Livestock Research for Rural Development 24 (7) 2012 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

Citation of this paper

Social and economic feasibility of using selected indigenous browses as protein supplements for goats in Central Tanzania

D M Komwihangilo and J L Mlela*

National Livestock Research Institute, P.O. Box 202, Mpwapwa, Tanzania
* Ukiriguru Agricultural Training Institute, P.O. Box 1433 Mwanza
dkomwihangilo2001@yahoo.com

Abstract

Studies were conducted  to assess the social and economic feasibility of using selected browses in goat feeding in central Tanzania. In the first study, a cross-sectional survey was conducted in four villages of Kongwa and Mpwapwa districts. A total of 141 households (farms) were individually visited in order to determine the factors influencing the use of native and exotic tree species for goat feeding .

Results indicated that common indigenous browses  including Acacia tortilis, Ecborium spp, Grewia spp, Ficus spp, Tamarindusindica and Leucaena leucocephala were fed to goats and their importance was ranked diferently among farmers (P < 0.01) between districts. Palatability was an important factor as indicated by 29% of the respondents (n= 123). Other factors  were associated with improved animal conditions / health (28%) and milk yields of dairy goats (18%). In a separate on-station study, an economic analysis of feeding browse leaf meals showed that the use of browse-based supplements were relatively cheaper than the use of cotton seed cake (CSC). The highest profit margin was obtained with T. indica due to higher live-weight gain, followed by Lablab. Nevertheless,  work is  needed to train  farmers to establish  exogenous species and to sustainably manage  the abundant multipurpose indigenous trees and shrubs. 

Key words: Lablab, smallholder farmers, Tamarindus indica


Introduction

The role of trees and shrubs as supplementary high protein and minerals sources has been recognised in tropical livestock systems. Studies on nutritional and feeding values showed that Delonix, Tamarind and Grewia species could improve growth performance of dual-purpose goats. (Goromela et al 1997; Komwihangilo et al 2005).Other studies have demonstrated that local farmers know of the roles and contribution of the native grass forages and browses to the health and growth of goats, and other ruminants,whereby branches from various tree species are habitually harvested to provide leaves and pods (Komwihangilo et al 2001, Komwihangilo et al 2007). Nevertheless,studies  on feeding  to meet nutritional requirements of livestock using the locally available feeds  are required  to address the growing demand for feeds both. At the same time, the social and economic feasibilities of using the local browses effectively need to be established. 

A study was designed to determine the factors influencing the use of native and exotic tree species in mixed livestock systems in Semi-arid Central Tanzania. 


Materials and Methods

A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Kongwa and Mpwapwadistricts, Dodoma region of Tanzania, in July and August 2007 and February 2008 respectively. The areas are in the sorghum-millet-groudnut and maize-sorghum-bean based cropping systems that include goats and cattle. The cross-sectional design was adopted  to allow  the description  in the farming system at a single point in time (Gujarati1995). A stratified random sampling procedure was used to select goat keepers. The households (farms) were chosen with the assistance of local agricultural extension officers based mainly on the number of total goats (kids, does and bucks) owned (i.e. 1 – 5; 6 – 10; 11 – 15 and >15) before or at the time of interview. A total of 141 farms were visited where individual interviews were conducted to household heads or adult representatives with a pre-tested questionnaire. It consited of open and close-ended questions including respondent and flock background, land resources, other economic engangement and  extent of investment to ensure steady availability of browses.  

Feeding experiments were conducted at the National Livestock Research Institute, Mpwapwa, between February and June 2011. Twenty four (24) weaner goats were fed on adlibitum hay with supplements containing leafmeals of Delonixelata, Lablabpurpureus and Tamarindusindica or cotton seed cake (CSC) (Komwihangilo et al 2012). Effects on growth performance, carcass quality and economic benefits were determined. 

The supplements were formulated to contain approximately 18% crude protein (Table 1).  

Table 1. Composition of supplements in experiment 1 (as % DM) 

Feed component

Treatments

 

HCS

HTI

HDE

HLP

Maize bran

67.0

50.0

53.0

60.0

CSC

30.0

0

0

0

Tamarindus indica

0

47.0

0

0

Delonix elata

0

0

44.0

0

Lablab

0

0

0

37.0

Super lick

2.5

2.5

2.5

2.5

Common salt

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

Total

100

100

100

100

Maize bran and mineral mix were included to balance the energy and mineral content  and to meet  requirements for maintenance and growth of the  goats. Mean initial and final weights were determined by weighing on three consecutive days at the beginning and end of the experiments. Individual feed intakes of hay and supplements were recorded on a daily basis. Refusals were collected at 8:00h before new rations were offered. The economic benefits of substituting CSC by T. indica, D. elata and L. purpureus (Lablab) leaves  were calculated as the difference between the revenue from  weight gain per animal and the cost of the concentrate consumed.  


