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Highlights - Faits saillants - De especial interés

International Workshop on Integrated Livestock-Fish Production Systems
Sugar cane for livestock feeding
Expert Consultation on Dairy Development

Animal production and health division - Division de la production et de la santé animales - Dirección de Producción y Sanidad Animal

International Workshop on Integrated Livestock-Fish Production Systems

Sponsored by FAO, an International Workshop on Integrated Livestock-Fish Production Systems was held from 16 to 20 December 1991 at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The objectives of the workshop were to discuss and devise methods for maximizing primary, secondary and tertiary productivity of integrated ponds. An in-depth investigation of the macro- and micro-environments in integrated ponds was undertaken to:

· evaluate the animal performance and total biomass (animal and fish) productivity in integrated systems;

· identify areas for future research and development;

· discuss the economics of production in integrated systems;

· suggest possible ways of extending the existing technologies to smallholders and fish farmers.

The workshop recognized that various types of integrated animal/fish/crop systems exist in the Asian region. The range of components is very variable and includes non-ruminants (pig, poultry, ducks and geese), ruminants (buffaloes, cattle, goats and sheep) and crops. These components are linked directly and/or indirectly to small farm systems.

It was also apparent that the principles of integration, the role and extent of each of the subsystems and contribution of such integrated systems to sustainable and economic production remain largely unknown. In addition, there is an extreme paucity of information on the subject in most countries of the region.

It was concluded that existing technologies should be reviewed and developed further to improve their feasibility and efficiency, i.e. characterization of different types of manure to determine nutrient values for fish; optimization of manure loading rates under different climatic conditions; integration of other products such as macrophytes, algae and other aquatic plants; utilization of pond residues as well as crop residues and fodder produced by the integrated system for sustainable livestock production.

The workshop recommended two projects for the environmental management of integrated ponds: Management of Physiochemical Environment and Manipulation of the Energy Flow and Nutrient Cycle.

As a final point, the workshop noted that integrated livestock/fish farming could be undertaken by small farmers in developing countries on the grounds that it may enable them to reduce production costs and increase returns.

However, this needs further investigation since the rate of adoption of this technology is low and there is a low consumer acceptance of the fish produced. This may not only be because of the system's inappropriateness in technical or economic terms but could also mean that there are socio-economic barriers to its diffusion.

Sugar cane for livestock feeding

There is a long-established practice of feeding sugar cane to livestock, especially to cattle during the dry season. New technologies are now being developed to make better use of this efficient tropical energy source in livestock nutrition.

Research and development of the new sugar cane-based systems began in Cuba in the late 1960s and has continued in Latin America and other developing regions. The use of sugar cane juice and syrup for feeding pigs and ducks, and of a sugar cane-based feeding system for small ruminants is being supported by FAO through TCP projects in the Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic and Viet Nam and there are other projects in Belize, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti and Suriname as well as planned projects in nine other countries.

In the Philippines, the results so far have been extremely encouraging. Pigs fed an average 0.5 kg/day of a restricted protein supplement and sugar cane syrup have shown an average daily gain of 450 g, their initial and final liveweight being 12 and 70 kg, respectively. By using sugar cane juice as a source of energy for their pigs instead of sending the cane for milling, farmers have increased their net incomes from sugar cane by 25 to 30 percent. The cane tops are used for feeding while the bagasse is used as fuel for evaporating the juice. Sugar cane juice technologies have created new sources of employment in the villages where they have been introduced.

In the Philippine village of Bangor, the cane crusher is operated by carabao which extract 100 kg of juice from 250 kg of cane in one hour. The sugar cane syrup is kept in a covered can close to each pen and is easily fed to the family pig by any member of the household.

In Trinidad and Tobago, three "sugar cane villages" have been set up where the approach to animal feeding is now based on the integral use of sugar cane for monogastric and polygastric feeding. The Sugar Cane Feeds Centre in central Trinidad has played an important role in demonstrating the value of whole sugar cane-based diets for small and large ruminants. The feeding system for large and small ruminants is based on: 35 to 40 percent whole chopped sugar cane, 15 to 20 percent C molasses, 15 percent wheat middlings, 10 to 15 percent corn, 5 to 10 percent poultry offal and/or litter, leucaena leaves, salt and differing amounts of minerals. Sheep raised in a dry lot reach 35 kg of liveweight in approximately five-and-a-half to six months. For the beef herd, the average daily gain per head is 800 g, producing a liveweight of 330 to 340 kg at 15 months of age.

Expert Consultation on Dairy Development

An Expert Consultation on Dairy Development was held at FAO headquarters in Rome from 2 to 4 July 1991. The consultation was attended by dairy experts from South America, Africa and Asia, representatives of leading donor organizations and FAO staff.

The main objective of the consultation was to analyse in depth the experiences of different countries and institutions in dairy development and to suggest strategies for future development based on these experiences. The papers presented covered different aspects of FAO's involvement in dairy development, the state of dairy development in selected countries and donor organizations' experiences with aid projects aimed at development.

The consultation proceedings can be obtained from the Meat and Milk Service, Animal Production and Health Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome.

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