Mixed farming systems in livestock production for adaptation and mitigation of climate change  Alley cropping  Silvipasture  Fodder bank  Plantations | Livestock and Fisheries Management (Livestock Feeds)

Thisinnovation aims to solve the problem of feed shortage during drought periodswhereby tree twigs are cut and used as fodder for livestock. The benefits ofmixed farming systems can be summarised as follows: § Within the context of climate changeimpact, trees are excellent carbon sinks (green gas) and this innovationincreases plant Read more..

Description of the technology or innovation

Thisinnovation aims to solve the problem of feed shortage during drought periodswhereby tree twigs are cut and used as fodder for livestock. The benefits ofmixed farming systems can be summarised as follows:

§  Within the context of climate changeimpact, trees are excellent carbon sinks (green gas) and this innovationincreases plant population as carbon sink.

§  Maximises marginal land use productivity(crops and livestock per unit area) as it can be practiced where the landcannot otherwise be used.

§  Multipurpose trees are known to be veryeffective in improving soil structure and fertility. This increases theproductivity of the land, hence improving food security in the semi-arid areas.

§  Improved feed availability to livestock,particularly in the arid and semi-arid areas where cattle depend onprotein-rich materials obtained from shrubs and trees (up to 33% in case ofSahel).

§  Increased soil fertility andproductivity by increasing access to sub-surface water and nutrients andthrough nitrogen fixation and leaf/fruits/root debris.

§  Addresses the problem of soil erosionand fuel wood shortage.

§  The twigs of trees are used as firewood,thus reducing the incidence of tree felling which results in drought anddesertification.

Assessment/reflection on utilization, dissemination & scaling out or up approaches used

This isan agroforestry practice involving planting and maintaining multipurpose treesfor animal feed during the dry periods or droughts in crop fields or inreserved areas to serve as feed banks. This can be done in the form of alleycropping or silvipasture.

§ Alley cropping

Growing of multi-purpose trees in rows or otherconfigurations while growing crops/fodder between the tree rows. Trees areplanted in rows ranging from 2 to over 20 m apart with crops cultivated withinthe rows. Cash crops grown include beans, maize, cassava, pigeon peas, milletand sorghum.

§ Silvipasture

Growing pasture or grazing livestock on the same piece ofland as trees – establishing trees in existing pastures or establishingpastures within or under existing tree stands. Arranged in unlimitedcombinations of pasture and tree components, enabling farmers to use all typesof land that is not easily farmed by adopting more structured or mechanicalmethods. Crop trees such as coconut, palm, cashew, medicinal and others areintercropped with pasture.

§ Fodder bank

Grown as borders around farmland or homesteads, fodderbanks are usually situated on the unproductive portions of the land. Livingfence trees, hedges or wind breaks are other forms of fodder banks where thetrees that are planted have fodder value. Trees are frequently pruned toprovide fodder, manure and firewood.


§ Plantations

Growing trees on a piece of land in monoculture for thepurpose of establishing portions of forest, in this case fodder trees.


Likealley cropping, silviculture provides feed for livestock, and improves soilfertility and soil moisture. The innovation is important for its three majoreffects: increase of plant population as carbon sink; maximisation of marginalland use productivity (crops and livestock per unit area); improvement of feedavailability for livestock. These justify its application in the arid andsemi-arid zones as it is useful in areas that experience a shortfall of forageand fodder in the dry season. It is an appropriate measure to mitigate climatechange because it is cost effective, it assists in improving soil fertilitywhich is critical in food and cash crop production in these areas, and treeshave a deeper and better developed root system and therefore have better accessto sub-surface water and nutrients. Silviculture also addresses the problem ofsoil erosion and fuel wood supply and provides insurance against climaticextremes.


Literatureshows that the technology is well practised all over ECA. In Tanzania it ispracticed in Central Zone (Dodoma, Singida and Tabora) where the farmerspractise agropastoralist farming.


