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Title: Identification of constraints and analysis of agroforestry interventions for improved livestock production of the Ejura livestock project and its environs (Ghana)
Authors: Opoku Agyapong, Kwadwo
Issue Date: 4-Sep-1994
Series/Report no.: 2117;
Abstract: Locally, the most abundant sources of animal protein are from fisheries and wildlife resources. The government realizing the importance of livestock as protein source and raw materials for the people and industries established credit mechanism, agricultural research programmes, rural extension schemes and institutions such as Animal Health and Production Unit of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ejura Sheep and Goats Project to provide breeding stock for farmers and to boost livestock production in the country. The Ejura Sheep and Goats project since its establishment has made some progress. However, in recent times, the project seems to be having problems. This study used the Diagnosis and Design (D & D) methodology developed by the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) to identify Agroforestry technologies for the development of the Ejura Sheep and Goats project. Specifically, it is to identify the constraints of the Ejura Sheep and Goats farm as affected by the biophysical and socio-economic factors prevalent on the project and the Forest/Savanna transitional zone. It also seeks to analyse the constraints in relation to Agroforestry interventions and provide recommendations f or the improvement of livestock production in the Forest/Savanna transitional zone and the farm in particular. In this study, information were gathered from the Ejura Sheep and Goats Project (the farm) and ten farmers (households) randomly selected from four villages and towns (Ejura, Bonyon, Duromankuma, Ehiawoanwu) which have access to assistance offered by the farm. Structured questionnaire, diagnostic interviews and direct field observation were used to identify the biophysical and socio-economic characteristics of the farm and the study area and their influence on the farming practices The study showed the following as the major constraints affecting development on the farm: 1. poor soil fertility resulting from intensive system of land use, 2. poor feed quality and feed shortages especially for dry season feeding which result in high abortion rates on the farm, 3. lack of adequate equipment and machinery especially for preparing feed for dry season use and lack of storage facilities (for feed), 4. inadequate housing particularly for large flock, 5. lack of capital (cash) for structural development, 6. labour shortages and its high cost (¢20,000/ hectare cleared or weeded) has resulted in competition between enterprises for labour especially during the peak of land clearing and weeding, and 7. high cost of drugs. Among the farmers interviewed, it was observed that the problem of poor soil fertility, dry season feed shortages and the poor feed quality, lack of adequate storage facilities, labour shortages and its high cost and lack of capital for financing farm activities were the limiting factors that affected livestock development. In addition to the farmer’s problems, soil erosion along streams resulting in siltation and drying of the stream, poor marketing channels, seasonal price fluctuations and use of inappropriate farming practices such as high fertilizer inputs which do not meet farmer’s resources were identified. The problem of erratic and low rainfall pattern has serious limitations on forage quality and productivity. The over-exploitation of the wood stock for fuel and removal of trees during mechanised land preparation (a characteristic of commercial farming) have also affected biomass recycling and hence soil fertility rejuvenation in the area. Although, no Agroforestry intervention can be proposed to solve the problems of lack of cash, inadequate equipment and machinery and labour shortages and its high cost, it is recommended that Agroforestry interventions such as fodder banks, boundary planting, trees on pasture for shade, shelter belts or windbreaks and alley farming involving cereals (maize, sorghum) and legumes (cowpea, Calanus cajan) when properly incorporated into the system can help solve the problems of dry season feed shortages and poor soil fertility through nutrient recycling. Interventions such as watershed protection using multipurpose trees and shrubs will reduce erosion which is found only along streams/rivers and hence their siltation. Provision of abundant quality feed which will result from the interventions proposed above (fodder banks, boundary planting, etc.) will help build up disease resistance in the animals and at least reduce to some extent drugs need of the farm. Livestock production of the Ejura Sheep and Goats farm and in the district as a whole can be improved if in addition to the Agroforestry interventions recommended above, provision of cash, equipment and machinery, storage facilities and formal marketing channels to check price fluctuation are made available to both the farm and the farm households. It is also recommended that the management should be allowed to plough back some of the money they generate from sale of animals into acquisition of essential farm inputs such as drugs and feed.
Description: A Thesis Submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Master of Science Degree in Agroforestry,1994.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3444
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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