An integrated family “eco-farm” was established at the “Institut agricole de Bouake” in the Ivory Coast in 1982. The capital cost, excluding the value of the land, was FCFA 5 million (about US$ 12,500). The objectives were to determine the technical and socio-economic feasibility of providing an adequate standard of living for a family on 2.5 ha of arable land, managed according to an integrated system combining crop and livestock production by recycling all residues to avoid waste and to save energy.
Although not designed specifically for a coconut area, the model could be used in areas where old or widely spaced coconuts result in a high light intensity at ground level. For a plan of the farm see Figure 218. The farm unit comprises crop production area, livestock facilities, biogas digester and fishponds. Livestock consisted of four crossbred cows (F1 N'dama × Simmenthal) and their (four) calves, two hens and the ponds were stocked with tilapia. Crops consisted of Panicum, sugar cane, Leucaena, maize, cassava, vegetables and fruit trees such as banana, papaya and mango. Two important features of the project were meticulous record keeping and the measurement of all inputs and outputs. Based on various farm costs and returns in the period of October 1982 to March 1983 estimates of revenue and costs for the farm in 1984 are presented in Table 225. The predicted net income in cash and kind after deducting farm operating costs, came to FCFA 60,000 month-1. To make this data comparable with the situation of a typical city dweller Preston and Huebl, (1983) suggested that the following assumptions should be made:
food consumed off the farm had a market value of twice the production cost (an additional FCFA 96,000 year-1);
rent would have cost another FCFA 10,000 month-1;
an amount of FCFA 7000 month-1 should be added for savings in energy (gas, electricity, transport, water).
Figure 218. - Plan of eco-farm (scale 1:1,500) (Preston and Huebl, 1983).
This raises the equivalent monthly income to FCFA 85,000 which on the basis of a working day of 10.5 hours (total time spent on farm activities on an average day) is FCFA 266 hour-1. By comparison, a skilled worker in the city earned FCFA 120 and an unskilled worker FCFA 100 hour-1.
Based on the results from the initial experimental farms a “Dairy Eco-Farm project” was launched in 1987, jointly funded by Côte d'Ivoire and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). According to the ILCA newsletter of July 1991 (Cissé, 1991) the project is currently geared toward setting up and monitoring six pilot farms near Bouaké. The long-term objective is to identify economically viable mixed farming systems based mainly on close crop-livestock integration.
The farm is entirely fenced and includes:
The average cost of establishing a farm in 1990 was about CFA 8.5 million (approximately US$ 28,000) plus about CFA 3.75 million for 15 cows (N'Dama × Abondance crossbreds). In the new pilot farms the animals are taken to the pastures, because the previous zero grazing system was too labour intensive (Cissé, personal communication). The four farms in operation in 1990 produced a total of 17,923 kg of milk (even though two were only established during the year) and 14,400 kg were sold at CFA 200 per litre. By 1993 the project expected to be selling 72,000 litres of milk a year, bringing in some CFA 14 million. In addition, sales of crops and other livestock products should bring in another CFA 8–9 million. The participating farmers “repay” the animals to the project at the rate of 2 heifers per year, starting three years after farm establishment.
Table 225. - Estimates of revenue and costs of the eco-farm in 1984 (FCFA)
|Meat (added value)||320,000|
|Vegetables, maize, cassava||72,000|
|Feed supplements, drugs||60,000|
|Net farm revenue||728,000 year-1|
If successful, the scheme could be extended nationally and, also, will provide a model for the many countries of West and Central Africa where intensive milk production is a major objective of both producers and the government. Recent activities are summarized in two reports (Anon., 1992a; Cissé et al., 1993).
In 1988 the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) set up a collaborative research programme with ILCA based at Mtwapa near Mombasa (Anon., 1991c). Although the zone under focus stretches from Kenya's border near Somalia to northern Mozambique the focus is presently on the Kenyan coastal area where farming systems are dominated by tree crops - coconut in the wetter areas (1,000 – 1,150 mm rainfall yr-1) and cashew-nut in the drier areas (800–1,000 mm rainfall yr-1). In the study area near Mombasa farm size averages about 4 ha (to support a farm family averaging 12 persons).
