Stories tagged: livestock

Moving with the Times: Pastoralists Share Lessons in Sustainability

The world’s 200 million pastoralists find themselves on the frontline of climate change, contending with extreme temperatures, droughts and scarce resources.

While they face these challenges, they are also well-placed to offer lessons in how to adapt to these new conditions.

At this year’s Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) meeting in Mongolia, two herders shared their experiences of striving for sustainability in livestock-keeping.

“Pastoralism is a very special livelihood,” said Elizabeth Katushabe, from the Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa, Uganda. “In Africa, livestock is a key social and economic asset. It’s very important to us.

“It’s the most viable livelihood in these complex and unique eco-systems.”

Elizabeth explained that as a people with an intimate knowledge of the land, pastoralists had important insights into their changing environment.

“Most people think that we move aimlessly. Herders move periodically with their livestock with a purpose – they move in search of these seasonal, scarce resources,” she added.

In many cases, pastoralists make use of land that is unsuitable for growing crops and so would otherwise be useless. It is estimated that two thirds of the world’s arable land cannot be used for cropping.

As well as traditional knowledge of land stewardship and livestock-keeping, Elizabeth explained that pastoralists were also making use of new technology, such as solar power to generate light and allow them to milk cows at night, when temperatures were cooler and flies were sleeping.

A new paper, presented at GASL, highlighted the importance of dairy interventions in poverty reduction, showing increases in household income of up to 600 per cent where cattle ownership or dairy production was improved.

 

 

In Mongolia, climate change is contributing to the challenge of maintaining adequate fodder for livestock, with as much as 65 per cent of rangeland now degraded.

“We have been seeing the negative consequences of climate change,” said Tseveenkhuu Buyannemekh, a Mongolian herder from Bogd Soum in Bayankhongor province.

“In the winter, it becomes extremely cold and, in the summer, it’s very hot. It’s difficult to do the hay-making in autumn time because of a lack of grass.

“If we grow some feed in summer time, it will help us generate more income.”

Tseveenkhuu explained that Mongolian herder groups had been agreeing land management plans with local authorities in recent years to help preserve the precious rangeland and improve productivity.

“We have been living for hundreds of years in this nomadic lifestyle,” he added.

“I have received good land from my ancestors and I aim to pass it on to future generations. I have daughters and when they are grown up, I believe they will continue being herders.”More information about the GASL meeting and its priorities is available online.

 

#FillTheGap! Women bring home the bacon in Malawi

This is the ninth post of Farming First’s #FillTheGap campaign to highlight the gender gap facing rural women working in agriculture.

Smallholders in Africa, more than anywhere else in the world, are at the mercy of a changing climate and environmental conditions, which can bring extreme weather and disease.

Only last year this harsh life-lesson was brought home dramatically to Ethel Khundi, 36, when her entire drove of pigs was killed by an outbreak of swine flu that wiped out hundreds of animals in the locality.

“Nearly everyone in the village lost their animals. It was a major setback,” she said.

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#FillTheGap! Scaling up equality in Kenya

This is the seventh post of Farming First’s #FillTheGap campaign to highlight the gender gap facing rural women working in agriculture.

When Beatrice Gichuru’s husband passed away around three years ago, she lost not only her partner but her also provider and guardian. Like many Kenyan women, Beatrice had relied upon her husband to provide the land she farmed.

But in becoming a self-sufficient widow, Beatrice overcame the tragedy as well as the gender gap that means only one per cent of Kenyan women own land and access less than 10 per cent of available credit.

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Sylvia Natukunda: Combatting the AMR Crisis in the African Livestock Sector

In this guest post, Sylvia Natukunda, business & partnership manager and Wim Goris, network facilitator at AgriProFocus discuss steps needed to curb the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance in the livestock sector.

Antibiotics are crucial in human and animal health and yet growing levels of resistance to these drugs pose an increasingly serious threat to public health. One of the key contributing factors to such antimicrobial resistance is irresponsible use of antibiotics in the livestock sector.

AgriProFocus is a multi-stakeholder network with Dutch roots that promotes farmer entrepreneurship as a contribution to food and nutrition security in developing countries. Food quality is a growing concern in many of these countries. But the awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance is still low. Continue reading

JUN142017
FIAAP Animal Nutrition Conference 2017

14 June 2017

Cologne, Germany

This one-day educational conference will highlight the latest innovations and research in animal feed ingredients and additives, with a specific emphasis on world compound production and antibiotic elimination. FIAAP 2017 attendees will also have the opportunity to get the first look at WATT Global Media’s industry-defining World Feed Panorama Report, which will provide exclusive insights on antibiotic replacement strategies as they relate to feed additives, nutrition, and formulation. Read more >>