- Establishing production of fodder and propagation of seeds and planting material, combined with trainings and backstopping for fodder growers.
- Engaged milk producers and milk traders in successive trainings on best hygiene practices and introduced quality milk containers and cold boxes.
- Supported private animal health service providers to gain access to quality veterinary drugs and demonstrated the benefits of animal health measures on milk yield to milk producers.
Fodder production has the most significant impact on milk yields and on body condition of livestock. Hay making from planted fodder grass species and cultivated fodder crops complement natural pastures, especially during dry season. Grown fodder includes grasses and cereals that are harvested green; and legumes, pulses and root crops that are cultivated for use as fodder. These are fed to animals, either as green feed or stored as hay and fed later. Some fodder crops can also be incorporated into manufacture of compound feeds for livestock.
SATG has established three demonstration sites in South Somalia to disseminate modern fodder production technologies and know-how. The main center “Agribusiness Incubation Center (ABIC) is based in Afgoi and two substations are based in Awdhegle and Balad. Also, SATG has reached more than 1,500 farmers through “fodder field days” which had been held regularly at the demonstration sites in 2014. Fodder species that have been successively introduced by SATG for cultivation include alfalfa, dolichos, Napier grass, Rhodes grass and Sudan grass.
Animal health interventions include:
Support and trainings for private veterinarians, linking them up with suppliers of quality veterinary drugs and prophylactic treatments of dairy animals against parasites followed by monitoring of milk yields on pilot farms.
A HEALTHY BOOST FOR SOMALI LIVESTOCK SECTOR BY SATG
The Somali Agricultural Technical Group (SATG) aims to improve the livelihoods of farmers and livestock keepers in Somalia. SATG is providing inputs and technical trainings to develop the livestock sector, in particular milk production and marketing in South Somalia.
The livestock sector represents the main source for livelihoods in Somalia. It provides 55 percent of employment and at least 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. Livestock and their products account for 80 percent of Somalia’s exports.
Local production and commercialization of compound animal feed is the next target for SATG. Given the high urban demand for milk, especially in major cities, and the large number of live animals exported to Middle Eastern countries there are ready markets for fodder and for animal feed in Somalia.
Milk is a staple food in Somalia and the main source of proteins, vitamins and minerals in the local diet. Production, collection and marketing of milk provide employment and income for thousands of people in rural and urban areas. Unhygienic handing of milk results in contamination, rapid souring and sometimes spoilage of the milk before it reaches urban consumers. It also reduces incomes and threatens the health of urban milk consumers.
SATG activities seek to improve hygiene management along the entire milk value chain by:
- Providing milk hygiene training for pastoralist, agro-pastoralist and peri-urban milk producers and for the mostly female milk traders.
- Introducing quality milk cans which can be adequately cleaned and sanitized and are durable.
- Establishing local manufacture of cold boxes for milk storage, allowing milk to stay fresh for at least 24 hours using ice blocks.