In FoodAfrica Work Package 2 ten rounds of milk recording have been completed in 236 farms on two research sites in Senegal. Due to the extension of the project period until the end of 2015 two more rounds will be completed before the end of March 2015. The amount of data is accumulating fast since six well trained enumerators visit all farms every month.
Recording was started with a base-line survey, in which basic information of households was collected, e.g about family structure, land area, number of animals and main livelihoods. A report of base-line survey is now under preparation. Also a socio economic analysis is under way as well as the first analysis on milk and weight recording data. In the picture PhD student Patrick Ngono and the database manager Nacing Samoura are analyzing the data in ILRI office at EISMV during my visit to Dakar in November 2014.
Farmers have been happy with regular visits by enumerators and milk measuring jugs and buckets. Weighting the animals was a great success and it provided useful information how to improve the accuracy of estimating the live weight by a simple measure of heart girth by commercially available weight band compared to visual estimation. Farmers have shown also a great interest in training sessions, specifically the one on feed preservation. The aim is to provide farmers concrete feedback from their results before the end of last round of recording. The results will be delivered and explained by the enumerators who all have training in animal or veterinary science and speak the local language.
Written by Dr Jarmo Juga, University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences