The United Republic of Tanzania is immediately south of the Equator between 10 and 110 South and 290 and 400 E, entirely within the tropics. The mainland borders the Indian Ocean to the East, Malawi and Mozambique to the South, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda to the West, and Uganda and Kenya to the North. Zanzibar and Pemba are just off the north coast (see figure 1).
Figure 1. Map of Tanzania
The Republic was formed in 1965 by the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. In pre-colonial times most of the mainland was under traditional, tribal regimes and there was no identified "nation" structure; Zanzibar and some coastal areas were under the Sultan of Zanzibar and were held as a fief of the Sultan of Oman. The mainland became part of German East Africa in 1886 and, after the treaty of Versailles was made a League of Nations Protectorate under Great Britain until its independence in 1961. Zanzibar was a British protectorate from 1873 until it gained independence in 1963. The population is mainly Bantu but with a rich ethnic variability, there are about 120 groups; Nilotic peoples are very important in herding, notably the Maasai and Samburu who also form a large part of Kenyas herding population. The human population was slightly over 17,000,000 in 1978, estimated at over 27 000 000 in 1993 and according to the World Factbook was estimated at 37,445,392 in July 2006 with a 1.83% growth rate. The groups speak their own languages; Kiswahili is the official language and English is widely used.
Tanzania covers about 945 087 km2 including 59 050 km2 of inland water and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba (1 656 km2 and 983 km2) which are not included in this report; ruminants are unimportant on these humid, tsetse-infested islands [tsetse fly, Glossina spp. is the vector of Trypanosoma spp., a cause of serious disease in cattle]. The mainland comprises nearly 900 000 km2, about 100 000 km2 are mountains and waste; another 150 000 km2 are National Parks and game reserves. The remaining 650 000 km2 are available for productive purposes. In any one year about 50 000 km2 are available for grazing (PLDPT, 1984). The quality of the grazing lands is determined by the rainfall, in terms of quantity and seasonal distribution; soil, evapotranspiration levels, pasture condition, degradation status, and tsetse status. The humid zone is mainly under forest, coffee and tea, but fodder is brought in from other zones (PLDPT, 1984). The area of land by rainfall zones is shown in Table 1:
Sheep and goats are mostly in the arid zone and cattle in the semi-arid. The dry sub-humid zone is heavily infested with tsetse fly and is of limited grazing value for domestic stock. Competition for land will continue to increase, tsetse control will assume increasing importance and land use planning will be essential to ensure proper use of the cleared land (PLDPT, 1984).
Ruminant livestock is a major national resource, according to the most recent livestock census, conducted in June and July 1984, there were about 1 250 000 cattle, 6 000 000 goats and 4 000 000 sheep (Livestock census MOAC, 1984). Of the cattle about 142 000 are improved dairy types and 86 000 improved beef. The majority are Shorthorn Zebu with about 200 000 Ankole in Kagera region. There were 836 000 draught oxen mainly in the Lake Zone and South West highlands.
Stock numbers have been increasing for the past 75 years (Table 2). Cattle increased by 2.7 percent per year from 1965 to 1978, but only by 0.75 from 1978 to 1984. The FAO production year books indicate that livestock populations for the last 5 or 6 years have remained fairly static, although regional redistribution continues to be an important feature and uncontrolled migrations from overgrazed parts of the north to the south west continue. Marketed ruminant livestock products in 2004 were estimated at: milk 944,000 tonnes, beef and veal 246,330 tonnes, mutton and lamb 10 320 tonnes, goat meat 30,600 tonnes. The major part was from the traditional sector (PLDPT, 1984). Tanzania statistics for ruminant numbers, meat and milk production and exports for the period 1996-2005 are shown in Table 3. In spite of increases in milk production Tanzania needs to import dairy products (20,823 tonnes of milk equivalents in 2003 costing some US$ 3,751,000)
Table 3. Tanzania statistics for ruminant numbers, meat and milk production and exports for the period 1996-2005
Major Topographic features:
Apart from a narrow coastal strip, most of Tanzania is above 200 metres. Vast plains and plateaux contrast with spectacular physical features; Kilimanjaro rises to 5 895 m.; Lake Tanganyika is the Worlds second deepest lake (1 436 m.); the East African Rift Valley runs north-south leaving many narrow, deep depressions, often filled with lakes. A western branch of the rift runs along the western frontier and is marked by lakes Tanganyika and Rukwa. The eastern branch is the Great Rift Valley, from the Kenya border in the region of lakes Eyasi, Natron and Manyara to Lake Nyassa on the Mozambican border. The Central Plateau, covering over a third of the country, lies between the two branches of the Rift.
It has numerous lakes, Lake Victoria, the Worlds second largest fresh water lake, is not part of the Rift Valley. There are no large rivers but three great rivers of Africa arise in Tanzania: the Nile, the Congo and the Zambesi, which flow to the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean respectively. The watersheds of these rivers do not meet and are separated by the Central Plateau. All the main rivers, Ruvuma, Rufiji, Wami and Pangani drain to the Indian Ocean. The Kagera flows to Lake Victoria. Minor rivers flow into depressions in the Rift Valley.
Major soil types
Data from PLDPT, 1984 indicate that Tanzanian soils are very varied, a simplified classification follows:
a) Volcanic soils: are of high agricultural potential and livestock production tends to be restricted to zero-grazing systems. They predominate in Arusha, Kilimanjaro and South west Highlands, Kitulo plateau. At high and medium altitudes they are notable for the production of forage for dairy production.
b) Light sandy soils: predominate in the coastal areas. Grazing is available during the rains but the soils dry out rapidly thereafter and the forage has little worth.
c) Soils of granite/gneiss origin: are poor and occur mainly in mid-west especially in Mwanza and Tabora.
d) Red soils: occupy most of central plateau. They produce good grazing in the limited rainy seasons and the quality of herbage persists into the dry seasons.
e) Ironstone soils: found in the far west, mainly in Kagera, Kigoma and Sumbawanga. They are poor and acidic but can be productive with inputs i.e. mulching and manuring.
f) The mbuga black vertisols are widespread and an important source of dry season grazing.
