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Scaling up the promotion of calliandra and other fodder shrubs in East Africa

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The project purpose, as stated in the logical framework for Phase 1 was: Strategies to improve seasonal availability of livestock feeds in high potential areas developed and promoted. This purpose will be addressed with specific reference to Calliandra calothyrsus, and strategies to optimise its fodder value. For Phase 2 it was: Strategies for improved sustainable livelihoods and income generation for forest and tree dependent poor people in the Forest/Agriculture Interface developed and promoted. Phase 1 was designed to increase the benefits that farmers could derive from the use of calliandra as fodder. It addressed both the advantage that could be gained from selection of improved genetic (provenance) material, and optimising the quality of the fodder by correct site selection, harvesting method and post-harvest treatment. The research consisted of a combination of on-station feeding trials and laboratory analysis of leaf samples from research stations in Kenya and Colombia. As described under Contribution of Outputs below, this research did yield valuable recommendations for improved utilisation of calliandra. However, Phase 1 had no budget specifically for dissemination activities, apart from the project maturity workshops, and the results were initially published in the scientific literature (see Annex) rather than in extension materials aimed at extensionists and/or farmers. The need for a more proactive approach to dissemination of the findings came out clearly in the project maturity workshop held in Kenya. This was the constraint addressed by Phase 2, through a combination of activities designed to improve the capacity of extension partners in the region to deliver accurate advice on fodder technologies, and new socio-economic research into the scaling up process. Phase 2 initially comprised five outputs. It is important to note here that when Phase 2 was designed, there was an emphasis in the DFID Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (which at that time was temporarily, but significantly, re-named the Renewable Natural Resources Knowledge Strategy) on promoting the use of research already completed . Accordingly, the part of Phase 2 designed in 2001 (Outputs 1-5) comprised a mixture of new research (Outputs 1, 2, 3 & 5), and activities to widen the recommendation domain and improve the utilisation of calliandra and other fodder trees in line with the findings from Phase 1 (Output 4). The scope of the project was widened in Phase 2 to cover four countries in the region (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda), as well as other fodder shrub species, though the main emphasis was still on calliandra. During the course of Phase 2, we were asked by FRP to add additional outputs to the project. Output 6 was a decision support tool: its purpose was to draw together the project’s accumulated knowledge and experience, both about fodder shrubs themselves and about the dissemination process, into a single volume which would be attractive and accessible to extension providers at all levels and even to farmers directly. Outputs 7-9 were additional socio-economic research studies into aspects which we had identified as researchable constraints requiring further investigation: the mechanism of farmer-to-farmer dissemination (Output 7); the scope for developing the market for fodder leaf meal (Output 8), and factors affecting the impact of extension (Output 9).
    Publication year

    2006

    Authors

    Stewart J L; Franzel S; Wambugu C

    Language

    English

    Keywords

    agricultural economics, agricultural products, calliandra calothyrsus, farming, fodder crops

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