The farming system is being intensified through dairy cattle production with a “package” of improved practices for smallholder dairying in a zero-grazing system. The package includes using cows “improved” with Sahiwal and European genes together with disease control measures and improved feeding, in particular using planted forages such as Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum cv. Bana) and Leucaena (Muinga et al., 1992, 1992b). The KARI/ILCA team has been working to develop feeding systems that will make the most of the milk production potential of the crossbred cows and to develop feed production systems that will boost and stabilize feed and food-crop production on smallholdings. At the beginning the aim was to come up with a farming system “that incorporates the principles of organic farming using tree and herbaceous forage legumes, food legumes and slurry from the cattle to put nitrogen and organic matter back into the soil, to build an effective, sustainable nutrient cycling system.”
Work reported to-date has included different rates and timings of applying slurry to maize and Napier, growing Napier with legumes such as Clitoria ternatea, the effects on milk yields of different cutting heights and stages of maturity of Napier (Muinga et al., 1992c), immunizing cattle against East Coast fever and various small ruminant studies (over half the households keep sheep or goats). More recently Muinga (1992) reported on several trials using small quantities of maize bran as an energy supplement, Leucaena foliage as a protein supplement and a basal diet of Napier grass. Cows used were Ayrshire/Brown Swiss × Sahiwals.
Early lactation trial
Milk yield in unsupplemented cows during the dry season averaged 3.7 kg day-1 compared with 6.0 kg for cows supplemented with Leucaena alone (2 kg DM day-1), 6.9 kg for those supplemented with maize bran alone (1 kg DM day-1) and 8.6 kg for those receiving both Leucaena and maize bran. Supplementation also had an effect on the rate at which milk yield declined over the 13 weeks of the trial. In unsupplemented cows, milk yield fell by over 40 percent between the first three weeks and the last four weeks of the trial, whereas in cows receiving both maize and Leucaena the decline was less than 10%. Cows supplemented with maize bran alone lost most weight (68 kg) while the other animals lost between 27 and 38 kg. In a separate trial cows fed Napier harvested when 100 cm tall gave higher milk yields than cows fed Napier harvested when 150 cm tall plus 2 kg of Leucaena foliage daily. Leucaena supplementation had an effect only when fed in conjunction with poor-quality Napier. It was suggested that during the rainy season, farmers could feed their cows on young Napier alone, drying and storing the Leucaena foliage for use during the dry season.
Mid to late lactation trial
In the rainy season, unsupplemented cows gave an average milk yield of 4.5 kg day-1, compared with 6.7 kg day-1 for those receiving both maize bran and Leucaena. Supplementation had a large and significant effect on the rate at which milk yield declined over the 10-week trial. In unsupplemented cows, average milk yield during the last four weeks of the trial was only 32% of that in the first three weeks, whereas in cows receiving both maize bran and Leucaena there was no significant difference in milk yield between the two periods.
Supplementation had a major effect on weight changes. Unsupplemented cows lost a total of 50 kg during the trial, whereas those on diets that included Leucaena maintained their weights. Cows supplemented only with maize bran lost 13 kg.
The immediate financial returns to supplementation were greatest in cows in early lactation. Supplementing the cow's diet with 1 kg DM of maize bran and 2 kg DM of Leucaena daily increased milk yield by almost 5 kg day-1. At 1992 prices on the Kenya coast this was worth about 80 Kenya shillings (Ksh). The supplements cost around Ksh 5 (maize bran sold for about Ksh 1 kg-1 and the estimated cost of Leucaena was Ksh 2 kg-1 DM). Thus the return to supplementation was 16:1.
The return on supplementation in mid to late lactation was more difficult to determine, but supplementation was likely to lead to earlier reconception, shorter calving intervals and therefore increased productivity. However, the Leucaena psyllid (Heteropsylla cubana) has now reached the African mainland (Anon., 1992) being observed at Mtwapa in August 1992, and will influence future work with Leucaena and other multipurpose trees such as Gliricidia, Calliandria and Acacia species.
Recently, Mureithi et al. (1993) reported on fodder production from Napier grass and leucaena in an alley farming system, noting that a more robust grass than Napier, able to withstand moderate to heavy defoliation regimes during the dry season, is needed for the typical smallholder dairy farm at the Kenyan coast. Reynolds et al. (1993) suggest that not enough attention has been paid to low cost dairy production systems based on natural pastures. Grazing or tethering supported by supplementation may remain more attractive to farmers than zero-grazing for the foreseeable future. However, research results indicate that there is a zero-grazing option.