General climatic effects of topography
Climate, (PLDPT 1984) is diverse as a result of: a) The proximity of the ocean and inland lakes; b) Altitude, which governs temperature; c) Latitude. The diversity of topography and other factors give rise to a range of average rainfall from 200 - 2 000 mm per annum. Most of the country receives less than 1 000 mm, except highlands and parts of the extreme south and west where 1 400 - 2 000 mm can be expected. In the central arid areas 200 - 600 mm falls on average. Rainfall is unimodal north of the central railway line, while to the south it is bimodal. Table 4 is a guide to the seasons in the main zones.
Table 4: Seasons in Tanzania
Two additional factors modify the effectiveness of rainfall:, its reliability is low, even in areas of high average rainfall and very high evapotranspiration reduce its effectiveness , especially in the semi-arid areas (PLDPT, 1984). Drought is a major factor in livestock production especially in Arusha, Dodoma, Singida, Shinyanga, Tabora and Mwanza.
Agro-ecological zones and major agricultural enterprises
The combined influences of altitude, latitude, rainfall and soil determine the climatic zones of East Africa. Pratt and Gwynne (1977) classify Tanzania into five zones. The great altitude range of agriculture means a great diversity of cropping systems from the coconut groves of the coast up to cool-area crops such as pyrethrum and wheat.
a) Afro-alpine: 1 percent of area: Afro-alpine moorland and grassland, or barren land, above the forest line; of limited use and potential, except as water catchment and for tourism.
b) Humid to dry sub-humid: 9 percent of area: Forest-derived grasslands and bush with potential for forestry or intensive agriculture, including pyrethrum, coffee and tea. Natural grassland responds to intensive management and can support one stock unit on less than a hectare.
c) Dry sub-humid to semi-arid: 30 percent of area: not of forest potential with a variable cover of moist woodland, bush or savannah; trees mostly Brachystegia or Combretum. Agricultural potential is high, large areas are under extensive grazing; stock carrying capacity can be high, under two ha per stock unit. Regular burning may be necessary.
d) Semi-arid: 30 percent of area: Land of marginal crop potential limited to sisal or quick maturing cereals, carrying natural vegetation of Acacia-Themeda association but including dry Brachystegia woodland. This is potentially productive grazing at less than 4 ha per stock unit, limited by bush encroachment, leached soils, inadequate water and tsetse fly infestation
e) Arid: 30 percent of area: Unsuitable for agriculture, except with fertile soils and run- on rainfall. Typically on pasture dominated by Commiphora, Acacia and perennial grasses such as Cenchrus ciliaris and Chloris spp. over 4 ha is required per stock unit and wild life is important. Burning requires care but can be highly effective in bush control.
Tanzania has a wide variety of livestock systems (PLDPT, 1984), influenced by: climate, feed availability, culture and farming systems. There are two general production types:
- traditional systems where most of the produce is consumed, and;
- commercial systems where most of the produce is sold.
Production systems are almost totally traditional; such systems produce 93 percent of the milk and 99 percent of the red meat consumed in the country. They are subdivided into four types:
Pastoral systems. Nomadism or semi-nomadism. Crops are unimportant or absent. More than 20 percent of the nation's cattle herd and a large part of goat and sheep flock is in this sector and are managed for milk; old and excess stock are sold, animals are slaughtered on special occasions. Cattle are bled for food but this is declining. The Maasai steppe used to be the main pastoral zone now herders are migrating to central and southern areas and cropping, which was unknown before, is increasing in importance in Maasailand both as a source of food and a way to establish land rights. This system is under pressure due to:
1. Expansion of cultivation reducing the grazing area.
2. Over grazing and shifting cultivation reducing pasture productivity
3. Lack of land tenure rights by graziers.
Extensive Agropastoralism: accounts for about 25 percent of the cattle and embraces sheep and goats as well. It involves interrelated crops and livestock and is found in low rainfall areas of Western (Shinyanga and Tabora) and central zones (Dodoma and Singida) where shifting cultivation of sorghum is practised. Herds of 10 to 25 cattle are common.
Intensive Agropastoralism: involves about 35 percent of the nation's cattle. Cultivation of maize and cotton using draught cattle is common (Shinyanga and Mwanza). Kagera banana, coffee-livestock systems are of this type. Herd size ranges from 10-100 head and sheep and goats are abundant. Livestock provide manure for crops.
Smallholder Dairy and Beef systems: includes cattle under coconut in coastal regions, stall fed cross bred dairy cattle, highlands tree crops with livestock (Arusha and Kilimanjaro) and peri-urban farming on a part time basis (Dar-es- Salaam). Animals per household ranges from 1-8 in conjunction with crops and small stock.
The sector provides about 7 percent of milk and 1 percent of the beef marketed. The distinction between traditional and commercial is difficult now days because produce is increasingly sold, not consumed by the household. Commercial production systems are classified as:
Large scale specialist livestock farms; these are owned by private companies, government, and parastatal companies or private individuals. They specialise in either beef or dairy production, with exotic breeds. Herd size in ranches ranges between 1 000-10 000 of Boran stock. Ex-government dairy farms (e.g. DAFCO) had 300-400 exotic cows but numbers have been reduced for ease of management.
Livestock production with tree crops or sisal : cattle raising on crop residues or grazing on spare land is practised to a limited degree.
Medium scale mixed farms: are private units with 100-200 cattle and goats.
Small scale dairying: is expanding rapidly, it is commonest in Mbeya, Tanga, and Kilimanjaro and around urban centres. Herd size ranges from 1-10 crossbreds (Boran x Friesian) sometimes pure Friesian (where good management is available). Numbers may rise where fodder is adequate. This provides an entry into commercial integrated farming and profits can be high under good management. Other commercial sub-sectors concentrate on monogastrics; i.e. swine in the parastatal sector and poultry in the private sector.
CONSTRAINTS TO LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION
Nutrition: grazing, in terms of quantity and quality is seasonal and feed is limiting especially in the dry season; in overgrazed and overstocked areas and in arid areas. The shortage is aggravated by land degradation, uncontrolled fire, inadequate water, tsetse fly and poor management (PLDPT, 1984). For much of the year herbage is low in minerals; phosphorus is a common limiting nutrient throughout the sub-region.
