Baobab issue 58 july 2010

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The Baobab is a magazine on drylands development and sustainable agriculture published four times a year by Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN). It is published with support from ileia - The Centre for learning on sustainable agriculture. ALIN and ileia are members of AgriCultures, a global network of organisations that share knowledge and provide information on small-scale, sustainable agriculture worldwide.

Transcript of Baobab issue 58 july 2010

  • 1. A magazine on drylands development and sustainable agriculture / ISSUE 58, JULY 2010 Enhancingsmall-scalelivestock production

2. E D I T O R I A LDear Reader,Welcome to the new look Baobab! The new magazine is a merger of the old Baobaband Kilimo Endelevu Africa (KEA). It will now be longer, increasing in extent from 24 to 36 pages therefore enabling us to share more information that responds to thegrowing needs of our readers in East Africa.The merged Baobab will also feature more articles from the AgriCulturesnetwork that produces Farming Matters, an international quarterly magazinethat focuses on small-scale sustainable agriculture.Welcome toAgriCultures is a global network of organisationscoordinated by the Centre for learning on sustainableagriculture (ileia) and supports the production ofthe new look regional editions in Latin America (Peru and Brazil),West Africa (Senegal) and Asia (India, China and BaobabIndonesia) with new Baobab now being the EastAfrican edition (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania). Farming Matters, which was until this year known asLeisa magazine, was started 25 years ago by a groupof enthusiastic people who believed that agriculturalpractices recommended by scientists in universities and researchinstitutions were not always responsive to field level realities. They were convinced that there was relevant and valuable knowledge amongfarmers and field workers which needed to be captured and shared more widely. Baobab has since inception served a similar functionwith a focus on East Africa. It will continue to serve primarilycommunity development workers or infomediaries who constitute ALINs membership in the region.We also believe it will appeal to anyone interested in issues affecting communities living in arid lands of Eastern Africa andtherefore provide an extra channel for sharing best practices in agriculture and sustainable utilization of the environment. The merger process involved close consultation with ileia. In this inaugural issue, we carry an interview with Edith vanWalsum, the Director of ileia, who gives more details aboutthe process. The theme for this issue is Small-scale livestock production. We welcome your feedback and ideas about making Baobab a more effectiveforum for sharing information for sustainable small-scale agriculture in our region.James NguoRegional Director 3. Contents ISSN: 0966-9035 Baobab is published four times a yearto create a forum for ALIN members to Livestock a smartnetwork, share their experiences and learnfrom experiences of other people working solution for food andin similar areas. farming 4Editorial boardJames Nguo Multiple benefits of Anthony MugoNoah Lusaka goat keeping 8 Esther LungahiSusan Mwangi Chief Editor 4 Fighting East CoastConsulting Editor fever - lessons from Wairimu Ngugi Maasailand 11IllustrationsJoe Barasa Livestock breeding 13Consulting DesignerLevi WanyoikePastoralism, shifts in Important notices policy making 15 Copyright: Articles, photos and illustrations from Baobabmay be adapted for use in materials that are developmentoriented, provided the materials are distributed free of Stork Story 18 charge and ALIN and the author(s) are credited. Copies ofthe samples should be sent to ALIN.8Disclaimer: Opinions and views expressed in the letters Small-scale livestockand articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the production-Malawi 20 editors or ALIN. Technical information supplied should becross- checked as thoroughly as possible as ALIN cannotaccept responsibility should any problems occur. Capacity building forRegional editions PLWHA-Uganda 221. Farming matters global edition by ileia2. LEISA REVISTA de Agroecologia, Latin America edition Small-scale pig farming by Asociacion ETC andes. - Uganda 26Guest Column 30 15 3.4.5. LEISA India, by AME foundation SALAM majalah pertanian Berkelanjutan by VECO Indonesia AGRIDAPE, French West African edition by IED afrique6. Agriculture, experiences em Agroecologia, the Brazilian edition by AS-PTA Camel milk 327. Chinese edition by CBIK Talk to us 26 Baobab writing The Baobab magazine guidelines & Call forArid Lands Information Network, ALIN articles 33PO Box 10098, 00100 Nairobi, KenyaAAYMCA Building, Ground floorAlong State House Crescent, Resources 34 Off State House AvenueTel. +254 20 2731557, Telefax. +254 20 2737813Cell. +254 722 561006, Email: baobab@alin.netOr visit us at www.alin.net From our Readers 35About ALINArid Lands Information Network (ALIN) is an NGO thatfacilitates information and knowledge exchange to andbetween extension workers or infomediaries and arid lands30communities in the East Africa region. The informationexchange activities focus on small-scale sustainableagriculture, climate change adaptation, natural resourcesmanagement and other livelihood issues. 