Conservation of forage resources for increasing livestock production in traditional forage reserves in Tanzania


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Traditional reserved pastures namely ‘Olopololi/Alalili’ for Maasai, ‘Ngitili’ for Sukuma and ‘Milaga’ for Gogo have been in use among the pastoral and agropastoral communities for many years. These reserves provide dry season feed for ruminant livestock especially cattle, sheep and goats. Apart from the provision of forage materials, these reserves provide fuel wood, construction material and medicinal plants. These traditional forage conservation practices also contribute to soil conservation and forage species biodiversity. However, studies conducted in these traditional forage reserves at Tingatinga (Maasai), Makang’wa (Gogo) and in Mwamishali/Mwanyanhina (Sukuma) in Tanzania show limitations of the reserves especially, in providing adequate dry matter and proteins for both maintenance and production of livestock. Nevertheless, there are opportunities for improvement on these traditional practices through introduction of improved grasses, legumes and tree/shrub species as well as proper maintenance of the superior local species and cultivars.