Fodder production from associations of leguminous shrubs and grasses on contour bunds in the highlands of Burundi.
In central Burundi, an experiment was conducted to assess the possibility of quantitatively and qualitatively enhancing fodder production on contour bunds by associating grasses and N-fixing shrubs. Treatments were pure hedges (2 rows) of a grass (Pennisetum purpureum or Tripsacum laxum) or a shrub (Calliandra calothyrsus, Leucaena diversifolia or Sesbania sesban), and mixed hedges that comprised a row of a shrub and a row of a grass. Yields of mixed hedges of calliandra-tripsacum (2.06 kg/m) and leucaena-tripsacum (1.83 kg/m) were not significantly different from those of the pure tripsacum plots (2.22 kg/m). Sesbania did not withstand repeated cutting in the second year and died out. Goats grazing tripsacum would suffer a protein deficiency relative to the availability of energy. However, the higher N content of forage from mixed calliandra-tripsacum and leucaena-tripsacum hedges would provide digestible protein levels above the maintenance requirement for goats. The implications for livestock and crop production of producing higher quality fodder from the mixed hedges are discussed. The planting of calliandra-tripsacum and leucaena-tripsacum hedges for fodder production on contour bunds in the highlands of Burundi is recommended. Authors' summary. KEYWORDS: TROPAG | Pennisetum purpureum | Tripsacum laxum | Calliandra calothyrsus | Leucaena diversifolia | Sesbania sesban | hedges | Calliandra | Leucaena | feed grasses | Pennisetum | Tripsacum | mixed cropping | goats | BURUN.