Climate variability; enhancing adaptive utilization of browse trees for improved livestock production among agro-pastoralists communities in Southern Zambia

Citation:
o. c. Ghibingal, Musimba NRK, Nyangito MM, Simbay J, Daural MT. "Climate variability; enhancing adaptive utilization of browse trees for improved livestock production among agro-pastoralists communities in Southern Zambia." African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. 2012;6((7)):267-274.

Abstract:

Agro-pastoralists whose sources of livelihood depend on rain-fed agriculture are very vulnerable to
ecological disturbance due to increasing climate variability. They are unable to adequately feed their
animals in times of extreme weather conditions of floods and droughts thereby causing a disruption in
their maior source of (rve(ihood. fhfs study ana$zed (he feedrng s(ra(egies empfoyed by agropastoralists
in Southern Zambla and important browse species used in extreme weather conditions, in
order to improve their utilization for improved livestock production. The major feeding strategies during
droughts include browse utilization, dambo grazing, grazing along streams and supplementary feeding.
While during floods, upland grazing and browse grazing were the main strategies. However, most of the
agro-pastoralists do not practice pasture management and fodder conservation for their animals. Of the
21 lree browse species identified by the agro-pastoralists, 18 species were found to be important during
droughts and 8 during floods. Most of the agro-pastoralists neither knew how to plant these browse
species nor how to manage them for befter and sustainable use in feeding their animals. Therefore, the
agro-pastoralists in the study area need to take up management and feed conservation measures for
their animals. Deliberate effort should be made to teach the agro-pastoralists how to plant and manage
the important browse species that are suitable in extreme weather conditions. This will enhance
productive use of the browse species for improved animal feeding to ensure food security among the
pastoralists.

Key words: Extreme weather conditions, adaption, browse species, Agro-pastoralists.

UoN Websites Search