Item Details

Title: Farmers’ Knowledge on Forage Production in Smallholder Dairy Systems of Uganda

Date Published: April 2015,
Author/s: Buyinza Joel., Sekatuba Jude., Ongodia Gerald., Eryau Kenneth., Nansereko Susan., Opolot Ibwala Vincent., Kwaga Phiona., Akellem Richard., Mudondo Scovia and Agaba Hillary
Data publication:
Funding Agency : The Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services (ATAAS)
Copyright/patents/trade marks:
Journal Publisher: International Journal of Livestock Production Research
Affiliation: Agroforestry Research Programme, National Forestry Resources Research Institute (NaFORRI). P. O. Box 1752, Kampala, Uganda
Keywords: Forage, seasonality, milk production, farmers’ knowledge


The aim of the study was to assess dairy farmers’ knowledge on forage production and utilization in the Lake Victoria crescent and Eastern Highlands Agro Ecological Zones (AEZs) of Uganda. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to a total of 208 small holder dairy farmers in Masaka (100) and Mbale (108) districts. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists. While the main source of forage is on farm (67.2%), forage growing is not taken as a tradition among small holder dairy farmers. The most prominent forage species used for feeding livestock are Pennisetum purpureum, Calliandra calothyrsus, Musa paradisiacal (peelings and stems), and Leucaena leucocephala. Milk production increases during months of forage abundance (March to May and September to November) and the observed trends are generally comparable to the seasonal rainfall patterns in Uganda. Forage production among dairy farmers is significantly (P < 0.05) influenced by location, household size, land ownership, forage source and livestock feeding system. Apart from chopping before feeding the animals, minimal processing is done to forage. The study provides a basis for designing interventions for improving fodder production and utilization among Uganda’s smallholder dairy farmers.