Condition and management of the rangelands in the western province of Zambia

R.M.T. Baars

    Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU


    <br/>A land evaluation for extensive grazing was conducted to determine the potential carrying capacity (CC) of the Western Province of Zambia. A hierarchical land classification resulted in Land Regions (9), Land Systems (32), Land Units (124) and Land Facets (415). The vegetation was surveyed, resulting in a 1: 500,000 map of landscapes and grasslands.<p>Mid dry season grazing capacities were assessed for the delineated Land Units. Grazing management systems were surveyed. Two transhumance and two sedentary grazing management systems were described. The calculated CC of one transhumance system was close to the actual number of cattle present. In the other systems, the calculated CC's greatly exceeded actual stocking rates. The total provincial CC was estimated at 1,075,000 Tropical Livestock Units. There is room to increase cattle numbers by about 500,000 head. Surface water development could further increase the CC by about 200,000 head.<p>An additional study showed that the condition of the rangelands in high cattle density areas ranged from poor to good. The extremes very poor and extremely good were not encountered. There were no signs of overgrazing.<p>Fire plays and important role in range management, despite the general poor regrowth after burning.<p>An economic analysis at herd level indicated the increase in cattle numbers, cattle sales, ploughing and milk production as the major sources of income. Manure, transport and local slaughter played minor roles. The economic output of 1.4 US $ per ha per year was considered low. There is a high potential to increase cattle numbers and improve livestock productivity.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • 't Mannetje, L., Promotor, External person
    Award date13 Sep 1996
    Place of PublicationS.l.
    Print ISBNs9789054855484
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


    • natural grasslands
    • rangelands
    • zambia


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