Halim (1993a) noted that in the south-east Asian region beef production is mainly carried out as a supplementary activity to crop agriculture with cattle chiefly concentrated in the rice-producing regions where they subsist on grasses found on padi land during the off-season, or native vegetation on uncropped land and padi straw following a harvest. In Malaysia where over 90% of the beef animals are reared by about 150,00 smallholders with average land size of 0.3 to 2 ha, the major constraints are limited availability of land and feed.
Halim (1993a) suggested a number of possible approaches to enhance animal productivity at smallholder level:
Planting of available land with fast-growing fodder grasses such as Napier (P. purpureum) and Guinea (P. maximum). These to be used in conjunction with free grazing on native pastures accessible to the farmer.
Use of leguminous shrubs in fence lines or alley cropping to serve as protein supplements to animals grazed on unimproved pasture.
Use of agricultural by-products such as palm kernel cake, copra meal, pineapple wastes and cocoa pods which are most available in a particular region. These should serve as energy and protein supplements.
On the smallholder beef production unit studied cattle grazed native pastures consisting mainly of Imperata cylindrica, Chrysopogon aciculatus, Paspalum conjugatum and Axonopus compressus. At the stocking rate of about 2.5 Kedah-Kelantan cattle ha-1 the feed available was not sufficient to meet animal requirements especially during the drier periods of the year. Therefore, small enclosed areas were planted with the fodder grasses Napier and Guinea, and leucaena was planted as a protein supplement (but was not available for use during the trial period reported). Yields from the first harvest of Napier and native grasses are shown in Table 226.
Table 226. - Yield and quality of Napier and native grasses (after Halim, 1993a)
|Pasture||Annual DM Yield kg ha-1||Protein % DM|
|10 t ha-1 organic manure||9,242||15.1|
|15 t ha-1 organic manure||22,093||13.3|
1 300 kg N 80 kg 50 kg K ha-1
“It was clear that potential yield of Napier fertilized with organic matter or chemical fertilizers was more than double that of unfertilized native pasture. It is significant to note that unfertilized Napier gave yields much lower than that of native grasses indicating that improved fodder has a high fertilizer requirement. There would be no advantage in planting improved grasses if it is not accompanied with a fertilizer programme.”
Another trial was undertaken to evaluate the benefits of using palm kernel cake on growth performance of the cattle. All animals were kept under the existing system of free grazing on native pasture (at 2.5 animals ha-1) with daily supplementation of cut grasses and broadleaves. One group was given palm kernel cake at 2 kg head-1. After 236 days responses to palm kernel cake supplementation were found to be significant for young growing calves (average daily gains of 187 and 428 g head-1 for control and supplemented respectively - see Table 227). Animals would be able to reach marketable weight about 10 months after weaning whereas it could take 18 months for the unsupplemented group. For older animals (calves 1–2 years old) differences between control and supplemented groups were not significant. The results indicate that palm kernel cake supplementation must be given at an early age to be of benefit under this system.
Table 227. - Liveweight gains of calves 6–12 months old (Halim, 1993a)
|ADG (g head-1)|
|Mean ± S.D.||86.7 ± 11.9||128.8 ± 2.8||187 ± 54.8|
|Mean ± S.D.||68.7 ± 8.6||169.7 ± 4.6||428 ± 53.1|
ADG = Average daily gain.
A t-test showed significant differences in ADG between the two treatments (P<0.01).
It was concluded that: “Initial results from this trial indicate that smallholder beef production performance can be enhanced profitably even under the constraints of limited land area. Native forages could be maintained as the basal feed while inclusion of fodder grasses, leguminous shrubs and supplementation of high protein by-products such as palm kernel cake will improve animal performance. The demonstration of these technology on farm may be necessary to encourage greater adoption by farmers”.
Cost of PKC: RM 0.35 kg-1 (RM = Malaysian Ringgit; PKC = Palm Kernel Cake)
Price of animal liveweight: RM 3.40 kg-1
Increase in ADG with 2 kg PKC = 428-187 = 241 g day-1
Price of increase in liveweight over 236 d: 0.241 × 236 × 3.40 = RM 193.38
Cost of PKC per head over 236: = 2 × 236 × 0.35 = RM 165.20
Additional profit per head: RM 28.18
1 ha smallholder dairy units were established by MARDI at Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. Over a 4-year period the effect of pasture type (Setaria sphacelata and a Brachiaria decumbens/Leucaena leucocephala mixture), management system (rotational grazing and cut-and-carry) and level of concentrate supplement (0,4 and 6 kg fresh weight cow-1 day-1) on milk production was examined (Wan Hassan et al., 1989). Each 1 ha unit was stocked with 5 imported Sahiwal × Friesian first lactation cows. In initial experiments milk yields were higher from rotational grazing and the Brachiaria/leucaena pasture compared to the cut-and-carry system and the setaria pasture respectively (see Table 228).
