Tropical Grasslands (2003) Volume 37, 257–261

Community-based forage development program: the experiences of FARM Africa Goat Project in Ethiopia

ZEWDU AYELE

Abstract

In an attempt to produce a viable goat enterprise at smallholder farmersŐ level, the Dairy Goat Development Project (DGDP) integrated a community-based forage development program as one of its major undertakings. This paper discusses adoption of forage innovations by the project beneficiaries. In particular, it examines data relating to the implementation and post-project periods in Awbere, Gursum, one of the project sites in Eastern Hararghe.
Uptake of the forage innovation during the implementation period and maintenance thereafter were reasonable, especially as they were consolidated further by extensive establishment of multipurpose crops such as sweet potato. Forage legumes were the only exception to this trend; their use declined from 56% in 1994 to 6% in both 1999 and 2000. As forage development initiatives are new innovations, they require follow-up and essential support. The indigenous knowledge of the community and the screening of potential local feed resources, e.g. sweet potato, must be examined. In addition, it is crucial that the community participate fully in all forage development initiatives.

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