Livestock feed resources include natural pasture, crop leftovers, enhanced forage, hay, industrial by-products, and other feeds. Natural pasture is the predominant feed resource in Ethiopia during the wet season, whereas agricultural leftovers are significant during the dry season. Natural pasture makes up around a quarter of the country's total land area. However, due to seasonal changes in rainfall, poor grazing field management, and conversion of grazing areas to crop land as a result of the rising human population, grazing land productivity is severely low in most parts of Ethiopia. Crop leftovers have significant potential as a livestock feed resource due to their availability. Crop residue production is estimated to be around 1.14 billion and 30 million tons of DM at the global and national levels, respectively, with 70 percent being used as livestock feed. Crop residues, on the other hand, are fibrous by-products with low voluntary DM intake, digestibility, and nitrogen, energy, mineral, and vitamin content. Inefficient crop residue utilization is hampered by poor conservation practices and alternative uses. Available animal feed only meets 68.3 percent of national demand. To alleviate feed shortages, improved forages, sustainable conservation of hay and crop residues during surplus seasons, proper storage, processing, and utilization of available feed resources are all options.
Keywords: Livestock, Crop residues, Utilization, Demand, Feed