Crop–livestock integration in smallholder farming systems of Goromonzi and Murehwa, Zimbabwe uri icon

abstract

  • Poor productivity in smallholder farming systems has necessitated research on the potential of crop-livestock integration to sustainably improve productivity. The study hypothesized that improvement in individual agronomic and livestock systems and synergistic utilization of by-products of either system increases productivity, profitability and integration. Smallholder farming households were classified into: old and resource endowed (OR); part time (PT); and young, risk-taking and enthusiastic (YRE) following a survey conducted in Murehwa and Goromonzi districts of Zimbabwe. Crop-livestock systems' integration scenarios were developed for each farmer category. Expression of crop-livestock integration in physical terms, e.g., kg ha(-1), can be complex and confounding, hence the expression of integration in monetary values. Baseline scenario results indicate thatORhad the highest crop-livestock integration of $3981 compared withPTandYREdespiteORhaving the lowest manure usage compared withPTandYREfarmers. Moreover,ORhad the least legume yields of YREfarmers. Subsequent crop-livestock integration scenarios increased maize grain yields by at least 50%, thus increasing profitability to $1210, $3230 and $3100 yr(-1)for mucuna, cowpea and groundnut, respectively. Total income increased by 135, 132 and 101% translating to $9880, $2960 and $6290 yr(-1)inOR,PTandYREfarmers, respectively. Crop-livestock integration therefore has the potential to improve smallholder crop and livestock productivity, variable with socio-economic status.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020