Tropical Grasslands (2007) Volume 41, 84–91

Utilisation of ley legumes as livestock feed in Zimbabwe

C. MAPIYE1, M. MWALE1, J.F. MUPANGWA1, P. H. MUGABE2, X. POSHIWA3 AND N. CHIKUMBA3

1 Department of Agriculture, Bindura University of Science Education, Bindura
2 Department of Animal Science, University of Zimbabwe, Mount Pleasant, Harare
3 Grasslands Research Station, Marondera, Zimbabwe

Abstract

Rural communities in Zimbabwe rely heavily on integration between crop and livestock activities at farm level. This form of agriculture is under increasing pressure because of land degradation, recurrent droughts and increasing human population. Technologies aimed at achieving a balance, whereby crop and livestock can increase in productivity, while resource degradation is minimised, must be developed. Cultivation of ley legumes has the potential to improve the sustainability and productivity of the smallholder mixedfarming systems by providing high-quality feed that can boost crop and livestock production. This paper reviews selection, utilisation and adoption of major ley legumes, and highlights research gaps, constraints and opportunities for ley legume research in Zimbabwe.

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