Gbenou B, Adjolohoun S, Houndjo DBM, Sadou A, Ahoton L, Houinato M, Dahouda M, Sinsin A.B
Abstract: Inadequate feed and nutrition are major constraints to livestock production in sub-Saharan Africa. The available foraging of natural pastures is gradually decreasing with the degradation of grasslands pastures and extensive cultural practices combined with climatic variability. It is urgent to think of alternatives to alleviate this state of affairs. It is for this purpose that a survey was conducted among 122 cattle farmers on the difficulties related to the integration of fodder crops on farms in northern Benin from April to June 2016. Data for the study was collected by the use of interview schedule. Percentage, mean score and standard deviation were used for analyzing data collected for the study. Results revealed that, 103 farmers dont opted for grazing land mainly because of the existence of free natural grazing land, land factors and the unavailability of seeds. Pastoralists who have integrated forage farming into their production systems encounter many difficulties. Major problems militating against adoption of forage cropping are the limits to the supply of plant material (38.4 %), forage conservation (12 %), plot maintenance (9 %), the effects of wildfires (8 %), high costs of closing forage plots (20.1 %) and lack of supervision (12.5 %). The successful adoption of large numbers of fodder crops in agro-pastoral farms requires the sensitization, training of agro-pastoralists and the supply of fodder seeds to them. If farmers are to take advantage of forage technology to meet livestock market demands, new approaches need to be applied to targeting, designing and conducting research, and providing outcomes to farmers.
Keywords: Animal feeds, fodder crop, adoption, difficulties, Benin