Sustainable intensification of smallholder farming in central Mozambique: Benefits from better integration of crops and livestock uri icon

abstract

  • The Government of Mozambique gives particular importance to strategies for sustainableintensification of agriculture in the smallholder-farming sector, accounting for more than95% of the total agricultural land. Better integration of crops and livestock is key to sustainingvital smallholder farming, rewarding higher agricultural production and improving the overallwellbeing of smallholder farms, especially in provinces like Tete and Manica, with high potentialfor crops and livestock.Farmers with animal draft power can cultivate larger parts of their land in time and are therebyable to also produce more feed, critical for improving animal performance. Better-managedand fed animals reproduce more, provide better draft services and avail manure as importantsource of locally available organic fertilizer. Farmers thereby increase production at reducedcosts and risk, overall farm net returns increase more than through single technologies.These benefits can be harvested over large areas, and with different agro-ecological potential.Farmers with cattle cultivated more land than those without cattle: in Dororo, Manica province,with high agro-ecological potential, 4.4 ha as compared to 2.9 ha cropland; in drought proneMarara, Tete province, 3.1 ha of as compared to 2.1 ha. On average farmers with cattle made20% higher cereal yields in Dororo, and 30% higher cereal yields in Marara. Yet 52% and 45 % ofthe households don?t have cattle in Dororo and Marara respectively.This leaflet illustrates the benefits from better integration of crops and livestock. We describeforage production and draft power animal management as two complementary technologiescritical for sustainable intensification of smallholder farms, demonstrated in the MOREPproject. These technologies are useful for farmers in similar environments like in Tete andManica provinces

publication date

  • 2015