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Introduction: Improving agricultural productivity requires efficient production of feed ingredients and management of available resources. The primary objective of the current study was to create a classification system and management of available ingredients for sheep and cow farmers. Additionally, the study aimed to investigate the techniques employed in production and the types of feed ingredients utilized, specifically focusing on those accessible within the local context in Benin.
Materials and methods: An open-ended questionnaire was used for this study, followed by in-person interviews. A cross-sectional survey was carried out from March to April 2023, in three poles of development agriculture (PDA), including PDA2, PDA4, and PDA5, where the government projected to develop ruminant breeding. Data were collected from 450 sheep, and cow breeders selected based on the number of their animals and the breeding experience in the three PDAs. The breeders' socio-demographic characteristics, the feed supplementation practice, and the available feed resources were recorded.
Results: The survey revealed that sheep and cows were bred more by men (54.67%), married people (78.57%), and illiterate individuals (64.74%). The average age of the breeders was 45.66 years. Only 9.83% received training in animal breeding, and their main activity was cropping production. Regardless of the PDA, commercial feeds were well known but rarely used by breeders due to their high cost. Some breeders used commercial feeds only in the dry season. The feed supplements included lick stones, multi-nutritional blocks, and pelleted and floury feeds. The most widely used ingredients were agricultural by-products (cereals and legumes) and agro-industrial by-products (maize bran, cottonseed cake, and palm kernel cake).
Conclusion: The current study's findings have indicated a wide range of feed resources, such as agricultural and agro-industrial by-products in Benin, that can be exploited to produce efficient local feed supplements.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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