Feed resources and livestock production situation in the highland and mid altitude areas of Horro and Guduru Districts of Oromia Regional State, Western Ethiopia
A survey was conducted in the highland and mid altitude areas of Horro and Guduru districts of Horro Guduru Wollega Zone of Oromia Regional State, western Ethiopia with the objectives of assessing livestock production situation, livestock production constraints, major feed resources and their potential contribution. A single-visit multi subject formal survey method was used in the survey. A total of 210 household heads, 60 from highland and 150 from mid altitude areas were selected and interviewed. The average land holding was 4.43±0.26 ha per household in the highland and 3.98±0.11 ha in the mid altitude areas. The average size of grazing lands of highland respondents (0.73±0.08 ha) was significantly higher (P<0.001) than that of mid altitude (0.47±0.03 ha). Similarly, the average livestock holdings of highland respondents (13.00±0.60 heads) were significantly higher (p<0.001) than that of mid altitude livestock holding (9.72±0.45 heads) in which cattle dominates other species. Feed shortage, health problem, poor genetic potential, labour and water shortage were listed as major constraints for livestock production. Natural pasture, cop residues, stubble grazing were listed as major feed resources, with minimal contribution of improved forages and local beverage by products (Diqi or atela). Disappearance of better quality and palatable species of grasses, expansion of invasive plants like Raphanus raphanistrum and Parthenium hysterophorus, and depletion of soil nutrients were listed as factors affecting the quality of grazing land. An average of 11.55 and 13.89 tons of feed dry matter (DM) was produced per household of highland and mid altitude, respectively, of which about 74.03% of the feed in highland and 80.63 % in mid altitude were obtained from crop residues. The contribution of private grazing land was estimated to be 11.7 and 6.41 % of the total feed supply from the private holdings in highland and mid altitude areas, respectively. The contribution of stubble (after math grazing) was estimated to be 14.81 and 13.03 % of the feed that can be obtained from private holdings.
Keywords: Livestock, Natural pasture, Crop residues, Aftermath grazing, Agro-ecologies