An innovative project in Niger has linked livestock feed producers in one village to buyers in another, creating a market where none existed before, enabling both groups to benefit.
The project ‘Enabling Value Chains to Create Sustainable Income for Vulnerable People in Crop-Livestock Systems of Burkina Faso and Niger’ identified two zones in Niger with opposing feed contexts. Livestock actors in Torodi zone frequently faced feed shortages for their animals, whereas the Maradi zone had a high production of feed.
Using participative interaction with livestock actors, feed producers and feed traders from Maradi and livestock farmers from Torodi were linked to develop a feed market. Feed traders collect feed from Maradi and transport them to Torodi, where farmers organized themselves into an association to buy the feed. With the assistance of the project, they created a feed bank and set up a committee to manage the system (stocking, selling and payments in different villages). The collected money was utilized to renew the stock by buying more feed from Maradi.
“I am quite happy that now we can buy feed. Earlier, it was really difficult for us,” says Mr Moussa Oumarou, a livestock farmer. Like Moussa, everyone at Sirimbana, a village where the feed bank is located, comes to help with unloading lorries. Thereafter, feed traders from Maradi sit together with the feed management committee to interact and discuss opportunities for the future. They exchange their contact details so that they could start communicating between themselves independently.
“I never knew that feed was such a problem in this area. I am glad we managed to solve one of their problems. But this is just a start. We will ensure that this market development becomes sustainable,” says Dr Clarisse Umutoni, a livestock scientist working under the project.
Livestock plays a crucial role in generating income, nutrition and health, creating the means to afford nutritious diets, education, health and other household needs.
The project, initiated in April 2019, supports the small livestock market through specific interventions. It has so far (a) improved access to feeds for livestock farmers at 30% lower price than the market price, (b) developed proximity feed market managed by livestock actors and, (c) improved revenues in Maradi for women and youth dealers involved in feed activities.
For more on ICRISAT’s work in feed and fodder, click here: http://exploreit.icrisat.org/profile/feed%20and%20fodder/53