Fodder chopping machines lead to a thriving livestock feed enterprise in rural Niger
Fodder chopping machines are proving to be a great help to livestock farmers in rural Niger, by providing suitable feed to their animals while saving their time and effort. In five villages, groups of farmers are making the most of an initiative to provide these machines to the farmers.
Feed for livestock is the most important factor in successful livestock farming. In Sahelian countries such as Niger, cereal crop stover (leaves and stalks) are major sources of feed for ruminant animals, especially during the dry season. Many livestock farmers feed their animals whole plant residues of their crops, leading to wastage and also adversely affecting the digestion of animals. Others manually cut the stover into small pieces – a laborious and time-consuming process.
To enhance the use of crop residues while improving their quality, ICRISAT and partners (see box below) supported five associations (three women’s groups and two men’s groups of about 25 stakeholders in each group/association) in five villages in Niger (Dioga and Ticko in Torodi region; Babon Kori, Akora Idi and Karazomé in Maradi region) by equipping them with one chopping machine each. The chopping machines were given on the understanding that the beneficiary association would engage in feed processing business and reimburse the cost of the chopper in one year.