Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profiles

Zambia II

by
Eroarome Martin Aregheore


back to introduction

4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

The main commercial livestock areas are Southern province, Central province, Lusaka province, Copperbelt province and the Eastern province. Numbers of cattle, goats and sheep are given in Table 8. (Aregheore, 1994).

Table 7: Distribution of livestock (‘000) in the different provinces in Zambia

Provinces

Cattle

Goats

Sheep

Central

363

195

3

Copperbelt

57

6

3

Eastern

251

125

6

Luapula

11

19

8

Lusaka

75

16

1

Northern

11

15

10

North-Western

58

10

10

Southern

1100

224

11

Western

500

4

-

Source: Aregheore (1994)

The commercial sector uses exotic breeds such as Afrikander, Boran, Hereford, Friesian and Jersey while in the traditional sector, the main breeds are Zebu and Sanga types such as Tonga, Ngoni and Barotse. Cross-breeding is encouraged in dairying to improve milk yields and disease resistance.

The ruminant livestock sub-sector, which consists of cattle, estimated at 2.5 million head in 2001 (2.6 million in 2006 according to FAOSTAT), sheep and goats, comprises traditional and commercial activities, contributes about 35% to the national agricultural output. Some years ago, Zambia exported beef to neighbouring countries. Exports of animal products were US$ 1.4 million in 1995, US$ 4.4 million in 1999 and US$ 3.1 million in 2001. Traditional activities account for 83%, 64% and 97% of cattle, sheep and goat production respectively. The traditional component of the livestock sub-sector is characterized by high mortality rates (over 15% in some areas), slow growth rates and low reproductive efficiency. 

Per capita consumption of meat is only 2.4 kg per annum, about half the average for Africa. The estimated marketable meat is approximately US$ 380 million but the slaughter off-take is only 7%, of which 75% is sold at a value of some US$ 25 million. Consumer prices of livestock are much higher than in some other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. Cattle production in certain regions is limited by trypanosomiasis, carried by the tsetse fly.

Cattle production is important but productivity is low, due in part to the poor nutritive value of natural pastures (Kulich and Nambayo, 1988). However, Daka (2002) reported that the livestock sector is increasingly becoming an important component of Zambia’s economy and its contribution to the National Gross Product in 1996 and 1997 was estimated at 6.4 and 6.5% respectively. This accounts for about 35% of total agricultural production. In 1997, the livestock sector accounted for 33% of agricultural exports. About 23% of the per capita supply of protein comes from animal products. Beef is preferred and cattle contribute at least 61% of the meat and milk.

The demand for animal products outstrips production and supply. Increased output in the traditional sector has largely been due to increased animal numbers rather than increased productivity. Cattle numbers in the traditional sector are increasing by 3.5% per annum. Sheep and goats numbers have been estimated to increase at 5 to 7% respectively, per annum. The increase in cattle and goat numbers is justified by the increasing number of traditional farmers who are going into livestock farming (Daka, 2002).

Table 8:Livestock numbers– thousand head

Species

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Cattle

2,701

2,747

2,905

2,621

2,600

2,600

2,600

2,600

2,600

Goats

710

890

1069

1249

1270

1270

1270

1270

1270

Sheep

80

99

120

140

150

150

150

150

150

Asses

1.7

1.6

1.7

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.8

Source: FAOSTAT data 2006 (Accessed January 28, 2006)

Production systems

Livestock husbandry is characterized by three sectors namely: the state, the commercial and the small scale sectors. Ruminant livestock in the commercial and traditional sectors play different roles; the state sector did not fulfil its intended objectives and was slowly phased out (Hicks, 1995).

Chilonda et al. (2000) report that livestock production systems follow the dual structure of agriculture, comprising a large traditional sector and a small commercial sector. In addition to the above production systems Lungu (2002) included another - the mixed crop livestock production system. Figures 16 and 17 shows densities of small ruminants and cattle and production based on land suitable for their production, while Figures 18 and 19 shows beef and milk offtakes.

Figure 16: Cattle density calculated on total land area
Figure 17: Small ruminant density calculated on total land area.
Figure 18: Beef offtake density calculated on total land area.
Figure 19: Milk off take density calculated on total land area.

Source: FAO (2001); Landscan (2002), FAO (2005).
Adapted from Chilonda (2005)

The state sector

The state sector includes large ranches operated by the government through parastatal organizations with an intended, but unrealisable objective of increasing beef production, but because of inefficiency the output is low. They are characterized by large inputs through government subsidies. It is not discussed in this paper though reference to it has been made where necessary.

Commercial farms
Commercial farms are large undertakings, both beef ranches and dairy farms. They require big capital investment but also have large economic returns. Unlike state ranches, commercial ranches are highly efficient. The takeoff from this sector for milk and beef are 90% and 60% respectively of the total domestic produce. They are located along the railway line and around major cities with some isolated farms elsewhere. The role of cattle in the commercial sector dates back to the colonial era when the importance of milk and meat in servicing the labour force in the mining industry was realized. Commercial dairying and beef production provided milk and meat for the urban population. Europeans introduced and encouraged the consumption of whole milk to portions of the urban community, particularly the Copperbelt. Milk consumption increased due to its availability and status in colonial society (Enemark, 1990). Commercial cattle ranching and dairying provides employment to many people. Factories related to these activities include the Dairy Produce Board of Zambia and the Cold Storage Corporation which process milk and meat products respectively.

Zambia spends substantial sums on importing milk, meat and related products. Inputs such as breeding material are also imported. An improved cattle population will help to alleviate importations and help in stabilizing the balance of payments. In 1988 Zambia exported 10, 000 bovine embryos to Australia (Muijs, 1988). Expansion of such schemes would save Zambia foreign exchange. Improved cattle productivity in the commercial sector will improve the standard of living of the Zambian people particularly in urban areas.

Small scale sector
Small scale cattle farms are family holdings characterized by low input and low output. Cattle play an important role in rural households by providing employment, contributing draught and manure for crop production. It is also the main food and cash source for most people in the cattle keeping areas (Chilonda, et al. 2000). Large numbers of cattle are found under this sector particularly in the Southern and Western provinces. Productivity per animal is of minor importance, perhaps because traditionally farmers believe in numbers of animals and only producing enough for their families rather than for sale.

The socio-economic role of cattle in the traditional sector cattle has multiple roles. Cattle have always been regarded as a symbol of family wealth. Tribes such as Tongas, Lozis, Cewas, Namwangas and Mambwes were traditional cattle keepers. About 70% of Zambian cattle are in this sector. Milk is for family use, but the sector provides 40% of domestic beef. Capital flow from the government to this sector is low and where small farmers have made efforts to sell surplus milk, storage and collection has been a problem. Given good support services this sector could contribute significantly to domestic production.