Water: Seasonality of rainfall exacerbates the scarcity of drinking water. There is a lack of dams, shallow wells and bores to store water for livestock and their owners. Lack of maintenance is another problem.
Disease: Trypanosomiasis and tick borne diseases, especially East Coast Fever (Theileriosis), are the main disorders affecting ruminants. Other diseases with high morbidity and affecting production include - Foot and Mouth Disease, Babesiosis (red water), Anaplasmosis and internal worms. Rinderpest is now under control.
Scarcity of improved stock: Scarcity of breeding stock is a problem for the dairy sector.
Social and organisational constraints:
Quality: Traditionally milk and meat quality is not a primary objective so commercialisation of products from the traditional sector is problematical.
Land tenure : legislation is complex and sometimes conflicting. Assurance that occupiers have security for a certain period of time is minimal. Customary laws are confusing, worsen the situation and need reform.
Land use: grazing lands are exploited communally. This leads to overgrazing and an absence of investment or improvement. Such problems are widespread in traditional grazing in many countries and their solution is social and political, not technical . Attempts to establish grazing associations to rationalise pasture use and development, have mostly failed, but remain an essential requirement.
Support service constraints
Veterinary services: The delivery of disease control (e.g. quarantine, vaccination, prophylaxis) clinical treatment and other services is declining, contributing to low production as well as high mortalities.
Extension : this is poorly developed in the livestock sector.
Marketing, processing and transport : deterioration of primary and secondary market infrastructure, holding grounds, stock routes, handling facilities and veterinary controls has contributed to restriction of official marketed offtake of livestock. Problems of raw material supply, transport, maintenance of processing plants, organisation, management and finance have hampered the processing of livestock products. The livestock industry in Tanzania requires long distance transport of stock from production areas to centres of consumption. The transport system is poor.
Input supply : the supply of essential imported inputs to the industry including drugs, acaricides, vaccines and equipment has been recently alleviated by trade liberalisation, but problems of foreign exchange, organisation and monitoring of stock persist.
General economic constraints
Financial: the livestock industry has low foreign exchange earnings and prospects of an increase in the short term are small. It will therefore continue to depend on central government or donor agencies to finance essential imports.
Credit: previously credit was mainly channelled through co-operatives and parastatals, individual loans were not favoured. Now limited individual loans are available, but the process is slow, inconvenient and expensive. An accessible, supervised source of credit is necessary for small farmers, who depend on crop and livestock production for living, to encourage the adoption of new ideas.
Natural pasture provides over 90 percent of the feed requirements of ruminant livestock. It is very diverse owing to the wide variety of ecological variations throughout the country. Five main pasture types have been identified by ecological zone (TSAP 1978.)
a) Semi arid to sub humid grazing land: covers nearly 30 percent of the grazing area and is mainly found in the central plains including the pastoral systems of Arusha, Dodoma, Shinyanga and Singida. About 40% of the national cattle herd are found here at density of less than three ha/head. Seasonality of production, drought and overgrazing are major problems. The trees mostly are Brachystegia or Combretum spp. The commonest grasses include Chloris gayana, Cenchrus ciliaris, Brachiaria brizantha, Cynodon spp. and Andropogon gayanus. Sporobolus spp. dominate in overgrazed areas.
b) Humid plateau lands: these represent another 30 percent of the grazing area and support nearly 50 percent of the cattle. They are typified by the agropastoral zones of Mwanza, Mara and Mbeya. These two types, represent 60 percent of the area and carry 90 percent of the stock. The most common species of legumes found in this zone are Desmodium spp., Clitoria ternatea, Macroptilium atropurpureum., Neonotonia wightii and Stylosanthes guianensis. Dominant grasses are Chloris gayana, Pennisetum purpureum and Setaria sphacelata.
The three remaining types are:-
c) Humid lowland: represents 20 percent of the grazing, but only about two percent of the livestock are here. The regions with the most potential are Mtwara and Lindi. Species commonly found include Hyparrhenia spp. and Cynodon spp.
d) Very humid highlands: cover nine percent of the area and support five percent of the cattle. They are in parts of Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Ruvuma and Kagera; most of the exotic and crossbred cattle are here. The potential of the area is for forestry or intensive agriculture including pyrethrum, coffee and tea. The natural grassland responds to intensive management and can support one stock unit on less than one hectare. Grasses found in the zone are Cenchrus ciliaris, Setaria sphacelata var. splendida, Panicum spp., and Pennisetum purpureum, and legumes Centrosema pubescens, Desmodium intortum, Neonotonia wightii and Medicago sativa..
e) Very humid lowlands: This is a limited area, restricted to Tanga region, but, livestock, especially crossbred dairy stock is increasing. Grass species commonly found in include Panicum spp., Pennisetum purpureum, and Chloris gayana. Neonotonia wightii and Centrosema pubescens are the major legumes.
Types of natural pasture
The main types of pasture in Tanzania are reported in FAO (1960); they are summarised below.
Chloris grassland is associated with tree or bush steppe in which Commiphora, Acacia and Adansonia are the main trees. It is found between 450 and 1 140 metres under rainfalls of 380 - 640 mm. Dense bush usually reduces grazing capacity considerably but bushes and shrubs contribute to a large extent to stock feed in the dry season. Carrying capacity is low and lack of water and tsetse infestation limit access in some areas. The main grasses are: Chloris roxburghiana, Latipes senegalensis, Enteropogon macrostachyus, Tetrapogon sp., Cenchrus ciliaris and in parts Cymbopogon aucheri and Aristida ascensionis.
Eragrostis grassland is an open, almost treeless savanna derived from intense cultivation; it occurs along sandstone ridges on soils of low fertility. The grass cover is largely secondary. It occurs at an altitude of 1 400 metres under relatively high rainfalls, 1 500 - 1800 mm. Grasses soon become coarse and unpalatable. It is typical of the Bukoba sandstone areas. Carrying capacity at 3.25 ha per head is relatively high. The main grasses are: Eragrostis blepharoglumis, E. milbraedii, Hyparrhenia spp., Cymbopogon sp. and Setaria spp.
