Book Chapters

Envisioning more effective delivery of custom feeding programs using participatory approaches: Lessons from Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

In South Africa, livelihoods of smallholder cattle farmers are constrained by a lack of appropriate production knowledge, climate change, inadequate support services, societal inequity, irrelevant pro-poor policies and inappropriate delivery of improved livestock technologies. A transdisciplinary team of local and international researchers conducted a workshop to explore opportunities and constraints to the delivery of a beef cattle custom feeding programme in Eastern Cape Province using participatory approaches, including visioning exercises. The main challenges to the cattle custom feeding programme reported by producers included lack of cattle production skills, lack of technical knowledge on feed production, limited funding and inconsistent cattle feed delivery. Participants envisioned a portfolio of locally based solutions that included prioritization of local feed production, identification of sustainable support networks, establishment of a communal herd to cover feeding centre’s overhead costs and creation of a knowledge exchange platform for farmers. In addition, participants attempted to strengthen knowledge transfer among stakeholders through the development of an online site for knowledge exchange. Overall, the participatory approaches adopted empowered participants to freely express their opinions and openly share knowledge and experiences regarding common challenges and opportunities associated with delivery of a beef cattle custom feeding programme.


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