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Integrating herbaceous forage legumes into crop and livestock systems in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

This project aims to establish the value proposition for integrating forage legumes in small-holder crop and livestock systems in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
Previous ACIAR work identified that integrating tropical forage legumes into eastern Indonesian cereal-cropping systems could help overcome constraints to animal and crop production.
This follow-on project aims to optimise forage legume productivity in these systems, and determine legumes' potential contribution to the nitrogen supply of subsequent cereal crops.
East Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur) is one of Indonesia's poorest provinces. Rural smallholders often suffer food insecurity. Intensification of beef production could generate more income but unreliable and low quality feed sources limit beef cattle productivity systems, particularly during the dry season. Yields of staple cereal crops (maize and rice) are low due to poor crop nutrition. Integration of forage legumes into farming systems could improve nitrogen supply and yields of staple cereal crops (maize and rice) and nutrition of ruminant livestock production during the dry season.
This project will quantify the benefits of feeding forage legumes to livestock, particularly to calf survival, cow nutrition and beef finishing. Research will also investigate legume seed production. It will also build the capacity of scientists, extension workers, policy makers and farmers and traders.
The outcome will be improved knowledge and skills that could contribute to improved crop and livestock productivity, flowing through to improved livelihoods, economic status and food security.