Potential Commercial Production of Forages in Adamawa State, Nigeria
A study was conducted to assess the potential commercial production of forages in Adamawa State, Nigeria. The data of this research were drawn from a field survey conducted in the 21 local government areas of the state. Well-structured and detailed questionnaires were randomly administered to respondents of various sexes, religious, educational, and socio-economic backgrounds. The questions contained in the questionnaire focused on five broad issues or parameters, namely, socioeconomic status of respondents, forage use and source, forage harvesting, preservation and transport, marketing, potentials and constrains to commercial forage production in all of the local government areas. 250 questionnaires were randomly served to respondents. Out of these, there were 203 (81%) retrievals. Results revealed that 62% of the respondents were males with 38% females. Elderly people of 26 years and above were 52%. Those married were 52% out of whom 48% were farmers. All the respondents (100%) had gone through formal education. It was also revealed that 82% obtained the forages from uncultivated sources with only 7% cultivated. The remaining 11% got theirs from in-between crops. Most of the respondents (77%) cut and sell forages in the dry season, of which 76% obtained them from river banks. About 83% sold them to ruminant feeders with only 17% to equine feeders. While 51% cut the forages for sale, 49% used them at home or were used by employers. Means of transporting the forages to end users were mechanical (65%) and 35% manual. Most of the forages cut were mixture of grasses and legumes (38%), sole legumes (28%), sole grasses (24%) with 10% browse plants. They were sold in forms of hay (47%), fresh (42%) and silage (11%). Main customers were ruminant fatteners (88%), with 12% Emirate councils. Most of the customers (42%) preferred mixtures of grasses and legumes while 31% preferred legumes only. Majority of the respondents (55%) cut and sold the forages as their main occupation while (45%) as part time to get additional income. While 85% got ready market for their products, 15% did not. With these findings, it could be concluded that there is high potential for commercial production of forages due to rising interest in ruminant fattening. It is, therefore, recommended that a campaign should be done to create awareness on the importance of artificial production of these forages in raising meat production and income levels.
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