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Conclusions and recommendations

The conclusions and recommendations were prepared at the end of the meeting by the participants divided into three working groups according to the three main subject areas covered as follows:

I.The Resource Base: 
 Chairman (in session)R.A. Leng
 RapporteursM. Baumer
  C.P. Chen
 MembersA. EI Aich
  R.A. Halim
  F. Riveros
II.Main fodder trees and fodder shrubs, both legumes and non-legumes, as protein sources for livestock. The Nutritional Aspects:
 Chairman (in session)D.V. Rangnekar
 RapporteursC. Devendra
  M.S. Dicko
  M. Kass
  R.A. Leng
  Ravindra Kumar
III.Harvesting and Feeding Systems. Regional and Country Case Studies: 
 Chairman (in session)F.D'Mello
 RapporteursT.R. Preston
  F.A. Moog
 MembersP. Amir
  N.P. Joshi
  D.V. Rangnekar
  O.B. Smith

Conclusions and recommendations elaborated by each group were discussed, amended and adopted by all participants at the final session. This last session was the concluding plenary session. It was chaired by the FAO officer in charge of the consultation.

In order to plan the debates and help from conclusions and recommendations, the following themes of discussion were suggested in advance to the three groups:

  1. What is the established knowledge on the subject and what can be applied immediately?
  2. What research should be done locally concerning the technologies which are to be introduced?
  3. What fundamental research is needed for further development of technologies? This fundamental research is supposed to be done in established research institutes.
  4. What kind of training is needed in developing countries to ensure good research and transfer inside the country?
  5. How can the technologies be transferred?

The participants were obviously free to introduce other themes of discussion, if necessary.


Trees and shrubs contribute, inter alia, to sustainable agriculture and provide a high value fodder for livestock. Their browse production role within livestock systems should be considered in close liaison with all their other roles and within the global context of the environment. Development is for the benefit of man. The target is to gain a greater understanding of how to use trees and shrubs for improved livestock production.

A. Established knowledge and application

Trees and shrubs have multiple functions, especially for livestock production. A large number of trees and shrubs are eaten by livestock, wildlife and various animals (silkworms, fish, honeybees, agoutis etc…); a short list of the main ones could be established for each ecological zone but only a few species have been studied and often with insufficient scientific definition.

The role of trees and shrubs varies with the climate: the more arid the climate, the greater the use of trees and shrubs, even to the point where animals depend exclusively on them. Within each climate zone, trees and shrubs are more important in the dry seasons. They can be used as basal feeds or as protein supplements.

A lot of nutritional data exist but these were often obtained with different methodologies on materials of uncertain provenance, age or definition and on a limited number of species.

The feeding value of trees and shrubs depends on factors such as digestibility and deleterious compounds which are often not considered in most nutritional studies. Seasonal variation in nutritive value has also been ignored in nutritional evaluation.

B. and C. Local and fundamental research

  1. Research should be strengthened.
  2. Technical validity, social acceptability and economical viability should be considered on the establishment, protection and increasing use of fodder trees and shrubs.
  3. The knowledge of local people should be more often and more fully taken into consideration. Communication between concerned people and scientists should be increased.
  4. A global data bank proposed by ICRAF should be adopted to allow rapid access to information. The list of useful species of economic importance should be enlarged in each ecological zone.
  5. Selection of fast growing and high yielding varieties has still to be done.
  6. Standardization of methodology for evaluation of trees and shrubs is also still required. At least in arid zones, carrying capacity, stocking rate and other similar concepts should be replaced, if possible, by concepts describing the grazing pressure and patterns of utilisation, as they do not take into account the animal owners' strategies.
  7. Interactions between trees and shrubs, animals, crops and environment, within the feeding systems should be studied.
  8. Research on processing technologies, on allelopathy, on deleterious factors and on technology for processing fodder should also be developed.

D. Training

A multidisciplinary and systems approach should be taken into consideration within training programmes dealing with trees and shrubs. Animal scientists should be more aware of sociological, agronomical and forestry aspects and vice versa.

Livestock owners and farmers should be fully associated in an integrated manner to participate in research and development programmes.

E. Technology transfer

Technologies for planting and management of trees and shrubs should be adopted in each zone and in relation to potential demand and possible success.

