BEEF CATTLE PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT
TRAINING MANUAL FOR FACILITATORS IN COMMUNITY -BASED BEEF CATTLE PRODUCTION
This training manual was produced to share experiences gained over a number of years by practitioners in beef cattle production and management. The conceptual framework of the manual is based on the work of many development facilitators and writers in the field of beef cattle production and management. It was designed for the practitioner, trainer, as well as people interested in sustainable rural development, and specifically beef cattle production. Illustrations in the text are products of workshops and meetings with rural communities in beef cattle production across Zimbabwe, communities in Mbire District and government extension workers. The structure of the training manual is such that, the facilitator is provided with the procedure for planning and conducting sessions on beef cattle production and management. Experience from the field shows that there are a number of potential benefits for the people who use the process described in this training manual. For the grass root communities, the manual gives them the skills to articulate their opinions, to identify and prioritise their problems and needs and most importantly, to seek ways and means of solving their problems and provide for their needs with or without outside support. Thus, the participatory process recommended in this training manual is a way of sharpening the communities' skills and empowering them to face challenges posed by beef cattle production in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe. For the development worker and extension staff, the training manual reveals immense knowledge and experience that the grass root communities possess. Given the right attitude, skills and environment, development workers and extension staff quickly learn that there is knowledge at the grassroots, although of a different form and nature from what they are accustomed to. With participatory training, this community knowledge can be identified and integrated in any joint development effort to improve livelihoods of rural households. The process outlined in this training manual, if well applied, allows for participation and sharing of experiences through the use of diverse techniques. We hope the manual will make some contribution to rural livelihoods by strengthening beef cattle production and marketing activities and hence incomes.
Alex Mugova Programme Team Leader Practical Action Southern Africa
Practical Action, The Schumacher Centre, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ, UK T +44 (0)1926 634400 | F +44 (0)1926 634401 | E email@example.com | W www.practicalaction.org ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Practical Action is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. Company Reg. No. 871954, England | Reg. Charity No.247257 | VAT No. 880 9924 76 | Patron HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB
Beef cattle production and management
How to use the training manual
This training manual is for use during both training sessions and community meetings. The manual also provides a simple, easy to follow step-by step procedure to plan, conduct and analyis beef cattle production and management techniques with communities and also to design effective training sessions. The manual is illustrated with experiences gained from various beef cattle production efforts at grassroots level in Zimbabwe, and other African countries, such as Kenya. The training manual is only a guide, and staff who use it should see it as an inspiration to switch on their own creativity to develop and experiment with new and appropriate approaches for more fruitful participatory interactions with the various communities with whom they work with. And, the exercises and activities in the manual are not arranged in any sequence and they are adaptable to various situations in Mbire District. It may not be necessary to read the book from cover to cover, but it can be used as a guideline for specific activities.
Suggestions for using this manual
Beef Cattle Production and Management Training is normally conducted by a team of facilitators made up of subject matter specialists, extension staff and field workers, among other professionals. Development workers and extension staff who participate in provincial and district training teams can use this manual in two major ways. First, as a source as they conduct their trainings in the field, and second, as a training guide as they prepare others to plan and conduct beef cattle production and management training sessions. For those who have not been trained in participatory methodologies, it is advisable to arrange a brief orientation workshop in which principles and procedures in the manual can be learnt and practiced before applying them with a community group.
More than two thirds of Zimbabwe's total area of 389 000 m2 lie in semi-arid regions known as Natural Regions Three, Four and Five. These agro - ecological zones lie below 900m above sea level, and usually receive less than 600mm of rainfall per year. The main agricultural activity suited for these regions is livestock production. Crop production is too risky except for drought resistant small grains, cotton and guar beans. More than 80% of the 5000 rural households in Mbire District of the northern Zambezi Valley own cattle, goats and indigenous poultry from which they derive the following commodities: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Meat Milk Hides and Skins Manure Draught power Transport Income Socio - cultural aspects
Mbire District lies in agro-ecological Natural Region Four and receives less than 500mm of rainfall per annum and high temperatures of between 20 - 40 DC. Soils in Mbire are relatively unbleached, of high base status and have a moderate to high clay content. These soils have a very high agricultural potential but the main limitation is the aridity of the environment they occur. The district's semi - arid environment supports extensive woodlands of Cotophospernum Mopane (mopane)whose leaves have high protein content and high nutritive value for cattle and wildlife. The grasses that thrive in this area are highly palatable as implied by the generic name (sweet veld).
