Adoption of Forage Innovation in Smallholder Farming Systems: A Case Study in Kalu Woreda Of South Wollo Zone, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Livestock development and production is constrained and challenged by recurrent feed shortage. Forage innovation is proposed to minimize feed shortage for the livestock sector and it is also recommended to control soil erosion and land degradation. Even if the level of adoption is limited, the introduction' of the innovation is not a recent phenomenon in the country. The main emphasis of this study is to assess major feed resources and to identify determinant factors, constraints and challenges of adoption of forage innovation in smallholder farming systems. Kalu is one of the districts where smallholder farming system is practiced. It is one of the 15 administrative districts in South Wollo Zone of Amhara Regional State. In the study, analysis was made using primary data collected from 120 sample households selected through systematic random sampling from purposively selected six Kebeles. Structured questionnaire was used to collect data. The data collected from the sample households using structured questionnaire was supplemented by data collected from key informants and focus group discussants. Descriptive statistics and statistical analysis (chi-square and ttests) were used to describe the sample households' socio- economic, institutional and adoption characteristics; and to test statistical significance of variables that influence the households' adoption decisions. In addition to the statistical tests a logit model was employed to identify determinant factors in adoption of forage innovation. The major feed resources identified were crop residues, weeds, aftermath and grazing pastures. The smallholders manage and control feed resources through collecting and piling crop residues and hays. Forage adoption is started 25 years before in the district. The land allocated and the priority given to grow forage species is limited. The adoption decision is mainly constrained and challenged by uncontrolled grazing and water shortage. Labor shortage, land shortage, literacy le vel; market access, credit delivery, and forage seed have limited impact to challenge and constrain adoption of forage innovation. The logit result shows that from different factors hypothesized to determine adoption of forage innovation, dairy production, beef fattening, contact with extension agents, forage related training, inviting farmers to grow forage species, distance from towns, water and free grazing are found to be significant. The use of cross-bred cows in the dairy production activities has positive and determinant effect on adoption of the technology so that the shift to improved- bred should be a sustainable endeavor. The result also has implication for policy makers, researchers, policy implementers and non- governmental agencies to take their parts in minimizing the constraints and in enhancing the potential for adoption of forage innovation so that the productivity of the livestock sector is increasing.



Forage Innovation in Smallholder