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Three week field demonstration for selected livestock farmers in Tamale rural ended

The concluding part of the demonstration of a technology for livestock feeding during the dry season has been held for livestock farmers in six communities of the Tamale Metropolitan area. The demonstration which took three weeks long begun on Tuesday, 1st December 2020 at Ticheli Community by the Department of Agriculture in the Tamale Metro.

Head of the Animal Production Unit at the Department of Agriculture in Tamale Metro, Alhaj Yussif Fuseini Amuda who lead the demonstration as part of their annual work plan gave an overview on the rationale of the new technology for livestock rearing saying it was a cost-effective way of managing animal feed during the dry season.

He said instead of buying maize chaff to feed livestock during the dry season, farmers can rely on this technology which is a worldwide practice to assist them in feeding their livestock to remain healthy until the rainy season when other feeding options such as grass is available.

In his address to the farmers, Alhaj Amuda said, “We have realized that when we harvest our rice from the farm, don’t we usually leave the straw behind? And allow bush fires to burn them? Right? And when we reach home, we look for corn husks to feed our animals. But we are telling you that we can use the rice straw to feed the animals. And what we are to do to ensure it is ready for their consumption is what we are to demonstrate here for you.  We are going to prepare it by adding a few things to it in order for it to be consumed by the animals. It is however, not good for all animals. It is for only ruminants such as sheep, goats and cattle because those animals have four chamber stomachs. It is not good for animals such as pigs.  Pigs will die when they consume it but for the ruminants it is very nutritious for them. Some enzymes in their stomachs will assist its digestion and they will grow fat when they take it…”

Also present at the conclusion of the demonstration were farmers from Ticheli, the host community, Gukpegu-tua, Gbabshe, Nanton Zuo, Wamale and Chanzeni. About 20 farmers attended the ceremony from these communities.

Some of the farmers watch on as the rice straw is being chopped

The Agricultural Extension Agent with the Department of Agriculture in the Tamale Metro in charge of the Vittin catchment area, Mr. Ziblim Mohammed implored the participating communities to adopt the technology. He said he will visit these communities to assist farmers that may be confronted with challenges in its adoption.

Some of the beneficiary farmers who spoke to Diamond News expressed their appreciation to the Tamale Metro Department of Agriculture for the demonstration and indicated their willingness to adopt it. They said, they usually struggled to feed their animals during the dry season, but this technology will ease that burden.

The farmers said, “Truly speaking, we started the demonstration three weeks ago, when we dug it out today, it has changed colour and giving them to the animals too, we have seen that they like it. We are grateful for this technology; it will assist us in feeding our animals. Since we have been given this idea, I think it is a touch each of us has lit to take to our communities to assist us feed our animals. The benefits that go with it are enormous. So we are glad to have learnt this. The good thing for me is that we used to burn our rice straw on the farm for it to waste away and our animals suffer for feed at home but now that we know we can use it to feed the animals, it’s a great idea. We are happy to be taught this technology. This demonstration is actually an eye opener for me even though the animals are slow in eating it, I am sure they will like it and it is a cost effective way of feeding them. We are grateful to the department of agriculture and their staff for this gesture…”

When the prepared rice straw was served to sheep during the demonstration, they eagerly consumed it.

Sheep eating the prepared rice straw at Ticheli Community

The start of the demonstration three weeks ago involved the digging of a pit and urea was mixed in about 10litres of water sprinkled on two sacks full of rice straw and buried in the pit.

Similar concluding demonstration exercises of the same technology will take place at Jonshegu on Tuesday and Dufaa on Wednesday for livestock farmers in communities in those clusters.

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