Hyperthelia dissoluta grassland is chiefly composed of tall grasses usually associated with Brachystegia woodlands or a more open Commiphora woodland or Acacia spp. Soils are generally poor, sandy and derived from granite. It occurs between 450 and 1 500 meters with rainfall of 760 - 1 200 mm falling between November and May. Most grasses are palatable when young but, if not heavily grazed, soon become woody, especially Hyparrhenia and Andropogon. This type is characteristic of large areas of western Tanzania and parts of the east and south. It is largely used for mixed farming. The main grasses are: Hyperthelia dissoluta, Hyparrhenia filipendula, Pennisetum polystachyon, Eragrostis chaplieri, E. patens, Setaria sphacelata and Chloris gayana.
Hyparrhenia rufa - Bothriochloa insculpta type is an edaphic grassland which is maintained by periodic flooding and frequent burning. Soils are variable, but fertile; it occurs from sea level to above 1 200 metres with rainfalls of 760 - 1140 mm between November and June. It is typical of the coastal belt and is suitable for mixed farming. The main grasses are: Hyparrhenia rufa, Bothriochloa glabra, Andropogon schirensis, Pennisetum polystachyon, Setaria sphacelata, S. marginatus, Ischaemum afrum, Chloris gayana and Hyparrhenia filipendula. In more permanently wet areas Echinochloa pyramidalis, Leersia hexandra, Phragmites communis and Imperata cylindrica are common.
Panicum - Hyparrhenia grassland is associated with woodland of varying density associated with Acacia spp. (A. nigrescens is common). It occurs along the coast with a rainfall of 1 000 mm between November and June. This type is also found at higher altitudes up to about 670 metres in areas of high soil fertility but this is much used for cropping. Under good management its carrying capacity is about five hectares per head. The main grasses are: Panicum maximum, Hyparrhenia rufa, Pennisetum purpureum, Cymbopogon excavatus, Brachiaria mutica, Bothriochloa glabra, Echinochloa pyramidalis and Chloris gayana.
Panicum - Cenchrus grassland consists of patches within the thicket which is comprised mainly of species of Combretum, Grewia, Maerua, Boscia and Acacia. It occurs between 750 and 1 350 metres with a rainfall of 380 - 760 mm between December and April. It is a very palatable and also contains many browse plants which are relished by both stock and game. This type is characteristic of large areas of the central plateau. The main grasses are: Panicum maximum, Cenchrus ciliaris, Bothriochloa insculpta, Brachiaria brizantha and Cynodon nlemfuensis. Many annuals are present in the early stages of succession after clearing and persist long afterwards including: Chloris virgata, C. pycnothrix, Setaria pallida-fusca, Dactyloctaenium aegyptium and Urochloa panicoides.
Pennisetum clandestinum (often associated with Themeda triandra and Pennisetum schimperi) grassland is open with grass 45 - 90 cm high or sometimes short, dense and associated with Trifolium semipilosum; dominance depends on fire, soil fertility and grazing intensity. It occurs at medium to high altitudes, 1 500 - 2 400 m, under bimodal rainfalls of 750 - 1 500 mm. This is excellent pasture but because it is in areas of high agricultural potential much has been put under crop. The main species are Pennisetum clandestinum, P. schimperi, Themeda triandra, Exotheca abyssinica, Pennisetum catabasis, Panicum trichocladum, Andropogon pratensis, Digitaria scalarum and Eleusine jaegeri. In cultivated areas Digitaria scalarum can be a serious pest.
Themeda - Loudetia grassland is derived from forest in highland areas, often on deep red loam above 1 400 metres with rainfall over 760 mm distributed from December to June. The quality of the grazing is good but this land has a high potential for crops. The main grasses are: Themeda trianda, Loudetia simplex, Hyparrhenia nyassae, H. hirta, Melinis minutiflora, Trachypogon spicatus, Eragrostis racemosa and Elyonurus argenteus.
An open, often almost treeless savanna with scattered trees of Acacia drepanolobium occurs on red and black soils and some flood-plain areas between 450 - 1 200 metres under rainfalls of 640 - 900 mm. It provides good grazing if well managed. The main grasses are: Themeda triandra, Bothriochloa insculpta, Heteropogon contortus, Hyperthelia dissoluta, Cynodon nlemfuensis and Pennisetum mezianum.
PASTURE UTILISATION SYSTEMS
The main systems
Three main grazing systems can be identified namely:-
a. Nomadism in semi-arid areas where stock owners move with their animals in search of forage (as is still the case of Maasailand, to a significant extent).
b. Semi-nomadism, with cattle owners permanently settled, but trekking their animals to distant grazing and watering areas.
c. Ranching and dairying by land-owning associations, villages, corporations or private individuals. Under this system pasture innovations can be (or have been) successfully introduced (Kidunda et al., 1990).
Forage from farming systems
Natural herbage: Natural herbage (a vast range of species, East Africa is a centre of genetic diversification for many tropical forages) is the major feed resource of Tanzania. Grazing lands cover about 51 percent of the total land area (Kidunda et al., 1990) and have evolved under ruminant grazing, both wild and domesticated, for many millennia. It is likely that they will for quite a long time to come, continue to support these animals (Kidunda et al. 1990). However, if they are to meet the needs of a growing livestock industry, they must be managed and utilised in a way that ensures the sustainable production of large quantities of forage. The floristic composition of these pastures means that, as with all tropical grasslands, their nutritive values will be mediocre at best and poor for most of the season since they mature and lignify rapidly. Browse, however, is an important source of high-quality feed in much of the extensive grazing areas and contributes considerably to the maintenance of dietary quality, especially during the dry season; pioneer work on browse is reported by French (1949).
About 99 percent of ruminants are under traditional management which sector is characterised by communal grazing and does not encourage the use of improved technology (Kidunda et al., 1990).Livestock contributes much less to the monetary economy of the country than cash crops (Anon, 1984). Early efforts to improve livestock production concentrated on disease control and genetic improvement, but further improvements require more and better feed.