Germplasm exchanges, creation of tree and shrub fodder banks and creation of botanical conservatories should come first and should include whenever possible the utilisation of a few specimens of endangered trees and shrubs species for germplasm conservation.

Based on ecological zoning, working groups on trees and shrubs should be formed, with FAO and other international organizations' support, to exchange experience and information.


The main conclusions and recommendations within this session were the following:


A. State of knowledge and what can be applied

a) Role of trees and shrubs

Trees and shrubs play a critical role in integrated farming systems because:

b) Farming systems

Five major farming systems have been identified where trees and shrubs are being used extensively. Examples are taken from specific countries, but the practices are widespread in the regions and subregions in all major continents. In addition, two other systems which relate to North Africa and the Middle East must also be considered.

1. Systems for rehabilitating arid and semi-arid regions using Prosopis spp.

Prosopis tamarugo was established on some 26,000 ha of the Tamarugal Pampa in Chile in the decades of the 60s and 70s. This region is a desert, characterised by almost complete lack of rainfall (average is 0.7 mm annually) and temperatures varying from 16 to 31°C with 52% relative humidity. Carrying capacity with sheep has risen from 1 animal/ha in the early years to 6–10/ha after 15 years. At this stage the productivity (leaves and fruit) from the forest is assessed to be 6,600 kg/ha (55 trees/ha).

Prosopis juliflora was introduced into N East Brazil in 1942, from Peru, and has spread extensively throughout the region. In this semi-arid region average yields of pods are 2–3 tonnes/ha/year; however, on soils of slightly higher fertility, yields up to 6 tonnes/ha/year (comparable yields of maize are 600 kg) can be obtained with 100 trees/ha while, with irrigation during flowering (600 litres/tree every two weeks), yields as high as 16 tonnes/ha have been reported. The feeding value of the pods (50% sugars) is only slightly inferior to that of cereal grain, when heatprocessed to neutralise non-nutritional compounds.

Prosopis cineraria has an important place in the economy of the Indian desert where annual rainfall is from 150 to 500 mm. It produces flowers and fruit in the driest months when all other species are leafless and dormant. With 40 trees/ha, income from fodder, timber and fuel wood can reach US$ 500.00/year. The tree is an important feed resource in Oman where large forests are still found.

2. Agroforestry systems such as alley farming in West Africa

This system was derived from “alley cropping” or avenue cropping, in which food crops are grown in 4–5m wide alleys between hedgerows of trees and shrubs, preferably legumes. The hedges are trimmed at planting and during crop growth and the prunings used as mulch and fertilizer. In alley farming, part of the hedgerow material (about 25% is the recommended proportion) is fed to livestock especially small ruminants. Gliricidia and Leucaena have been the most widely used trees in the humid and semi-humid lowlands in conjunction with food crops such as maize and cassava. Alley farming can also be managed to provide larger quantities of fodder for livestock in trees-only or tree-grass plots.

3. Farm forestry in Nepal and India

In India, trees are planted along the bunds, water channels or on community lands. In Nepal forests they are integrated with crop production on terraces.

In India, commonly used species are Acacia spp., Albizia spp., Ficus spp., Sesbania spp., Prosopis spp., Ailanthus spp., Ziziphus spp., Hardwikia spp., Pithecellobium spp., Erythrina spp., Enterolobium spp., Azadirachta indica and Dalbergia spp.

Most of these species are found also in Pakistan and Nepal, as in the sub-continent in general. Additionally in Nepal, there is widespread use of Artocarpus lakoocha, Leucaena, Quercus, Salix, dendrocalamus, Budleja asiatica, Grewia ophra, Bauhinia spp., Litsea polyantha, Castanopsis and Morus alba. There are three systems of usage:

The above pattern generally reflects usage of trees and shrubs in the subcontinent as a whole. In the high elevation areas, trees and shrubs are the major feed resource during the dry season.

4. Trees and livestock in upland cropping systems

In the Philippines, trees are integrated with many farming systems. In Batangas, Leucaena has had a major impact being used in intensive fattening while in Cebu a prosperous export trade was developed in leaf meal. However, many other species are commonly used: for example Gliricidia, Sesbania, Moringa oleifera and Cocos nucifera during the dry season.