Cattle were a means of trade: excavations at Ing'ombe Illede (the sleeping cow), in the southern province support this. Cattle are used in marriage ceremonies; the value of a daughter is determined by how many cattle the would-be husband has to pay to marry her. It is used as a guarantee of security and as a symbol of wealth and, perhaps because of this, traditional cattle keepers prefer quantity to quality. It has been used in settling court fines and provides income. Dung is used as fertilizer and fuel. Cattle are used in paying reparations by the losers in tribal wars. Using an ox-drawn plough, a smallholder can plough one hectare per day, something that could be done by one man in a month by hand. There is growing demand for draught power in the traditional sector, since the smallholder cannot afford mechanization and where it has been supplied, it has failed due to its needs for spare parts and maintenance which are not readily available in the country. Draught power is also used for transport. Dung and draught power increase the productivity of smallholders. The importance of milk in the household economy varies from province to province. Tonga in the southern province may spend time looking after his cows, his Ng'mbo counterpart in Luapula Province will rather go fishing.

Mixed crop livestock production system
Crop-livestock mixed systems allows diversification of risks, use labour more efficiently, recycle crop residues, addingvalue to crops and crop products while providing cash for purchasing farm inputs.

Sheep Production Systems
Sheep are produced in the commercial and traditional sectors (Mwenya, 1992a). The traditional sector, which owns 64% of Zambia's sheep, mainly of the indigenous fat-tailed and thin-tailed types places less emphasis on income and more on nutrition and subsistence. Traditional sheep production is concentrated in the Southern, Eastern and Luapula Provinces, accounting for 63% of the traditional sheep population.

Sheep in the commercial sector are exotic: Blackhead Persian, Dorset Horn, Dorper and Suffolk. Flocks are concentrated in Lusaka and Central Provinces, near the main consumption centres.

Fat-tailed indigenous sheep have a smooth hairy coat which ranges from brown to black; thin-tailed types have smooth hairy coats too with similar colour patterns to those of the fat-tailed. Indigenous sheep may be acquired from the village flocks. In 1969 the Government established a National Stud Farm of Dorper and Blackhead Persian breeds near Lusaka to supply breeding stock to smallholder farmers; the farm was abandoned in 1977 (Mwenya, 1992a; 2001).

Established breeds may be purchased from commercial ranches. Commercial sheep production started in 1979 (Productive Farming, 1983). The Dorper is the commonest breed, because it has a long breeding season, high milk yield and a good carcass quality (Productive Farming, 1983). The off-take in the commercial sector is 25 %; in the traditional sector it is unknown. Most mutton consumed in urban areas is supplied by the commercial sector. Annual per capita mutton consumption is estimated at 0.7 kg of which the rural areas account for 80%. The market supply of meat from sheep is less than one per cent of the total meat supply. There is therefore a need to improve sheep production to increase availability of mutton. Better breeding, nutrition, management, disease control and marketing can all contribute to this (Mwenya, 1992b).

Traditional sector
Flock sizes in the traditional sector vary from a few to about 50 animals. Fat-tailed sheep, which accounts for 63% of the indigenous sheep. Formal animal breeding with evaluation and selection of individual animals for performance is not practised. All ages and sexes of sheep are left to run together at all times and mating is at random within the flock.

Commercial sector
Suffolk rams are used in two-and three-breed crosses as the terminal sire to improve lamb growth rate and carcass weight. Commercial farmers claim that slaughter weights for Suffolk x Dorper crosses are 30% higher than those for pure Dorper (Productive Farming, 1981). There is no evaluation and selection taking place on these farms to accompany crossbreeding.

Sheep farming is regarded as a domain for commercial farmers and as such the promotion of sheep farming at smallholder level receives very little attention. Indigenous sheep could greatly contribute to the well being of smallholder farmers and as such, there is an urgent need to fully characterize this genetic resource. Limited work to characterize and evaluate the indigenous sheep commenced in 1998 on a flock assembled at the Mochipapa Research Station. (Mwenya, 1992a, 2001)

Cattle Production

Beef cattle production systems
Beef cattle production is based on the use of extensive grasslands and a little intensive feedlot production. Traditional husbandry is based on open communal pastures and commercial production is a fenced ranch system with feedlots as a subset of ranching.

Traditional husbandry system
Mwenya (2001) reported that the distribution of Zambian indigenous cattle has been largely influenced by the interaction of climate, disease and vegetation. The 1,000 mm isohyet broadly divides "cattle areas" from "non-cattle areas" except for small concentrations of cattle in the tsetse-free areas of the Northern Province. Indigenous and modern cattle breeds are now distributed throughout the country. Traditional cattle raising was largely confined to Southern, Western, Eastern and Central Provinces. Of the estimated 2 million communally grazed cattle, 43.13%, 22.69, 12.41% and 11.37% are found in the Southern, Western, Eastern and Central provinces, respectively. The cattle are largely indigenous breeds namely, Angoni, Barotse and Tonga and their crosses with the tropical (Baila Cattle) or European exotic breeds.

Angoni are short horned zebus found in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. According to Brownlee, (1977), the existence of the Angoni cattle dates back to AD 700 in Zululand (South Africa) as the Nguni breed. The Angoni is larger than the other three types (Maule, 1990). In Zambia, the Angoni were originally kept by the Ngoni in areas around Lundazi and Chipata in the Eastern Province. The Angoni comprise about 22% of the indigenous cattle (Challens, 1972). They are well adapted and are known for their ability to produce a calf every year under low input traditional husbandry systems.

Barotse cattle are said to have been in the area before the Makololo arrived in Barosteland during the 1800s (Letke-Entrup, 1971); they are well adapted to the flood plains of the Zambezi and Kafue rivers and to produce beef there. Barotse comprise about 25% of the indigenous cattle in Zambia (Challens, 1972). The pure Barotse is a large framed animal with heavy bones and large spreading, lyre shaped, horns which can be 2.5m from tip to tip (Challens, 1972). Typical coat colours are black and brown ranging from fawn to grey and sometimes mixed with white (but never pure white). The most usual colours are brown, black and dark red; the hump is small, almost absent in the female and is located in the neck and chest position. At Mazabuka Research Station, mature bulls and cows at the age of 4 years, reached 630 kg and 450 kg respectively; corresponding weights would be 580 kg for bulls and 400 kg for cows under smallholder husbandry. They are multiple purpose animals providing meat, milk, manure and draught power (Mwenya, 2001).

Tonga Cattle. Brownlee (1977) reported that, the Tonga cattle were in Zambia before the Bantu migrations from Central Africa. It is a short-horned Sanga, largely found in the southern region of Zambia between the Kafue and Zambezi rivers. This breed has undergone a lot of uncontrolled crossbreeding because of the concentration of commercial ranches in this region. It was estimated to contribute about 52% of the indigenous cattle population in Zambia, but these numbers have greatly declined in the last three decades due to indiscriminate crossing with exotic breeds (Mwenya, 2001). The Tonga is very similar to the Mashona of Zimbabwe. Horns are shorter than the Barotse but longer than those of the Angoni. The hump is on the neck and chest and is small in the male and may be absent in the female. The dewlap is moderately developed. The body is not deep and the legs are long. At Mochipapa Research Station that mature weights for the Tonga breed are 560 kg for bulls and 360 kg for cows at 4 years of age. Traditional herds, however, reach only 500 kg for bulls and 300 kg for cows at 4 years. Like the Barotse the Tonga is a multi-purpose animal and is a well adapted all-purpose breed for smallholders. Because of its affirmed worthiness under low level management, there is an urgent need to implement measures to preserve this breed.