Crop residues: residues of maize, sorghum, millets and beans account for about eight percent of the livestock. In addition, residues from wheat, cassava, groundnuts, bananas and processing residues from the sugar, coffee, sisal and cashew processing are locally significant. In general, field cereal residues are low in protein, DCP three percent and energy 1.90 Mcal ME/Kg, and require either treatment or supplementation.
Cereals: are used for human food, spoilt or poor quality grain is fed to pigs, poultry and dairy cattle. If production increases more will be available for animal feed.
Root crops: cassava production is about 1 500 000 tonnes per year while that of sweet potatoes is 34 000 tonnes; a little is used for animal feed.
Milling by-products: cereal by-products are fed directly or sold for compounding.
Oil press residues: oil cakes of cotton, groundnut, sunflower, coconut and sesame are the most important supplementary sources of protein and energy for livestock.
Molasses: a valuable energy supplement as well as increasing the palatability of feeds. The price is increasing due to competition with the alcohol industry in some areas like Kilimanjaro and Arusha.
Meals from animal by-products: blood, meat and bones from the slaughter industry provide bone and blood meal. It is estimated that 200 tonnes are produced annually.
Fish meal: Tanzanias fishmeal factory has a capacity of 5 000 tonnes annually but has never produced more than 1 500 tonnes. This product is in high demand.
Minerals: Most minerals and vitamin supplements are imported.
Feeding systems and integration of livestock into farming systems
Livestock in mixed smallholder systems are mainly fed on cut natural herbage. Another system includes use of crop residues, leaves from fodder trees and banana leaves and pseudo stems (common in the north). Supplementary feed and concentrate is sometimes used during pregnancy and for milch cows.
Supplementary feeds include minerals and vitamins mix, brewers' wastes
in Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Mbeya. Maize bran, cotton seed cake and sunflower
cake are the major concentrates used by smallholders. There is a seasonal
variation of feed availability and quality which affects production i.e.
in the wet season when forage is readily available and quality high, production
is high (both meat and milk); in the dry season the situation is the opposite.
Stock-owners have to travel in search of fodder and sometimes buy hay
from large stock farms and small scale entrepreneurs. Most smallholders
use molasses to increase the palatability of hay.
Traditionally, official interest concentrated on arable subsistence crops such as maize, sorghum, cassava, and as sources of income, cotton, coffee, pyrethrum and tea. Much of the land is natural grassland but this has often been abused. Evidence of mismanagement is frequently seen in overgrazed, eroded grassland, often with severe bush encroachment. The pattern of agriculture is changing slowly as farmers realise the value of their grasslands; awareness of the importance of pasture and fodder is notably increasing among small commercial dairy farmers. As milk prices increase the tendency is for farmers to look for cheaper concentrates but these are often hard to come by but Urio and Ekern (1990) consider pasture, properly utilised, to be the cheapest feed for ruminants
Improvement of natural grassland
The improvement of natural pasture by manipulation of grazing pressure, use of appropriate species (including mixed herds), controlled burning and clearing and control of woody weeds is always the basis for better yields; as with all improvement this can only be done effectively where the land and its management can be controlled. Much research has been carried out in Tanzania on these basic aspects, especially at Mpwapwa between the 1930s and 1960s (see for example Staples 1942 and van Rensburg 1969). Much knowledge is available on pasture improvement techniques but, unfortunately, since most of the extensive grazing is managed traditionally; sometimes with ill-defined ownership, improvement is rarely done. Application of better management to natural grazing is discussed by Strange (1980a and 1980b).
SOWN PASTURE AND FODDER
Sown pasture is not important in farming systems, although it has been widely used elsewhere in East Africa, notably Kenya. Tanzania was at the forefront of pasture research in the sub-region from about 1930 through the 1950s, especially insofar as the semi-arid zone was concerned. This work is summarised in Van Rensburg 1969 and a comprehensive bibliography is also given in Boonman (1993). Sown pasture, however, has not become important since it is unsuitable for smallholder agriculture - fencing and large fields are required for proper management; similarly reseeding of common grazing lands is impracticable unless there is agreed and organised management and control of stocking rates. A considerable amount of work was carried out at Kongwa in the wake of the groundnut scheme with large-scale sowing of Cenchrus ciliaris under large-scale management; see Brzotowski (1962), Brzotowski and Owen (1964), Owen and Brzotowski (1966). Material initially selected in Tanzania has had a much more widespread use outside the country: among common cultivars of tropical pasture plants developed from Tanzanian material, in Australia, are Cenchrus ciliaris Biloela, Chloris gayana Callide and Neonotonia wightii Clarence'.
There are two common features of natural grasslands in Tanzania, and indeed under tropical conditions generally:
There have been many attempts to introduce legumes into East Africas pastures, both for "improvement" of natural grassland and as mixed, sown swards. The first models came from Western European influences; the second was encouraged by the work on tropical legumes carried out in tropical and sub-tropical Australia. Neither have succeeded despite many trials throughout East Africa.
Naveh and Andersen (1967) on the basis of a series of clipping trials at a range of sites recommended the introduction of improved grasses and legumes, the latter to increase the crude protein content of the pasture. Even when mature, legumes have a high protein content. For high levels of animal production, the level of crude protein in pasture must be kept above seven percent otherwise there is a decline in feed intake by stock, resulting in loss of live weight. Pasture improvement is the most economical method of ensuring that stock has access to adequate supplies of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Sown legumes and legume mixtures have not, however, become part of farming practice; this is general in East Africa where introduced legumes do not compete well with a vigorous grass flora.
