The actors of the Dairy Innovation Platform (PIL) of Léo were at the school of the valorization of crop residues/ picks and forages in the feeding of dairy cows. Under the chairmanship of the Provincial Director of Agriculture, Animal Resources and Fisheries in the province of Sissili in Burkina Faso, the event was held from 10 to 15 October 2023.

The main objective of the training was to strengthen the capacities of the actors involved in milk production in terms of good practices to valorize crop residues, fruit from gathering and fodder. More than 200 participants took part in this initiative, which was held in three separate sessions in Yallé, To, and Léo, given the geographical dispersion of the participants.

Organized by the Regional Centre of Excellence in Fruit and Vegetables, as part of the activities of the Agricultural Technologies and Innovations Program for the Enhancement of the Resilience of Production Systems and Family Farms in West and Central Africa (TARSPro), this training was led by experts in Zootechnics of the Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA).

The training modules covered various aspects, such as inventory of crop residues and locally available fodder, methods of production and conditioning of residues, and good rationing practices for dairy cows. Participants gained theoretical knowledge on the diversity and quality of tailings, valorization technologies, and best practices for leveraging local resources.

Thus, through theoretical sessions, learners have strengthened their capacity in a range of fields. Diversity and quality of crop residues and locally available forages, the main technologies for valorization of crop residues and forages, good rationing practices as the best means of valorizing crop residues and locally available fodder are the knowledge acquired by the latter.

To complete the theoretical part, practical work was organized, allowing learners to put into practice the different methods of conditioning and combination to obtain balanced, profitable and environmentally friendly rations..

An initiative to improve conditions for livestock producers

The participants in these different training sessions are mostly farmers, practicing dairy production. Indeed, even if the livestock sub-sector contributes significantly to the fight against poverty, unemployment, food insecurity and the improvement of crop production, It must be recognised that it still faces difficulties which limit its full development. These challenges include the low availability of animal feed and the high cost of food inputs. At the same time, the low technicality of farmers on good food use practices compromises good production performance.

These sessions seem like a breath of fresh air for the participants who leave delighted to be able to make their own multi-nutritional blocks and process straw with urea. Anything that is in line with one of the objectives of the TARSPro program, which is to sustainably meet the demand for family farm know-how.

As a reminder, the TARSPro project, implemented by CORAF and funded by the Swiss Cooperation over a period of 4 years, foresees a better deployment of cutting-edge technologies and innovations (T&I).