Baila cattle, found in the areas around Mumbwa on the Kafue floodplains, are believed to be a variety of the Barotse cattle; they have not been evaluated at all. They form slightly over 1% of the indigenous population.

Fenced ranch system with feedlot
Commercial beef production is based on tropical exotic breeds such as Boran, Brahman and Sahiwal and European breeds including Hereford, Sussex, South Devon, Charollais and Simmental. The three indigenous breeds (Angoni, Barotse and Tonga) have superior reproductive performance compared to exotic breeds under low-level management (Walker, 1953). They had higher calving percentages, shorter calving intervals and lower mortality. Angoni cattle had the best calving percentages compared to Barotse and Tonga. The superior reproductive performance of the Angoni was also confirmed by results from Addy and Thomas (1969); Thorpe et al. (1979); Thorpe and Cruickshank (1980) demonstrated that the Angoni had the highest killing out percentage of the indigenous breeds. The superior performance of the Angoni for meat and calving percentage was also reported by Walker (1964a,b); Kaluba (1984) and Abdel-Malik (1988).Table 9 presents data on indigenous breed evaluation (1967 to 1980)

Table 9: Data on indigenous cattle breed evaluation (1967 to 1980)

Characteristic

Angoni

Barotse

Tonga

Boran

Total number of dam records

675

731

773

814

Calving, %

82.5

78.1

74.4

75.4

Calf mortality, %

2.7

5.3

4.6

8.3

Calf birth weight, kg

22.9

25.7

19.8

25.2

Weaning, %

80.3

74.0

70.2

69.2

Calf weaning weight, kg

147.3

167.0

140.8

169.5

Weight of weaned calf/cow/year

116.0

121.0

110.0

119.0

Weight of weaned calf per 100 kg dam per year

34.6

31.6

30.2

31.8

Carcass data

Weight at 18 months,

1967

208.7

235.0

200.0

234.3

 

1969

202.5

216.0

195.0

223.8

Weight at 3 years,

1967

238.3

255.3

210.0

270.7

Weight at 3.5 years

1969

328.0

367.5

322.8

375.4

Live weight at slaughter, kg

 

336.0

360.8

300.0

370.1

Carcass weight, kg

 

182.4

185.5

145.7

200.4

Killing out, %

 

54.3

51.5

48.5

54.2

Fat % in carcass

 

19.4

12.7

13.4

18.6

Lean % in carcass

 

62.6

65.7

68.4

63.0

Bone % in carcass

 

18.0

21.6

18.2

18. 5

Sources: Kaluba (1984) and Maule (1990) cited by Mwenya, (2001)

Dairy Production
Dairy production is relatively small in relation to the large domestic market for dairy products. In 1982 there were about 600,000 small-scale milk producers (traditional dairy sub-sector) and about 100 large-scale commercial producers (modern dairy sub-sector). The 600,000 small-scale producers provide for on-farm domestic consumption and the estimated production from this sub-sector in 1982 was 28 million litres. The 100 large-scale dairy farms, including 11 state farms were estimated to have produced about 10.5 million litres during the same period. Marketed milk is estimated to satisfy about 30% of the domestic demand for liquid milk, as determined by demand in the formal (official) marketing subsystem, so that 70% has to be met through sales of recombined and/or reconstituted milk from imported dry milk and butter oil. Milk production from the traditional sub-sector is estimated to be twice that of the commercial sub-sector, but little of that milk is marketed (Kaluba, 1983).

The commercial sector has 500,000 animals and the traditional sector maintains 2.4 million. (Kaluba, 1993a). It is estimated that out of the 2.68 million (FAOSTAT suggests 2.6 M head), about 60,000 are dairy cattle, mainly Holsteins, Friesians and their crosses (Phiri, 1992, Mwenya, 1992b, 2001); the remaining population are the indigenous, dual purpose breeds (Daka, 1992).

Commercial dairy production
Commercial dairying dates to the 1920s, when settlers introduced exotic dairy breeds and contributed to the steady bulk of marketed milk production until 1964 when Zambia became independent. Since 1964, many European commercial dairy producers have left the country or stopped milk production, which has resulted in a steady decline in the supply of marketed milk which fell from 16 million litres in 1964 to about 10.5 million litres in 1974. The Government began to establish dairy farms in the late 1960s, but these did not perform as well as expected (Bessel and Daplyn, 1976).

Commercial dairy producers provide about 66% of the fresh milk intake of the Dairy Produce Board (DPB) and in 1981 delivered 8 million litres of fresh milk, when the total intake of DPB was about 12.1 million litres. The rest of the fresh milk was from the 11 state farms.

Commercial dairies are very sensitive to the level of milk producer price. The daily intake of fresh milk by the DPB increased from an average of 17,000 litres in 1980 to about 30,000 litres in 1982 following substantial increases in the milk price (FAO, 1982). The increase in daily milk deliveries are believed to result from the decision by commercial dairy producers to supply less and less milk to the informal dairy marketing system as the price from the official dairy marketing subsystem became more and more remunerative.

Commercial dairying is undertaken along the old railway line and is still dominated by expatriates. Parastatal farms, five of which are in outlying provinces, helped fill the production gap after the departure of some expatriates. Friesian cows have an average yield of 25 litres per day; Friesian x indigenous crosses give 10 litres. This makes the combined national production from the commercial and parastatal sectors about 22.5 million litres (Planning Division, 1988).

Small-scale milk production
Milk production on smallholdings, generally located near urban centres and away from the railway line, was established in the early 1970s under milk production schemes. The sector has the majority of dairy cattle in Zambia yet contributes no more than half the national milk production. Given its potential, it should be possible to increase the output of milk from this sector and help satisfy national needs.

Milk in the traditional sector is produced from local cattle, mostly of the Sanga and zebu types crossed with Tonga, Barotse and Angoni. Milk yields per animal range from three to five litres per day. The milk produced is consumed domestically and is estimated at about 31.5 million litres per annum (Phiri, 1992). Walker, (1964) evaluated the milking capacity of indigenous cattle of Zambia and Table 10 presents data on the indigenous breeds while Table 11 presents summaries of evaluation of milk and weaner production of Friesian cross Angoni and Barotse.

Table 10: Milking capacity of the indigenous cattle breeds of Zambia

Breed

Number

Lactation Days

Yield (litres)

Maximum Daily Yield (litres)

Angoni

501

294 ± 23

990 ± 16

4.29 ± 0.5

Barotse

467

305 ± 29

1160 ± 25

4.96 ± 0.7

Tonga

600

295 ± 30

850 ± 12

3.24 ± 0.3

Lundazi

304

310 ± 38

1290 ± 19

5.29 ± 0.5

Source: Walker, 1964.

