Population growth, increased human activities threaten animal pasture

22Mar 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Population growth, increased human activities threaten animal pasture

POPULATION growth and increased human-being activities have been cited as among major threats to animal pasture highlands something that needs immediate measures to address.

Acting director, department of animal pasture and resources in the ministry of livestock and fisheries Dr Asimwe Rwiguza made the observation in Morogoro recently when inaugurating the stakeholders pasture highlands conference.

He said the government in collaboration with stakeholders was now working on a strategy to ensure that all animal pasture highlands are protected to rescue and maintain growth of the livestock sector in the country.

Organised by the consortium of local civil society organizations on climate change (Forum CC) and Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the event brought together stakeholders in the livestock sector to discuss challenges facing the sector and how to overcome them.

According to him, pasture highlands were the animal source of animal food in the country and have been providing 98 per cent of the nutrition to livestock.

He also cited the increase of invasive plants in animal pasture highlands as among issues stands as among major challenges that threaten animal health and feed availability in the country.

In Tanzania, some 4.5 households are estimated to being engaged in livestock keeping and the animals are being surrounded by a number of challenges including extinction of pastures.

“Human activities  at the water sources and its infrastructures as well as in animal pastures pose a great threat to animal lives, climate change also stands as a contributing factor to the decrease of animal feeds in the country,” he said.

Rangeland Society of Tanzania (RST) Dr Ismail Seleman said lives of many Tanzanians depend  on resources from pasture highlands especially livestock and wild animal rangelands.

He said that climate change impacts and unsustainable use of animal pasture highlands have continued to pose a great threat  for livestock lives.

Forum CC board member, Jackson Muro said the consortium was happy that the issue of climate change had  good response from both the government and the public whereby efforts have continuously been taken to mitigate climate change impacts.

“The issue of climate change is a matter which needs collaborative efforts. Everyone has role to play in the fight against climate change impacts,” he added.