Livestock Systems

Forages - taking stock and identifying research needs

Forages Cambodia
Project code
AUD 250,000
Research program manager
Dr Anna Okello
Project leader
Dr Lava Yadav, University of Queensland
Commissioned organisation
The University of Queensland
JUN 2019
DEC 2020
Project status
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This project aimed to identify critical factors that  promote or impede demand-driven uptake of forages by smallholders involved in cattle production to provide ACIAR and country governments recommendations for future investments in forage research and development. 

ACIAR has supported livestock research programs in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam to develop more productive, profitable and sustainable livestock systems over many years. A focus on smallholder producers has led to the awareness of specific constraints in the development of this sector resulting in the promotion of forage development as a crucial component of livestock development programs.

The potential of forages has been widely recognised and forage development is now included as a component of almost every livestock development project in the region. However, despite encouraging results, the uptake and spread of forages has been slow. There are numerous examples where some farmers have developed profitable forage-based cattle fattening systems in a project context. These farmers generally continued the practices after the end of projects but there has been limited spread to other farmers without support by a livestock project or government program. There are also many examples where many farmers have adopted small areas of forages as part of livestock projects. These small forage areas have led to considerable time savings for farmers, which are highly appreciated, but only few farmers have then developed this new feed source further into an income-generating farm enterprise.

This project assessed the status of forage development and identify critical factors that inhibit demand-driven uptake of forages. This is with a view to providing guidance for future forage development and assessing how research can contribute to unlocking the potential of forages. 

Project outcomes

  • Identified critical factors contributing to the success and failure of forage development programs in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam. 
  • Systemised identified critical factors of success in a conceptual framework and refined this framework through selected case studies to provide decision support for future forage R&D investments. 
  • Formulated, verified and communicated strategies for effective forage R&D to ACIAR, partner governments, and the wider livestock R&D community. 
Key partners
Warrawilla Pty Ltd