Results and Discussion

Socio-economic characteristic of farmers 

Table 2 indicates some characteristics of the respondents (71 males, 70 females). The majority (88%) were in the most active age group, between 25 and 60 years and most of them (92%) had primary education. This distribution among respondents and their associated socio-economic indicators were similar  as  in many rural areas of Tanzania where  households were analysed (Mkamilo 2004; Komwihangilo 2005).  

Cultivatable lands were small,16.9% had plots  of less that 5 acres and a similar proportion more than 30 acres. There were little or no additional agricultural inputs, such as improved seeds and agrochemicals,thus harvests per unit area were  low. This leads to food insecurity  in many households as has been observed in other pars of Same and Korogwe districts in the Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions respectively (WVT 2008; WVT 2009).  

Half of the farmers had to walk to their farms  between 2 to 8 km and many of them depended on  hoes and rudimentary implements for cultivation and weeding, comparable to  other regions in Tanzania (Mkamilo 2004) and Africa, Latin America and South Asia (Devendra and Thomas 2001; Phiri et al 2004). 

Table 2. Characteristics of respondents interviewed in Mpwapwa and Kongwa villages

Respondents

Frequency

Percent

Kongwa district

 

 

Ndulugumi village

49

34.8

Sagara village

28

19.9

Total

77

54.6

Mpwapwa district

 

 

Pwaga village

28

19.9

Kitati village

36

25.5

Total

64

45.4

Male

71

50.4

Female

70

49.6

Total

141

100.0

Age

 

 

<25 Years

6

4.3

25 -35Years

40

28.4

36 - 45 Years

39

27.7

46 - 60 Years

45

31.9

> 60 Years

11

7.8

Total

141

100.0

Education level

 

 

None

6

4.3

Primary

130

92.2

Secondary

5

3.5

Total

141

100.0

Distance from home to field

 

 

0 to 2 km

46

33.8

2 to 4 km

47

34.6

5 to 8 km

23

16.9

9 to 12 km

13

9.6

more than 12 km

7

5.1

Total

136

100.0

Size of land (acres)

 

 

1 - 2

9

6.6

2 - 5

14

10.3

6 - 9

22

16.2

10 - 14

24

17.6

15 - 19

13

9.6

20 - 25

17

12.5

 26 – 30

14

10.3

> 30

23

16.9

Total

136

100.0

Source: Survey data (2007, 2008)

Utilization of trees and shrubs for livestock feeding

There are  trees and shrubs  including Acacia tortilis, Ecborium spp, Grewia spp, Ficus spp and Tamarindus indica (Table 3), commonly used in Central Tanzania (Komwihangilo et al 1995). 

Table 3. Important trees and  shrubs fed to goats in Mpwapwa and Kongwa districts

Tree / shrub species (Botanical name)

Local (Kigogo-Kihehe) / Swahili name

Parts eaten

Acacia tortilis

Mkungugu

Pods, leaves

Grewia bicolor

Mkore

Leaves

Ficus thonningii

Mrumba

Leaves

Grewia dumicolor

Mpelemehe

Leaves

Grewia similis

Mkore

Leaves

Cajanus cajan

Mbaazi

Leaves, pods

Ecborium spp

Ngelula

Leaves

Leucaenaleucocephala

Mmelea /Lusina

Leaves

Azadirachtaindica

Mwarobaini

Leaves

Meleaazadirach

Mwarobaini

Leaves

Tamarindusindica

Mkwaju

Leaves

Ficus spp

Mkuyu

Leaves

Source: Survey data (2007, 2008)

Criteria for use of different tree / shrub species 

Farmers ranked differently the importance of using trees and shrubs and  differed significantly (P < 0.01) between districts. The differences could be attributed to individual farmers’ experiences and agro-ecological variations of farming systems. The villages in Kongwa with sorghum-millet-groundnut had more intensely browsable species than those in Mpwapwa with maize-beans (DRD, 2003). However, 92% of the respondents (Table 4) consider trees and shrubs very important or important for goats.  

Table 4. Rank of importance  of trees and shrubs  for goats in Mpwapwa and Kongwa districts

District

 

Rank of importance

Total

Chi square

 

 

Very important

Important

Somehow important

Not important

Do not know

 

 

 

Trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kongwa

Frequency (%)

48 (34.3)

19 (13.6)

3 (2.1)

4 (2.9)

3 (2.1)

77 (55.0)

 

Mpwapwa

Frequency (%)

55 (39.3)

7 (5.0)

0

1 (0.7)

0

63 (45.0)

 

 

Total (%)

103 (73.6)

26 (18.6)

3 (2.1)

5 (3.6)

3 (2.1)

140 (100)

12.54*

 

Shrubs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kongwa

Frequency (%)

48 (34.0)

19 (13.5)

3 (2.1)

2 (1.4)

5 (3.5)

77 (54.6)

 

Mpwapwa

Frequency (%)

56 (39.7)

7 (5.0)

0

1 (0.7)

