Assessment of Livestock Feed Resources and Improved Forage Management Practices in Gibe Woreda, Hadiya Zone

Amistu K


This study was conducted in Gibe woreda of Hadiya Zone southern Ethiopia, with objective of assessing available feed resources and improved forage management practices. A cluster sampling procedure was employed. First a total of 5 kebeles from 21 kebeles were randomly selected. Then 31 households from each kebele and hence a total of 155 households, were randomly selected for interview who practiced improved forage production and produce livestock. About 82% of the respondents were males and 72% of them are illiterate. About 46.5% of the respondents had 1-2 ha of cropping land and 65.8% of the respondents had less than 0.5 ha grazing land holdings. The mean number of livestock per household was 2.4 cattle, 1.5 sheep, 1.8 Goat, 0.5 equines and 4.4 poultry.  The major livestock feed resource in the area were natural pasture (55.2%), crop residues(30%), improved forages(3.8%),  and hay(7%),  and industrial by products(4%),  were the feed resources used in the study area are used as animal feeds. In rank shortage and poor quality feed (1st), prevalence of disease (2nd), lack of veterinary service (4th) and lack of improved breeds (3rd) were the major constraints for livestock production. Only 3.8% of the respondents cultivate improved forages for different purposes and to feed their animals (1.9%), but 0.95% and 0.95% of the respondents were cultivate forages as wind break/ shelter and for protection of soil erosion respectively. Major species of improved forage cultivated in the area were desho grass, elephant grass, and lablab and cow pea respectively. However, the cultivation improved forages was constrained by land shortage (84% of the respondents) and lack of planting materials (16% of the respondents). It can be conclude that although there is practice of improved forage cultivation the produces are facing with different problems. Thus extension services that encourage the farmers to cultivate the improved forages should be applied.

Keywords: cultivated forage, crop residue, and natural pasture, livestock

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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