Perceptions of livestock traders and fatteners on the use of grain legume residues in northern Ghana

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Grain legume residues (GLRs) are among the main feed resources used by livestock producers in northern Ghana, especially during the dry season. GLRs are preferred to cereal residues as livestock feed because of their relatively higher nutrient levels. They are extensively used among major livestock production chain actors such as smallholder farmers, fatteners and trader. Opportunities for increasing livestock production and trade in northern Ghana strongly depend on the availability and accessibility of feed resources, such as the supply of GLRs by farmers.

A survey was conducted in the three regions of northern Ghana to study the perception on grain legume residues use as livestock feed among livestock traders, fatteners and those who were involved in both activities. The study was conducted in Savelugu/Nanton, Nadowli and Binduri districts of Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions respectively.

Results indicated that 70% of the respondents strongly agreed that GLRs are good sources of animal feed. However, about 40% disagree that GRLs are cheap sources of feed for their animals (Table 1). After collectively grouping the perceptions into good and poor perceptions of GLRs, about 53% of respondents have a good perception about GLRs while 47% have a bad perception. We also found that some demographic characteristics such as respondents’ educational levels and location have a significant impact on their perception of GLRs. Traders and fatteners with some form of formal educated tend to have a good perception about GLRs than non-educated ones (Table 2). Respondents in Upper East region had a better perception about GLRs compared to other regions (Table 2). These findings reflect the real situation in the regions because GLRs use as livestock feed is more prevalence in the Upper East region as compared to the other two region. The high demand for GLRs in the Upper East region had led to the emergence of many feed markets in the region.

Daniel Brain Akakpo, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands (Click here for his 2017 update)