Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 93, Issue 6, pp 2037–2046 | Cite as

Sedentarization among nomadic pastoralists of Uganda: which way to feed livestock?

  • Vincent B. MuwanikaEmail author
  • David Nsubuga
  • Dorothy Kalule Nampanzira
  • Fredrick Kabi
  • Charles Masembe


Pastoral nomadic communities of East Africa’s drylands are gradually shifting towards a sedentary type of production. However, successful animal production under such settings demands for integrated on-farm management of the various animal feed resources. The objective of this study was to characterize feed resources of goats in the pastoral area of Karamoja sub-region, a dry land area in northeastern Uganda. Structured interviews were conducted involving 300 randomly selected households. Results revealed seventy plant species distributed in 31 families were fed to goats. The species were dominated by browses (trees and shrubs) 54%; herbs 21%; grasses 19%; climbers and hedges 5%. Balanites aegyptica, Grewia similis, Acacia sieberiana, Acalypha fruticosa, Acacia albida and Cadaba farinosa were the most frequently mentioned browse species. Farmers also use these species for other purposes notably building, human and livestock medicine, fencing, firewood and as vegetables during the dry season. Browses were available throughout the year unlike grasses and crop residues that were available seasonally. Since browses were available throughout the year in addition to being multipurpose, it is recommended that current efforts to actualize a sedentary lifestyle among Karamoja pastoralists integrate the planting and management of the most reported browse species in this study.


Goats Feed resources Browse Karamoja 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from RUFORUM Grant No.: RU2014GRG091

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental ManagementMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  2. 2.Department of Livestock and Industrial ResourcesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  3. 3.National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI)WakisoUganda
  4. 4.Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries SciencesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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