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Abstract

Rice is the main summer crop in Egypt. It is a cash exportable crop that provides a main source of income to the Egyptian farmers and the national economy. However, the farmers used to burn the rice straw at the farm borders and violate the law that forbids such action, which causes socio-economic negative externalities due to the generated smoke from burning the rice straw produced from 1.8 million feddans of rice i.e. about 0.75 million ha, which causes social costs due to the probability of premature-mortality and morbidity of rural and urban individuals. When chopped rice straw silage mixed with dissolved urea and molasses at 2% and 3% of straw weight, respectively, was provided as feed to buffalo-feeder calves for meat production at 40% of the S.E. of the daily ration with concentrate feed mix, raised the marketing weight derived from the estimated feed-response model that maximizes the gross margin above the feed costs, from 384 to 518 Kg live eight. Using rice straw as feed, for buffalo calves, seems more feasible to the rural communities, than use it as soil fertilizer or in manufacturing wood and paper. While Egypt imported red meat of 963 million dollars in 2013, due to lack of sufficient feed supply, enriched rice straw silage as feed would provide additional 80,000 tons carcass weight from fed buffalo calves, rather than slaughtering them as rearing veal calves. The estimated income generated from one buffalo fed calves reached 50% of the average annual per capita income in Egypt, with more employment opportunities for the rural communities and saving the probable social losses from burning rice straw. 92% of the Egyptian farmers holding 88% of livestock are with small farms they should be the target of a training program on how to make enriched rice straw silage.

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