Knowledge and practice of dairy cattle zero grazing farmers in Kabale Municipality, South-western Uganda
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The study sought to examine the knowledge and practices of dairy cattle zero grazing farmers in Kabale municipality, Kabale district a south western region in Uganda. There has not been sufficient studies on farmers’ knowledge of zero grazing and its practices and the factors influencing it. The aim was to gain a better understanding of factors influencing zero grazing adoption, identify areas where zero grazing farmers lack in knowledge and assess how to boost their practices. Ultimately this study sought to subsequently make available information that could be used by extension workers, researchers, scientists and policy makers to further the promotion of zero grazing within the study area and beyond the confines of the study area. Data was collected using cross-sectional study design both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in which the design allowed data to be collected at a single point in time to capture important aspects of the study. The researcher collected only primary data directly from the respondents of the selected farmers using a self-administered questionnaire and an interview guide to accomplish the study. The targeted population was 700 zero grazing cattle keepers within Kabale municipality from which a sample size of 255 was obtained. The main findings were that most of the dairy farmers in the study area demonstrated having basic knowledge about zero-grazing (80% of the respondents) but with limited awareness of vital technical skills in improved feeds and feeding; disease management; breed selection; and housing. The attitude of dairy farmers towards zero-grazing was mixed with positive perception attributed to profitability, space requirement, manure accumulation and disease control while negative perception was based on laborious nature of the enterprise, the time demanded and the cost incurred in starting up the use of the technology. It is therefore imperative that players in the country’s agricultural extension system need to boost efforts towards developing key transferrable knowledge packages and deliver such to dairy farmers on a regular basis to ensure the most efficient practices of dairy cattle zero grazing is a success in Kabale Municipality.
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