Trees provide fodder for livestock

| September 4, 2017

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This week’s Farmer story from Kenya talks about the benefits of planting trees, including fodder trees. Our Script of the week also focuses on fodder trees.

The dry season can be hard on livestock and the people who keep livestock. Animals can get sick and start to lose weight if they don’t eat a good and varied diet. One way for farmers to supplement livestock feed is by growing “fodder trees.” Fodder trees and bushes can supply nutritious livestock feed all year.

Farmers can plant multi-purpose trees with foliage that yields fodder and seeds for livestock, and even seeds and fruits that humans can use as food. Typical examples of such trees in southern Africa are: Acacia robusta (Robust thorn, Enkeldoring, umNgamanzi), Acacia tortillas (Umbrella thorn, Haak-en-Steek, umSasane), Carissa macrocarpa (Natal plum, amatungulu), Acacia albida (Anaboom, umHlalankwazi), and Olea africana (Wild olive, Olienhout, umNqumo). Note: Common names in brackets are in English, Afrikaans, and Zulu, but these trees may be available in many parts of Africa

Remind farmers to be careful when experimenting with new feeds. Advise them to consult local specialists and experienced farmers. If possible, provide addresses and telephone numbers of extension officers and nurseries, and encourage enquiries from listeners. Radio programs on sources of livestock feed—or any other subject—should never be seen as “stand-alone” resources.