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Farmers Perception, Abundance and Utilization Practices of Acacia Species and its Pod as Animal Feed in Borana Zone, Mio District, Southern Ethiopia



Now a day, due to climate change and deforestation, the density of Acacia species are decreasing in the pastoral areas. Therefore, the research was conducted with the objective to assess the existing management, utilization practices and density of Acacia species in Mio District in the year 2019. Five representative kebeles (the smallest administrative unit below District) were purposively selected, and from each kebeles, 15 representatives were purposively selected with the assumption that they had sufficient knowledge about the area to collect surveying data. The major livestock feed resources available in the study area were natural pasture, browse species, crop residues and hay. The purpose of keeping livestock in the study area varied based on the species of livestock kept. The primary purpose of keeping cattle and camel were for milk, while it was for meat and income generation in case of small ruminants. Shortage of feed was the first production constraint for cattle followed by shortage of grazing lands. Moreover, the major constraints for small ruminant were health problem followed by predators. Pods, twigs and flowers of Acacia Spp. were utilized by livestock as a source of feed. However, the leaves were the most available feed resources in the study area. Acacia species were grown on grazing land, crop land, in the house compounds or shelter belts between crop plots. Acacia tortilis is the highest in relative density, relative cover (43.3%) and important value (100%). In general, Acacia species pod could be used to improve animal performance through improving the nutritive value of low-quality feed resources. Conserving nutritionally important Acacia species like Acacia tortilis are paramount important for the environment and animal feed. Further study is suggested to assess the nutritive value of Acacia pods and leaves which are consumed by livestock but not considered here.

Graphical Abstract