Improvement of animal farmers livelhood in Palestine by utilization of silage from different by products

Place: palestine, Asia
Sustainable development of small rural communities Sustainable development of small rural communities
Total Budget: € 80.000,00 | Period: From January 2012 To


The main objective of Silage technique was to increase farm production and decrease feed input cost which form more than 70% of the total cost. These field days were designed to equip the farmers with both theoretical and practical aspects of silage making and the effect of feeding on ruminant milk quality. Silage was made from crop residues, date leaves, and corn crop residues by using both barrel and trench method in Beit Hassn. The main goal of the trail was to study the effect of feeding silage on sheep milk quantity and quality. Milk samples were analyzed for fat, protein, minerals, lactose and not solid fat percentage. Data were analyzed using SPSS 16 for windows. Farmers should replace roughage with silage by 50% in lactating Assaf ewes. More feed trails are needed to study the effect of replacing part of concentrate and roughage with sufficient amount of silage.


Japan International Cooperation Agency - Palestine

Lead applicant

In July 2006, the government of Japan proposed “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” as a mid-long term initiative toward co-existence and co-prosperity between Israel and Palestine. For peace in the two entities, this initiative depends on effectuating the two-state solutions, and to establish a viable Palestinian state by sustainable development of Palestinian economy, this initiative aims at trust-building between the neighboring countries through regional cooperation among Palestine, Israel and Jordan, while strengthening Palestine's socioeconomic base. To achieve the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity concept, JICA is conducting technical cooperation to develop agricultural sector and promote sustainable tourism, as well as technical cooperation and financial assistance for infrastructure to construct Jericho Agro-Industrial Park.

Department of Extension and Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture - Palestine

Initiative partner

Included different departments: Department of ruminant Department of bee Department of animal feed Department of fish Department of olive Department of plant production Department of plant protection

National Agricultural Research Center - Palestine

Initiative partner

NARC was established in 1995 to conduct and coordinate agricultural research activities in Palestine. -Coordination of National Agricultural research activities in Palestine. -Planning, managing and implementing research programs that respond to the rising technical problems -Improving livestock and plant production . -Conservation, preservation and sustainable use of natural resources in order to maintain ecological balance -Technology Transfer Adopt new technology from local and/or other sources for improving agricultural production. -Establishing the facilities to store germplasm for crops and livestock -Serving as a scientific and technical resource for applied research and extension in Palestine -Providing Lab. Technical services. The mission of NARC is to improve and Increase plant, livestock production and enhance sustainable use and efficiency of natural resources for the benefit of farmers and other producers.

The high cost of feed is one of the major obstacle facing livestock farmers sector in Palestine. Huge number of livestock farmers have been quitting farming as a result of this problem. The huge quantity of byproduct, around 1.700000 ton of byproduct available every year, represent an environmental problem. Our best practice aim to dissolve the high cost of feed by the use of these byproduct as silage for feeding animals. This project cooperates with researcher, extensions, farmers and Ngos (JICA). The best practice includes: selection of target groups (cooperatives, researchers, extensions) and animal farmers’ cooperative; information about the cooperative’s infrastructure; timetable of project; demonstration field days; theoretical and practical field days about silage making. The main strengthen of this initiative is represented by decreasing the feed cost of feeding for animals, increasing the productivity and decreasing the environmental pollution.

To reduce feed costs it is important to find nontraditional feed ingredients. In several researches, results of feeding rations with by- products showed the economic feasibility of adoption of this practice: Local sheep and goats farmers are facing vital economic problems that threatening their livelihood due to different factors (poor nutrition, prevalence of diseases, lack of appropriate breeding strategies, reproductive inefficiency, management constraints, general lack of veterinary care); more crop residues and byproducts are locally processed and used as animal feeds, profitability for local farmer increased and employment opportunities develop and environmental pollution decreased; a good alternative is use various byproducts in silages making; the value of silages lies in their role as cost-effective supplements and as a means for preserving several high moisture agro-industrial by-products silages technology are simple and does not require sophisticated equipment.

Chemical analysis of different types of silage table showing the chemical analysis of different types of silage
Farmers at work Farmers at work
numb of sheep and cultivated area owned by livestock cooperatives targeted Table that shows the numb of sheep and cultivated area owned by livestock cooperatives targeted By EVAP project Silage

Agriculture in Palestine (Middle East) is dry land farming. Depending on the regional rainfall, the availability of forages and cereal crops is highly seasonal. The importance of roughage as a feed resource is decreasing at the expense of cereals and agro-industrial by-products .Food crops leave a variety of residues (straws) that are utilized for animal feeding. Poor quality roughage comprises the only part of the diet for ruminant animals in most Middle East countries, for a considerable part of the year.
The livestock sector plays a significant economic role in most developing countries and is essential for the food security of their rural population. Livestock farming is increasingly being limited by the restriction of grazing lands. During the long dry season animals are on poor quality feeds characterized by low palatability, low intake and low nitrogen concentration. However, crop residues (straw) play a key role in animal feeding mainly in the region.