With the near annihilation of the two hardiest tropical legumes, Stylosanthes guianensis and S. humilis by anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.) in the early eighties, introduction of legumes into tropical pastures has become even more difficult (Stylosanthes capitata is a useful indigenous legume but nowhere has it become an important component of the sward). Walker (1967) working with five forage legumes in mixture with Cenchrus ciliaris compared dry matter yield and crude protein content at four level of N fertilization. He found a linear increase in dry matter and crude protein yields up to 21 kg N per acre but crude protein content was not affected. The highest dry matter yield was observed in Phaseolus atropurpureus, Stylosanthes guianensis and Centrosema pubescens. Dolichos formosus increased the yield of Cenchrus ciliaris whereas Stylosanthes guianensis appreciably depressed grass yield. Neonotonia wightii mixtures had the lowest yield. Grasses grown under multipurpose trees tend to have higher nutritive values (Rupindo, 1998). For example when Pennisetum purpureum and Panicum maximum are grown with Leucaena leucocephala and Gliricidia sepium they improved in nutritive values over pure stands of the grass (see Table 6)
Table 6: dry matter, crude protein and crude fibre of P. purpureum and P.maximum under and clear of multipurpose trees (MPTs)
Source: Rupindo 1998.
Several large, indigenous, grasses are widely cultivated throughout East Africa as cut-and-carry fodder, Elephant Grass, Pennisetum purpureum is by far the most popular although Guinea Grass, Panicum maximum can be used as can Giant Setaria, Setaria sphacelata var. splendida. Setaria is noted as being a favourite of coffee farmers in the Kilimanjaro region (van Rensburg 1969). These grasses which have been used in Tanzania for many years and were researched locally and are well suited to smallholdings, usually as supplementary feed for dairy stock, since they are vegetatively propagated and are easy to harvest and feed - they have none of the field-size constraints of the pasture forages. Elephant Grass, if properly managed, will stay green far into the dry season.
Overseeding natural pasture
Some plot trials have shown that introducing legumes into natural grasslands increases DM yields and the protein content of the herbage. Desmodium intortum oversown into natural pastures produced an average of 15.6 ton DM/ha/year as compared to 13.0 to DM/ha/yr. from natural pastures alone (Kusekwa et al., 1990). The nutritive value of two legumes (Macroptilium atropurpureum and Clitoria ternatea) oversown in Hyparrhenia dominated grassland averaged 13.4 percent CP and 69 percent in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) after eight weeks, compared to 5.3 percent CP and 47.1 percent IVDMD for the grass alone (Mkonyi, 1977). The few grazing experiment have indicated that there was no significant influence on live weight gain of heifers grazing oversown natural pastures and natural pasture alone during the wet season (Kusekwa et al., 1990; tMannetje, 1984, Sarwatt and Mtengeti, 1990, Tothill, 1986).
Application of fertilisers to natural swards has produced variable results (Kapinga and Shayo, 1990) and responses varied with species but generally all responded to fertiliser. When 15.9 kg/ha of fertiliser Phosphorus was applied, P. purpureum gave the highest yields in terms of both dry matter and crude protein content and the lowest response was from P. maximum. Despite the improvement which can be made by the use of fertilisers, smallholder dairy farmers do not use them (Kapinga and Shayo, 1990) because of costs and a belief that chemical fertilisers destroy soil fertility.
Pasture under coconuts
In Tanzania, coconut is among the main cash crops produced in the coastal belt that extends from Tanga in the north to Mtwara in the south (Anon, 1980 as cited by Njau, 2000). The main products are tender nuts (madafu), coconut cream, coconut oil, coconut fronds and timber. Annual productivity is generally low, ranging between 30-40 nuts for the East African Tall (EAT) and 45-50 nuts for the improved Dwarf x Tall hybrid palm compared to the standard yield of 80-100 nuts (Kabonge and Temu, 1997 in Njau, 2000). Reasons reported for low crop productivity include poor management, especially weeding, and low soil fertility. Due to cost and expected low returns, weeding is hardly done or is by fire.
A sustainable way to improve coconut plantations is to intercrop them with food crops or to integrate grazing livestock (Seth, 1953 and Reynolds, 1995 as cited by Njau 2000). Intercropping necessitates weeding. Livestock provide manure, milk and meat and control weed growth. Farmers in Tanga and Pangani districts started grazing coconut plantations in 1965 and realised its advantages. More integration of livestock is expected because the livestock enterprises are increasing in the coast due to the high demand and a good road network to the market centres. However investigation on the productivity and quality of pastures under coconut plantations has received little attention in Tanzania. Njau, (2000) has shown that pastures under coconut shade have low dry matter yield and nutritive value, thus lead to low livestock productivity. Livestock depending on grazing under coconuts in Tanzania will not reach their production potential without pasture improvement.
Pastures under coconuts are mainly of grasses with few legumes; application of fertilizer improves the basal cover and increases the proportion of legumes in the sward (Anderson, 1968). Some sown forages like Brachiaria decumbens and Brachiaria miliiformis disappear when pastures under coconut are overgrazed so a mixed sward should be maintained with a favourable balance of legumes and grasses ((Njau, 2000). Decline in the legume fraction affects the overall efficiency of herbage utilization. Mixed pastures of grasses and legumes improve voluntary intake, dry matter digestibility and in liveweight gain (Shem, 1993).
The growth rate and dry matter yield of pastures under coconut is reduced by shade. Reduction of leaf area as observed in shaded pastures reduce the efficiency of conversion of intercepted Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) to dry matter (Ludlow and Wilson, 1971 as cited by Njau, 2000) and therefore the growth rate and dry matter yield is reduced (Smith and Whiteman, 1983 in Njau, 2000).
The growth and dry matter yield of some pasture species are less affected by shade (Partridge, 1996 cited in Njau, 2000). This has been a base for screening shade resistant pastures (Smith and Whiteman, 1983 as cited by Njau, 2000). Shade resistant forages include grasses Ischaemum indicum, Brachiaria milliiformis, B. humidicola, B. brizantha, B. mutica and legumes Desmodium heterophyllum, Mimosa pudica and Centrosema pubescens.