5. Intensive integrated production of livestock and fuel from sugarcane, multipurpose trees and water plants in the wet tropics

In this intensive integrated system for the wet tropics, sugarcane is fractionated into juice for pigs and ducks, the tops for hair sheep and the bagasse for fuel. The leaves of Trichantera gigantea are used to replace 75% of the soyabean-based supplement for the pigs during pregnancy. The foliage of Gliricidia sepium provides almost all the protein for the hair sheep flock whose basal diet is the cane tops and a molasses-urea block. Net yields exceeding 4,000 hg/ha have been reported and methane: meat ratios are less than 0.1, compared with 1.0 for typical pastoral systems.

6. Halophytic steppe and desert farming systems

This system integrates livestock, especially dromedaries and goats, and fodder trees and shrubs that are drought resistant and salt tolerant. It is largely represented by a belt starting in North Africa and continuing to the Middle East (more than 1.5 millions km2). Rehabilitation of these desertic lands with species such as Salsola spp, Suaeda spp, Traganum nudatum, Atriplex halimus, Acacia raddiana and Tamarix spp is of a great value for the dromedary which is gaining a lot of interest. Such rehabilitation helps to decrease the desertification risk.

7. Artemisia Steppe farming system

This shrub is widely distributed in North Africa and the Middle East, i.e., it covers more than 11 million hectares just in North Africa alone. This fodder is highly palatable and well adapted to the arid environment. Sheep holders found Artemisia very useful as shrub. Improvements of the range lands dominated by Artemisia can be achieved through a proper grazing management. Association of Artemisia with other fodder trees and shrubs such as Acacia cyanophyla, Atriplex mummularia and Prosopis spp. lead to an increase in animal production in a sustainable manner.

It is stressed that much of the experience with trees and shrubs is derived from farmers' experience and has long been a part of the culture of the farming communities in the different ecological zones.

With a more critical understanding of the role of trees and shrubs and of the factors influencing their nutritive value and productivity, the impact of these different systems could be increased considerably.

It is also stressed that it is the multipurpose role of trees, and especially their use as fodder, which is rendering this practice increasingly attractive in mixed farming systems.

B. On-Farm Research

There is a need for:

C. Problem-orientated Research on-station and at international Centres

D. Training

As with research so with training, the approach should be multidisciplinary and in-service. There is a need for postgraduate programmes which include socio-economics, forestry, agronomy and animal production. Short courses (1 to 2 weeks) are a valuable means of broadening the perspectives of professionals from specific disciplines, and for initiation of advisers involved in rural development (e.g., workers from NGO's). At the farmers' level, visits to regions where technologies are being applied is the most effective way of technology transfer. There should also be incorporation in high school curricula of the importance of trees and shrubs as components of sustainable low-input farming systems. There should be a greater involvement of women both as teachers and trainees, and in the development of training materials directed at women.

Study tours to promote exchanges among countries with similar ecological zones (TCDC approach) should be encouraged. Regional training courses are also effective means of technology transfer.

E. Transfer of technologies

Ensure the “farmer first” approach at all levels. Identify successful farmers and then publicize their experiences through audio-visual aids and techniques. Emphasis should be on the role of trees and shrubs in the overall development process especially as this relates to protection and enrichment of the environment.

It must be noted that at the end of the presentation by the session's rapporteur, Dr: Preston, of the conclusions and recommendations elaborated within Group III, there was a general and very supportive agreement from the participants to consider this very comprehensive and attractive presentation as the final text of the experts' conclusions and recommendations.

Nevertheless, the participants insisted, with regard to this text, on the necessity to include, besides the five major farming systems identified, the halophytic steppe and desert farming system as well as the Artemisia steppe farming system identified in North Africa and the Near East.

Participants also insisted on the necessity to clearly take into account the following:

Finito di stampare nella Tipo-lito SAGRAF - Napoli nel mese di settembre 1992



1.Animal breeding: selected articles from World Animal Review, 1977 (C* E*F* S*)
2.Eradication of hog cholera and African swine fever, 1976 (E*F* S*)
3.Insecticides and application equipment for tsetse control, 1977 (E*F*)
4.New feed resources, 1977 (E/F/S*)
5.Bibliography of the criollo cattle of the Americas, 1977 (E/S*)
6.Mediterranean cattle and sheep in crossbreeding, 1977 (E/S*)
7.Environmental impact of tsetse chemical control, 1977 (E*F*)
7 Rev.Environmental impact of tsetse chemical control, 1980 (E*F*)
8.Declining breeds of Mediterranean sheep, 1978 (E* F*)
9.Slaughterhouse and slaughterslab design and construction, 1978 (E* F* S*)
10.Treating straw for animal feeding, 1978 (C*, E*, F*, S*)
11.Packaging, storage and distribution of processed milk, 1978 (E*)
12.Ruminant nutrition: selected articles from World Animal Review, 1978 (C* E* F* S*)
13.Buffalo reproduction and artificial insemination, 1979 (E**)
14.The African trypanosomiases, 1979 (E* F*)
15.Establishment of dairy training centres, 1979 (E*)
16.Open yard housing for young cattle, 1981 (E* F* S*)
17.Prolific tropical sheep, 1980 (E* F* S*)
18.Feed from animal wastes: state pf knowledge, 1980 (E*)
19.East Coast fever and related tick-borne diseases, 1980 (E* S*)
20/1.Trypanotolerant livestock in West and Central Africa, 1980 Vol. 1 - General study (E* F*)
20/2.Trypanotolerant livestock in West and Central Africa, 1980 Vol. 2 - Country studies (E* F*)
20/3.Le bétail trypanotolérant en Afrique occidentale et centrale Vol. 3 - Bilan d'une décennie, 1988 (F*)
21.Guidelines for dairy accounting, 1980 (E*)
22.Recursos genéticos animales en América Latina, 1981 (S*)
23.Disease control in semen and embryos, 1982 (E* F* S*)
24.Animal genetic resources - conservation and management, 1981 (E*)
25.Reproductive efficiency in cattle, 1982 (E* F* S*)
26.Camels and camel milk, 1982 (E*)
27.Deer farming, 1982 (E*)
28.Feed from animal wastes: feeding manual, 1982 (E*)
29.Echinococcosis/hydatidosis surveillance, prevention and control: FAO/UNEP/WHO guidelines, 1982 (E*)
30.Sheep and goat breeds of India, 1982 (E*)
31.Hormones in animal production, 1982 (E*)
32.Crop residues and agro-industrial by-products in animal feeding, 1982 (E/F*)
33.Haemorrhagic septicaemia, 1982 (E* F*)
34.Breeding plans for ruminant livestock in the tropics, 1982 (E* F* S*)
35.Off-tastes in raw and reconstituted milk, 1983 (E* F* S*)
36.Ticks and tick-borne diseases: selected articles from World Animal Review, 1983 (E* F* S*)
37.African animal trypanosomiasis: selected articles from World Animal Review, 1983 (E* F*)
38.Diagnosis and vaccination for the control of brucellosis in the Near East, 1983 (E* Ar*)
39.Solar energy in small-scale milk collection and processing, 1983 (E* F*)
40.Intensive sheep production in Near East, 1983 (E* Ar*)
41.Integrating crops and livestock in West Africa, 1983 (E* Ar*)
42.Animal energy in agriculture in Africa and Asia, 1984 (E/F* S*)
43.Olive by-products for animal feed, 1985 (Ar* E* F* S*)
44/1.Animal genetic resources conservation by management, data banks and training, 1984 (E*)
44/2.Animal genetic resources: cryogenic storage of germplasm and molecular engineering, 1984 (E*)
45.Maintenance systems for the dairy plant, 1984 (E*)
46.Livestock breeds of China, 1985 (E*)
47.Réfrigération du lait à la ferme et organisation des transports, 1985 (F*)
48.La fromagerie et les variétés de fromages du bassin méditerranéen, 1985 (F*)
49.Manual for the slaughter of small ruminants in developing countries, 1985 (E*)
50.Better utilization of crop residues and by-products in animal feeding: research guidelines - 1. State of knowledge, 1985 (E*)
50/2.Better utilization of crop residues and by-products in animal feeding: research guidelines-2. A practical manual for research workers, 1986 (E*)
51.Dried salted meats: charque and carne-de-sol, 1985 (E*)
52.Small-scale sausage production, 1985 (E*)
53.Slaughterhouse cleaning and sanitation, (E*)
54.Small ruminants in the Near East: Vol.I Selected papers presented at Tunis Expert Consultation, 1986 (E*)
