Insights into Forage Seed Production and Marketing in Smallholder Systems of Zimbabwe

I.C Chakoma and Bibi. Z Chummun
University of KwaZulu-Natal

 

Abstract

Livestock productivity in Zimbabwe has been low because of inadequate and low quality feed, despite a projected increase in demand for livestock products. Forage seed production has been demonstrated as an option to enhance quality feed availability. However, seed unavailability has hampered such initiatives. The role that smallholder farmers can play along the forage seed value chain cannot be over emphasised. It needs the support of policy makers and involvement of development agencies and private sector. This paper presents insights into forage seed production and marketing, and explores potentials of revitalizing the system and promoting the participation of smallholder farmers. Literature review highlights the need for forage seed, current production and marketing practices. The authors also highlight future prospects for forage seed on access to resources, infrastructural investments and effective support in the form of extension services and stakeholder engagement taking into consideration smallholder farmers’ operating environment. Gender inclusion cannot be over emphasised in such initiatives. The findings reveal is that there is potential for revitalizing forage seed production in Zimbabwe and participation of smallholder farmers. Download the full article