The absence of updated information on the current status of the cattle feed bases and feed production practice is one of the important cattle feed production determinant that has been affecting cattle production in Jinka town of South Omo. This study was aimed to investigate cattle feed basis, feed availability, feed production constraints and opportunities in the Alga Kebele. A face-to-face household survey was conducted by interviewing 31 purposively selected cattle keeper households from the Alga Kebele base on cattle and cattle feed production experiences. The qualitative data such as cattle feed basis, feed availability, type of grazing land and productivity, grazing land management practices, feed conservation and feeding methods, improved forage production status and the extent of extension service in cattle feed production were analysed using non-parametric methods, while the means of the quantitative parameters such as age and sex of households, cattle number and categories and amount of land allocated for improved feed production were analysed by using parametric methods. The result showed that about 87.1% of cattle feed producers were male-headed, while 19.1% were female-headed. Almost all (96.8%) of respondents replied that natural pasture was the main cattle resource basis, while very few (3.2%) replied that crop-residue and crop aftermath were used as cattle feed bases. Most respondents (87.1%) reported that there was not enough feed production for cattle in the last five years, while very few (12.9%) said that there was enough feed produced for cattle. All respondents mentioned that the productivity of the grazing land has been decreasing since the last five years onward due to climate variability (54.8%), a lack of grazing land management strategies (38.5%), and increasing cattle populations (9.67%). Moreover, about 67.7% of respondents did not adopt improved forage production due to a lack of knowledge (41.93%), a lack of forage seed (12.9%), a lack of training and support (22.58%), and a shortage of land (19.35%). The shortage of land, climate variability, lack of forage seeds and capacity building are major cattle feed production constraints, while the existence of extension services and favourable agro-ecology is an important opportunities for cattle feed production in the study area.
cattle, feed, feed availability, feed production, constraints, opportunities, Ethiopia, climatic change
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