Enhancing the productivity of livestock production in highland of Ethiopia: Implication for improved onâ�?farm feeding strategies and utilization


Mesay Yami, Bedada Begna and TeklemedihinTeklewold

The feed assessment tool (FEAST) was used to characterize the farming and livestock system. Prior to data collection, a sustainable livelihoods framework (SLF) approach was used in August 2012. The result of the study depict that the contribution of grazing to dry matter (DM), metabolizable energy (ME) and crude protein (CP) content was relatively high for the above average group farmers who reserve more land for the growth of grazing pasture and crop residue (barley and wheat) through land renting. Due to limitations of grazing and crop residue resources farmers in the below average group were forced to use the purchased feeds and it contributes more to the CP, ME and DM of the total diet of their livestock in the order of importance. The problems that were raised by the farmers encompass shortage of feed, unavailability of credit services, shortage of veterinary service and lack AI service. The study recommends the development of herbaceous forage legumes and fodder trees species which can mitigate the constraints of feed scarcity. Training on cost effective livestock ration formulation techniques to reduce the feed shortages observed and to supply the livestock with quality and palatable feeds requires due attention.

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