Assessment of livestock production system and feed balance in watersheds of North Achefer district, Ethiopia
AbstractThe study was conducted in North Achefer district of Amhara National Regional State in six selected watersheds with the objectives of characterizing the livestock production system and to assess the major feed resources and management. The watersheds were selected purposively based on agro-ecology (mid and low altitude). Moreover, focus group discussions and field observations were done to enrich survey data. The major feed resources biomass estimation in terms of dry matter (DM) was conducted using conversion factors. Diseases such as FMD, internal and external parasite, bloat and Newcastle (poultry diseases) are dominant in the area. Most of the respondents reported that the major water source for livestock during dry season was from well (49.6%) followed by spring water (37.5%) the remaining is from river water (12.9%). The major livestock feed resources available in the study areas were crop residues, natural pasture, hay and improved fodder harvested from backyard and soil and water conservation areas. In the study area, about 32.51% of feed dry matter deficit has been recorded. The major livestock production constraints of the study watersheds were shortage of grazing land, low productivity, disease, shortage of water, shortage of labor and predators in the order of importance. Watershed development is now being an important intervention for natural conservation in the study area and at the same time it is becoming very important to be a livestock feed source if cut and carry system is regularly applied.
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