Forage availability and its quality in the dry season on smallholder dairy farms in Tanzania
AbstractThe study was conducted on smallholder dairy farmers in Tanzania. A number of forage species and feed supplements were collected and analysed. Panicum maximum and P. purpureum constituted the bulky forage in about 20 and 11 households, respectively. The crude protein (CP) content of P. maximum and P. purpureum ranged from 6.5 to 8.5% and 7.8 to 10.2% while in vitro dry matter digestibility ranged from 44 to 50 and 48 to 51%, respectively. The mineral content of these two grasses were adequate for Ca but 95% of the forages were deficient in Cu and Zn and 84% in P. The CP content of multipurpose tree leaf was 3-4 times higher than that of grasses. In conclusion, the study revealed that dairy farmers depended solely on natural grasses and crop residues, which are low in CP, digestibility and mineral content.