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Understanding the dairy cattle feeding strategies, awareness and perceptions of smallholder farmers on hydroponic fodder technology, Kibaha District, Tanzania

Research Paper | June 1, 2020

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Denis O. Kiobia, Nelson R. Makange, David D. Maleko, Henry F. Mahoo

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Int. J. Biosci.16( 6), 60-72, June 2020

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/16.6.60-72


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The role of hydroponic fodder technology (HFT) on producing nutritious green feed supplements for enhancing the productivity of dairy cattle has been mostly demonstrated in developed countries. Despite the benefits of HFT, its adoption is yet to be popular among smallholder and landless dairy farmers in Tanzania. Here, we assess the feeding strategies, awareness, and opinions of small-scale dairy farmers on HFT. The study was a cross-sectional survey. We found that farmers practiced zero-grazing systems and none practiced on-farm pasture production. The average milk yields in the wet season were higher than milk produced in the dry season. The access to concentrates for supplementing the poor roughages was constrained by unreliable quality, dry season scarcity, and off-season high prices. The majority of farmers were unfamiliar with HFT and few farmers who have adopted the technology were constrained by agronomic problems. The farmer’s decision to adopt the HFT or not was relatively based on additional income versus the cost of inputs. Generally, we conclude that HFT adoption is still poor or nonexistent in most of the small-scale dairy farming systems of Tanzania. Further research on potential solutions for overcoming the barriers towards HFT adoption for sustainable smallholder dairy production in peri-urban areas is recommended.


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Understanding the dairy cattle feeding strategies, awareness and perceptions of smallholder farmers on hydroponic fodder technology, Kibaha District, Tanzania

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