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Farmers trained on feed reserve

Simione Haravanua
Saturday, February 03, 2018

LIVESTOCK farmers and agriculture stakeholders were recently trained on silage production as a feed reserve for livestock.

The silage production training was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture at its Koronivia Research Station.

This was conducted particularly for key agriculture stakeholders and smallholder farmers who practise livestock farming.

Speaking at the training, the Ministry of Agriculture's director Animal Health and Production, Tomasi Tunabuna, said silage was forage conserved with other agricultural byproducts that were preserved through anaerobic fermentation in airtight enclosures and had been practised in Fiji before.

"This can improve the quality of our production and it can be preserved for future use," he said.

"It is not a new terminology because it was introduced in Fiji in the past.

"The reason we're doing this is simply to help the farmers adapt to silage production," he said

Mr Tunabuna said most livestock farms in Fiji were pasture-based and the seasonality of growth of pastures affected continuity of available feed to livestock.

"Our farmers usually face difficulty in maintaining pasture during the dry season and this silage can be used as a supplementary feed for livestock during these times," he said.

"The process of making silage is called ensiling and during the process of fermentation, lactic acid is produced, reducing the pH of the ensiled forage and preventing decomposition."

Farmers who participated at the silage production were urged to be prepared and build up feed reserve during periods of food deficiency.

Farmers have been urged to prepare silage on their farms for their livestock because it is helpful during natural disasters and during times when farms run short of feed.

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