To utilise the land under coconut effectively and get more income farmers are advised to integrate livestock with coconut plantations or do intercropping in fertile soils (Chipungahelo et al., 1997 cited in Njau, 2000). In Tanzania grazing under coconuts was proposed by Sethi (1953, cited in Njau, 2000) in Tanga and later by Childs and Groom (1964). Its merits were realised when Tanga dairy farm was started in the neglected coconut plantation after the Second World War. Cattle controlled weeds and recycled soil fertility. Coconut yields increased by 60 percent and milk yield doubled (Childs and Groom, 1964). More integration of livestock is expected because by 1992 there were 2 254 dairy cattle in Tanga and more heifers were being distributed by the Tanga Small Scale Dairy Development project. According to Schoepf (1997 in Njau, 2000) there were 25 000 dairy cattle in Dar es salaam and due to the land pressure the farmers have moved to peri-urban coconut plantations in Coast and Bagamoyo districts. The good road network and high demand for milk in coastal towns encourages many people to expand dairy enterprises. Advantages of cattle under coconuts include increased farm income by selling the nuts and livestock products, reduced weed competition and weed control costs, better land use and fertility recycling.
Integration of forages in croplands and small holder farmers
Work on legume-grass mixtures in Northern Tanzania started in 1960s to study the productivity of indigenous and introduced legumes and legume-grass mixtures and their suitability in the coffee/banana and semi-intensive maize, wheat, bean and livestock production systems. Among legumes only Rhyncosia spp., Stylosanthes humilis, Melilotus alba, Desmodium uncinatum, Indigofera subulata and Dolichos formosus grew well under Tengeru conditions (Naveh and Anderson, 1967). There was poor acceptance of legumes by farmers.
PASTURE IN CONSERVATION AREAS
These are also used as grazing lands by nomadic herders; grazing and fire are essential components of maintaining the parks ecosystems. Generally, there is seasonal variation in pasture availability whereby during the wet season there is relatively higher herbage yield than other seasons of the year. Also this is shown by animal migration whereby during the dry season the animals move towards water points, for example in Ngorongoro animals (both wild and domestic) are observed to migrate towards the crater lake where there are greener pastures with consequent over stocking resulting in land degradation and an augmented proportion of increasers such as Sporobolus spp., Hyparrhenia spp. etc.
Most research on forage and pastures is done by parastatal organisations and research centres under the Ministry of Agriculture and Corporation (MOAC). The organisation has various research stations representing the different ecological zones within the country. Such stations include Mpwapwa Livestock Production Research Institute, Kongwa Pasture Research station, West Kilimanjaro Research Centre, Malya Research Centre and Tanga Livestock Research Centre. Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tengeru Livestock Training Institute and Uyole Agricultural Centre are among other institutions, which are also actively engaged in pasture/forage and other feed resource research. Current research is on:-
Sokoine University of Agriculture. Brachiaria pasture improvement through fertilization and oversowing legumes under the Department of Animal Science and Production [Contact address firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ].
Gliricidia establishment under smallholder farming systems research, Turiani, Morogoro by Sarwatt, S.V., Lekule, F.P. and Mwenda, G. (on-going) [Contact address firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com].
Effect of leguminous tree leaves a nitrogen additive to Pennisetum purpureum silage. MSc research project by Tesha M.W. (1999).
Effect of high rates of fertiliser and longer harvesting periods on seed production, dry matter yield and chemical composition of Stylosanthes guianensis and S. hamata at Morogoro; MSc research project by Liumba, A.M.N. (1999).
Research Stations under MOAC
Tengeru Livestock Training Institute and research in Northern Zone: [Contact address: MATI Tengeru, P.O. Box 3101, Mbeya]. The following research projects are undertaken at Tengeru livestock training Institute: ILCA pasture research, the FAO project on pasture seed production as well as ICRAF agroforestry research project. The institute also has an agroforestry project established in cooperation with the U. K. Leominister community. Legume forages incorporation with fodder grasses for smallholder dairy farmers in the Kilimanjaro highlands. Dairy feeding systems using crop residues in the Kilimanjaro highlands. There is also research on nutritive value, treatment, utilisation and costs of transportation of crop residues.
Mpwapwa Livestock Training Institute and research in Central zone [Contact address: LPRI-Mpwapwa P.O. Box 202, Mpwapwa]: Introduction and evaluation of pasture species for oversowing in natural pastures and undersowing with cereal crops in the semi-arid areas of central Tanzania. The initial screening is done on-station and later on-farm for the most promising species.
Legume forage conservation in Singida region. The research has been conducted through the LPRI (see the above address):
Uyole Agricultural Research Station and southern highlands zone pasture activities [Contact address: ARI, Uyole Mbeya, P.O. Box 400, Mbeya]: Pasture seed production, Leucaena forage in farming systems, Forage utilization by livestock, Screening of temperate and sub-tropical and multipurpose browse species for adaptation to southern highland conditions for on-farm integration with cereals. Range monitoring, improvement by sod seeding, grazing management and bush control methods at Kongwa Pasture Research Station.
Tanga [Contact address: Livestock Research Centre, P.O. Box 5016, Tanga]: Screening of forage grasses and legumes for the coastal humid zone.
Constraints limiting pasture research in Tanzania
In spite of the great deal of effort made in pasture research over the years, there has been little progress in pasture development in the major livestock areas in the country (Lwoga et al., 1984). The most important aspects of this problem are as follows: lack of national objectives, co-ordination and integration: manpower situation: manpower engaged in pasture activities has long been inadequate (Edye and Boudet, 1975; Lugenja et al., 1984). Funding: in the distant past pasture research was no doubt strongly supported financially but the situation seems to have changed dramatically in recent years.
Extension: there have been too few workers in agricultural extension sufficiently competent to advise farmers on pasture development and grazing management. Where there have been extension staff their interaction with pasture research has been minimal.
Availability of farm inputs and input-output delivery channels: Shortage of pasture seed has been a major limitation to sown pasture in Tanzania (Lwoga et al., 1984). Several research stations and parastatal livestock farms have been producing (uncertified) pasture seed, but lack of funds has stifled the development and expansion of this important activity. There is insufficient demand to support commercial production.
Anderson, G. D (1968). Effects of fertilisers on botanical composition and productivity of pasture on the sandy soils of the Tanganyika coast. E. Afr. Agric. For. J. 34: 207 216.
Anon (1984). The status and prospects of agricultural production in Tanzania. Country Report Presented at the Commonwealth Agric. Bureaux Conference On Advancing Agric. Prod. In Africa Arusha, Tanzania, 12 18 Feb. 1984, 41 pp.
