ILRI: February 2006 1 Investment options for integrated water-livestock- crop production in sub-Saharan Africa

Show simple item record Mati. B et al 2017-09-14T06:22:25Z 2017-09-14T06:22:25Z 2017-09-13
dc.identifier.isbn 92 - 9146 - 183 - 0
dc.description.abstract The world has embarked on millennium developmen t goals that include eradicating poverty and hunger and ensuring environmental sustainability. This paper focuses on enhancing returns on investments in agricultural water through effective in tegration of livestock production. It suggests that multi-sectoral approaches to investment in water, soil, crop and liv estock will have greater development impact and profitability than developing water and livestock independently in the same areas. In African agriculture, livestock are important, a nd demand for livestock products is growing rapidly particularly in urban areas – a pr ocess driven by urban population growth buoyed up by increasing discretionary income. Great opportunities exist for Africa’s poor livestock herders and farmers to engage in this rapidly expanding market, to increa se their income and to climb out of poverty. But increased animal production results in he ightened demands for agricultural water. African livestock use about 200 billion m 3 /year of rain and irrigated water most of which (99%) is depleted through transpiration in the process of produ cing feed. This water exceeds that estimated by FAO for agricultural water withdrawal in sub-Saha ran Africa but assumes that water is explicitly accounted for as transpiration cost of producing plant material for feed. Where increased use of crop residues for feed increases, water use efficiency will be reduced because th e water used is usually factored into the cost of crop production. Un derstanding and managing livestock use of water resources and improving livestock water productivity is therefore vital for better management of agricultural water in Africa. Livestock in Africa number about 250 million Tropic al Livestock Units (TLU = 250 kg of live animal weight and include cattle, sheep, goats, equines and ca mels but in this paper exclude swine, fish and poultry). Animal production takes place on about half of Africa’s 30 million km 2 . About a third of Africa’s stock of animals resides in Sudan and Ethiopia with another third in Nigeria, South Africa and other East African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, and Uganda). These are countries where priority must be given to integrating livestock de velopment with investments in agricultural water. Evidence suggests that animal numbers and densitie s along with their demand for water will increase following development of agri cultural water resources. Africa’s livestock producing area of about 16 million km 2 was classified into water-livestock investment domains (WLD) made up of three basic productions systems: livestock-dominated grazing lands; mixed crop-livestock rainfed production; and mixed large-scale irrigation systems. Mixed rainfed systems include small-scal e irrigation carried out by households and communities. Large- scale irrigation systems have Africa’s highest liv estock densities followed by mixed rainfed systems and then by livestock-dominated grazing systems. The mixed rainfed crop-livestock systems have the largest numbers of animals while the livestock-domi nated systems cover the greatest land area. Each system presents unique agricultural water investment opportunities. Case studies showed that irrigation farmers and la bourers benefit from livestock keeping. In Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia, smallholder dairying based on irrigated forage and crop residue was profitable and compared favourably with production of many ca sh crops. In Gezira, Sudan, 90% of the residents keep animals and about 36% of tenants' income comes from selling them and animal products. In Ethiopia, livestock in smaller co mmunity based irrigations systems are essential for providing farm power. In areas with good market access, there is great opportunity to take advantage of abundant crop residues to produce animal products as a pr ofitable complementary activity to irrigated crop production. Irrigation is one approach to intensifi cation of agriculture that is a response to growing demand for food for increasing human populations. Thus, irrigation development will likely coincide geographically with opportunities for poor livestock keepers to supply the rapidly increasing demand for livestock products especially in urban areas. Planning for and making use of irrigated crop residues will be an important source of feed ne eded to support increased production of animal products and may significantly increase the re turn on investments in water resources. Mixed crop-livestock rainfed systems with good access to markets have the prospect of benefiting from increasing demand for high value food products including milk and meat. In both Kenya and Ethiopia, smallholder dairy producer s realized significant increases and stability in year-round income through use of agricultural water to quench their co ws’ thirst. Whether piped or harvested, provision of drinking water on a continuous basis reduced lab our costs of fetching water, increased conversion efficiency of both irrigated rainfed forages and crop residues, and increased milk production and animal growth resulting in increased family income. Building on the principle that crop residues are by-products of crop production, it follows that their use as feed increases the return on investments in both rainfed and irrigated crop production. This study suggests that in planning irrigation, effort be made to assess and valuate the role of livestock in household enterprises and to understand how returns on investments in agricultural water develo pment will enhance or reduce returns from various livestock enterprise options. Livestock-dominated production ofte n takes place relatively far from markets where there are limited livelihood alternatives. Investments in irrigation open up two opportunities for enhancing traditional herding practices. The Gezira and other nearby irri gation schemes are part of a complex market chain that enables distant herders to engage in the market because crop residues produced in the schemes are used to fatten animals after they lose weight during the long trek to the market centre in Khartoum. In planning large-scale irrigation, mo re equitable sharing of benefits arising from investments can be achieved through inclusion of pastoralist stakeholders in the planning process. Such action may catalyze scheme designs that enable herders to access water during dry seasons and take advantage of crop residues as feed. Withou t such planning, water development may deprive herders of access to feed and wate r resources. In addition, investme nts in strategically located and ILRI: February 2006 6 well-managed watering sites in rangeland areas with su rplus feed can help offset pastoralists’ loss of resources resulting from expanded irriga tion and rainfed cropping elsewhere. Apart from numerous opportunities to increase returns on investment in agricultural water through systematic integration of livestoc k and water development in irriga ted, mixed rainfed and livestock- dominant production systems, multi-sectoral appr oaches to meeting the MDG goal of ensuring environmental sustainability are need ed. Improved integrated manage ment of water, soil, crops and livestock through measures such as conservation tillage, terracing and manure management may result in increase soil moisture for crop growth and reduced siltation of downs tream irrigation infrastructure. Integration of water and livestock management will be particularly helpful in highland mixed rainfed farming systems. In all systems, better veterinary care can increase profitability of animals produced with agricultural water and reduce related human health risks. Economic analyses from the Gezira irrigation syst em of Sudan, the Awash River basin of Ethiopia, and irrigation systems in Laikipia, Kenya, demons trate that including animal production within irrigation systems can be profitabl e for farming households. Revenues generated are not simply due to use of crop residues, crop by-products and irri gated fodder. Rather, converting these low value feeds into high valued animal provided greater in come and returns on investments than enterprises based on crops alone. In addition, farmers valued the diversification of income sources, the opportunity for year-round income, and manure that helps maintain soil fertility. This study concludes that integrated investments in water and livestock development can avoid lost opportunities to increases beneficial returns, result in more equitable sharing of benefits, lead to more sustainable outcomes, and can increase overall net returns on investments made in agricultural water. Livestock are one of the major assets that househol ds accumulate as a result of their efforts to climb out poverty. Investments in agricultural water de signed to reduce poverty will be more successful if irrigation planning also helps secure and safeguard their animal assets. Failur e to take into account needs of livestock keepers and their animals ma y reduce investment returns, have negative environmental impact and result in enhanced tr ansmission of zoonotic diseases to people. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries INTERNATIONAL LIVESTOCK RESEARCH INSTITUTE;Working Paper 1 February 2006
dc.subject sub-Saharan Africa en_US
dc.subject crop production en_US
dc.subject water-livestock- crop production en_US
dc.title ILRI: February 2006 1 Investment options for integrated water-livestock- crop production in sub-Saharan Africa en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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