Range pastures provide the basic ruminant feeds resource for livestock production in semi-arid areas despite ruminant nutrition remaining a challenge affecting productivity. Different livestock development interventions have been promoted to improve livestock nutrition with low farmer adoption rate. A cross sectional exploratory study was conducted between March and July 2018 to identify the drivers of range pastures improvement technologies adoption in rangelands with specific objectives as: (a) Assessing the knowledge, attitudes and practices of pastoralists in regard to range pasture improvement practices and technologies; (b) identifying the forage species planted by pastoralists and strategies for their sustainable utilization; (c) identifying the incentives for the adoption and maintenance of range pasture improvement practices and; (d) identifying the key players and their roles in range pasture improvement promotion and constraints faced in attempt to improve rangeland pastures. A structured questionnaire guided interview was conducted with 294 agro pastoralists while qualitative data was obtained using, KII. Results revealed that farmers had knowledge on range pasture improvement technologies, although adoption rate was low (19.5%). The range pasture improvement practices, included: Pasture establishment, bush clearing, paddocking, conservation, reseeding and over-sowing and water development. However, results also revealed knowledge gaps in silage and hay making, reseeding and understanding principles of range management. The level of education, household income, off farm activities, access to laborers and credit, agriculture exhibitions, farmers’ meetings and on-farm demonstrations influenced farmers’ adoption of fodder production technologies. Farm gate milk prices, sensitization, financial support, farm output of adopters and inputs support seemed to drive farmers to improve their range pastures. These findings underline the importance of farm-gate milk prices and institutional support as drivers for farmer decision for investment in pasture improvement. Therefore, policy and development interventions should emphasize improvement of milk farm gate prices and farm support systems.
Key words: Farm-gate milk prices, range over-sowing, re-seeding, species recruitment.
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