Characterizing silage production and usage among selected dairy cattle farms in Nyarwanya sub-county Bushenyi district
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The cross-sectional study was carried out in Bushenyi district to characterize silage production and usage among selected cattle dairy farms in Nyarwanya sub-county. The study aimed at determining the number of farmers that feed their animals on silage, it was also aimed at establishing the technology farmers use during silage making and finding out challenges farmers face during silage making. Quantitative data was collected from 25 randomly selected respondents using questionnaires. The study employed a qualitative data approach and a case study design to collect and analyze data. Data collection methods included; documentary review, in-depth interviews, focused group discussions and interview guides. The study revealed that twenty-five dairy cattle farmers in Nyarwanya sub-county feed their cows on silage especially in dry season when the pastures are scarce in order for them to maintain the milk production. It was revealed that farmers use local means (using pange to chop fodder instead of a chopper and compressing using feet) to produce silage and this has made it hard for them to produce silage in large quantities. Despite some challenges such as inadequate machines used in silage production and less government support, farmers have been able to form cooperatives where they have collected money and bought the equipment’s that help them in the process of silage production and through such cooperatives they have been able to get support from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).