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Improving Forage And Feeding Management Options For Smallholders: Recent Lessons From Eastern Indonesian

J. Corfield, S. Bahar, S. Lisson, R. Rachman

Abstract

The lack of a reliable, high-quality forage supply, especially during the dry season, is a major constraint to improving Bali cattle performance, throughout much of the mixed crop-livestock farming systems of eastern Indonesia. Limited access to knowledge about cattle nutritional requirements and the potential use and proper management of existing and introduced forages are important factors contributing to this situation. Attempts to improve smallholder forage resources using introduced species have often failed due to insufficient consideration of broader farming system implications and/or inadequate practical instruction in their management and use. A recent ACIAR funded project in eastern Indonesia employed a participatory-adaptive farming systems R, D & E approach to identify existing constraints and opportunities; test and evaluate ?best-bet? forage and cattle feeding and management options on-farm and examine key drivers of technology adoption with 40 farmers in 7 villages across 2 provinces. This paper describes the approaches used to address identified feed constraints and the outcomes achieved in terms of forage supply and use and animal performance. The paper gives particular focus to results from South Sulawesi, using specific case study examples. The impact on farmer adoption is examined, as are the lessons learned for current and future scaling out of such forage technologies within small-holder crop-livestock farming communities throughout eastern Indonesia and beyond.

KEY WORDS: forage, Bali cattle nutrition, farming systems, participatory-adaptive

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