Assessment of Feed Resources Utilization for Livestock Production by Agro-Pastoralists in Tafa Local Government Area of Nigeria

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Author

Livestock and Poultry Division, Savana Farms Ltd. Kuruduma Layout, Sabon-Wuse, Nigeria

Abstract

Feed resources availability at cheap and affordable prices for livestock consumption are major factors determining capability of livestock production to supply products for increasing urban and cities consumers in Nigeria. To take advantages of the high demand in urban areas, livestock producers on extensive pastoralism are moving closer to cities and urban communities such as Abuja the Nigeria capital city. As these pastoralists moves closer to places like Abuja, traditional livestock production systems change from complete pastoralism to agro-pastoralism whereby hitherto pastoralists get settle down on suitable land where they can both rear their livestock and cultivate land for crop production. This practice is gaining ground not only among the hitherto pastoralists but among all farmers living closer to Abuja. An example of such location is Tafa Local Government where this study was carried out. But, increasing intensity of agro-pastoralism in the area is causing poor range productivity and livestock performance due to over-stocking, poor pasture utilization and seasonal variability effects on pasture plant yield. Therefore, an assessment of current feed resources use and farming practices in the area by agro-pastoralists was carried out for the purpose of suggesting positions for improved range and livestock performance through nutritional manipulations. The study confirmed that proximity of the study area to the Nigeria federal capital city is a factor supporting growth of agro-pastoralism in the area, it was discovered that between January and May annually; there is shortage of feeds and feed resources for livestock consumption, it was also discovered that prices of livestock is reasonable year round and average price of milk per litre is highest between January and April annually. The study concluded that livestock feed resources management practices such as protein supplementation, processing of green fodders into silage and improve utilization of crop residues and by-products are suitable for reducing shortage of feeds and feed resources between January and April annually in the area.

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