Livestock resources inventory and mapping in agro-pastoral area of Senani, Maswa District, Shinyanga, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


The agro-pastoralist economy is based on livestock and crop production. The societies practicing agro-pastoralism are equally highly dependent on livestock for their basic food, income and social needs as it is for crop production. The Agro-pastoral production system has developed in semi arid lands and is arguably the best form of land use for these areas. In Senani area where agro-pastoralism is practiced, the agro-pastoralists tend to leave some portions of their land as grazing reserves. The herds of cattle, sheep and goats utilize the forage and water in these grazing reserves only during dry season. This system allows the set aside land to be left free from human activities and livestock grazing during rainy season, which allows natural re-establishment of pasture for re-use in the next dry season. The sizes of the herds in Senani are relatively large such that the grazing reserves with their associated water points are by far less sufficient. This necessitates seasonal migration of some of the animals to the wider grazing lands and permanent water sources in nearby and distant areas. The movements of the agro-pastoralists are therefore very much influenced by the size of their herds in comparison to the size of the grazing reserves under their access and the availability of drinking water. They are also influenced by the factors which affect the abundance and performance of the pasture in their grazing reserves such as favourable amount and distribution of precipitation. The movements in search for pasture and water raise a lot of conflicts with other land users especially the crop growers and conservationists. Information on the available livestock resources is very important for development players who would wish to intervene in improving livestock production. It is on that basis that the project on “Contingency Plans for coping with Crisis Situations in Pastoral Areas of Eastern and Central Africa” wanted to get the livestock resource information of Senani area so that it can use it for appropriate planning and implementation of sustainable livestock production and development of general management plans. The information sought by the project included the livestock migration routes, water sources, grazing reserves, livestock market centres and livestock health services. This information could be acquired, processed and presented using GIS operations. To accomplish that goal, the Project Coordinator requested Mr. Boniface H. J. Massawe of Department of Soil Science, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania to make an inventory and map the aforesaid livestock resources in the agro-pastoral community of Senani in Maswa district, Shinyanga region, Tanzania by using GIS technologies. The field work was carried out between 15 th and 21 st May, 2011.



Livestock resources inventory, Mapping, Maswa District, Shinyanga, Tanzania, Agro-pastoral production systems, Agro-pastoral areas