Table 228. - Mean estimated DM intake and mean daily milk yields for first lactation heifers with the cut and carry and rotationally grazed systems (after Wan Hassan et al., 1989)
|Unit||Pasture type||Management system||Estimated DM intake|
|(kg day-1)||(kg lactation-1)|
|C||Brachiaria and leucaena||CC||6.3||4.8||1,417|
|D||Brachiaria and leucaena||RG||8.2||6.1||1,836|
CC = cut and carry;
RG = rotationally grazed.
In subsequent experiments based on Brachiaria/leucaena and rotational grazing, a supplement of 4 kg fresh weight of concentrate day-1 increased milk yield ha-1 from 7,760 to 13,045 kg and later 6 kg of concentrate increased milk yield ha-1 from 14,148 to 16,760 kg. The results indicate that smallholder dairy units could be economically viable and competitive with other agricultural enterprises. Details of gross returns are shown in Table 229.
Table 229. - Gross income from estimated return to concentrate supplementation of Sahiwal × Friesian cows grazing on 1 ha of brachiaria/leucaena mixed pasture (after Wan Hassan et al., 1989)
|Expt. 3||Expt 4|
|Milk yield kg ha-1||7,760||13,043||14,148||16,760|
|Gross income @ $ 0.32 kg-1 US$||2,483||4,173||4,527||5,363|
|Concentrate costs @ 0.16 kg-1 US$||--||1,168||1,168||1,752|
|Gross return from concentrate US$||--||522||876||1,128|
A typical owner-operator/caretaker in Zamboanga del Sur has about 4 ha of land.
Production of adequate pastures for successfully maintaining a farmer's draft carabao is critical to the success of the annual intercrop component of any improved farming system for coconut lands, as the extent of the annual crop component is already constrained by the shortage of draft power.
The cheapest and easiest procured legumes are Centro and Kudzu which can be hand harvested from existing areas of ‘cover crop’ already established under smallholder plots of cocoa and rubber and from roadside plantings. Signal grass (B. decumbens) is a robust perennial with reasonable drought tolerance that can withstand heavy grazing and is very productive under good conditions.
Rotational grazing systems with livestock tethered are preferred, care must be taken to ensure survival of the legumes as they tend to be choked out by the dominant Signal grass.
Due to the poor returns currently possible from copra, coconut farmers are very interested in all forms of intercropping with annual and perennial crops and pastures.
To be widely accepted and applicable, intercropping systems should be diversified (offer reduced risk, improved cash flow distribution and spread labour demand) and appropriate (low cost, low input, use locally available materials and require minimum changes to current practices).
The suggested system follows a “three years pasture/one year annual crop rotation” and introduces a new area of cropping each year. By growing just two ‘annual’ crops (cereal/grain legume) before planting the area to leguminous pasture, consistently good yields can be expected even with a minimum of inputs. This is particularly true if the new area, cultivated annually, has been growing a heavy legume dominant pasture for the preceding two to three years. After three years of leguminous pasture establishment (by undersowing pasture legume seeds into the grain legume component of the annual crop rotation) a farm would comprise 3 ha of legume-dominant pasture with a total carrying capacity of at least four adult cattle/carabao (or equivalent i.e. 24 head of adult goats), and 1 ha of upland rice yielding 3 tonnes followed by 1 ha of mungo-soybeans and/or peanuts yielding 600 kg. If the farmer owns one draft carabao (which produces no direct cash income but grazes a proportion of the pasture area) the net cash returns from grazing 3 adult cattle equivalents should be about 1,500 year-1 (assuming about 50 kg of liveweight gain per adult cattle equivalent year-1), with expected cash returns from cropping of about 3,000 year-1.
