number).
Agriculture farm 400 Hectare Fertile Forage producing Land, Dairy and Small Ruminant training center, Feed Testing laboratory.
Blogpost and pictures submitted by Muhammad Saad Ullah (Pakistan) – muhammad.saadullah(at)uvas.edu.pk
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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