0

64 (45.4)

 

 

Total (%)

104 (73.8)

36(18.4)

3 (2.1)

3 (2.1)

5 (3.5)

141 (100)

13.403**

*Percent values between districts differ significantly at 0.05

** Percent values between districts differ significantly at 0.01 

Source: Survey data (2007, 2008)


There were different reasons for the use of  trees and shrubs (Table 5), either through direct browsing or pollarding in zero grazing. Palatability for 29% of the respondents (n= 123) was important for frequency of use. Other reasons were direct benefits to the animals as improved condition / health (28%) and milk yields in dairy goats (18%). There was a general views that consumption of indigenous trees and browses contribute to desirable flavours and aroma of meat. Palatability for farmers refers to how a goat craved for or was interested in a forage when browsing or grazing. Palatability, appearance and/or body condition of  goats and  the amount of milk are essential in local and scientific descriptions of  quality of locally available feeds (Komwihangilo et al 2007).  

Table 5. Reasons for use of different trees and shrubs for goats in Mpwapwa and Kongwa districts

 

Frequency

Percent

Reasons

 

 

Palatable

36

29.3

Readily available

23

18.7

Improves health of animals fed

34

27.6

Increases milk yields

23

18.7

Resistant to drought

7

5.7

Total

123

100

Source: Survey data (2007, 2008)

More goat keepers (61.4%) depended on naturally growing plants for feeding their animals than those who had planted them (Table 6). Except for Leucaena and Ficus thonningii, that were commonly planted near or around homesteads, deliberate efforts in the establishment of forage species for goats or other livestock species were scanty. Reasons for not establishing the species included abundant availability in the wild (31.6%), sheer negligency of the need or importance of planting them (42%) and lack of adequate land. There is a need of educating farmers on the importance of the establishment of tree / shrub and other forages. This will improve high quality fodder availability because current increases in human and animal populations is  leading to opening up communal grazing areas (source of cut and carry forages) for crop production, housing and public infrastructural development, such as roads.  

Table 6. Sources and efforts in establishing browsable trees and shrubs for goats  in Mpwapwa and Kongwa districts

District

 

Source

Total

Chi square

 

 

Planted

Grow naturally

-

 

 

Kongwa

Frequency (%)

33 (23.6)

43 (30.7)

 

76 (54.3)

 

Mpwapwa

Frequency (%)

21 (15.0)

43 (30.7)

 

64 (45.7)

 

 

Total

54 (38.6)

86 (61.4)

 

140 (100.0)

1.65*

Reasons for not planting

 

 

Abundant naturally

Do not realize importance

No enough land

 

 

Kongwa

Frequency (%)

7 (18.4)

5 (13.2)

5 (13.2)

17 (44.7)

 

Mpwapwa

Frequency (%)

5 (13.2)

11 (28.9)

5 (13.2)

21 (53.3)

 

 

Total

12 (31.6)

16 (42.1)

10 (26.3)

38 (100.0)

2.187NS

*Significant at 0.05

NS= Not significant

Source: Survey data (2007, 2008)

Economic analysis of using browse leaf meals 

The type of supplement did not significantly (P>0.001) influence carcass characteristics of the slaughtered goats (Komwihangilo et al 2012). However, in absolute values, goats with T. indica had the heaviest carcass weight and dressing percentage (DP) compared to those with CSC, D. elata and Lablab purpureus. The economics of feeding treatments in the experiment are presented in Table 7. The highest profit margin per live weight gain was obtained from animals on T. indica diet followed by Lablab, D. elata and CSC.  

The economic analysis of supplementation showed that browse supplements were relatively cheaper than cotton seedcake. Higher profit margin was realized when browses were used for diet formulation, whereby the highest profit margin was obtained with T. indica supplement because the weight gains were highest, followed Lablab, D. elata and CSC. Cotton seed cake is a conventional commercial concentrate, always more expensive than tree browses and most of the time not readily available, because of its relative diversified uses (Komwihangilo et al 2005).  

Table 7. The effect of substituting cotton seed cake (HSC) with T. indica (HTI), D. elata (HDE) and Lablab (HLP) as protein supplements on the profitability of goat production (Costs in Tshs 1500 = US $ 1)

 

Treatments

 

HCS

HTI

HDE

HLP

Concentrate consumed (kg/animal)

33.03

29.09

29.49

30.32

Cost of concentrate consumed (Tshs/animal)

6606

5818

5898

6064

Gain in live weight (kg/animal)

1.95

2.55

2.02

2.10

Revenue from live weight gain/animal (Tshs.4000/kg)

7800

10200

8080

8400

Marginal profit (Tshs./animal)

1194

4382

2182

2336

Source: Komwihangilo et al 2012


Conclusions


Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the funding for the study from the International Foundation for Science (IFS), Stokholm, Sweden (Project No. B/2983-2). 


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Received 14 March 2012; Accepted 2 June 2012; Published 1 July 2012

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