The established intercropping system would therefore produce a steady net cash return of the order of 4,000–5,000 year-1 with a minimum outflow of cash of about 1,500 for seeds, minimum fertilizer and sprays for the two annual crops. This is about equivalent to the gross cash receipts obtainable from producing copra on 4 ha of coconut, of which the caretaker would receive only one third share or 1,300–1,700 year-1. Dalton (1982) concluded that in general the average owner-operator/caretaker could increase his annual on-farm net cash return by at least 3,000 year-1 or 200 percent more than the likely returns from copra sales ( 1,500 year-1). With a net cash income of 5,000 his income would be double that of one of the farmers producing only copra (as described in Section 9.3).
Carnation Philippines Inc. started an integrated dairy-beef-crop production system at Sariaya, Quezon in 1977. The general objective was to develop the potential of backyard dairy farming and improve the plight of rural farmers in the coconut producing areas. Originating from ‘baka’ (cattle) and ‘kaunlaran’ (progress) the Bakaunlaran or progressive cattle farming project's goal was to increase family income by utilizing idle land between coconut trees, employing excess family labour and agricultural by-products and residues, to achieve greater productivity.
The project introduced the practice of upgrading native cattle through artificial insemination using frozen Holstein and Jersey semen. Grass farming and planting of cash crops, under coconut trees, for improved fodder needs and as an additional source of income for farmers were begun. Planted forages included ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala), Guinea grass (Panicum maximum), Centrosema (Centrosema pubescens) and Stylo (Stylosanthes guianensis), fodders suited to backyard livestock raising systems.
By the mid 1980s more than 400 farmer-cooperators had joined the project. To join, a farmer must have at least one breedable cow. The cooperators enjoy free technical assistance, free planting materials and free artificial insemination services. Fodder raising demonstration plots have been established with farmers and schoolteachers receiving training, with a large number of F1's having now been produced. Cattle are fed on a cut-and-carry basis and large quantities of rice straw are available in addition to the various green feeds. Average milk production per F1 per day on a once-a-day milking is reported to be 2.3 kg. At a farm gate price of 3.00 (1 US$ = 10 in 1983) per kg of milk, the farmer would have extra income totalling 1587 from milk alone per lactation of 230 days. If the price of yearling cattle at 1600 is added, the extra income rises to 3187. The average income of a coconut tenant-farmer in the area, with one hectare of bearing coconut trees is less than 1000 per year with most tenants having holdings of less than 2 hectares. With improved pastures a farmer could easily handle 2 milking F1's ha-1 of coconuts thus increasing his income.
Backyard livestock production in the Philippines is a system of beef production which blends well with the socio-economic setting in the rural areas. Most cattle raised are considered as important liquid assets which provide badly needed cash to farm families as well as additional gainful employment. Non-marketable farm wastes produced in the form of rice straw, corn stover, sugar-cane tops and other farm residues are utilized as important feed components for livestock. Thus the system requires only minimal cash expenses for feed and represents an important way of increasing the net cash farm income of the farm family.
In the case study described by Vergara (see Table 230) cost and return analysis of 73 backyard farms showed that total cost required to produce 2 heads of cattle per farm was 2,573 with both cash ( 1,582) and non-cash ( 991) costs. Total cash receipts were 2,734 with return above cash costs per farm being 576. In terms of net gains the farmers obtained a meagre net profit of 161 per family, however, family labour accounted for about 36 percent of the costs and considering that the labour had no opportunity costs elsewhere, then backyard cattle farming provided gainful employment for small farm families and helped to stabilize farm income.
Similar to the Bakaunlaran scheme also launched in 1977 was the “Bakahang Barangay” scheme or backyard cattle fattening within a supervised credit programme. This was designed to support small cattle raisers who represent 80 percent of cattle holders in the Philippines (Anon., 1981b). The program sought to transform every farm household into a backyard cattle feedlot and small cow-calf operator, thus integrating crops, livestock, fish and organic recycling into the farming system. As of June 1981, the program had assisted 117,991 project borrowers, financing a total of 247,770 animals with a total loan of 447,607,000 (1 US$ = 7.30 in 1981).
Early work using banana forage as a major energy source for cattle led to the establishment in 1979, with FAO/TCP and Government funds, of two pilot family farms of 5 acres (2.02 ha) each in the Seychelles. The concept is that intensive production on small farms is favoured by combining the production of crops for human consumption with animal production based on the by-products. Integration of cattle with cropping permits recycling of the effluent with the opportunity to supply the fertilizer and organic matter needs of the crops. At the same time the system enables the production of energy (methane) for domestic use (light and cooking).
