As part of an inter-regional study ‘optimizing benefits from crop residues in smallholder crop-livestock systems in Africa and South Asia’ sponsored by the CGIAR Systemwide Livestock Programme, the International Livestock Research Institute recently published a project report from the Ethiopia site.
Entitled ‘Optimizing livelihood and environmental benefits from crop residues in smallholder crop–livestock systems in western Oromia’, it reports from a Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) study to assess overall trends and prospects for crop–livestock production, characterize crop residue transactions, and identify major determinants of crop residue use.
The authors conclude that almost all farmers in the study areas follow crop–livestock mixed farming. Results indicate that crop residues are becoming an increasingly important production component and play an important role mainly as feed, fuel, sources of income and for soil nutrient management. However, the current trend towards increased feeding of crop residues to livestock has long term implications for soil fertility and hence local livelihoods.