Indigenous cattle have low milk yield spread over a lactation curve similar to that of Bos taurus. Maximum yields are over the first 12 weeks of lactation with a long period during which the yield is too low to be of use to the calf (Mwenya, 1992b, 2001). The mean lactation period lasts for 301 ± 12 days with a mean yield of 985 ± 85 litres. The decline in yield following service was much sharper than in Bos taurus, but cows served at about ± 7 weeks after parturition gave a higher yield over the last ± 100 days. The lactation curve lacked lactation persistence characteristics. For maximum yields, the optimum service interval was estimated at 76 ± 7 days. The result on the milking capacity of the indigenous cattle suggested that there was a possibility of increasing the milk productivity by crossbreeding with temperate dairy breeds. To prove this, a trial, involving 40 Friesian-Angoni and 48 Friesian-Barotse cows was conducted over a period of 10 years starting in 1977 to 1988. The cows calved from October to January and were hand milked once a day with a calf at foot until August, when the calves were weaned and the cows dried off. The calves ran with their mothers during the day and were penned separately at night, as practiced in smallholder husbandry. The cows were grazed on unimproved veldt throughout the year. Limited amounts of maize stover were available from June to the end of October. During lactation the cows were fed 2 kg of snapped maize at milking time for easier handling (Mwenya, 2001).

Table 11. Milk and weaner production of Friesian cross Angoni and Barotse

Parameter

Friesian/Angoni

Friesian/Barotse

Number of cows

40

48

Average total yield, litres

1100

1420

Average number days in lactation

246

248

Average Daily milk yield, litres

4.4

5.8

Average annual weight of weaner, kg

150

154

Average weight of cow at weaning, kg

344

377

(Wt of weaner)/Wt of cow at weaning), %

44

41

Kaluba (unpublished) Cited by Mwenya (2001)


Table 12. Smallholder dairy production profitability coefficients in 1989 and 1992

Parameters

Years

1989

1992¹

Number of farmers

135

180

Average herd size (includes beef)

20

30

Average number of dairy cattle

8

7

Average farm size (ha)

< 5

< 5

Daily yield per cow (kg day)

2.5

4.0

Lactation yield (kg)

450

840

Lactation length (days)

180

210

Calving rate (%)

87

71

Calving interval (days)

545

403

Age at first calving (months)

36.0

24.7

Cost

   

Concentrates (kg/day per cow)

2

2

Price (Kwacha/kg)

1

17

Costs of concentrates (Kwacha)

360

7,140

Drugs, acaricides etc (Kwacha)

420

6,700

Total costs

780

13,840

Income

   

Total milk yield (kg)

450

840

Price per kg (Kwacha)

4

55

Total revenue (Kwacha)

1,800

46,200

Profit margin

1,020

32,360

¹April 1991 to April 1992; In 1992 US$ 1 = 315 Zambian Kwacha; Source: Kaluba (1993a)

Goat Production
Goats which are important in the marginal areas are widely distributed throughout the country, but over 60% are in river valley areas and semi-arid regions (CSO, 1997) which are characterized by poor crop production and cattle do not thrive because of trypanosomiasis and feed scarcity (DAPH, 1993; Ahmadu et al, 2000). Goats’ adaptability, prolificacy and modest nutrient requirements make them well adapted to poor marginal lands (Ahmadu, et al., 2000).Most smallholders keep local breeds. There is also the Boer goat. Aside from the seasonal demand, i.e. religious rites and parties, goat meat is gaining general acceptance as a regular item in many homes and restaurants. While goats represent a critical resource for the provision of income and nutrition to the smallholders, they have not been fully appreciated by policy makers, non-governmental organizations and other development agents. Only limited research has been conducted on indigenous goats; their genetic potential has not been well documented and appreciated (Mwenya, 2001).

Zambian goats are believed to originate from the present day Zimbabwe (the Matebele and Shona kingdoms). The numbers in the national flock are not well known. There are many indigenous types (Mwenya, 2001) which are further described by the locality within which they are found. In the Southern half of the country three different types have been identified (Chisanga and Murenga, 1998):

(i) The South East African Dwarf Goat, or Gwembe Valley goat: its population was estimated as 340,000 (Aregheore et al., 1992).

(ii) In most of the southern half of the country and the northern parts of the Zambezi escarpment and Luangwa valley, a larger breed is found generally referred to as the Valley goat.

(iii) On the plateau areas there is an intermediate type referred to as the plateau goat which appears to be widely distributed in the country. Colours vary from black, brown and roan with or without white markings. The goats are short with fine and glossy coats.

Table 13 presents data on the performance of some indigenous goats. There is a strong feeling now that goat rearing should be promoted as part of the poverty alleviation. However, development efforts need to be backed by full characterization and evaluation of indigenous goats (Mwenya, 2001).

Table 13. Some performance traits of indigenous goats

Parameters

Gwembe Goats

Valley Goats

Plateau Goats

Mature body weight, kg

     

- Male

30-36

48-50

34-36

- Female

18-25

32-46

25-30

Age at first kidding(months)

15-18

20-22

18-20

Fertility rate, percentage

88.8

86.4

87.5

Kidding rate, percentage

110

98.8

105

Prolificacy

1.4

1.1

1.2

Kid birth weight, kg

1.5

1.8

1.6

Weaning rate

55

50

52

Pre-weaning mortality, percentage

48

50

42

Dressing percentage at 12 months

42.8

42.3

40.2

Source: Chisanga and Mwenya (Unpublished) cited by Mwenya, (2001).


5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE

Natural Grassland
Grasslands, which cover 27% of the land area, range from pure grasslands to those with scattered trees. Pure grassland occurs in dambos, flood plains or swamps, while forests cover 60% of the country. An 1993 estimate reported Zambia’s arable land as 7%; permanent pastures, 40%; forests and woodland, 39% and other, 14% (Figure 20). The potential available pastureland is estimated at 10 million hectares of which only 2.7 million are available for dry season grazing which is concentrated in dambos and flood plains. The potential grazing land gives a stocking rate of 15 ha per animal as opposed to 5 ha per animal reported some years ago. The main livestock concentrations are in Regions I and II; most grazing is free-range on communal areas. Concentration of grazing in localized areas without controlled management has resulted in over-grazing. There is noticeable evidence of this in Lusitu in Southern Province, Katete (Kagoro) in Eastern Province and Luangwa in Lusaka Province.
Figure 20. Area of natural pasture and its distribution

Natural pastures (veldt) form the basis of ruminant production. Most are savanna-type -grasslands and over half of the country is treed, varying from more open conditions in the south to the tall, dense woodlands in the north and northwest. True grasslands are land which is naturally without trees and are found in places with a permanently high water table. This includes the dambos, flood plains and the margins of pans, swamps and lakes. In seasonal rainfall areas, perennial grasses rapidly decrease in quality during the early part of wet season quickly before reaching the flowering stage. With the onset of the dry season growth stops, the herbage dries and its palatability decreases.