Of the 5 acres (2.02 ha), 1 acre (0.4 ha) is allocated for the house and for the production of vegetable crops for family consumption. Of the remaining 4 acres (1.62 ha), 1.3 acres (0.53 ha) is used for Leucaena production and 2.7 acres (1.09 ha) for combined production of bananas and sweet potatoes. Bananas are planted at 2 × 3 m spacing permitting the sweet potato to develop as a ground cover over the whole area. The sweet potato forage is harvested rotationally at intervals of about 6 weeks; when the banana fruit is ready for sale the pseudostem and leaves are used for forage. The cattle unit comprised 5 cows with 4 calves between birth and one year of age and 4 steers/heifers between one and two years, saleable at two years of age. For details of estimated feed requirements and farm production see Table 231, while details of expected cash flows are shown in Table 232. Unfortunately, the project suffered from poor management and data recording which resulted in the non-achievement of the set objectives (Adelaide, 1983). The basic concept should perhaps be tried elsewhere.
Table 230. - Costs and returns analysis of 73 backyard cattle farmers in Batangas (after Vergara, 1976)
|Sales of cattle||2,734||100|
Interest on loan
Total cash costs
Interest or operating capital
Total non-cash costs
|Returns above cash cost||1,152|
|Returns per pesos of total cash cost||0.76|
1 1 US$ = 7.40
In low-lying marshy lands, fish ponds can be started between the rows of palms, once the correct spacing is calculated (as is done in parts of Indonesia). When ducks and pigs are integrated with the fish pond, their excreta is fed to the fish, and the silt is collected from the pond once a year to manure the home garden (and paddy fields). When a biogas digester is incorporated into this system, fuel will be available for cooking and lighting, liquid effluent can be used to manure the vegetable garden and the solid sludge can be processed for animal feeding. It can replace 50 percent of the duck feed and 10 percent of the cattle feed if there is sufficient and suitable land for the latter to be included in the system.
Table 231. - Estimated feed requirements and feed production on 5 acre family units
|Forage kg day-1|
|Total t year-1||33.6||1.9||0.26|
|Sweet potato||kg day-1||37.7||251||production t yr-1|
|Leucaena||kg day-1||26.7||89||(plus 24 t fruit)|
|Sweet potato||t year-1||92||108|
|Cost of supplements:||Cotton seed meal (CSM)||Rs 2.00 kg-1||=||3,860 Rupees|
|Minerals||Rs 2.00 kg-1||=||524 Rupees|
In Sri Lanka a cut-and-carry system combined with good management can obtain significant yields (about 65 tonnes green weight ha-1 year-1) from fodder grasses such as NB 21 P. purpureum × P. americanum hybrid and P. maximum cv. Hamil. This would allow three times the number of stock to be kept, compared to grazed stoloniferous pastures, and pasture management would be easier if animals were stall-fed. For smallholders with 1–2 ha of tree crop, 16 ‘squares’ of coconut, approximately equal to 0.13 ha, planted to hybrid Napier, would be sufficient to keep one small dairy cow. Such fodder production under coconut can form the basis for integrating a dairy or cattle fattening enterprise into a multiple cropping farming system, allowing crop by-products such as banana residues, cassava tops and peelings and sweet potato vines to be fully utilized while producing valuable manure. Also better nutrition for draught animals may result in more timely crop production.
In this system where coconuts are harvested on 2-month rotation, fodder cutting follows the same cycle so that collection of nuts is not a problem. The fodder grasses are planted to leave paths along the rows of trees while surplus forage produced during periods of peak growth can be ensiled.
The potential of intensively managed elephant grass for beef production has been described by Moore and Bushman (1978). It has been suggested that, for backyard cattle raising, small but intensively managed Napier and Leucaena areas should be maintained as the basic source of green feed (Javier, 1974b).
Established in 1983/4 for farmer training at the centre the “acre farm” had the following objectives: provision of gainful self employment to the farmer and assurance of a satisfactory income as quickly as possible after commencement; provision of adequate food requirements for the farmer family; a flexible cropping pattern and sustainability; optimizing of crop-stock integration and demonstration of improved land use methods.
