Promoting the Use of Ethnoveterinary Practices in Livestock Health Management in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe
This study evaluated the contributions and potential of ethnoveterinary practices to livestock health management in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe. Causes of non-adoption of ethnoveterinary practices were also determined, and recommendations for the way forward suggested. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used in the study. High costs and unavailability of pharmaceuticals, poor communication networks, and disintegrating government livestock health facilities were cited as some of the problems in livestock health management. Adoption of ethnoveterinary practices which are cheap, locally available, and sustainable is an alternative, especially in the face of climate change and variability. However, the respondents cited lack of documentation, inadequate diagnosis, and lack of knowledge of application rates or side effects of these practices as some of the challenges in using them. Ethnoveterinary practices are therefore mostly used in combination with pharmaceuticals rather than on their own. Scientific validation of indigenous medicinal plants is therefore important to increase their adoption in livestock health management. The knowledge of traditional healers, seasoned stockmen, hunters, and other experienced elderly people should be tapped to gather information on these practices so that it gets documented for the benefit of future generations.
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