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Ficus thonnningii is an important fodder plant in Northern Ethiopia.
Even if, oldest trees were planted for other purposes such as shade trees in churches and traditional meeting places, recurrent droughts have made local farmers to improvise using the drought resistant F.
thonningii plants as dry season animal fodder and other multipurpose benefits.
Currently, the merits of F.
thonningii are well understood by local farmers who are cultivating the plant intensively for its various benefits, besides animal fodder.However, despite its intensive use by local people, it is not included in the list of mainstream fodder trees by local government and locals are being forced to adopt less adaptable and less productive species against their preference.
This is mainly due to lack of scientific information which could support the adoption of F.
thonningii as a fodder tree of multiple benefits in Northern Ethiopia.
Mulubrhan has evaluated the local use, feed value, browse biomass production, and effects on soil fertility of of F.
thonningii and has recommended its propagation and use in similar regions.
The author, Mr.
Mulubrhan Balehegn Gebremikael has obtained his MSc.
degree in Livestock Production and Pastoral Development in 2008 from Mekelle University Ethiopia.
Since 2009, he is a PhD student at the University of Life Sciences, Norway.
His PhD research is on indigenous knowldege of use and management of native fodder trees in Ethiopia.
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