Boonman, J. G. (1993). East Africas grasses and fodders: ecology and husbandry Dodrecht, the Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 0-7923-1867-6
Brzotowski, H.W. (1962). Influence of pH and superphosphate on establishment of Cenchrus ciliaris from seed. Trop. Agric. (Trin.) 39: 289-296.
Brzotowski, H.W. and M. A. Owen (1964). Botanical changes in sown pasture. Trop. Agric. (Trin.) 41: 231-242.
Childs, A.H.B. and Groom, C.G. (1964). Balanced farming with cattle and coconuts. E. Afr. Agric. For. J., 29 (3), 206-207.
Edye, L.A. and Boudet, G.G. (1975). Expansion of pasture and range activities in Tanzania. Draft report. FAO/UNDP, Dar-es-salaam.
FAO (1960). The Grass Cover of Africa by J. M. Rattray. FAO Agricultural Studies No. 49. Rome.
French, M. H. (1949). Some use and misuse of shrubs and trees as fodder: a review. E. Afr. Agric. J. 11: 100 103.
Kapinga, P.E.X. and Shayo, E. (1990). Forage production and utilisation at the small-scale holder level in Tanga district, Tanzania. In: Proceeding of First Joint Workshop, Lilongwe Malawi 5-9 Dec. 1988. PANESA/ARNAB, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia pp 36 -56.
Kidunda, R., Lwoga, A.B. and Mtengeti, E.J. (1990). Utilisation of pasture research results in Tanzania. In: Proceeding of first Joint Workshop, Lilongwe Malawi 5-9 Dec. 1988. PANESA/ARNAB, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia pp 36 -56.
Kusekwa, M.L., Bitende., S..N. and Ngowi, M.D. (1990). Productivity of oversown natural pasture in Tanzania. In: Proceeding of First Joint Workshop, Lilongwe Malawi 5-9 Dec. 1988. PANESA/ARNAB, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia pp 592 - 617.
Lugenja, M.M.S., Kajuni, A.R. and Kusekwa, M.L. (1984). Pasture production in Tanzania. Paper presented at the 11th scientific conference of the Tanzania society of animal Production, Arusha, Tanzania. 23-26th October 1984.
Lwoga, A.B., Lugenja, M.M.S. and Kajuni, A.R. (1984). Pasture research in Tanzania. Proceeding of Pasture Improvements Research In Eastern and Southern Africa, held in Harare, Zimbabwe, 17-21 Sept. 1984. IDRC, pp 210-221.
Mannetje, L. t (1984). Pasture development and animal production. Tropical Grassl. 18(1): 1-18.
Mkonyi, J.I. (1977). Development of natural pastures. BSc. Special Project. University of Dar-es-salaam.
MOAC, (1984). The livestock count in mainland Tanzania. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania. pp 554.
Naveh, Z. and Anderson, G.D. (1967). Selection of promising pasture plants for northern Tanzania in legume grasses and grass/legumes mixtures. E. Afr. Agric. For. J. 32: 282-304.
Njau, F.B.C (2000). Pasture production for livestock production under coconut shade in coastal regions of Tanzania. PhD. Proposal.
Owen, M.A. and H. W. Brzotowski (1966). Grass establishment under semi-arid conditions in Central Tanganyika. Trop. Agric. (Trin.).
PLDP Proposal for livestock development programme for Tanzania 1984.
Pratt, D. J. and Gwynne, M.D. (1977). A classification of East African rangeland with appendix on terminology. J. appl. Ecol. 3: 369-382.
Rupindo, H.M., (1998). The use of multipurpose tees to improve soil fertility and livestock feeds: A case study of Turiani. A special project report submitted in partial fulfilment of requirement of degree of Bachelor of Science in Animal science of Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania.
Sarwatt, S.V. and Mtengeti, E.J. (1990). The role of legume in smallholder livestock production in Tanzania. In Proceeding of Tanzania society of animal production pp 86 - 93.
Shem, M.N.N. (1993). Evaluation of the locally available feed resources on smallholder farms on the slope of Mt. Kilimanjaro. PhD. Thesis, Aberdeen University.
Staples R. R. (1942). Bush control and deferred grazing as measures to improve pastures. E. Afric. Agric. J. 10: 217-222.
Strange, L.R.N.(1980a). An Introduction to African Pastureland Production (With special reference to farm and rangeland environments of Eastern Africa) Pasture and Fodder Crop Studies Nr 6, ISBN 92- 5-100872-8, Rome
Strange, L.R.N (1980b). African Pastureland Ecology With particular reference to the pastoral environment of Eastern Africa) Pasture and Fodder Crop Studies Nr. 7, ISBN 92-5-100873-6, Rome.
Tothill, J.C. (1986). The role of forage legumes in Farming systems of Sub-Saharan Africa. In: Proceeding of a Workshop held at ILCA Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 16-19 Sept. pp 162 185.
TSAP (1978). Tanzania livestock development authority: Pasture development in Tanzania. Proceeding of the 5th scientific conference Vol. 5.
Urio, N.A. and Ekern, A. (1990). Improved dairy production from cattle and goats in Tanzania. In: Part II papers related to research projects 1982 - 1985. pp 1-5.
van Rensburg, H.J. (1969). Management and Utilization of Pastures (East Africa: Kenya-Tanzania-Uganda) Pasture and Fodder Crop Studies Nr. 3, FAO- Rome ISBN 92-5-100420-x.
Walker, B. (1967). Effects of nitrogen fertilisers and forage legumes on Cenchrus ciliaris pasture at Ukiriguru. E. Afr. Agric. For. J. 35: 2-5.
This profile was drafted in October 2000 by Dr. Sebastian Sarwatt and Esther Mollel, who will undertake periodic updating.
[It was edited by J. M. Suttie in 2000 and livestock data modified by S.G. Reynolds in August 2006]
Dr. Sebastian V. Sarwatt,
Department of Animal Science,
Sokoine University of Agriculture,
P.O. Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania,
Phone: 255-023-604576/604617 (office)
Esther L. Mollel,
Department of Animal Science
Sokoine University of Agriculture,
P.O. Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania,
Phone: 255-023-604617 (office)