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Cattle Fodder processing [Uganda]

Ebinyasi bye ente

technologies_3367 - Uganda

Completeness: 90%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

land user:

Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Scaling-up SLM practices by smallholder farmers (IFAD)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) - Uganda

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?


1.5 Reference to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Approaches

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Elephant grass (Pennisteum purpureum) and calliandra (Calliandra haematocephala) are harvested and chopped using a chaff cutter to form chaff fodder. The chaff is then mixed with, cotton seed cake, molasses and maize bran to improve palatability and nutrient quality for dairy cattle. The cattle is left free to graze in the paddocks during the day and are supplemented with the chaffed fodder during milking at dusk.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Fodder for livestock is made by mixing Chaff of calliandra (Calliandra haematocephala ), elephant grass (Pennisteum purpureum), spent grains, cotton seed cake and molasses to improve palatability. The pastures are grown on a 10 acre plantation where they are harvested on routine twice a week for processing into chaff. For Calliandra leaves are harvested while elephant grass is cut at ground level and transported to the chaff shade with a tractor. At its best the chaff is evenly cut, free of dust, of good color and with a fresh aroma for cattle. The cut chaff is 6-10mm diameter pieces which allow for easy mixing with supplements. The chaff may also be from a variety of less palatable compound grasses and shrubs to which supplements are added to improve palatability. Chaff in Uganda can be purchased from commercial chaff cutting mills or produced on farm.

The farmer in Bushenyi Kyamuhunga acquired the technology from a trade show. Today, the farmer processes fodder for his 50 dairy cattle under semi intensive grazing system. The cattle are allowed to graze for 8 hours daily in the paddocks. The grazing land is about 50acres divided into 8 paddocks, where cows graze in each paddock under a one week rotation grazing system. Every evening the cows are supplemented with the processed fodder at the milking parlor. The pasture fields are established at successive intervals to allow for availability of mature pastures suitable for fodder processing throughout most of the year. The fodder processing procedure includes:
i) Cutting mature pastures at ground level and collecting the grass/ fodder from the fields,
ii) Transportation of fodder from the field to the fodder shade shelter using a tractor carrier.
iii) Offloading and sorting of pastures/ fodder into different classes of similar diameter and lengths for easy handling during chaffing.
iv) Chopping of pastures/ fodder into small units of 6-10mm using the electric chaff cutter
v) Mixing pastures/ fodder with; cotton seed cake, molasses and maize bran at a ratio of 1:2:1:4 respectively to improve the palatability and nutrient quality of the chaffed fodder.
vi). Putting the processed fodder into feed troughs for cattle to feed on during milking.

Processing enough pastures into chaff for cattle feeding is described by the farmer to be a relatively expensive process that requires intensive labor and pastures. The key expenses in establishing the system include costs of buying fodder if not readily available on the farm, purchasing a chaff cutter and buying supplements. The farmer requires 0.5tonnes of chaffed fodder mixed with supplements to feed 50 dairy cows on a daily basis. This costs the farmer monthly management labor worth Ugshs 250,000/-. The farmer grows the pastures required on the farm; on a monthly basis the fodder is valued at Ugshs 1,500,000/-, the supplements added cost Ugshs 2,500,000/-. The farmer owns an electric chaff cutter purchased at 2,500,000/-, the monthly electricity charges are 72,000/- with maintenance costs of 20,000/- for the equipment used. The farmer uses a tractor for transporting fodder at a monthly rate of Ugshs 1,500,000/- covering fuel, labour and hire charges.

The fodder chaffed into small sizes easily mixes with supplements to make a well nutrient balanced ration. This is palatable and encourages cattle to eat more, with less chances of selecting particular parts of the ration, hence minimizing wastage. The processed fodder is easy to store in bags and can be placed on wooden panels raised off ground in a cool store. The small pieces of fodder are suited for the raised basin like feed troughs, where by the cattle can’t spill the fodder on the floor hence minimizing wastage. The farmer noted that the chaffed fodder can further be processed into hay or silage for storage to be fed to cattle during the seasons of pasture scarcity especially the long dry seasons of early June to late August and early December to late February. The system enables the farmer graze at more animals on a smaller space and supplement the animals with processed fodder every evening hence more production per unit area.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.4 Videos of the Technology




Uganda, Bushenyi District, Kyamuhunga sub county

Name of videographer:

Aine Amon

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:

Uganda, Western Region

Further specification of location:

Bushenyi District, Kyamuhunga sub county

2.6 Date of implementation

Indicate year of implementation:


If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • during experiments/ research
Comments (type of project, etc.):

chopping pastures for silage making

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce risk of disasters
  • adapt to climate change/ extremes and its impacts
  • create beneficial economic impact

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Grazing land

Grazing land

Intensive grazing/ fodder production:
  • Cut-and-carry/ zero grazing
  • Improved pastures

The farmer has a 400 acres of land under cattle grazing, tea growing, pasture growing and fish farming.

3.3 Further information about land use

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • mixed rainfed-irrigated

In the dry season the farmer irrigates with water from the valley

Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2
Livestock density (if relevant):

50 cows/64 acres including the 4 Acres where the milking parlor, fodder shade and stores are established

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • pastoralism and grazing land management
  • integrated crop-livestock management
  • improved plant varieties/ animal breeds

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 0.1-1 km2

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

other measures

other measures


The process is for making high quality pasture suplements for cattle.

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

physical soil deterioration

physical soil deterioration

  • Pc: compaction
  • Pu: loss of bio-productive function due to other activities
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
  • Bh: loss of habitats



Increased productivity per soil unit.

