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Research Paper | January 1, 2014

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Utilisation of weather forecast information, herd and feed resources management strategies by pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in response to drought

Swidiq Mugerwa, Stephen Byenkya, Emmanuel Zziwa

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.4(1), 109-115, January 2014

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Abstract

Pastoralists’ planning and response to droughts in Buliisa and Nakasongola Districts through utilization of weather forecast information, herd and feed resources management was examined. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to 100 respondents and the responses were used to compute percentages, generate graphs and charts using XLSTAT (2013). The study revealed that 50% and 54.8% of the respondents in Buliisa and Nakasongola respectively utilized both conventional and traditional weather forecast information. However, the respondents regarded conventional weather forecasts as unreliable and often too general to be of practical use. Limited indigenous knowledge to predict weather based on traditional indicators was the main constraint to utilization of traditional weather forecasts. Despite the increased occurrence and severity of droughts, majority of respondents in Buliisa (59.7%) and Nakasongola (72.4%) did not practice any specific adaptive measure. However, the few households that executed drought adaptive interventions noted that migration of herds in search of forage and water resources was the common adaptive strategy to drought and drought-induced forage scarcity. High prevalence of diseases and crop-livestock conflicts were noted as the major constraints during herd migration. The study therefore aggitates for more farmer to farmer dissemination of indegenous knowledge to improve farmers’ capactity in predicting weather based on tradiotnal indicators. The study is also suggestive that veterinary service delivery structures tailored to spatial and temporal herd movements be established to counteract the high prevalence of diseases during migrations. Further, the study calls for demarcation and protection of migratory corriodors from cultivation to mitigate livestock-crop conflicts during migrations.

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Utilisation of weather forecast information, herd and feed resources management strategies by pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in response to drought

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