Solving fodder issues in Mali

Solving fodder issues in Mali

Farmers in Flola village in Mali learn to operate the mobile chaff cutter that can process a cartload of fodder in 30 minutes, a task that takes an entire day when done manually. Photo: S Jarial, ICRISAT

Mobile chaff cutters adapted to local conditions and manufactured locally are helping farmers tackle the problems of fodder storage and disposal in Mali. At a demonstration in Flola village of Bougouni, participants saw how the chaff cutters could chop one cartload of fodder in 30 minutes. It takes one person an entire day to chop the same amount of fodder.

Chaff cutters can chop crop stalks and grasses and turn it into fodder for cattle, sheep and goats. Minor repairs can be handled easily as they are locally made. This opens up avenues for efficient fodder trading, conservation, storage and convenient handling.

Crop-livestock farmers are forced to dispose/burn the fodder rather than store it, as fodder is a bulky item which makes its storage, conservation, handling and trading difficult and costly. Later in the year, the farmers face fodder shortages. “Previously, 60% of it went to waste as only leaves were eaten and not stalks,” said Mr Modibo Soumare, a participating farmer. Thus, there was a need to design and develop an economical and cost-effective machine to address the fodder needs of farmers.


Locally adapted mobile chopper in Koutiala, Mali.
photo: K Traore, ICRISAT

Twenty-nine farmers representing 14 farmers’ organizations (Benkadi, Waratie, Tilabo, Touba, Union Elevage, CPC1, Wara Tchi, Baroni, Bioni, Nteninko, Foukanidjinatchi, Baintchi, Sougroubatie and Warden) participated in the demonstrations. Mr Dramane Djire and Mr Issa Diabate (manufacturers in Koutiala and Bougouni districts of southern Mali) demonstrated the machines.

Using the Innovation Platform approach, three machines were introduced in Bougouni and Koutiala by local manufacturers, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER), Association Malienne d’Eveil au Développement Durable (AMEDD), and ICRISAT. The next steps are demonstrations to farmer groups in selected Africa RISING (Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation) project villages.

The mobile chaff cutters are being introduced in the Africa RISING program in Mali through the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Feed the Future initiative. Africa RISING aims to provide pathways out of hunger and poverty for smallholder families through sustainably intensified farming systems that sufficiently improve food, nutrition, and income security, particularly for women and children, and conserve or enhance the natural resource base.

Project: Africa RISING

Investor: United States Agency for International Development

Partners: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER), Association Malienne d’Eveil au Développement Durable (AMEDD), and ICRISAT

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