Natural pastures include annual and perennial grasses, forbs and trees (Masiwa 1998). Notable among the natural grazing areas are the Kafue and Zambezi flood plains of Southern and Western provinces, respectively, which can support large herds of cattle even in the dry season (Kulick and Kaluba, 1985). Generally, natural pastures support animal productivity in the rainy season without any problems but in the dry season they can hardly maintain grazing animals as most of the feed year is then of very low quality.

At the beginning of the rainy season young grasses have a very high concentration of nutrients. As the season advances, there is a drastic reduction in the content of proteins and other nutrients and a rapid increase in fibre. Levels of vitamins and minerals, which are high at the beginning of the rainy season, are almost non-existent towards the end of the dry season. Table 14 presents the seasonal nutritional quality characteristics of the veldt.

Table 14: Nutritional quality of natural veldt as influenced by season

Season

Dry matter

Protein1 (% DM)

Fibre (% DM)

TDN2

Energy (Kcal/kg)

Nov. – Jan.

24.8

8.0

32.6

54

980

Feb.-Apr.

38.7

4.2

38.0

49

865

May – Jun.

51.2

2.1

44.0

26.3

464

Aug. – Sept.

73.3

1.5

47.6

20.0

351

1 Digestible crude protein; 2 Total digestible nutrients;
Sources: Simbaya (2002a).

Natural grassland is dominated by the Hyparrhenia spp. especially Hyparrhenia filipendula which is frequently burnt during the dry season. At Mt Makulu Research Station, cutting H. filipendula pastures two or four times yearly over nine years changed the botanical composition. The dominance of shorter grasses, such as Cynodon dactylon, Digitaria setivalva, Heteropogon contortus and Microchloa caffra, offered an improvement in nutritive value. Hyparrhenia spp. grassland yield of dry matter increased from 3,671 kg/ha unfertilised to 7,594 kg/ha fertilized with 300 kg N/ha and in association with 105 kg/ha of P2O5 from 4,477 kg/ha to 9,883 kg/ha. However, it is not economical to fertilize, natural grassland. The dry matter intake of natural grass decreased with advancing age, but mixing legumes with it increased dry matter intake (Gihad, 1976). Kulich, (1988), concluded that many of the common pasture legumes will grow in Lusaka, Central and Southern provinces.

Over-grazing and deforestation affect the availability of natural pasture and this depends on the management such as no rotational grazing, no supplementary feeding, no control of animal numbers according to carrying capacity of the land and concentrating grazing pressure in localized pastoral areas. Over-grazed areas are bare with signs of gully formation. The reasons for overgrazing and soil erosion are:

(i) Too many animals on a piece of land leading to over-grazing and trampling causing compaction which results into soil erosion.

(ii) Young bushes and trees are destroyed through browsing. Goats are particularly destructive in this respect, leaving the land devoid of vegetation. This leads to a decline in the animal productivity of range land vegetation.

Over-grazing is also seen in wildlife areas, especially in the Luangwa Valley, due to high densities of elephants in the 1970s and hippos in the Luangwa River stretch (NAP document, 2002). High elephant populations brought high browsing pressure to the vegetation, particularly Mopane woodland and large areas were left bare. With drought and fire, most of these areas have not regenerated and have remained bare or have been converted into grasslands (NAP document, 2002). The increase in concentrations of hippos in the Central Luangwa Valley in densities of over 40 animals per km river in recent years has is also causing grazing damage on the riverine areas.

Soil compaction due to trampling, erosion, and gullies are evident in the Luangwa. Due to nutritional stress in hippos, the reproductive rate is delayed and the animals are susceptible to high mortality when there is a disease out-break, particularly anthrax (LIRDP 1996, Annual Report). Despite the above, Simbaya (2000a) reported that there is still a lot of potential for increasing ruminant productivity in rural areas, as most of the land is undeveloped.

Lighting bush-fires is common; some are set indiscriminately. Communities set bush-fires for a number of reasons which include: vegetation control and fire-breaks around homesteads and gardens, clearing fields for cultivation, provision of potash, visibility improvement during hunting as well as gathering and pasture management. Indiscriminate late fires reduce wood annual increment by 50% in miombo woodland.

Planned late burning of pastures can increase their productivity (a late burn favours regeneration of grasses, rather than woody species). In woodland areas, 75% of trees under 3 m high are generally susceptible to destruction and late fires destroy 84% of the herbage biomass. In treeless areas and in the dry season, burning may cause soil erosion by wind and water at the on-set of the rains before sufficient herbage cover develops. These factors reduce the potential of woodland to regenerate.

Zambia has good reserves of ground and surface water compared to other countries in Southern Africa. Most potential grazing areas have access to water. Surface water from these rivers covers about 6% of the Country (ZFAP, 1997). If all the wetlands are included, surface water covers 20% of Zambia’s surface.

Improved pastures
When natural veldt pastures are developed with a legume-base and fertilized mainly with super-phosphate, most of them can yield large quantities of low-cost animal products. (Kulick, 1988). In many areas of Central, Southern and Lusaka provinces, inorganic nitrogen-grass systems are used for dairying and intensive beef production, but increasing costs and the removal of subsidy and possible shortages of energy, has created a potential instability in price/supply of fertilizer N, making it uneconomical. There is a swing in these areas to legume-grass systems. Gihad (1976) and Kulick (1988) gave a comprehensive list of available creeping legumes that are suitable for Zambian while Simbaya (2002a, b) reported on potential fodder trees and shrub legumes that could be used.

Commercial enterprises develop large areas for grazing with improved forages because of access to funds and technical knowledge. Sown areas are fenced and divided into paddocks. Pastures are based on legumes which have the potential for both higher stocking rates and faster cattle growth rates that result in a significant increase in animal production. Commercial farmers use intensive rotational grazing therefore they remain relatively green and leafy and improve in basal cover. The major constraint to the expansion of legume/grass pastures is seed availability.

Compared to wild grasses the cultivated ones ( Rhodes grass Chloris gayana); Setaria, Setaria anceps; Star grass Cynodon nlemfluensis; Torpedo grass, Panicum repens and Weeping love grass, Eragrostis curvula) show relatively higher digestible crude protein contents and digestible energy values(Gihad, 1976).

Sown legumes which could be used in Zambia are Lucerne, Medicago sativa; Axillaris, Macrotyloma axillare; Cowpea, Vigna unguiculata; Desmodium, Desmodium intortum; Dolichos, Lablab niger; Flemingia, Flemingia congesta; Glycine, Neonotonia wightii; Rhynchosia, Rhynchosia sublobata: Siratro, Macroptilium atropurpureum; Stylo, Stylosanthes guianensis; Sunn hemp Crotalaria juncea and Velvet beans Stizolobium spp.; (Gihad, 1976). Table 15 presents chemical composition and nutritive value of the natural grassland, some grass and legume species and grass-legume mixtures in Zambia.

