Evaluation of Ankole pastoral production systems in Uganda: Systems analysis approach
MetadataShow full item record
The production objectives of Ankole cattle pastoral production system are shifting from traditional subsistence to commercial enterprises involving adoption of a new production system where farmers keep separate herds of Ankole and Friesians x Ankole crosses on the same farm. The ecological and economic sustainability of the emerging Ankole production system is currently being assessed through system analysis approach using a dynamic model to identify conditions under which either one or both gonotypes can be kept on a sustainable basis. The dynamic herd-based model is used to simulate pasture growth, reproduction and production of the two cattle genotypes. The developed model was evaluated using post weaning growth. The calculated average RPE value of 0.075% for growth (body weight) after weaning across both breeds is below the acceptable 20% and means that the model predicts post weaning growth with an error of 7.5%. The model also predicted changes in herd milk production throughout the simulation for a herd that was managed by the same rules but grazed at dynamic stocking rates over the simulation period. Herd milk production increased with increasing stocking density. However, the increase in herd yield had a negative effect on milk production per individual animal. There is need to evaluate the system using controlled stocking rates (ecological carrying capacity values) and assess their economic viability as well as determining appropriate cattle off-takes.