Long-term effects of fertility and hand-weeding on Striga in maize.
JK Ransom, GD Odhiambo
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Tanzania has recently embarked into a period of liberalisation which is undoubtedly having an impact on the agricultural sector. The effects of liberalisation are feeding through to the animal feeds sector, which is experiencing a period of vibrant growth and change, which is reflected by the rapidly increasing number of feed manufacturers. This implies that this sector will play an important role in meeting the increased demand for animal products. Animal production in Tanzania is hindered by numerous constraints such as poor nutrition and management amongst others (Nkya et al., 2007). However it is widely recognised that feed represents the highest cost in livestock production, accounting for as much as 75% variable costs (Mupeta et al., 2003), implying that the nutritional quality of feed has a profound impact on productivity and income (Roy et al., 2004). Therefore, this study was undertaken to characterise compound feeds sector and assess the quality of compound feeds sold to farmers in Tanzania – through a mixed methods approach, 25 feed producers were surveyed in 4 different cities, to provide an overview of the sector, whilst chemical analysis using NIRS was used to assess the quality of 169 compounds feeds and 131 raw materials. Compound feed production is dominated by poultry products (96.41%), whilst feed mills operate below 50% capacity. Raw materials are sourced locally, and maize products make up more than half of total tonnage. Product standards seem to be satisfactory, as the components assessed fall within range of cross-country parameters used as guidance.