Scaling-up approaches

Thetechnology is used by both agropastoralists and crop producers including small-scaleand large farmers in arid and semi-arid areas as a coping mechanism forlivestock feed during the dry season. Large-scale farms under crops usesilvipasture as a means of weed control, for instance lablab in coconut andpalm farms. There is a potential to claim carbon credits under the cleandevelopment mechanism set up by UNFCCC.


Twomajor approaches are being used: farmer field schools and farmer demonstrationsat agricultural resource centres. In the farmer field schools, farmers arebrought together and trained in practical tree planting and maintenance methodson a common plot under expert supervision. While taking care of this plotcommunally, each farmer also practices it individually at his/her family-ownedland. In the demonstration approach, farmers are taken to a resource centre fortwo weeks and are taught both theory and practice of the intended innovations,and are thereafter provided with seeds to practice in their own fields.Follow-up is done by an extension officer/agent.


Critical/essential factors indissemination:

§  Motivate farmers to adopt multipurposetrees as plantation, wind breaks, soil nitrogen fixation, fruits, shade orornamental

§  Farmers should adopt the innovation morereadily when they view its multi-use possibilities

§  Include the possibility of increasingincome by selling conserved feeds such as leaf meals, hay, fodder and grainproduction

§  Evaluate various tree species for use:Leucaena spp, Glaricidia, Moringa and local species

§  Develop various agronomical packageswith consideration of farmers’ knowledge and interest.

Current situation and future scaling up

Challengesin dissemination and adoption: competition between crop and livestock farmersfor land and other resources resulting in conflicts; limited knowledge amongfarmers about tree and pasture planting, management and effective utilisationof pasture; unavailability of seedlings; water stress; plant diseases;appropriate agronomical packages for a particular community; unfavourableweather for tree planting or pasture establishment; bushfires and uncontrolledtree-felling.


Recommendationsfor addressing the challenges:

§  Conduct research on the most appropriateagronomical and utilisation packages, species combination, water utilisationand disease control

§  Build capacity of farmers in plantingand caring for multipurpose trees

§  Create awareness on the multipurposeuses of the trees and on the possibility of income generation from the activity

§  Create awareness on the various forms ofsilvipasture and its advantages

§  Upscale for leaf meal production and usein the total mixed rations

§  Integrate environmental education in allforms of education


Lessonslearnt about the best ways to get technologies or innovations into use:

§  Integrate the technology with theiralready existing local knowledge

§  Use a multi-sectoral approach tointroduce the technology;

§  Develop/establish viable markets fortheir products.

Gender considerations

Thetechnology is gender friendly as it relieves women from the burden of searchingfor firewood, provides a comfortable working environment and reduces the needfor weeding where pastures are used as a cover crop to control weeds andshrubs.

Application guidelines for the users

Pasturesand multipurpose trees should be planted according to recommendations in theliterature. Spacing and type of species depend very much on the land type andintended goals. It is important therefore to consult experts for specificationof species and available alternatives.

Contact details

Name and contact of the organisation:

Ministryof Livestock Development and Fisheries,

P. O.Box 1952 Dar es Salaam Tanzania;

Email:drd@ud.co.tz; utafitimifugo@ uahoo.com;

Tel:+225 22 2863358;

Fax:+225 22 2863967


Name and address of presenter:

DrHurbert Naftal Lyimo,

P. O.Box 1952, Dar es Salaam Tanzania;

Email: hlnlyimo@yahoo.com;

Tel:+225 784 482404;

Mobile:+225 784 482404


Name and contact of key scientist:

DrRashid Msangi;

Pastureand Forage Research Station,

P. O.Box 3,

Kongwa,Dodoma, Tanzania;

Email: msangirbr@yahoo.com;

Tel:+225 787 884838;

Mobile:+225 787 884838


Name and contact of key partners:

NationalLivestock Research Centre,

P. O.Box 32 Mpwapwa, Tanzania


BabatiFarmers Resource Centre,

P. O. Box 32, Babati, Arusha, Tanzania 
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