This paper describes a collaborative project between Eritrean and Australian scientists to improve the forage base in Eritrea. An initial agroecosystem analysis, based on 2 short visits and a review of literature, focussed on how the Australian Government could assist the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) in Eritrea undertake a capacity-building project relevant to the local livestock industries. After taking account of the unique context of land use, land tenure and livestock management in Eritrea, a 'Forage Options' project was recommended and approved. In an attempt to accommodate the wide range of environments in Eritrea, a list of mainly leguminous germplasm of temperate/Mediterranean and tropical/subtropical origins was compiled using expert knowledge and passport data. Seed was acquired from Australian, ILRI and USDA collections. In 2006, at the start of the local wet season (summer), 261 temperate species (mainly legumes and some chenopod shrubs), 51 tropical grasses and 83 tropical legumes plus 6 local genotypes were sown for assessment at 2 sites, Halhale in the Central Highlands and Shambuko in the Western Lowlands. In June 2007, a further 160 tropical genotypes, mostly legumes, were sown in observation rows at Halhale. Project activities have included regular assessments of the genotypes supplemented with bi-annual training/inspection visits from the Australian forage specialist (BC). These assessments and inspections have produced a provisional short-list of 10-15 species for each of 9 potential forage niches in Eritrea.
|Title of host publication||14th AAC|
|Subtitle of host publication||Global issues. Paddock action|
|Place of Publication||Adelaide|
|Publisher||The Regional Institute|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|
|Event||14th Australian Agronomy Conference - Adelaide, Australia|
Duration: 21 Sep 2008 → 25 Sep 2008
|Conference||14th Australian Agronomy Conference|
|Period||21/09/08 → 25/09/08|
Wolfe, E., Tesfai, T., Cook, B., Tesfay, E., & Bowman, A. (2008). Forages for agricultural production and catchment protection in Eritrea. In M. Unkovich (Ed.), 14th AAC: Global issues. Paddock action (pp. 1-4). The Regional Institute.