Feed Resource Assessment and Utilization in Baresa Watershed, EthiopiaJournal: International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) (Vol.3, No. 2)
Publication Date: 2014-02-05
Authors : Mergia Abera; Adugna Tolera; Getnet Assefa;
Page : 66-72
Keywords : feed resources; participatory; biomass; watershed; dry matter;
A survey was conducted in Baresa watershed in Meskan Woreda, Gurage zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People Regional State, Ethiopia in 2008/9. The objective of the study was to assess the available feed resources, estimate the amount of feed that can be produced per-annum and relate with the annual requirement for the existing livestock population, thus to design strategies fulfilling the dietary requirement of the animals and proper feed production and management systems. . The survey was conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire and participatory rural appraisal. In addition, group discussions were held with elders, key informants and development agents. The survey showed that the major feed resources in the area are natural pastures, crop residues, aftermath grazing and weeds. The estimated quantity of these feed resources was below the annual requirement of livestock in the study area. The available feed dry matter was estimated to cover about 69.9 % of the total maintenance requirement of the livestock in the area. This figure is low were the animals may have access to other feed resources such as leaves and pods of trees and various household and horticultural wastes that are not included in the calculation because of lack of conversion factors; that would have been included in the calculation of available feed resources. The findings also indicated seasonal variability of feed availability; relatively feed is in good supply during June to September. The farmers preserve crop residues for dry season; however, the way of conservation is not generally appropriate and used for other purposes; silage making is not known; hay making is not practiced due to scarcity of grazing land, despite that, available grasses used for roof cover. Also there is limited experience in treatment and processing methods for improving the nutritional quality of crop. Thus this study revealed that effective collection, conservation and proper utilization of crop residues and hay making might be increase the available feed; and looking for other alternatives options such as use of urea treatments, nutrient block, silage making, and scale-up of improved forage species with participatory approach will improve the nutritional quality of available feed for dry season in Baresa watershed.
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