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Improved Forage Production Efforts and Livestock Production Challenges in Damot Gale District of Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia

The study was conducted with the objectives of identifying major livestock production constraints and improved forage production efforts in Damot Gale district. Four representative kebeles, two from NGO project and non-project intervention each, were selected purposively. Forty farmers, from each kebele, were randomly selected for the purpose of individual interview using semistructured questionnaire. Data collected was analyzed using SPSS (version 20) and excel package. Among the class of ruminant animals, sheep holding (2.56) was the highest followed by cow (1.68) and calf (1.65)? The top most livestock production constraint was feed shortage where larger proportion of farmers (75.6%) suffered from the problem with higher (P<0.05) severity in non-project intervention areas. Out of these, 37.28% challenged for a length of three months while other 61.4% suffered for about five months. Purchasing grass (31.4%) and concentrate (33.5%), and feeding enset leaf (21.49%) were most adopted coping mechanisms to alleviate feed shortage during dry season, where using purchased grass and enset leaf are the main coping strategies in non-project intervention area (P<0.05) compared with project intervention sites. Dependency on grazing is significantly higher (p<0.01) in non-project intervention than intervention areas. Major households (90.75%) participate on improved forage production regardless of area coverage. Desho grass (71.38%) and elephant grass (42.63%) are the most common in the study area. These forages are produced for the purpose of feed, cash and to prevent erosion. Major niche types adopted for improved forage production includes farm land, soil and water conservation structures, and around fence. Constraints for improved forage production were input shortage followed by land shortage and lack of awareness. Strong extension services and inputs delivery for farmers is vital for profitable livestock production and resource utilization.


Shimelis Mengistu

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