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Marius, L.N., Osafo, E.L.K., Mpofu, I.D.T., van der Merwe, P., Boys, J. and Attoh-Kotoku, V. 2017. Indigenous knowledge and identification of local woody plant species as potential feeds for goats in the communal farming areas of Namibia. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 29 (1)


Description:

Indigenous knowledge and identification of local woody plant species as potential feeds for goats in the communal farming areas of Namibia.

Summary / Notes:

A survey was conducted through farmer's interviews to describe indigenous knowledge on local woody plant species that could be used as supplements for ruminants during the dry season. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain common woody plant species that were utilized by ruminants in Omatako, Guinas, Tsandi, Daurês, Gibeon and Kongola constituencies located in communal farming areas of Namibia. Households were randomly selected using purposive sampling strategy which focused primarily on livestock keepers. A sample of sixty (60) households (10 per constituency) was interviewed for the identification of woody plant species. Most households interviewed were male-headed (73 %) aged between 41- 60 years (43 %) and who had at least primary (53.3 %), secondary (35.0 %) and very few with no education (3.3 %) background. The highest number of cattle (39 %) and goats (31 %) were recorded in Guinas, sheep (77.7 %) in Gibeon and chicken (34.1 %) in Kongola. Acacia erioloba and Combretum apiculatum were most listed across all the constituencies, and Acacia hereroensis, Combretum collinum and Rhigozum trichotomum were the least common species listed as they were confined to certain locations. The study observed that 47 % of farmers recognised the importance of woody plants such as pods and leaves as feeds for livestock. However, 53 % respondents indicated that woody plant pod collection was not part of their animal feeding practice, anticipated that animals would source the pods on their own during grazing. The reason for this could be that farmers had inadequate knowledge on pods collection, processing, and how they should be included in the animal feeding rations. Colophospermum mopane, Ziziphus mucronata, Grewia bicolor, Acacia erioloba and Terminalia sericea were used in the treatment of diarrhoea in cattle and goats, whereas, Boscia albitrunca was used to improve fertility in breeding bulls. The study concluded that farmers had profound knowledge of the predominant woody plants species utilised by ruminants and their multiple uses. Furthermore, there is need to integrate the chemical and nutritional value (animal feeding) of the leaves and pods. Keywords: ethno-veterinary medicine, indigenous knowledge, livestock farmers.

Year: 2017

Type: Journal Article

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