55.Small ruminants in the Near East: Vol II Selected papers from World Animal Review, 1986 (E* Ar*)
56.Sheep and goats in Pakistan, 1985 (E*)
57.Awassi sheep, 1985 (E*)
58.Small ruminant production in the developing countries, 1986 (E*)
59/1.Animal genetic resources data banks, 1986 (E*) 1 - Computer systems study for regional data banks
59/2.Animal genetic resources data banks, 1986 (E* S*) 2 - Descriptor lists for cattle, buffalo, pigs, sheep and goats
59/3.Animal genetic resources data banks, 1986 (E* S*) 3 - Descriptor lists for poultry
60.Sheep and goats in Turkey, 1986 (E*)
61.The Przewalski horse and restoration to its natural habitat in Mongolia, 1986 (E*)
62.Milk and dairy products: production and processing costs, 1988 (E* F* S*)
63.Proceedings of the FAO expert consultation on the substitution of imported concentrate feed in animal production systems in developing countries, 1987 (E*)
64.Poultry management and diseases in the Near East, 1987 (Ar*)
65.Animal genetic resources -of the USSR, 1989 (E*)
66.Animal genetic resources - strategies for improved use and conservation, 1987 (E*)
67/1.Trypanotolerant cattle and livestock development in West and Central Africa - Vol. I. 1987 (E*)
67/2.Trypanotolerant cattle and livestock development in West and Central Africa - Vol. II. 1987 (E*)
68.Crossbreeding Bos indicus and Bos taurus for milk production in the tropics, 1987 (E*)
69.Village milk processing, 1988 (E/S*)
70.Sheep and goat meat production in the humid tropics of West Africa, 1988 (E*/F*)
71.The development of village-based sheep production in West Africa, 1988 (E* F* S*)
72.Sugarcane as feed, 1988, (E/S*)
73.Standard design for small-scale modular slaughterhouses, 1988 (E*/F*)
74.Small ruminants in the Near East, Volume, III: North Africa, 1988 (E*)
75.The eradication of ticks, 1989 (E/F*)
76.Ex Situ cryoconservation of genomes and genes of endangered cattle breeds by means modern biotechnological methods, 1989 (E*)
77.Training manual for embryo transfer in cattle, 1991 (E*)
78.Milking, milk production hygiene and udder health, 1989 (E*)
79.Manual of simple methods of meat preservation, 1989 (E*)
80.Animal genetic resources - A global programme for sustainable development, 1990 (E*)
81.Veterinary diagnostic bacteriology - a manual; of laboratory procedures of selected diseases of livestock, 1990 (E* F*)
82.Reproduction in camels - a review, 1990 (E*)
83.Training manual on artificial insemination in sheep and goats, 1991 (E*)
84.Training manual for embryo transfer in water buffaloes, 1991 (E*)
85.The technology of traditional milk products in developing countries, 1990 (E*)
86.Feeding dairy cows in the tropics, 1990 (E*)
87.Manual for the production of anthrax and blackleg vaccines, 1991 (E*)
88.Small ruminant production and the small ruminant genetic resource in tropical Africa, 1991 (E*)
89.Manual for the production of Marek's disease, Gumboro disease and inactivated Newcastle disease vaccines, 1991 (E* F*)
90.Application of biotechnology to nutrition of animals in developing countries, 1991 (E*)
91.Guidelines for slaughtering, meat cutting and further processing, 1991(E*)
92.Manual on meat cold store operation and management, 1991 (E*)
93.Utilization of renewable energy sources and energy-saving technologies by small-scale milk plants and collection centres, 1991 (E*)
94.Proceedings of the FAO expert consultation on the genetic aspects of trypanotolerance, 1992 (E*)
95.Roots, tubers, plantains and bananas in animal feeding, 1992 (E*)
96.Distribution and impact of helminth diseases of livestock in developing contries, 1992 (E*)
97.Construction and operation of medium-sized abattoirs in developing countries, 1992 (E*)
98.Small-scale poultry processing, 1992 (E*)
99.In situ conservation of livestock and poultry, 1992 (E*)
100.Programme for the control of African animal trypanosomiasis and related development, 1992 (E*)
101.Genetic improvement of hair sheep in the tropics, 1992 (E*)
102.Legume trees and other fodder trees as protein sources for livestock, 1992 (E*)

Availability July 1992
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