We have been introducing a series of Technical Advisory Notes arising from the IFAD-funded Fodder Adoption Project on this blog. The last of these describes implementation of the project in Syria. Dr Asamoah Larbi (ex of the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas; ICARDA) writes:
“Feed scarcity prevents small-scale sheep and goat keepers in Syria from taking advantage of the growing market for livestock products to improve their livelihoods, build assets and escape poverty. This is due to poor access to information, credit, appropriate technologies; lack of enabling policies and institutions; and a weak extension system, input delivery services and fodder innovation capacity. The Syrian component of the IFAD-funded Fodder Adoption Project was implemented from 2007 to 2011 by ICARDA, community-based organizations (CBOs), and public and private sector partners to address the constraints. The overall objective of the project was to enhance livelihoods of poor livestock keepers through increased use of fodder.
Activities were implemented at three learning sites – El-Bab, (Aleppo province), Salamieh (Hama province) and Tal-Amri (Homs province). A network of partners led by ICARDA, including the Extension Directorate (ED) and Animal Wealth Resource Administration (AWRA) of the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (MAAR), Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKF), and farmers’ groups ran the activities at each site.
In terms of impacts, innovation capacity of the networks was strengthened through training, and joint learning by cross-site visits and field days. Informal seed systems were promoted to increase quality forage seed supply and farmer-to-farmer seed exchange. Farmers, research and development partners were trained in fodder and forage seed production and management of small ruminants. Appropriate fodder/forage seed production and feeding packages for small-scale lamb fattening and milk production were disseminated to more than 500 households, resulting in increased household forage production, and outputs of milk and meat and incomes.”