Assessment of Multi-species Fodder Bank Cropping Systems to Improve on Farm Protein Production, Food Security, and Ecological Resilience


Livestock are an integral component of small- and medium-scale farms in many countries around the world for both subsistence purposes and as a means for income. In places where land is too marginal, steep, or exposed, or where climatic conditions don’t otherwise allow the production of other cash crops, livestock such as cattle, pigs, and chickens can be an important source of both food and income. However, the nutritional requirements of these animals often cannot be met by the available marginal pastures. Typically, farmers purchase bags of concentrated animal feed which include grain, protein, and various necessary minerals and nutrients. This feed can create a substantial financial burden on families living on extremely small margins. Situations are not uncommon where the price of feed matches or outpaces the final live weight value of the animal being sent to market. This can lead to pastures being over utilized, eroded, and compacted. This can lead to further deforestation in an effort to create more available pasture, which in time can also be compromised and lose productivity. Likewise animals can suffer from imbalanced diets and malnutrition.

Justin West
Publication date: 
September 26, 2013
Publication type: 
Student Research