Mulberry (Morus alba) as Emerging Potential Opportunity For Livestock Feed Development In Northern Ethiopia

Assen Ebrahim, Getachew Animut, Mengistu Urge and Akililu Hailemichael


Research Paper I Published October,2015


Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Technology  Vol. 1 (5), pp.66-72





This study was conducted in five districts of Tigray region, Northern Ethiopia to explore the current status of mulberry (Morus alba) plant cultivation and utilization. From each study district, fifteen households who own mulberry plant were selected and pre-tested structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from the respondents. Collected data were complimented with information obtained from field checks and secondary data from development agents of the respective districts. Respondents noted that February to June are the critical feed shortage times across the study districts. Respondents mentioned use of conserved feeds, purchased feeds, feeding cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica), sharing feeds with other farmers and reducing the number of animals as the most important strategies to tackle feed shortage, in that order. The overall average mulberry plant per household was 9.1 and respondents’ experience in cultivating mulberry was 5.2 years. The majority (76.7%) of  respondents grew mulberry around their homestead followed by boarders of irrigation fields. The purpose of growing mulberry was to use it as feed for silkworm. Only 20% of the respondents have awareness and appreciation of the potential of mulberry as feed for livestock. However, the majority (93%) of interviewed households showed their interest in increasing the number of the plant, if convinced about its importance as livestock feed. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate the chemical composition, nutritive value and supplementary effect of mulberry leaf on the performance of ruminant animals for awareness creation and its wide scale planting and utilization as alternative feed for livestock.

Key Words: Feed, Forage, Livestock, Mulberry, Roughage, Shrubs and Survey.

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