African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6858

Article in Press

The use of on-farm feeds by smallholder dairy farmers. A survey of Hwedza District, Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe

Chawarika Marlon

  •  Received: 11 April 2024
  •  Accepted: 31 May 2024
The study examined on-farm feed utilization by small-scale dairy farmers in Hwedza District, Mashonaland East Province. Purposive sampling was used to identify wards that are active in dairy production and snowball sampling was used to identify dairy farmers. Forty smallholder dairy farmers were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires. They used natural pastures (15%), home-formulated feeds (10.5%), and simple commercial feeds (72.5) as supplements. The common breeds reared by smallholder dairy farmers in Hwedza were Holstein (32%), Jersey (26%), Red Dane (28%), and crosses of Dairy x indigenous (14%). The main constraints were land, capital, herd health and breeding. There were no significant associations between sex and age in milk production, on-farm feed use, or choice of raw materials (p > 0.05). There were significant associations between level of education and sex, on-farm feed use, or choice of raw materials (p < 0.05). Training of farmers on feed formulation techniques was recommended from the study.

Keywords: On-farm formulated feeds, smallholder dairy farmers, constraints