Smallholder farmers’ feed material conservation strategies in the tropical dry-lands of South-eastern Kenya

Citation:
Ndathi AJN, Nyangito MM, Musimba NKR, Mitaru BN. "Smallholder farmers’ feed material conservation strategies in the tropical dry-lands of South-eastern Kenya." Livestock Research for Rural Development . 2012;24 ((6)).

Abstract:

Availability of feed is the major constraint to livestock production in the drylands of southeastern Kenya. In an effort to address this problem, this study was carried out to identify and rank feed material conservation strategies being used by the Kamba agro-pastoralists inhabiting this region. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to household heads of households selected using agro-ecological zones and systematic sampling using the road transect method. Ranking was done using the pairwise method while data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences.

Feed conservation strategies identified being used in the study area were leaving the feed standing in the field, harvesting and placing the feed on tree branches or putting in an open wooden rack, roofed wooden rack or a granary. The granary was ranked the most effective structures followed by the tree branches, the roofed wooden racks and lastly the open wooden racks. However, a granary could only store small amounts of feed material hence the roofed wooden rack was more popular.

Key words: Dry season, feed conservation, structures, ranking

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