Table 15: Chemical composition and nutritive value of some grass and legumes species

Type of Pasture

Nutrient composition (%)

Nutritive value

Crude protein

Crude fibre

Ether extract

N-Free extract

Ash

Digestible crude protein (%)

Digestible energy (Kcal/kg)

TDN

Grasses

Natural Hyparrhenia standing hay (February)

4.79

43.73

2.01

41.99

7.47

1.63

2,288

53.9

Buffalo

12.50

32.50

3.00

39.50

12.50

9.30

2,593

30.8

Elephant

8.27

34.65

2.12

44.73

10.23

5.10

2,533

58.6

Guinea

12.94

37.95

1.48

36.81

10.82

7.70

2,493

56.5

Rhodes

6.21

40.30

1.60

42.86

9.03

3.79

2,372

54.8

Setaria

12.90

33.84

2.85

38.62

11.79

9.06

2,342

56.2

Star

8.95

36.85

1.00

46.87

6.33

5.50

2,590

59.6

Legumes

               

Lucerne

22.46

28.74

3.52

32.29

12.99

16.84

2,060

48.2

Cowpea

17.24

31.40

1.60

40.42

9.34

14.22

3,036

45.0

Desmodium

14.64

29.84

1.80

41.50

12.22

11.09

2,721

61.1

Flemingia

9.80

38.34

1.98

40.45

9.43

6.11

2,076

47.7

Glycine

12.33

32.45

1.91

43.17

10.14

9.36

2,887

62.7

Siratro

14.31

27.32

2.73

41.98

13.66

10.24

2,664

60.1

Stylo

14.87

30.11

3.12

38.85

13.05

10.92

2,701

60.6

Velvet bean

19.88

39.20

2.12

31.38

7.42

16.46

3,081

67.1

Grass-Legume Mixtures

Natural grass/Siratro

8.88

35.39

2.48

42.07

11.18

5.31

2,520

58.3

Natural grass/Stylo

9.20

36.14

2.45

41.27

10.94

5.86

2,484

57.2

Source: Adapted from Gihad (1976).

Pasture research in the 1980 resulted in volumes of literature on the improvement of pasture production in Zambia (Kulick, 1988). Kulick (1988) reported that from 1962 to 1988 there was significant contributions on pasture legume research notably by Smith (1962, 1963), van Rensburg (1967, 1969a, 1969b), Potter (1972), Verdoom (1965), Prins (1972, 1975), Peterson (1975), Shalwindi (1978), Craufurd (1978), Kulich and Kulich (1973, 1976) and Kulich (1977, 1981), There have been other reviews by Prins (1970), Craufurd (1979), Kulich and Kaluba (1985), Kulich (1985), Kulich and Nambayo (1986) and Kulich (1986). However, despite these early efforts to stimulate commercial interest, farmers did not respond in any significant way.

Crop residues and agro-industrial by-products
Crop-residues are a major source of feed for ruminants in the dry season. Smallholders usually practice mixed farming and have crop-residues. Maize accounts for more than 60% of crop-residues in the smallholder sector (Aregheore, 1994). However, not all the crop-residues are used for animal feed; most are burnt to clear the fields for the next crop, some are ploughed under and some are left to rot in the fields. Where crop-residues are used for feeding animals, most are grazed in situ, often with a lot of wastage from trampling and soiling (Aregheore and Chimwano, 1992).

Agro-industrial by-products include molasses, bagasse, oilseed cakes, maize milling products, citrus pulp, brewer’s grain and animal by-products including meat and bone meal, fish meal. These are usually of very high nutritive value and are usually produced in urban or peri-urban industrial areas. The chemical composition of most Zambia crop residues and agro-industrial by-products have been reported (Aregheore, 1993). Also the importance of crop residues and agro industrial by-products in the nutrition of ruminant livestock has been stressed (Aregheore, 1997, 2001); Aregheore and Tembo (1998) and their importance appreciated (Aregheore and Chimwano, 1992).


6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE RESOURCES

Fodder legumes
Kulick, (1988) based on data obtained from three pasture legumes (Siratro, Stylo and Glycine at Mount Makulu grown in pure stands and in pasture mixtures for a number of years and their suitability well established) reported that all three developed satisfactorily and formed a considerable proportion of the total herbage. He gave as an example for a two-year-old Chloris gayana (Giant Rhodes grass) that was oversown with Macroptilium atropurpureum (cv Siratro), Stylosanthes guianensis (Stylo) and Neonotonia wightii (Glycine). All three legumes developed satisfactorily and formed a considerable proportion of the total herbage. The pasture received a fertilizer application of 400 kg/ha of single superphosphate and 200 kg/ha of muriate of potash (Kulick, 1988). All the three species were compatible with Rhodes grass/legume pastures and were also observed to even grow well with star grass and in natural pasture swards. The legumes were capable of producing well over 6,000 kg/DM/ha and over 1,000 kg CP/ha (16.6% CP) per annum. They produced high-quality herbage throughout the season with crude protein values ranging from approximately 10 to 20 % that was generally two to three times higher than the value for grasses (Kulick, (1988).

Glycine and Siratro produced a considerable amount of dry-season growth and yielded 500 to over 1,000 kg DM/ha between June and October when good-quality forage was very scarce. These legumes stood up very well to heavy intensive stocking when allowed adequate rest between grazing cycles (Kulick, (1988).

Rhodes grass and native grass oversown to legume and stocked at 0.50 to 0.75 ha/steer supported steers for about seven to nine months and the steers gained 90 to 100 kg during the dry period. Glycine and Siratro were fire-tolerant and produced new growth soon after burning. Where they were completely burnt in June, the two species produced vigorous dry-season growth, yielding about 1,160 kg DM/ha. Stylo which is more drought-resistant is not fire-tolerant. The roots are readily killed by burning. It will, however, grow and re-establish itself during the rainy season following the fire from fallen seed (Kulick, 1988).

The above-ground herbage of all three species was killed by frost, but their root-stocks were frost-tolerant. Both Glycine and Siratro produced vigorous new growth soon after severe frost that occurred in July and they continued to produce excellent growth throughout the rest of the dry season. Regrowth of Stylo on the other hand was slower.

On loamy soils of medium and heavy texture the most suitable species are Glycine and Siratro, while on the light-textured sandy soils Siratro and Stylo seem to be more suitable. Other cultivated and indigenous species such as Silverleaf desmodium, Macrotyloma and Rhynchosia, can also play an important role in pasture and forage improvement (Kulick, 1988).

Kulick, (1988) reported that prior to 1974 large areas in the Mkushi District were sown to both Rhodes grass and Star grass and some farmers experimented with Torpedo grass (Panicum repens) in their 'dambos'. Due to the increased profitability of beef, one farmer between 1979 and 1982 was able to clear 600 hectares of land along Mkushi River. The whole area was cleanly wind rowed and ploughed. Grass seeds (Rhodes grass, Signal grass and Green panic) were sown with the legumes (Silverleaf desmodium, Greenleaf desmodium, Stylo cvs. Cook, Endeavour, Graham and Seca, Lotononis and Siratro) into a rough seedbed and were lightly harrowed (Kulick, 1988).

