Adoption of feed production using manual machines in Yemen

With funding from AFESD and IFAD, ICARDA feed block technology offers a practical and cost-effective solution to feed shortages and low livestock productivity.

Agriculture is a major sector of the national economy of Yemen, where livestock is estimated to contribute about 20% to agricultural GDP. Water scarcity and feed shortage can limit livestock production, however, so ICARDA and NARES in Yemen have collaborated to promote feed block technology. A cost-efficient method to take agricultural by-products and crop residue to make feed blocks, they are easily made with basic training and can be done by family farm labor.

Feed blocks made in this manner conserve water resources because they reduce crop waste, provide a balanced diet for the animals which can be further supplemented by added nutrients if necessary, and have a long shelf-life, which is useful in case of extended famine or other adverse conditions. Another advantage is that the machine developed for this project is simple compared to its electric expensive counterparts. The basic feed block machine can therefore be created and distributed locally. 

Because of Yemen’s civil war, training has taken place in Qatar and in Oman, so that the technology can be taught and disseminated in Yemen’s rural areas. Those farmers already reached by the project have given positive feedback on the technology, particularly since it supplies a ready source of food for their ruminants and other livestock in a time of crisis.