Written Paper

Utilization of Tef straw as livestock feed: research review  [1998]

Seyoum Bediye Zinash Sileshi (IAR, Addis Abeba (Ethiopia))

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Availability of tef straw in relation to ruminant population is estimated for each region and potential areas for tef straw utilization as livestock feed are identified. Research efforts made in characterizing nutritive values of tef straw and animal performances of tef straw based diets are reviewed. About 13 million tons of crop residues are produced in the country annually and tef straw accounts for 25 percent of the total production. Availability of tef straw varies from region to region and the major tef growing regions account for 80 percent of the total straw production and they share 50 percent of the ruminant population. Nutritional constraints of tet straw utilization include low N concentration, low voluntary intake, low amino acid supply at a tissue level and low glucogenic potential. In its nutritional quality tef straw stands first among cereal straws and more benefits could be realized if strategic supplementation procedures are used. Mechanisms how responses on tef straw utilization could be elicited are highlighted and future research directions are identified.