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Chepape et al., 2011. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 23 (6): 132

Document reference 
Chepape, R. M. ; Mbatha, K. R. ; Luseba, D., 2011. Local use and knowledge validation of fodder trees and shrubs browsed by livestock in Bushbuckridge area, South Africa. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 23 (6): 132

Sustainable production of livestock usually involves efficient utilisation of locally available resources i.e. feed and remedies. Smallholder farmers rely on their visual observations and experiences in feeding and health management of livestock. The aim of this study was to identify and evaluate farmers’ knowledge on the utilisation of fodder trees and shrubs as livestock production resources. The ethnobotanical survey using a semi-structured questionnaire and focus group discussions was conducted among livestock owners and keepers in the Bushbuckridge rural area of South Africa. Seventy five participants were interviewed, of which 41.3% were females and 58.7% were males.

Males aged over 40 years reported more browsed plants than females and young people. Limited participation of women in the survey was culturally related while young people had difficulty to accept the so-called outdated information. Cattle were predominantly kept, followed by goats. The study uncovered 32 browse plants belonging to 18 families. Fabaceae and Combretaceae families having six and five species, respectively, were predominant. Acacia nilotica, Carpobrotus edulis, Combretum hereroense, Dichrostachys cinerea, Diospyros mespiliformis, Ficus sycomorus, Mangifera indica, Terminalia sericea, Psidium guajava, Persea americana, and were reported in most of the locations. Some of the reported plants have been studied for their nutritive value and some are also used as ethnoveterinary remedies prompting the necessity for further investigations for the nutraceutical properties of browsed plants.

Citation key 
Chepape et al., 2011