Friday, 9 August 2013

Collaborating for Cambodian cattle farmers

Cambodia is well placed to take advantage of the increased demand for beef that is currently outstripping supply in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The uptake of new technologies and practices will enable many smallholder farmers to move up a notch from being livestock ‘keepers’ to ‘producers’, to increase their incomes and improve their livelihoods.
Farmer with steer in forage trial (photo Luzia Rast)
Cattle are important to Cambodian smallholder farmers for providing draught power, manure for fertiliser, meat, and living assets. Traditionally, cattle have been fed for survival (not fattened) and have poor body condition, low reproductive rates and a susceptibility to diseases. Times are changing though.

Forage cutting demonstration
(photo peter Windsor)
Three collaborative projects in Cambodia (and partly in Lao PDR) between 2007 and 2012 focused on ways to improve the productivity and profitability of cattle for these smallholder farmers. The Australian-Cambodian research covered various aspects of cattle health and husbandry, improved feeding systems, and the spread of trans-boundary diseases through livestock movements.

A workshop was held in Phnom Penh in June last year to share the research findings. The workshop report, along with updates from the last 12 months’ research, has now been published as “Cattle health, production and trade in Cambodia” and is available online or in hard copy.

More information
Workshop proceedings: Cattle health, production and trade in Cambodia

ACIAR projects:
AH/2003/008 Improved feeding systems for more efficient beef cattle production in Cambodia
AH/2005/086 Best practice health and husbandry of cattle, Cambodia
AH/2006/025 Understanding livestock movement and the risk of spread of transboundary animal diseases

ACIAR's medium-term research strategy for Cambodia

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