Bajaur farmers excel in silage production

Initiative promises to bolster their finances, empower them to profit from selling surplus produce in the market

HANIFULLAH October 03, 2023
It was also mentioned in the proposal that the rice growers must be given incentives - as provided by Thailand, Vietnam and India - to its rice growers and exporters. PHOTO: FILE


Local farmers in the Bajaur tribal district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) have embarked on a journey toward self-sufficiency in livestock feed production, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the agriculture department.

This initiative promises not only to bolster their finances but also to empower them to profit from selling surplus produce in the market.

The focal point of this transformation is silage, a nutrient-rich fodder produced from maize crops, which have long thrived in the district. Previously, farmers had to source silage from the distant Punjab market, incurring additional expenses and logistical challenges. However, the winds of change have blown in their favor.

Typically crafted during the summer months, silage serves as a vital winter animal feed. Its value is manifold, as it offers farmers a means of preserving excess maize while ensuring their livestock receive the nutrition they need during colder seasons.

While talking to The Express Tribune, one local farmer shared, “Silage is available on the open market for Rs26 per kilogram, but if it is produced locally by the farmers, its cost plummets to a mere 12 to 16 rupees per kilogram, and the quality is superior.”

This transformative shift began with the training of six dedicated farmers, who took the reins of silage production. This year alone, they collectively manufactured approximately 250 tons of fodder, marking a significant leap towards self-sufficiency. Their success story is part of the broader “Integrated Livestock Development in Merged Areas” project, initiated by the Livestock Department.

The project’s goal is to assist farmers in raising at least five cattle while equipping them with the knowledge and skills to produce their silage. This ensures that they have access to affordable animal feed throughout the year. Importantly, it enables farmers to provide their livestock with nourishment even during the harsh winter months.

In the initial phase, dairy farmers were encouraged to purchase silage from the open market due to its superior nutritional value compared to traditional dry hay.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2023.


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