RAISING livestock in the rural communities of Solomon Islands is demanding and costly.
Farmers have to dig deep in their pockets if they are to ensure animals feed on the right nutritional food that gives healthy growth and meat quality.
It is even challenging because farmers struggled to farm the land for both human consumption, income and for animal feed, under stressful conditions brought about by destructive human activities as well as the impacts of Global Warming and Climate Change.
To help address this, the PNG/NARI – EU ARD Project in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) introduces a new technology for formulating concentrated livestock feed.
It is created to mitigate high cost of livestock feed to support vulnerable smallholder farmers in its project sites in Honiara, Aruligo on Guadalacanal, and Buma in Malaita Province.
The new technology is now on trial with lead farmers who have been working with the project in Honiara, Aruligo and Buma.
Eria Kabuwere, a livestock farmer at White River in Honiara is pleased to be engaged by the NARI – EU ARD Project for the feed trials.
“Understanding the right amount of feed and nutrients to use for the different categories of pig and chicken is very important.”
The technology is a template for creating new formulas on how to make concentrated feed for Piggery, goats, broiler and layer chickens, and village chickens by using locally available feed ingredients such as mill run, copra mill, fish mill, palm kernel mill, cassava and sweet potato to name a few.
Unlike the current practice where farmers use mostly commercial feeds Mr Kabuwere said, the new technique is cheaper and affordable.
“From my experience, I am convinced this new way of feed formulation takes away a lot of cost because it involves feed materials that are available locally,” he said.
“As a result farmers can make good profit and afford an improved way of living.
“I believe the trials will be positive,” Kabuwere said.
“The formulated formulas at this stage are tested out as research activities,” explained Jules Damutalau, the country’s Project Coordinator.
He added project officers will follow up with the lead farmers to collect data and see if it is successful before it could be recommended for public use.