Climate variability: Pastoralists’ perception, practices and enhancing adaptive pasture use for food security in Choma District, Southern Zambia

Pastoralists have managed their production system for many centuries and have had detailed knowledge of the biodiversity and environment of their grazing lands. Feeding of livestock is though still a major challenge to sustainable productivity of pastoral communities in the dryland areas in view of the current changes in climate. The day-to-day impacts of climate change such as higher temperature and erratic rainfall are increasing the pastoralists’ inability to feed their animals. There is need to understand the impact of climate change on the change in the utilisation of the feed resources by the pastoralists so as to mitigate the negative effects. This will help to know which indigenous forage species have become less used or even become extinct and which ones are becoming more adaptable and therefore more important. Currently in sub-Saharan Africa, and Zambia in particular, there is lack of information concerning the pastoral production systems and their adaptive use of forages in view of the changes in climate. It is therefore important to identify the indigenous forage species which are used more than before and promote their utilisation to ensure sustainability of livelihoods of the pastoralists. This paper therefore looks at the changes in use of grass and browse species as an adaptation to climate change and through this process improve their usage in feeding livestock in dryland pastoral areas.
La réserve d’azote des sols agricoles doit être renouvelée périodiquement afin de maintenir un niveau adéquat pour la production agricole. Ce remplacement d’azote du sol est généralement accompli par l’ajout d’engrais ou de produits de fixation biologique d’azote (BNF). La symbiotique BNF permet à beaucoup de légumineuses de répondre à leurs besoins en azote de l’atmosphère plutôt que de sol, mais dans certains cas, la population résidente de bactéries rhizobium, le micro symbiote associés aux légumineuses fixatrices d’azote, pourraient fonctionner comme un partenaire symbiotique efficace. L’augmentation de céréales, d’arbres et production de légumineuses et de pâturages correspondant à ces légumineuses avec les microsymbiotes corrects sont donc un élément clé de l’amélioration de l’agriculture et les services éco-systémiques dans les zones tropicales. L’identification des créneaux pour les légumineuses BNF dans les systèmes agricoles existants est d’une importance capitale comme les prix des engrais inorganiques continuer à augmenter.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
Southern Africa
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Printed resource
"The 2010 RUFORUM Biennial Conference was the second in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholers in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme climate change".