Beef cattle production and management
The major challenges these farmers face on beef cattle production; management and marketing are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Poor animal health Shortage of adequate grazing High livestock mortality rate (20% per year) Poor animal husbandry skills Weak support from public and private institutions 6. Poor access to markets 7. Uneconomic Iivestock prices To address these challenges, there was need to develop a beef cattle production and management training manual for smallholder farmers in Mbire. To develop a consensus-training manual, a participatory workshop that involved all categories of the community by gender and socio - economic status, was conducted at Mbire District Development Association at Mushumbi Pools in October 2006. The purpose of the workshop was to review the current beef cattle production and management practices and their short -comings and come out with ways of: Strengthening community - driven animal health management practices; Strengthening the capacity of animal health support institutions for the provision of more effective and sustainable support to the community, Improving animal nutrition using guar beans and cowpea stover during dry months of the year when grazing is scarce; and Finding the most effective ways of bringing together beef cattle producers and buyers to collaborate and buiId sustainable marketing systems.
Beef cattle production and management
The following information was collected from workshop participants who included smallholder farmer representatives from the 11 wards in the district, Agricultural Extension Officers, Veterinary Officers, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) operating in the district and the Mbire Rural District Council leadership. The information below was collected through dialogue, individuals and group presentations: Farmers' challenges to beef cattle production, management and marketing: 1. Lack of technical know - how on appropriate beef cattle management practices 2. Prevalence of diseases resulting in high mortality rates for cattle. Common diseases include: a) Trypanosomosis b) Redwater c) Blackleg d) Anthrax e) Anaplasmosis f) Bloat 3. Poor availability of dipping and handling facilities 4. Unavailability of veterinary services and medicines 5. Lack of markets 6. Burning of stover 7. Stock theft 8. Unavailability of pastures during the dry season (August November) 9. Lack of water 10. Poor beef cattle prices as buyers dictate prices 11. Counterfeit drugs finding their way into the community
Challenges facing support institutions: 1. Lack of transport for effective extension delivery and support 2. Poor adoption of innovation by farmers 3. Destruction of tsetse control equipment by some local people 4. Lack of in-service training due to unavailability of funds 5. Qualified personnel are not prepared to work in the Zambezi Valley due to geographical marginalisation and harsh weather conditions 6. High staff turn - over 7. Poor communication systems in place thereby delaying swift extension delivery 8. Very high farmer - agent ratio resulting in most farmers not getting extension support at all 9. Very low staff motivation resulting in reduced morale and poor service delivery 10. Lack of accommodation for staff due to the above, and other reasons.
Beef cattle production and management
Community-based interventions to ch allenges facing farmers
Challenges by priority 1. Lack of technical know-how 2. Prevalence of diseases Interventions Farmers to organise training workshops Farmers to face educational tours and shows To develop a community information centre Farmers to protect tsetse control equipment from theft and vandalism The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to prevent wild animals from grazing in cattle pastures Farmers to form disease control committees Research should be conducted in the use of traditional veterinary medicines Setting up of veld fire committees Practice conservation farming Encourage and keep stover Growing of leguminous trees Avoid destruction of bruise trees Develop supplementary feeds from local resources Organise markets for livestock and other relevant committees Farmers to create a marketing committee and a Commodity Association that link them to more demanding markets Establishment of a veterinary medicine outlet in the community Reduction of the size of herd appropriate to dip tank construction by authorities Farmers to create microfinance programmes to purchase veterinary chemicals Farmers to use carbaryl 85W on cattle to control ticks by using cup # 22 in a 15litre Knapsack sprayer Maintenance of boreholes through Community-Based Management (CBM) outlet in the community Drilling boreholes and wells Water harvesting
3. Shortage of grazing 5. Scarce dipping facilities 6. Lack of water
4. Poor markets
By Practical Action Southern Africa, the Department of Veterinary Services and The Department of Livestock Production and Development. , Published by Practical Action Southern Africa on 10/11/08
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