Within ( Water and livlihood Initiative), there several activities being conducted , the main goal was to improve the household livlihood through better manageebt of resources and intrdocution of new technology to be adopted to enhance the income of samll farmers and household. Tow NGOs ( Land Research Cenetr- LRC and Applied Research Cenetr Jerusalem- ARIJ ) and one University in addition to NARC ( foacl Point) are involved in this project.To reduce animal feed in one hand and increase household income on the other hand, working and combining the three technology to be practiced by Animal breeder and household with attain the best result interm of animal health and profit.
Using plant residue and green barely grown soilless and making Non conventional cheese from milk produced is consider as an excellent opportunity for different stakeholder mainly farmers to increase their income.
Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ ) - PalestineLead applicant
Land Research Center - PalestineInitiative partner
The Land Research Center ( LRC ) was established in Jerusalem in 1986 as a branch of the Arab Studies Society headed by Mr. Faisel Husaini. LRC is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit Palestinian organization whose activities cover areas in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip. Donations and contributions given by individuals or organizations and joint projects with international and local organizations and institutions fund the activities of the Center. The Land Research Center activities cover two main fields; on the one hand, it is concerned with monitoring the Israeli Occupation violations of human rights in the West Bank (including the Occupied City of Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip while emphasizing on the socio-economic effect of such violations. On the other hand, it is mainly concerned with agricultural development through studies and researches as well as land reclamation projects
National Agro Research Center - PalestineInitiative partner
Working with simple , affordable and triable technology with visible result , followed by best practice of these technologies will improve livelihood of poor families.
Thinking about profit is the main idea that comes to the mind of farmers. This main idea so far not practiced in Arab Country ( in my initiative was to combine all the three technologies together to achieve the best results.
When interviewed 90% of farmers think about profitability, other 70% think about profitability and food security for their sheep and 50% think in both. Now, once the farmers are convinced that this practice can achieve the maximum benefits, adoption follows. No doubt they can get profit if they apply only one. But once we compare between them, our intiative is much far better in geeting more profit.
Agriculture sector is very crucial in Palestinian economy. Most of farmers are small farmers and most of the time are vulnerable to surrounding conditions, wither it is political or environmental.
Recently it was noticed that there was a sharp decline in the number of sheep and cows (eg.Cows we have only 32 , 000 cows only compared to 120000 in 1998. Source: Ministry of agriculture. Sheep reduced from 1000,000 to 500,000 and these number is reducing.
We did survey for WLI (water and livelihood initiative) funded by USAID and supervised by ICARDA in 2010 at targeted area (Tamun and Theherya ). Most of them are animal breeder and simple farmers living in marginalized area where rainfall never exceed 300mm in best years, we found that 90% of animal breeder mentioned that fodder cost is the main problems they are facing and they sell their sheep due to high cost of animal feed and 10 % mentioned the unavailability of good quality seed that best adapted to drought conditions.
In our initiative , more than 40-50 % reduction in animal feed were achieved and followed by increase in 10% in milk quantity and milk quality.
Adding to that, 91 USA dollars would be saved every year per head used to be spent for animal feed.
Meanwhile , farmers noticed that animal health is improved and reduction in using medicine decreased by 50 %
Animal breeder and housholds of mardinalized area ( rainfall less than 300 mm / year) are the main targtes, we address here small animal breeders and low-income household.
Reducing in input cost followed by increase profit and reduce in milk price, household of low income who does not own sheep can buy this milk and prodcuce Non conventioal cheese.
Anialm breederd who own sheep and silage unit plus hydroponic unit) can complet the whol cycle.
We need to mention that, little knowledge is needed for silage an dhydroponic culture and some skills needed for Non conventioanl cheese making ( we at NARC offer all techncial backstoping ) the farmers and house needed.
Ten different individual farmers and association applied the practice we produced.
5 key farmers and 5 association (mainly woman association) already have the technology
The farmers has at least 100 sheep and has long practice in animal rearing. Out of them 3 has at least 1 hectare of land planted with cereal mainly wheat and barley. The wheat are drought tolerance provided by ICARDA.
1- Atuf Woman Association ( 20 members : all woman)
2- Tamun association for animal ( 120 members : 8 men and 40 woman)
3 – Sahel Abeqeaa association ( 20 household , all woman)
4- Anssarayh woman association ( 30 member , all woman)
5- Tubas cooperative ( 100 members : 80 men and 20 woman)
Public awareness and changing farmers conception was the main obstacle. We succeed to change perception by doing filed visit and training and followed by sharing the work. This was done with pilot testing with pioneer famers (association located in Atuf). They have 300 sheep, one unit for silage production unit, one unit hydroponic culture and have local contact with household to make cheese.We did field visits and held 3 workshops to other framers and allowed the association itself to talk to other farmers.Farmer to farmer communication is very efficient. For Non- Conventional cheese making, in the beginning it was very difficult to convince household and farmers to do it as they are convinced that consumers prefer conventional cheese and afraid of loss.We have trained woman in Non conventional cheese making and took their products to the market. They get more cheese per 1 liter of milk and the price is double: 7 $/kg conventional compare to 14 $/ kg non conventional.
More ton 2 million tons of plants residue produced every year in Palestine, some of them left without any processing and the rest processed with burning. This amount is increasing as more amount of crops being planted.
Making use of them will make environment more clean instead of burning and contribute to global warming.
As the plant residue is there every year, barley is available at affordable price and high retail of from non conventional cheese making, farmers will continue the practice .
It is very easy to try this process , it is very easy as no highly skilled or educated person are required ' only some skilled person for non convention cheese making needed' . for that as we have training unit located at Beit Qad Station belongs to NARC for woman training in dairy processing all the time and give an advice continuously to whom needed.
Other framers can see the whole process and can do it i their own, and easy to duplicate, less space is needed.
We worked at three level for dissemination:
1- At extensionsist level as they are the one who has direct contact with farmers all the time and they are involved with us from the beginning
2- At individual farmers I with filed visits, interviews )
3- with association ( interviews and field visits)
In all of them workshop, filed visits and training courses held to introduce the initiative to them and how to achieve the best results.