The 'dambos' area was disked during the dry season and Torpedo grass was planted vegetatively on a metre square spacing and Lotononis was oversown into the rough seedbed. After the establishment, paddocks were grazed at an overall average stocking rate of about 1.6 LU/ha. The pastures were also heavily grazed during the December to February period and then either rested or lightly grazed for the next three to four months. In the latter part of the dry season they were again subjected to heavy grazing. The legumes in all cases were slow to establish although the companion grasses did well (Kulick, 1988). Greenleaf desmodium started well but was quickly grazed out. The Silverleaf desmodium was the most encouraging, because it quickly established itself after the first year and maintained or even increased its share of the sward over the following four to five year period.

There is no point in growing grass and legume pastures unless they can be properly utilised. It is likely that they would grow and thrive well if they are adequately managed. However, if pastures are allowed to grow unchecked during the entire growing season, the herbage becomes mature and coarse and it deteriorates rapidly in feeding value. Pastures which are subjected to intensive rotational grazing remain relatively green and leafy and improve in basal cover.

Fodder trees and shrubs
Zambia has a great diversity of indigenous trees and shrubs which can be used, as feed for ruminants. Due to their high content of protein, minerals and vitamins and availability in the dry season, woody fodders have the capacity to complement crop-residues and natural pastures. However, the presence of anti-nutrients, in particular tannins can limit animal performance, particularly foliage is fed in large quantity. A number of technologies including, wilting, sun-drying, treatment with chemicals and ammoniation have been developed and available to increase the use of foliage from trees and shrubs. Multi-purpose fodder trees in Zambia are categorized as non-conventional feed resources (Simbaya 2000a). However, towards the end of the dry season there is usually a substantial amount of green fodder from exotic planted and naturally occurring trees. Some important fodder trees and shrubs identified to be potential feeds are presented in Table 16.

Table 16: Important fodder trees and shrubs in Zambia

Local Name Known Botanical Name

Leucaena Leucaena leucocephala

Mutowa

 Diplorhynchus condylocarpon
Mulombe Pterocarpus angolensis
Caliandra Calliandra calothyrsus
Nyamundolo Cajanus cajan

Kapululambuzi

 --
Musamba --
Mpondo Bauhinia petersiana
Kankande Ziziphus abyssinica
Makechi Cassia siamea
Chilalampili Clerodendrum uncinatum
Thuza Flacourtia indica

Msekese

Piliostigma thonningii
Msolo Pseudolachnostylis maprouneafolia
Kalumpangala Dichrostachys cinerea
Kalama  Combretum fragrans
Sesbania  Sesbania sesban
Mapoloyakalulu Canathium crassum
Mpovya  Annona senegalensis
Mungonondo Terminalia sericea
Mubanga Pericopsis angolensis
Chipembela Xeromphis obovata
Gliricidia Gliricidia sepium

Source: Cited by Simbaya (2002a)

Most of the listed trees (Table 16) are in the wild state and can either be selected for planting in farming systems or be maintained selectively in grazing areas. Fodder trees are an important source of minerals (Table 17).

Table 17: Chemical constituents (% DM) and energy (Kcal/kg DM) of fodder trees and shrubs.

Source

DM (%)

Crude protein

Crude fibre

Ash

Calcium

Phosphorus

Energy

Acacia

29.0

15.1

22.6

8.2

1.21

0.06

8.4

Cassava

21.1

24.2

15.6

6.6

2.62

0.22

14.4

Calliandra

26.4

24.0

21.7

8.0

1.6

0.20

12.6

Erythrina

32.0

25.8

17.4

6.7

-

-

14.3

Ficus

17.0

14.0

22.4

5.8

1.31

0.17

12.0

Gliricidia

25.0

14.7

19.9

4.7

1.58

0.29

12.8

Jackfruit

36.6

14.0

22.1

11.5

1.46

0.15

14.2

Leucaena

30.0

22.2

19.6

4.4

0.27

0.12

12.1

Pigeon pea

25.2

22.8

20.1

5.8

0.37

0.17

13.4

Prosopis

23.4

14.0

17.8

6.8

2.73

0.15

11.2

Sesbania

18.0

22.6

18.4

9.3

1.48

0.34

13.6

Tamarind

28.0

14.0

21.0

8.6

2.81

0.20

14.4

Source: Simbaya (2002a).

Phiri et al. (1992) investigated the effects of browse supplementation on maize husk utilization by goats and reported significant increases in total dry matter intake, dry matter digestibility and diet organic matter digestibility. Table 18 presents data on a comparison of supplemented maize husk with Leucaena, Calliandra or urea in promoting the utilization of low quality roughage for live weight gains in goats. The results show that fodder legumes are comparable to urea in promoting animal live weight gains in the dry season. The real gain in supplementing animals with fodder trees or shrubs was to improve the average daily weight gain, which increased with increased levels of green fodder in the diet. (Phiri et al, 1992).

Table 18: Mean daily dry matter intake (DM) and digestibilities of dry matter (DMD) and organic matter (OMD) of the components of rations of maize husk supplemented with urea, leucaena (leu) and/or Calliandra (cal) and daily weight gain by goats.

Treatment

Parameters

Husk/urea

Husk/leu

Husk/cal

Husk/cal/leu

S.E.

Intake (g/day)

Maize husk

249.5a

149.2b

147.2b

149.4b

0.9

Leucaena

-

182.4

-

-

 

Calliandra

-

-

168.01

-

 

Leucaena/calliandra

-

-

-

168.0

 

Total DMI

249.5c

331.6a

315.2b

317.4b

1.2

Digestibility (%)

Dry matter digestibility

46.7c

63.4a

59.3b

59.8ab

1.2

Organic matter digestibility

53.9c

64.9a

60.7b

61.9b

0.7

Acid detergent fibre digestibility

43.1

52.2

52.4

54.5

0.7

 

Average daily wt gain (g)

4.8d

28.5a

19.0c

22.6b

0.1

Daily DM intake (kg)

0.25

0.33

0.32

0.32

 

FE (kg DM kg-1 gain)

52.1d

11.6a

16.8c

14.2b

 

S.E. = Standard error, F.E. = feed efficiency. Means followed by the same letter within the same row are not significantly different (P<0.05). Source: Phiri et al. (1992).

Planted leguminous browse
Simbaya (2002a) reported that nearly all the fodder trees currently grown in arable farming systems in Zambia, almost all exotic legumes, are selected mostly to improve soil fertility or reduce soil erosion. Feeding quality characteristics of generated fodder are given little attention. A number of farming system research programmes have addressed this problem through intercropping of legumes with cereal food crops to improve soil fertility and maintain crop yields without the use of chemical fertilizers. It is important that the trees that have been selected over years should be evaluated for feeding quality if they have to be used to feed ruminants. Thus, Phiri et al. (1992) recommended that for fodder production leucaena and calliandra could be planted in different configuration i.e. (i) pure stands (ii) mixed with grasses or herbaceous legumes in mixed or zonal arrangement.