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation
  • adapt to land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

The key requirements for the system are the fodder shade, chaff cutter and sources of pastures. The fodder shade is constructed close to the milking parlor to ease delivery of feeds into the feeding roughs. The chaff shade is made at dimensions of 3×6×6m (h×l×w) with a slating roof at about 30 degrees slant for easy flow of water off the roof. A store of 2×2×2m (l×w×h) for the chaff cutter and other equipment is constructed in one of the corners of the shade. Apart from the store corner, all other walls are constructed up to 1 meter height off ground leaving 2m open spaces from the roof.

4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology area
other/ national currency (specify):

Uganda shillings

Indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (if relevant): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Clearing and Preparation of the garden Management Best done at the end of the dry season
2. Planting of the desired improved pastures for fodder Management At the start of the rain season
3. Construction of the fodder shelter and store Management Before the pastures are mature enough to start harvesting
4. Purchase and establishment of the chaff cutter Management After establishment of the fodder shelter and store

4.5 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labor man day 12.0 10000.0 120000.0
Equipment Hoe Pieces 2.0 15000.0 30000.0
Equipment Panga Pieces 1.0 5000.0 5000.0
Equipment Hammer pieces 1.0 5000.0 5000.0
Equipment wheel burrow Pieces 1.0 5000.0 5000.0
Equipment Tractor hire Hours 10.0 50000.0 500000.0
Construction material Metal rods Pieces 4.0 20000.0 80000.0
Construction material Cement 50kg bags 20.0 29000.0 580000.0
Construction material Sand Tonnes 2.5 70000.0 175000.0
Construction material Bricks Pieces 10000.0 150.0 1500000.0
Construction material Timber Pieces 20.0 5000.0 100000.0
Construction material Iron sheets Sheets 24.0 42000.0 1008000.0
Construction material Gravel Trips 1.0 75000.0 75000.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 4183000.0

Bio gas solutions Uganda funded 10% ie establishment of mixing chamber for biogas which works as the mixing chamber for the irrigation fertilizer technology.

4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Type of measure Timing/ frequency
1. Cutting and collecting of mature pastures to one point in the fields Management In the morning after dew reduces in the grasses
2. Transportation of pastures to the fodder shade Management After cutting
3. Offloading and sorting of pastures at the fodder shade Management
4. Chopping of pastures into small units using the electric chaff cutter Management
5. Mixing pastures the chaff with supplements Management When the pastures are well chopped
6. Feeding the processed fodder into feed troughs Management 30 minutes to milking time at dusk

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labor Men/monthly 4.0 10000.0 40000.0 100.0
Equipment Panga
Other Pastures tonnes 0.5 100000.0 50000.0
Other Maize bran tonnes 0.0625 88000.0 5500.0
Other Molases tonnes 0.13 173000.0 22490.0
Other Cotton seed cake tonnes 0.0625 88000.0 5500.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 123490.0

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Establishing the fodder shade, purchasing the chaff cutter and purchasing pastures for daily input

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

March to May and Sept to Nov

Agro-climatic zone
  • humid

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

poor drinking water (treatment required)

Is water salinity a problem?


Is flooding of the area occurring?


5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium
Habitat diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • commercial/ market
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • very rich
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • mechanized/ motorized
  • men
Age of land users:
  • elderly

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • large-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • individual

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


fodder production


fodder quality

Comments/ specify:

Supplements are added to chaffed fodder

animal production

Comments/ specify:

The grazing cows are supplemented with fodder in the evinning

risk of production failure

Comments/ specify:

Better quality and quantity pastures available for feeding livestock

Income and costs

expenses on agricultural inputs


farm income

Comments/ specify:

Increased milk production per cow


Comments/ specify:

Need to grow pastures and process them into chaffed supplemented fodder

Ecological impacts

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

Vegetation cover


biomass/ above ground C

Comments/ specify:

Cut and curry systems drain fields of nutrients in contrast to residue retention

beneficial species

Comments/ specify:

caliandra (haematocephalaare spp) and elephant (pennisteum purpureum) pasture grasses

Climate and disaster risk reduction

drought impacts

Comments/ specify:

Possible to supplement livestock with chaff if further processed into hay for storage

emission of carbon and greenhouse gases

Comments/ specify:

Pastures grown are carbon sinks

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

downstream siltation

Comments/ specify:

The pastures act as cover crops to regulate run off

damage on neighbours' fields

Comments/ specify:

Cattle have enough feeds and escape to neighbors fields

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature decrease not well
seasonal temperature dry season increase moderately
annual rainfall decrease well
seasonal rainfall wet/ rainy season decrease well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought not well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
landslide well
Biological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
epidemic diseases not well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:


How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 1-10%
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):


Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many have did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 90-100%

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?


6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
The animals feed in the paddocks during the day and are supplemented with more palatable fodder at the milking parlor, to increase their satisifaction.
The nutrient quality of the fodder is supplemented to make a more balanced ration for the animals.
Under the semi intensive farming system, more animals can be reared per unit area in contrast to only paddock system.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The farmer can further process the pastures into hay or silage for storage.
The animals are not so much affected by pasture scarcities.
There is chance to irrigate the pastures to cope with the long dry seasons.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Expensive to maintain. Production of enough pastures at ago and storing them for use in the next few days.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Need for labor to process the pastures. Further Mechanization of the process.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys


  • interviews with land users


Links and modules

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