Perceptions of and preferences for improved forage technologies among smallholder dairy cattle farmers in Soroti district, Uganda
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This study was aimed at evaluating the perceptions of and preferences for improved forage technologies in dairy cattle production systems in Soroti district, Uganda. The objectives of the study were to identify the socio-economic characteristics of dairy farmers in Soroti district, identify the perceived desirable and non-desirable characteristics of the adopted improved forage technologies in Soroti district and thirdly, to identify the difficulties faced by dairy farmers in integrating the improved forage technologies into the current farming system. Secondary data collected from 67 dairy farmers from Soroti District in Uganda were used. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The results indicated that the majority of respondents were male (71.6%), and on average the respondents were aged approximately 45 years. The households owned about 6.28 hectares of land, had about seven local cows, and had a monthly estimated income below 200,000Shs. From the results, respondents liked improved forage technologies because of their ability to increase in milk production and being leafy and easy to establish. The most perceived undesirable characteristics include the fact that farmers perceived them as not easy to intercrop with other crops and that once planted, the improved forages spread easily in areas where they are not planted. In addition, they are easily destroyed by drought and are not easy to incorporate in crop rotate. The study recommends improvement on awareness creation through trainings to sensitize the dairy farmers on the benefits of integrating the improved forage technologies and to promote research on other factors that affect adoption of improved forage technologies.