The economic impacts of ICRAF’s (International Centre for Research in Agroforestry) field research in Zambia on tree-based fallows over several seasons that examined returns to land and labour and costs-benefits at the farm level, is a typical example of how traditional farmers make use of such technology to improve livestock feeding in the dry season. Adoption levels were substantial and farmers’ reasons for and against adoption were also considered (Franzel et al. 2002).

Ajayi and Kwesiga (2003) in their study show that the pattern of distribution of benefits (or costs) of fertilizer-tree fallows among various sectors of a community is an important factor that enhances (or inhibits) their widespread use. Privatising seasonal commons is an issue of contention in the efforts to scale up the adoption of fertilizer trees which reduce the area available for traditional free grazing, so the technology met some resistance from households with larger herds. Local leaders have been able to resolve conflicts and enable investment in improved fallows.

Constraints and Recommendations
At the beginning of the rainy season, young grasses have a very high concentration of essential nutrients and are capable to support animal growth. As the rainy season advances, there is a drastic reduction in the content of proteins and other nutrients due to a rapid increase in fibre. In the dry season the quantity which can be ingested is limited by the rumen capacity of the animal (Simbaya, 2002b). Levels of vitamins and minerals are very low towards the end of the dry season. Simbaya, (2002b) reported that smallholders in Zambia face a number of problems which militate against high productivity of their stock. Examples are:-

(i) seasonal and low productivity of natural grasslands which may be influenced by soil conditions. This tends to limit the nutritional quality of available fodder and the animals are thus unable to meet their protein, energy and mineral requirements;

(ii) there are no sustainable pasture management techniques for smallholders to improve communal grazing areas most of which are degraded due to uncontrolled grazing;

(iii) communal land tenure in rural areas hampers the development or maintenance of communal grazing areas; there is no control of animal numbers;

(iv) there is rarely mineral supplementation in the smallholder sector, animals may be adversely affected unless efforts are made to correct deficiencies;

(v) other constraints include poor management, high cost of inputs and low product prices. Poor nutrition is the main factor limiting animal production in the traditional smallholder sector.

The most important sources of feed for smallholder ruminants are natural pastures and fibrous crop residues therefore government policies to assist smallholders in Zambia should take into consideration the suggestion made by Simbaya (2002b):

(i) There is a need to train farmers in conservation of excess herbage in the wet season which will help to improve utilization of natural pastures.

(ii) Farmers must be encouraged to collect, dry and stack all crop residues after harvest for use late in the dry season, instead of allowing animals to graze them in situ.

(iii) The use of fodder trees by smallholders should be encouraged.

(iv) Farmers need to be encouraged to establish fodder gardens, so that they can cut and carry feed to their stock.

(v) There is a need to introduce rotational grazing in communal grazing areas which will require changes to land tenure. Improved grazing may also be done through chiefs or community participation.

(vi)  Farmers should be encouraged to select suitable stock and to match animal numbers to the feed resources. The economic benefit to the farmer will be the sale of excess animals at the end of the rainy season when they are likely to fetch a better price.


7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL

University of Zambia

Department of Animal Science, School of Agricultural Sciences, Lusaka, Zambia.

Department of Crop Science, School of Agricultural Sciences, Lusaka, Zambia

Department of Agronomy, School of Agricultural Sciences, Lusaka, Zambia

Natural Resources Development College (NRDC), Zambia.

Ministry and Departments

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF),

Zambia Department of Research and Specialized Services,

Zambia Agricultural Research & Extension Project

Institutes and Research Centres

National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research, Livestock and Pest Research Centre, Chilanga, Zambia

Agricultural Research, Mount Makulu Research Station

Mochipapa Research Centre, Livestock Production Research, Choma, Zambia.

Nanga National Irrigation Research Station, P/Bag S 3, Mazabuka, Zambia

Dept. of Agriculture, National Irrigation Research Station,
P/Bag S-3, Mazabuka.

Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (GART)

SADCC/ICRAF Agroforestry Project, Chalimbana Station, Lusaka, Zambia

Zambia/ICRAF/AFRENA Agroforestry Project, Chipata, Zambia

Contacts for information on Pasture and Fodder Production and Management

Name Main field of interest Institution E-mail
J.C.N. Lungu Animal Physiologist Univ. of Zambia, School of Agriculture Jlungu@agric.unza.zm
M. Daura Ruminant Nutritionist Univ. of Zambia, School of Agriculture MDaura@agric.unza.zm
Tamala Ms Kambikambi Crop/Agronomist Univ. of Zambia, School of Agriculture TKambikambi@agric.unza.zm
Simbaya, J. Animal/Pasture Scientist National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research,
Livestock and Pest Research Centre,
Chilanga, Zambia.
 
Phiri, D.M. Ruminant Scientist Department of Agriculture, Chipata, Zambia  


8. REFERENCES

Abdel-Malik, W. H. (1988). Annual Report of the Animal Husbandry Research. Unpublished. Department of Agriculture Research Branch. Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development. Lusaka..

Addy, B.L. and Thomas, D. (1969). Beef Cattle Research in Zambia. Research Bulletin No. I. National Council for Scientific Research. Chilanga. Lusaka.

Ahmadu, B., Lovelace, C.E.A. and Samui, K.L. (2000). Goat keeping under village production system in semi-arid river valley areas in Zambia. 7th International Conference on Goats, France, 15-21 May, 2000. pp 528-530.

Ajayi, O. C. and Kwesiga, F. (2003). Implications of local policies and institutions on the adoption of improved fallows in eastern Zambia. Agroforestry systems, 59 (3):327-336.

Aregheore, E.M. (1993). Chemical composition of some Zambian crop residues for ruminant nutrition. Zambian J. Agric. Sci, 3: 7-10.

Aregheore, E.M. (1994) Potential of crop residues in ruminant nutrition, Zambian J. Agric. Sci, 4 39-41.

Aregheore, E.M. (1997). Effect of sex on feed intake, growth and nutrients digestibility in Blackhead sheep fed complete mash rations of crop residues. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences, 6:71-79.

Aregheore, E.M. (2001). Growth rate, apparent nutrient digestibility and some blood metabolites of Gwembe Valley Goats on rations based on crop residues in the hot dry season in Zambia. Tropical Animal Health andProduction, 33:331-340.

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9. CONTACTS

Profile prepared by:

Eroarome Martin Aregheore
while he was at:
The University of the South Pacific
School of Agriculture and Food Technology
Department of Animal Science
Alafua Campus, Apia.
SAMOA.

Present address/contact:
Eroarome Martin Aregheore, PhD
Marfel Consulting (Agricultural and Educational Services)
118-7341, 19th Avenue
Burnaby, BC, Canada, V3N1E3
Tel: 604 395 5428
778 991 2295 (Cell)
Email: aregheore_m@yahoo.com


[The profile was prepared in February 2006 by Dr. Martin Aregheore and was edited by J.M. Suttie and S.G Reynolds in April/May 2006 and in January 2009 by S.G. Reynolds].