Cultivation of fodder and grasses

Cultivation of fodder crops on marginal lands and terrace risers

Fodder plays a major role in the crop-livestock-manure-soil nutrient cycle on farms in the middle mountains of the Himalayas. Livestock convert fodder shrubs and grasses from the forest, crop residues, and other fodder into manure through digestion. However, in the middle hills of Nepal the lack of availability of good quality fodder often limits not only, the productivity of livestock, but also reduces the nitrogen content of animal dung if, for example, only cereal crop residues, are fed to the animals.

In earlier times, livestock were left to graze in the forests and on community lands. The animals sought out their own food and were only assembled for milking and to protect them from wild animals. With the introduction of stall-feeding, the demand for fodder has increased greatly with a subsequent large increase in women’s workload as it is they who are responsible for collecting the fodder.

WOCAT database reference: QT NEP23

Location: Nepal midhills

SWC measure: Vegetative

Land use: Annual cropping on rainfed agricultural land

Climate: Humid subtropical Related approach: Farmer-to-farmer diffusion (QA NEP1), Farmer-led experimentation (QA NEP3), Farmer field school on integrated plant nutrient systems (QA NEP4)

Compiled by: SSMP

Date: January 2007

dark green: previous working districts;
light green: districts in 2007