4. THEME OVERVIEW Livestock a smart solution for food and farming Animals are a part of farming systems everywhere. In this issue, Baobab focuses onhow small-scale farmers manage their animals, how they link animal husbandrywith other activities and what their livestock means to them. An integrated perspective on the role of farm animals is crucial in overcoming simplisticassumptions on the opportunities and threats that livestock presents to familyfarmers. By Lucy MaarseLivestock plays an important role in thelivelihoods of many farmers and herders inthe developing world, as it contributes to the basics of food, income, and security, as well as other social and cultural functions. Actually, the worlds poorest people nearly one billion depend on pigs, yaks (a wild domesticated ox), cattle, sheep, lamas, goats, chickens, camels, buffalos and other domestic animals. For undernourished people, selling one egg may imply being able to buy some rice and thus, instead of having one meal per day, a second one becomes reality. This is a typical survival strategy: selling high-quality foods to buy low-cost starchy Mrs Jerida Matasi a small-scale farmer milking her cow in Lugulu, Kenya food. In other parts of the world, we see an over- consumption of red meat and other animal-based food, which damages the health of many people: manure and slurry over the land. It is therefore it is a shocking dichotomy.a problem predominantly caused by westernconsumption patterns, as has been discussed Greenhouse gases produced by and studied by many researchers and authors animals(for example, Jonathan Safran Foer in EatingAnimals). For some people, it is a reason to According to the FAO study, Livestocks long promote a vegetarian lifestyle, as a protest against shadow: Environmental issues and options,animal exploitation. published in 2006, livestock contributes to 18 percent of the total global greenhouse gasThere are, however, great differences in livestock emissions generated by human activity. Mostproduction systems in various regions of the of these emissions come from countries using world. These systems emit very different amounts industrial farming practices, in the form of and types of greenhouse gases, and serve different methane produced by the belching and flatulencepurposes. Considering that all of Africas of animals, carbon dioxide by felling and burningruminants together account for three percent of trees for ranching, and nitrous oxide by spreading the global methane emissions from livestock, their 4 BAOBAB ISSUE 58, JULY 2010 5. contribution is minor. But as Carlos Ser, director The growth in demand could imply enormous of the International Livestock Research Institute opportunities for the poor, who could catch a (ILRI), rightly points out: ruminants maintainedsubstantial share of the growing livestock market. on poor quality feeds make an inefficient But just 10 years later, Pica-Ciamarra and Otte conversion of feed to milk and meat, and more show in The livestock revolution: rhetoric and environmentally damaging. Skinny ruminants on reality, that this growth has been especially huge poor diets, while not competing with people for in China, India and Brazil in the poultry, pork grain, produce much more methane per unit ofand dairy sectors. In sub-Saharan Africa and livestock product than well-fed cattle, sheep and developed regions, the growth has been decreasing goats.or stagnant. The geographical impact is patchy even within the nations and the impact is largest Yet many African livestock systems seem to be on poor urban consumers. The paper also observes the best way to deal with climate change becausethat an increasing polarisation has occurred in the these systems can be carbon-negative. According livestock sector. to Mario Herrera and Shirley Tarawali from ILRI, a typical 250 kilogram African cow produces Local developments approximately 800 kilogram CO2 equivalentsThe World Bank has embraced the notion of a per year, whilst carbon sequestration rates (thelivestock revolution from the beginning, sensing amount of carbon taken up in the soil) can beopportunities for poor small-scale farmers in about 1400 kilograms of carbon per hectaredeveloping countries. Jimmy Smith from the per year under modest stocking rates, making aAgriculture and Rural Development department positive balance. The same goes for stall-feedingof the World Bank admits that growth in the dairy systems, which emit less CO2 due to higherdemand for animal products has not been quality diets and better recycling of productsuniform: Income growth has mostly happened in within the system.China. In South East Asia the demand for milk,poultry meat and eggs has increased enormously. Livestock revolution revisited For Smith, this does not mean that the livestock The notion of a Livestock Revolution was revolution did not occur: Despite regional introduced in andifferences, changes influential International Food Policy Research Its mostly the privatehave been so large that it has influenced global Institute (IFPRI)organisations that havetrade, livestock and publication in 1999. It climate. As smallholders i