Adamu Mbah Awalu , Manu Yusuf Bobbo , Manu Ibrahim N.
International Journal of Horticulture, Agriculture and Food science(IJHAF), Vol-3,Issue-4, July - August 2019, Pages 199-210, 10.22161/ijhaf.3.4.8
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Local land users often have different perceptions on the problems of rangeland degradation, compared to researchers and Government officials. This study was aimed at breaching this gap, by empirically exploring pastoralists’ perceptions regarding rangeland degradation in Donga-mantung. The pastoralists’ perceptions were studied through a descriptive statistics method. Focus group discussions, field observations and structured/semi-structured survey questionnaires, were used for data collection, where 200 pastoralists were targeted. The study covered seven Ardorates based on intensity of rangeland degradation (high, medium and less). The major findings indicate that, the main livestock production constraints were Insufficient and poor pasture (50.5%), cattle diseases (24.5%), Farmer/grazer conflicts (14.5%) and insufficient cattle drinking points (10.5%). Majority of respondents (59.5 %) confirmed that cattle population is declining in the study area. According to 59.5% of the respondents, the study area present range condition has deteriorated and become poor. The major causes for degradation were overgrazing, bush encroachment, soil erosion and limited care and attention paid to rangelands. The major socio-economic impacts of rangeland degradation were poverty (51.0%), food insecurity (35.5%) and conflicts (11.0%). The pastoralists of the study area traditionally practice rangeland management in different ways such as bush burning, bush clearing and herd mobility. A proportion of them (41.5%) have adopted the planting of improved pasture(s). Government and NGOs’ supports proved to be limiting in the study area. Nevertheless, the measures perceived by pastoralists to reduce degradation of their rangeland include; planting of improved pastures (40.5%), clearance of bushes that have encroach on rangelands (28.5%), establishing community awareness and community empowerment on rangeland degradation (17.0%), reducing the number of farmlands (9.5%) and reducing soil erosion (4.5%). This study showed the need for rangeland professionals, researchers, planners and other stakeholders to integrate the communities’ perceptions and existing indigenous ecological knowledge to ensure a sustainable rangeland management.