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Home > Basin > Nile > Improving livestock water productivity in the Nile Basin (PN37)

Full Project Title: Nile Basin livestock water productivity (PN37)

Introduction

Livestock are particularly important in the Nile River Basin where domestic animals outnumber people and their demand for feed was thought to exceed the amount of food required by people. In the two largest Nile countries, Sudan and Ethiopia, animal products and services make up between 25% and 50% of agricultural GDP. Basin-wide, the land area covered by livestock production systems is greater than land used for crops, but much of the former is not suitable for other forms of agriculture.

The project aimed to improve food security, reduce poverty and enhance agroecosystem health by managing livestock for more effective overall use of water with the effective involvement of communities enabling them to take collective action in managing their common property natural resources. The project set to develop concepts and tools to account for livestock use, depletion and degradation of water in river basins, to assess livestock water productivity (LWP) in major Nile production systems, and to use this knowledge to improve overall allocation and use of water and land resources for all users and at scales ranging from the household and community levels to the basin scale.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • Enhancing animal productivity by adoption and integration of already known Animal Science interventions within agricultural water development enables more effective and productive use of water resources.
  • One of the greatest opportunities for making gains in basin level water productivity and production is in rainfed area by shifting evaporative loss to productive transpiration.
  • The key to this is better management of vegetation at local and landscape scales involving diverse complexes of plant species of value to people and the environment.
  • LWP in the region tends to be higher than crop water productivity when taking into account the highly valued multiple monetary benefits animals provide. Yet, huge opportunities exist to further increase LWP.
  • In Uganda, the Makerere University team developed an innovative approach for the control of termites on degraded pasture that reversed land degradation and desertification and increased LWP and animal production in the Cattle Corridor.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • Technologies such as the re-establishment of vegetative cover and restoration of vegetative pasture grass cover resulted into more feed availability to animals for production and reduced surface water runoff and evaporation. In response, local communities have passed by-laws to protect the riparian vegetation and water quality.  Local livestock keepers are now investing their own resources in the development and maintenance of common property pasture and water resources.
  • LWP concepts are being shared widely to strategically influential stakeholders and it is expected that high level decision-makers and investors will come to understand that integrating livestock and water development has great potential to increase returns on development investments while enhancing environmental sustainability.
  • In Uganda, Makerere University’s Animal Science Department took the unusual step of integrating hydrology into MSc training.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN37 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

Proceedings

  1. Ahmed, F.A., Ahmed El Wakeel, A., Musa, M.T., Babo Fadlalla, B. and Hamid Hussain Faki, H. 2005. Water–use efficiency for food production through better livestock management in the Sudan. In Proceedings of “Nile Basin Water Productivity: Developing a shared vision for livestock production”, a workshop of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water & Food, 5-8 September, 2005 – Kampala, Uganda. Nairobi: ILRI. http://www.ilri.org/data/livelihood/UgandaWorkshop2005/Sudan%20LWP%20paper.pdf.
  2. Alemayehu, A., Dagnachew L., Peden, D., and Tadesse. G. 2008. GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis for land suitability modeling of livestock production in Tana Subbasin, Ethiopia. Paper presented at the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food’s 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, November 10-14, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  3. Alemayehu, M., Peden, D., Taddesse, G., Haileselassie A. and Ayalneh, W. 2008b. Livestock water productivity in relation to natural resource management in mixed crop livestock production systems of the Blue Nile River Basin, Ethiopia. In Fighting Poverty Through Sustainable Water Use: Volumes II, Proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 10—14, 2008.
  4. Faki, H.,El-Dukheri, I., Mekki, M. and Peden, D. 2008. Opportunities for increasing livestock water productivity in Sudan. In Fighting Poverty Through Sustainable Water Use: Volumes II, Proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 10—14, 2008.
  5. Fathelbari, M.O. and Musa, M.T. 2008. Water production systems and methods for their improvement in Al Gadarif State, Eastern Sudan. In Fighting Poverty Through Sustainable Water Use: Volumes I, Proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 10-14, 2008.
  6. Gebreselassie, S., D. Peden, A. Haileslassie, and D. Mpairwe. 2008. Cost-Effective Assessments of Livestock-Water Productivity Using Previous Animal Feeding Trials. In Fighting Poverty Through Sustainable Water Use: Volumes II, Proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 10—14, 2008.

Working papers

  1. Faki, H. and Peden, D. (eds.) 2010 or 2011. Livestock water interactions and productivity in Sudan. CPWF or ILRI Working Paper forthcoming.
  2. Gitau, J., Mpairwe, D., and Peden, D. 2009. Integrating livestock, water and land management enables increased water productivity in Uganda. In de Leon, C.; Douthwaite, B., and Alverez, S. (eds) Most significant change stories from the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF). CPWF Working paper#3. Colombo: CPWF. PP: 59-63.

Theses

  1. Bekele, M. 2008. Integrating Livestock Production in to Water Resources Development: Assessment on Livelihood Resilience and Livestock Water Productivity at Alewuha and Golina Rivers. M.Sc. in Animal and Range Science, Hawassa University, Awassa, Ethiopia.
  2. Curtis, L. 2007. Economic Valuation of Water in a Mixed Crop-livestock Farming System in the Gumera Watershed of the Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. MSc Thesis, University of Edinburgh.
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners

A-AARNET, CARE-E, EARO, ERHA, FA-DAS, FAO, ILRI, IWMI, MOST, NAROU, TNBS

Project Lead

Project lead

ILRI

For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.

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