Influence of Agro-Ecological factors and cultural practices on Heifer in-trust schemes in Njombe and Shinyanga Regions of Tanzania

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International Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development


Dairy farming can be a panacea to addressing rural poverty. The Heifer In-trust Schemes (HIS) in Njombe and Shinyanga regions aimed at reducing food and income insecurity. However, the influence of seasonality, traditional livestock grazing systems, animal treatment and protection practices challenge the schemes objectives. The study’s main objective was to assess the influence of seasonality, rainfall patterns; and traditional animal grazing style, animal treatments and protection on HIS. Specifically, the study determined the influence of seasonality unavailability of quality pasture, milk and income, and explored the implications of traditional livestock grazing systems, treatment and protection. Study adopted a cross-sectional design. Data were collected from 402 randomly selected HIS households. Results show that during the wet season average daily milk production increased by six litres per cow. Results also show that more milk is sold during the dry season as the demand is higher while production is low. Results further show that traditional grazing systems and animal protection practices led to low milk production and less income. The diverse agro-ecological factors and cultural practices have influenced HIS in the study areas. HIS beneficiaries should establish pasture plots to address negative agro-ecological influences, reduce free range-grazing methods and avoid adverse traditional animal treatment and protection practices.




Agro-ecological, Traditonal animal Grazing style, Dairy farming, Heifer In-trust Schemes, Anima treatment and protection, Tanzania