Fodder to ruminants within agroforestry systems in Rwanda- Species and management

Published on January 1, 2013 | Author: Linnéa Holmström

Rwanda is one of the poorest countries in the world and about 70-80 % of the population lives in rural areas. The land is strongly affected by land erosion which makes it difficult for the agriculture and food production. Agroforestry is a system where tree plantation is combined with livestock- and crop production. The system provides soil fertilization and binds the soil together. Some of the trees used in agroforestry systems are also used as fodder. The topic the present study was to document the fodder production in rural and small scale farms in Rwanda, and identify potential problems.

To answer the research questions semi-structured interviews with open-ended and closed questions were performed. Altogether 13 respondents were interviewed individually and one group interview with 21 respondents was done. The most used fodder were napier grass and leafs and branches from trees, mostly Calliandra spp. and the majority of the farmers who were interviewed had fewer than 20 fodder trees which were planted on radical terraces. The benefits since the farmers started with agroforestry were a higher quality of the manure and a slightly increased milk production, probably because of the increased feed amount and quality. The largest difficulty was to get enough fodder during the dry season. To construct radical terraces and plant on them seemed to be a smart way to streamline the land use but still, many farmers needs more trees and an increased land ability to provide them.

Holmström, L. (2013). Fodder to ruminants within agroforestry systems in Rwanda- Species and management. Bachelor’s Thesis. Department of Animal Nutrition and Management. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Uppsala.
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