Developing forage technologies with smallholder farmers:


how to select the best varieties to offer farmers in Southeast Asia



Peter M. Horne and Werner W. Stür


ISBN 1 86320 271 4

Published by ACIAR and CIAT. ACIAR Monograph No. 62




Before you start ... What are forages?, Why is this booklet needed?


How to evaluate forages with farmers ...

Understand farmers' needs
Choose suitable ways of growing and using forages
    Choose forages that are best adapted to the climate and soil
    Offer the best varieties to farmers, not any variety of a species
    Offer a basket of choices

How to select the best forages ...

    Suitability of forages for different uses
    Adaptation of forages to climates and soils
    Special considerations

More about each species ...

  Other potentially useful forages

Origin and identification of recommended forage varieties

    Where can we get planting material of these varieties?

The Forages for Smallholder Project (FSP)

The Forages for Smallholders Project (FSP) is a Southeast Asian regional program funded by AusAID that commenced in 1995. It is managed by CIAT (Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical) and by CSIRO Tropical Agriculture (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia). The FSP is a network of smallholder farmers, development workers and researchers in Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and southern China. The focus of the project is to develop forage technologies in partnership with smallholder farmers in upland areas, where forages have potential to improve livestock feeding and management of natural resources.


This booklet is based on the experiences of researchers and farmers working with the AusAID-funded Forages for smallholders project (FSP) in Southeast Asia. This project is a partnership of smallholder farmers, development workers and researchers who are using participatory approaches to developing forage technologies on farms (see inside cover for details). More than 600 forage varieties were evaluated by FSP partners, including varieties selected by national programs and varieties from germplasm collections cf CIAT (Centro Internacional de Agticultura Tropical) and CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia). This work would not hove been possible without access to these extensive forage germplasm collections. All of the forages included in this booklet are being used by smallholder formers and have significant potential for improved livestock production and natural resource management.

Many people have contributed to the development and production of this booklet. Special thanks go to the partners of the FSP including Le Van An, Perla Asis, Le Hoa Binh, Wong Choi Chee, Francisco Gabunada, Liu Guodao, Bryan Hacker, Heriyanto, Ibrahim, Tatang Ibrahim, Peter Kerridge, Truong Tan Khanh, Elaine Lanting, Eduedo Magboo, Willie Nacalaban, Ganda Nakamanee, Chaisang Phaikaew, Phonepaseuth Phengsavanh, Vanthong Phengvichith, Viengsavanh Phimphachanhvongsod, I. Ketut Rika, Tugiman and Maimunah Tuhulele. The original introduction and evaluation was conducted by Bert Grof. Early evaluations on-farm were supervised by Trevor Gibson and Arthur Cameron.

Thanks are due to Arthur Cameron, Bruce Cook, Bert Grof , Michael Hare, John Hopkinson, John Miles and Max Shelton who provided comments on the draft of the booklet. We also thank Albert Borrero for preparing the layout and Ian Partridge, Nathan Russell and Julio Martínez for their layout ideas. Photographs were supplied by Jim Holmes, Alan Pottinger, Emma Louie Orencia, Lingkod Sayo, Wong Choi Chee, Michael Hare, Werner Stür and Peter Horne, and are credited with their initials. Cartoons were drawn by Dave Daniel and the cover drawing is by Kongphat Luangrath.

We also thank CIAT CSIRO, the Department of Livestock Development (Thailand), Oxford Forestry Institute, and other national and international programs in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Australia for providing the information and seed which was essential to running this forage evaluation and development program in Southeast Asia.

The publication of this booklet has been generously funded by ACIAR.


Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

GPO Box 1571,
Canberra, ACT 2601
Tel: (61 2) 6217 0500
Fax: (61 2) 6217 0501

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

GPO Box 887,
Canberra, ACT 2601
Tel: (61 2) 6206 4000
Fax: (61 2) 6206 4880

CIAT Forages for Smallholders Project

c/o CIAT Regional Office
Makati Central P.O. Box 3127
1271 Makati City
Tel: (63 2) 845 0563
Fax: (632) 845 0606

ISBN 1 86320 271 4

Home, P.M. and Stür, W.W. (1999). Developing forage technologies with smallholder farmers - how to select the best varieties to offer farmers in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 62. 80pp.

Design and layout by Albert Borrero, IRRI, Los Banos, Philippines.

Cartoons by Dave Daniel, Australia.

Cover illustration by Kongphat Luangrath, Lao PDR.

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