Feed inventory and smallholder farmers' perceived causes of feed shortage for dairy cattle in Gisagara District, Rwanda

Kamanzi, M.; Mapiye, C.

Tropical Animal Health and Production 44(7): 1459-1468

2012


ISSN/ISBN: 1573-7438
PMID: 22278082
DOI: 10.1007/s11250-012-0087-3
Accession: 053224406

Download citation:  
Text
  |  
BibTeX
  |  
RIS

Article/Abstract emailed within 0-6 h
Payments are secure & encrypted
Powered by Stripe
Powered by PayPal

Abstract
A survey was conducted to indentify dairy cattle feed resources and smallholder farmers' perceived causes of feed shortage in the central and southern plateaus of Gisagara District, Rwanda. Data were obtained by interviewing 120 smallholder milk producers using structured questionnaires and through direct observations made during transect walks. In all the surveyed areas, rangelands (mean rank = 1.12), crop residues (1.21), improved grasses (2.34), browse (3.23) and herbaceous (4.84) legumes were ranked as the main feed resources. Pennisetum purpureum (95% of the respondents), Leucaena diversifolia (60%) and Calliandra calothyrsus (40%) were the most cultivated fodders in all the plateaus. The dominant crop residue was Zea mays stover (65% of the farmers) in the surveyed areas. In both plateaus, land scarcity was ranked (mean rank = 1.45) as the most important cause of feed shortage followed by inadequacy of forage planting material (2.72) and lack of knowledge on forage production and utilisation (3.02). To ensure sustainable viability of smallholder dairying in densely populated highlands, screening and evaluation of high-yielding and easily propagated pastures, incorporation of forages into cropping systems, value addition of low quality roughages and training farmers on forage production and utilisation should be prioritized.

Feed inventory and smallholder farmers' perceived causes of feed shortage for dairy cattle in Gisagara District, Rwanda