The Feasibility Of Integration Of Livestock Production In Irrigated Agriculture In Sudan (Case Study: The Gezira Scheme)

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Ali, Raga Mohamed Elzaki
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This study was conducted in the Gezira irrigated Scheme in season 2001/2002. The study aims to identify the current livestock production situation in the Scheme and to investigate the feasibility of livestock production integrating within the current crop rotation. The analysis was based on primary data which was generated through a comprehensive field survey. To achieve the objectives of the study a combination of analytical tools and models was employed. A linear programming model was constructed to evaluate the current production system in the Scheme. The objective function in the basic model was to maximize farm gross margin. A number of scenarios and sensitivity analysis were conducted a round the basic solution. The results of data analysis showed that: A) Physical constraints of production - Livestock production was constrained by poor management, inadequate research, extension and veterinary services. - Actually, fodder was not cultivated in the sampled area, inspite the claim that it has been introduce in the rotation. The main constraints facing livestock/crop interaction are the unclear and contradicting policy of Gezira Scheme management and the conflict between the animal keepers and crop farmers. -The majority of surveyed tenants owned animals, but feed provision was insufficient. The crop residues which are fed to livestock have a low nutritional value, while shortages of feed between May and August are dominant. B) Costs and income -Labour costs of cotton and groundnut comprised about fifty percent of the total costs, and the financial gap was detected for most crops grown. - The gross margin of tomatoes and cotton production were high compared with other crops. - The farms with animals can generate income all-over the year. The integration of fodder in the rotation will increase farm income and provide animal feed and hence increases milk production. C) Milk production and consumption - Milk production and consumption in the sampled area were relatively low. The poor feeding conditions were conceived as the major factor affecting milk yield. - Milk production and consumption are mainly affected by family size, age, farm experiences, level of education and off-farm employment, with less effects of the tenancy size, while milk production is gender independent. The linear programming results showed that: - In all model runs for introducing fodder in the rotation the farm returns increase, indicating that fodder cultivation was profitable. - Tomatoes, sorghum and cotton production under the present system and suggested changes in the available resources were profitable, compared with wheat, groundnut or onions. In the production plan the return is higher than the present situation by 23.6%. The main recommendations of this study were: - Efforts should be made by appropriate government institutions to sensitize livestock integration in all irrigated Scheme in Sudan. - Improvement of extension and veterinary services are important. - Fodder should be incorporated into the farms of those tenants who have dairy animals. - The cropping pattern should be determined by the tenants themselves and not by the Gezira Scheme. - Under the given economic conditions the following cropping structure can recommended a combination of two feddans of cotton, 12 feddans of sorghum, 2.5 feddans of groundnut/vegetables and 3.5 feddans of fodder.
February 2005
149 page
Gezira Scheme