South Wollo is blessed with an abundance of agro- industrial by-products: Wheat bran from flour factories, oil cake from small scale oil processing factories, as well as brewers waste from a beer brewery. Traders who process their pulses in small grinding mills take away flour, husks of pulses as well as ground pulse bran.
Dairy farmers, especially urban ones in Dessie and Kombolcha, already know about the availability of these ingredients in their vicinity and purchase them from small shops or directly from the source.
The effect of this increased demand can be seen in the fact that these products moved from “waste” to “economic” products, which is reflected in the price development over the past 10 years. Farmers also try to formulate concentrate rations by adding salt to the ingredients mentioned above. Use of concentrate is much less known for fattening of small ruminants. Research results indicate that growing periods to reach live animal export weights (25-30 kg) may be shortened considerably with the use of supplementary feeding, especially for the crosses between local highland breeds and the Awassi breed.
LIVES can optimize the use of these locally available agro-industrial by-products by assisting both dairy farmers and producers/fatteners of small ruminants in formulating appropriate rations, taking account of additional interventions aimed at improving the production of natural and planted fodder species and crop residues.
Once ratios are developed, private entrepreneurs and cooperatives may develop a business venture of small scale production of feed mixes.
Contributed by Dirk Hoekstra and Mesfin Tefera.