Prosopis as Animal feed
Community-based Fodder Production in Western Eritrea
To meet the main concern of pastoralists in Eritrea - the serious shortage of fodder resources - PENHA in collaboration with the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS) conducted a training in Tesseney town on alternative fodder production using crop residues and Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), a widely available and invasive plant species. The programme took place in two cycles - 2007 to 2008 and then from the middle of 2009 to the middle of 2011. The geographical area was the western lowlands of Eritrea - Shambuko, Geluj, Forto-Sawa. It was done in conjunction with the PENHA programme in Kassala State, Sudan - just across the border. The programme was funded by Oxfam Novib from the Netherlands. The two training rounds were attended by a total of 29 pastoralist including 9 female (most of which attended both training rounds) as well as 9 representatives of local organisations and the regional branch of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The training included both theory and practice using both Sudanese and local Eritrean expertise.
An internal evaluation was been carried out on the training in October 2009 and, as well as being made available to the donor (Oxfam Novib), was used in the preparation of the 2nd. cycle of the programme. The next stage in the programme (2nd cycle) included the expansion of the fodder training and take the findings of the evaluation of the 1st. cycle programme into account. The new cycle will focus on local sustainability of the training by conducting the training in the new Pastoralist Centre in Geluj (a PENHA initiative funded by ICCO) and by fully equipping the centre for future training sessions. A key aspect will be that former trainees who take the initiative in setting up village-based trainings will be given the full support of PENHA and NUEYS. In this way, there will be an effective replication of the knowledge and skills which will continue after the end of the programme.