This short paper reports on the use of browse ranking in southern Zimbabwe. Two types of ranking were conducted. First, a simple scoring of a list of all available trees in the area was carried out. The results showed that the livestock owners' rankings tallied closely with quality assessments based on chemical analysis. Next, a more focused matrix ranking explored a few key species against a range of criteria. In terms of overall preference, early shooting was the most important criterion, followed by the importance of dry leaves as fodder. The paper concludes that ranking exercises can provide high quality information quickly and effectively, and can therefore be useful planning tools for helping to design fodder improvement programmes with herd owners.
This article will be of interest to researchers, planners and livestock specialists working with livestock keepers at the local level