Table 232. - Pilot family farm: estimated cashflow over 10 year period
|Fuel and Misc.||764||1,778||1,788||1,788||1,788||1,788||1,788||1,788||1,788||1,788|
Coconuts were planted at a wide spacing of 12 m × 12 m and the land area was divided into three segments for banana with underplanted grass, vegetables and tree legumes, and pepper, coffee and fruit trees underplanted with grass, respectively. The initial development cost included labour (Rs. 30,000), house (Rs. 10,000), cattle shed (Rs. 4,000), bio-gas plant (Rs. 3,000) and cattle (Rs. 7,000). The unit consisted of 2 dairy cows and 2 offspring, 30 coconut trees, 1 jak tree, 207 pepper vines, 64 coffee bushes, 12 fruit trees, 8 pawpaws, 187 banana clumps, tree legumes planted on 600 metres of alley and fence, 800 m2 of vegetables and 3,000 m2 of pasture. Records of all inputs and outputs have been maintained and actual gross margins for 1984 and 1985 are shown in Table 233 with the projected gross margins for 1986, 1987 and 1988. As well as providing an annual income of Rs. 12,000 in 1984 and Rs. 17,000 in 1985 the farm also provided vegetables and starch foods for home consumption, ½ litre of milk per day from the dairy and free energy for cooking and lighting. From 1988 onwards it was expected that annual income would reach Rs. 20–25,000. However it was not possible to obtain any additional information.
Table 233. - The “acre farm”: gross margins per year (Rs.)
|Pepper, coffee and coconuts||-1,000||-1,000||4,000||6,000||7,000|
Established in 1985 at Rathonalagara Estate, Madampe in the wet intermediate rainfall zone (1,595.5 mm yr-1) under 45 year old tall coconut palms spaced at 8.4 × 8.4 m (137 palms ha-1 this model was designed to increase the coconut production and productivity of land by introducing a pasture/fodder/cattle system with the major consideration of reducing expenditure to the bare minimum and making the system ecologically sound and economically viable. Covering approximately 1 ha the model included 6 paddocks with 24 coconut palms in each. Although for experimental purposes 1 paddock was used as a control, the recommended paddock mixture was Leucaena leucocephala planted in double rows along the coconut avenue at a spacing of 2.0 × 1.0 m with Gliricidia sepium and leucaena planted alternately (1.0 m apart) along the boundary fence and a pasture mixture of Brachiaria miliiformis and Pueraria phaseoloides. Coconuts were fertilized at the rate of 0.75 kg of muriate of potash and 0.18 kg of saphos phosphate per palm annually, with a mixture of urea, saphos phosphate and muriate of potash in equal proportions (at the rate of 25 kg ha-1 each) being applied to the grass legume mixture at the time of planting. One year after establishment 4 Jersey × local cross bred heifers at six months of age were introduced and paddocks were grazed (animals being tethered and moved each day) on a 30-day rotation. In addition to grazing the grass-legume mixture (at the rate of around 35 kg of fresh matter head-1 day-1, the cattle were fed loppings of Gliricidia and Leucaena at 2 kg of fresh matter head-1 day-1 rising to 5 kg as cattle grew). During drought periods grazing depended on feed availability and urea treated straw (4 kg urea dissolved in 100 l of water and mixed with 100 kg of straw) was fed ad lib. supplemented with 750–1,000 g (dry weight) of Gliricidia/leucaena leaves. The amount of straw rose from an initial 4 kg head-1 day-1 to 10 kg. Drinking water and a commercial mineral mix were available. For further information on the use of rice straw and supplements refer to section 6.6.7 in Chapter 6 and the paper by Pathirana and Mangalike (1992).
Over a three-year period nut and copra yields were maintained, nutrient levels in coconut leaves were unchanged, nutrients were returned through cow dung and urine, the pasture mixture produced over 20,000 kg ha-1 dry matter each year with additional forage prunings from the Gliricidia and Leucaena, and heifer liveweights increased from an initial 70 kg to 200 kg at the end of the first year, giving a mean weight gain of 306 g head-1 day-1. The cost of inorganic fertilizer per coconut palm was reduced from Rs 8.10 palm-1 yr-1 to Rs. 2.49 palm-1 yr-1 (a saving of 69 percent in fertilizer cost) due to the nutrients returned in dung and urine. Although data collection was continuing the model clearly demonstrated that it is technically and economically viable, leads to considerable savings on inorganic fertilizers and could play an important part in improving soil structure and soil fertility.