Timetable of 2012 Timetable of 2012
Timetable of 2013 Timetable of 2013

On the 30th of May 2013, six silage machines were received, JICA project\Silage funded the all activities of silage and machines provided.   
An experiment was conducted at Alnasaryia cooperative to study the effect of different levels of silage as alternative of roughages on Assaf sheep milk quality and quantity. Furthermore, feasibility study was made to evaluate the economic effect of feeding silage to sheep as alternative to wheat hay. Twenty one ewes were divided according daily ration to three groups (Table1). 

Results of the influence (P values) of the fixed-effect factors on milk composition traits showed that feeding group had significant effects on milk fat % (P < 0.05), while sampling date had significant effect on fat and protein % (P < 0.05). Milk Density had a highly significant effect on all milk composition traits with exception of mineral which was not significant (P > 0.05).(Table2)

Table 1. Milk gained Milk gained
Table 2. Milk composition trait Milk composition trait

Farmers: around 300 farmers (decrease the cost of feeding and increase the productivity).

Cooperative: 25 cooperative (got the machine needed for silage making, this will help them for using the silage in the future, and this will share in suistanable animal livelihood in Palestine).
Researchers: 7 ( transfare the practical technology for the farmers community and the other workers in this field).
Extensions: 50 (applying this technology in the field).
Uiversity: 2 (this open the cooperation between the researcher in the university and the researcher in the national agriculture research center).

2 phd researchers from national agriculture research center, 4 agriculture engineers from the extension and 10 Cooperatives were involved from this experience, and around 300 farmers were beneficiary from this innovation.

Staff involved in the project at work Staff involved in the project at work

-Transportation of byproduct from different locations is due to the blockage forced
-cost of proccessing
-acceptance of the idea from the farmers it is especially a new technology that was implemented for the first time in Palestine

Huge amounts of agriculture and industrial by-products are produced in Palestine but most of which are not fully used in animal feeding and contribute to the environment pollution. — The solution to this problem may be achieved by unconventional feeding system such as using silage in animal rations.

Availability of byproducts in the West bank Availability of byproducts in the West bank

Tables show the cost of one ton of silage made at Beit Hassan farm. We can see that each ton costs USD 50, knowing each ton needs 15 plastic barrels and we can make more than ten times of silage in each barrel.
The cost of each fees stuff used in ration are in table 15. The highest cost was for concentrate, then wheat hay, then to silage. Ewes daily feed intake by group are on table 16. Total milk and money gained per ewe as a result of feeding silage are in table 17. Total money saved as a result of feeding silage is on table 18.
On conclusion money gained per ewe per season for the two groups fed silage in comparison to group fed wheat hay (control) were USD 40.8 and USD 27.6 for group one and group two respectively. However, total milk production in group one (control) was 127.71 litters with total price of USD 191.56, so net profit increased by 21.3% and 14.4% for the two groups as a result of feeding silage feeding.

Table 14. Cost of making one ton of silage from agricultural byproducts table 14 shows the cost of making one ton of silage from agricultural byproducts
Table 15.Cost of feedstuff used in the experiment Table 15 shows the cost of feedstuff used in the experiment
Table 17. Money gained ($) as result of feeding silage Table 17 shows the money gained ($) as result of feeding silage in comparison to first group (control).
Table 18. Money saved ($) as a result of feeding silage Table 18 shows the money saved ($) as result of feeding silage in comparison to first group (control).
Table16. Total feed intake per ewe per day and cost of daily intake per ewe Table 16 shows the total feed intake (Kg) per ewe per day and cost of daily intake per ewe for the three groups.

Atherotical and practical feild days were conducted, and a bruchure was conducted .
Least square means for total milk yield at 150 days of lambing are in table below. As expected there is no difference between group one and group three in milk production at 150 days of lactation table 10., and figure 2., the difference was between group two and group one. However, replaced wheat hay with silage by 50% increased milk production by 18 liters, note that we only fed animals 35 days of silage. This quantity expected to duplicate if we gave silage for all period of lactation. Also, milk production may be increased in group three if we duplicated silage quantity to meat animal requirements at each stage of production.

Table showing total milk yield at 150 days by sheep group Table showing total milk yield at 150 days by sheep group