Criteria for use and conservation of trees in pastures based on farmers’ local knowledge in a tropical dry forest zone in Colombia

Nelson Pérez Almario, Eliana Lizeth Medina Rios, Jairo Mora Delgado, Dagoberto Criollo Cruz, Julián Roberto Mejía


Trees are attributed an important role in livestock farms, fulfilling various functions. The study documents the retention of woody species in cattle farms from local and technical knowledge in the upper part of the Magdalena river basin, Colombia. 195 semi-structured questionnaires were applied to identify the perception of producers about the classification and uses of tree forage species, based on physical, nutritional, phenological and environmental criteria, as indicators of conservation and use of species in pastures. With these indicators, indices were constructed that identified important characteristics of the species mentioned by the ranchers. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, mean comparisons, and multivariate analysis techniques. It is recognized that producers appreciate species based on criteria of use and functions related to their productive activity. Six highly valued species Gliricidia sepium, Guazuma ulmifolia, Pithecellobium dulce, Albizia guachapele, Acacia farnesiana and Albizia saman coincide with other studies of local knowledge. The study provides relevant information on twelve species associated with livestock, which have not been reported in previous studies, so it suggests deepening and complementing with scientific knowledge to recognize and assess the use of these potential species for livestock production, allowing interaction between knowledge in a concerted technological system.



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