smallholders

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Producción de ensilado de alta calidad para la alimentación animal en pequeñas explotaciones, Zimbabwe

Muchos agricultores de áreas de bajo potencial productivo poseen ganado y producen leche para autoconsumo y para la venta. Sin embargo, en la estación seca, el pasto natural y los rastrojos no son adecuados para garantizar la lactancia, siendo necesaria la alimentación suplementaria para mantener la producción de leche. El costo de la alimentación animal es prohibitivo, haciendo que la producción de leche sea una actividad estacional en lugar de anual. La mejor calidad nutricional del forraje coincide con las lluvias, haciendo el ensilado una opción práctica para la conservación.
Se elaboró un manual para la producción de ensilado de cultivos forrajeros anuales y perennes, adecuados a las zonas marginales y semiáridas del África Austral - Manual de Producción y Conservación de Forrajes (MHERE et al. 2002). Este documento incluye la descripción de técnicas para la producción de cultivos forrajeros y la producción de ensilado.

African leafy vegetables for urban supply and sustainable diets.

Local leafy vegetables have long been an important part of people's diets in Africa - nutritious, affordable and adapted to local growing conditions and cultural traditions. They are cheap, readily affordable and rich in different micro-nutrients and are therefore crucial for the food and nutrition security of poor families in rural, peri-urban and urban areas. However, they became neglected by consumers because of their association with poor rural lifestyles and low-status foods, thus putting at stake the dietary diversity, nutrition and health of local populations. Research on, promotion and consumption of ALV has been going on in Kenya for many years. Increasing the presence of ALV in local food chains (in production, transformation, transport, commercialization and consumption) can tackle nutrition-related health issues, improve sustainable diets and contribute to the economic empowerment of women. The increase of ALV in food chains supplying cities, ensuring for example their availability in supermarkets, is key to improve urban diets.

Traditional foods: better livelihoods, dietary diversity and health

Local foods (such as leafy vegetables, berries, small animals, or any other traditional food source from local biodiversity) have long been an important part of people's diets - nutritious, affordable and adapted to local growing conditions and cultural traditions. They are cheap, readily affordable and rich in different micro-nutrients and are therefore crucial for the food and nutrition security of poor families in rural, peri-urban and urban areas. However, they became neglected by consumers because of their association with poor rural lifestyles and low-status foods, thus putting at stake the dietary diversity, nutrition and health of local populations. In cities, increasing the presence of local foods in local food chains (in production, transformation, transport, commercialization and consumption) can tackle nutrition-related health issues, improve sustainable diets and contribute to the economic empowerment of women. Encouraging the increased presence of local foods in food chains supplying cities, ensuring for example their availability in supermarkets, is key to improve urban diets.

Production of high quality silage for dry season feeding of smallholder livestock, Zimbabwe

Many farmers in low potential areas own cattle and milk them for their own consumption and sale. However, in the dry season, natural grazing and crop residues are inadequate to support lactation, making supplementary feed necessary to maintain milk production. Costs of purchased feeds are prohibitive, making dairy a seasonal rather than an annual activity. Optimum nutrient quality of forage coincides with the rains, making silage a practical option for conservation.

A manual was produced for the growing and ensiling of annual and perennial forage crops suited to marginal and semi-arid areas of Southern Africa 'Forage Production and Conservation Manual', (MHERE et al., 2002). This includes descriptions of techniques for growing the crops and production of silage.