A key constraint faced by small dairy farmers is the limited availability of nutritious feed. As a result, animals are not well nourished, particularly in the dry season when fodder runs out, causing lower milk yields. Silage, a storable fodder made by fermenting crops such as maize, has the advantage of fulfilling nutritional requirements of animals when green fodder is not available.
Our partner, Cattlekit, is a farm machine vendor that imports and sells machinery from Turkey. Amongst other things, Cattlekit sells choppers and balers to produce small baled silage.
MDF partnered with Cattlekit to promote small scale silage manufacturing by; introducing a financial product designed specifically for this purpose, raising awareness through farmer events and marketing collateral, and helping Cattlekit set up retail centres.
After the success of interventions in setting up silage entrepreneurs throughout the country, through field visits MDF learnt that there was still unmet demand for silage. Being a nutritious and cost-effective fodder, farmers throughout the country showed a preference for silage. However, there were farmers who wanted to make silage, but did not have the financial capacity to procure the machinery.
In addition, MDF had also learnt that some partners from our previous interventions had started renting out silage machinery when they were not using it. This led us to the realisation that there was a market for machine rental services.
Cattlekit, with MDF’s support, is now in the process of setting up a machine rental service in two locations in South Punjab. The idea behind this service is to provide maize farmers with a complete solution that includes both; the manufacturing and packaging of silage. This service will bring silage machinery, together with skilled technicians, to the farmer’s doorstep.