African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Identification of potential untapped herbaceous flora in the mid rift valley of Ethiopia and their nutritive value

Belete Shenkute1*, Abubeker Hassen2, Abule Ebro1, Tadese Asafa3 and Nura Amen4
1Departments of Animal and Wildlife Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. 2Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, Adami Tulu Research Centre, P. Box. 35, Zeway, Ethiopia. 3Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Technology Institute, P. Box. 1573, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. 4Sustainable Environment and Development Action (SEDA), Meki, Ethiopia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 June 2011
  •  Published: 05 September 2011


This study was conducted with the objective to identify untapped herbaceous flora that were used as livestock feed and to determine their chemical composition in wet season. Twelve peasant associations (PAs) and a total of 120 households were selected for the study. Key informants were also used for vernacular name identification and utilization. Samples were also taken from their edible parts for analysis of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), total ash, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), cellulose and lignin. A total of 17 different herbs and forbs were identified which have a feed value for different livestock species. The CP values of species ranged between 10.9 to 27.86% with the highest value being recorded in Sida ovata Forssk. while the lowest value was recorded in Gutenbergia rueppellii Sch.Bip. The NDF value ranged from 26.1 to 53.16%. The highest NDF value was recorded in G. rueppellii Sch.Bip. and the lowest was recorded in Achyranthus aspera L. Generally, the differences within species and among different species in terms of chemical composition of these browses was significant. Some of them contain crude protein content of more than 190 g/kg DM, which has a capacity of supplementing poor quality roughages.


Key words: Herbs, chemical composition, nutritive value, mid rift valley.