Full Length Research Paper
The aim of this research was to assess the suitability of roadside grass for use as livestock feed to combat lack of forage resources in Botswana. Fifty grass samples were collected along the roadside in the A1 Highway corridor running between the Ramatlabama and Ramokgwebana border gates (629 Km), and analysed for Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn and Cd. The maximum content levels detected in grass samples for Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn and Cd were 0.432, 0.187, 0.180, 0.154 and 0.03 mg/kg respectively. Assessment of the results against international maximum allowable limits of undesirable substances in animal feed showed that the content levels of heavy metal contaminants in grass resources found along the roadsides in the A1 Highway corridor in Botswana were far below maximum allowable limits. Therefore, this study supported the use of roadside grass for production of forage to combat scarcity of livestock feed in the country. However, the study recommended the establishment of an environmental management and monitoring approach to facilitate continued monitoring of the quality of forage produced from roadside grass and ensure protection of human and animal health.
Key words: Roadside grass, forage quality, livestock, heavy metals.
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