Cowpea fodder bundles stacked in Niger for livestock feed (photo credit: ILRI).
‘Of the many virtues of grain legumes, one is little recognized. Visitors to the livestock fodder markets of West Africa are always surprised to see groundnut and cowpea haulms (stalks and stems of legume plants) sold at prices that exceed that of cereal grains and not infrequently even that of groundnut and cowpea seeds, particularly during periods when sheep keepers are fattening their animal for slaughter at festivities such as Tabaski.
‘In fact, the haulms of these legumes have proved excellent animal fodder of such high palatability that sheep can gain liveweight quicker than when fed many forage grasses planted for that purpose. In these times of increasing fodder demand fueled by the on-going ‘livestock revolution’, as well as decreasing land and water resources, producing good-quality fodder for animal stock from the same land and water as that…
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