Crop-livestock integration in smallholder farming systems of Goromonzi and Murehwa, Zimbabwe

Siyabusa Mkuhlane, Walter Mupangwa, Neil Mcleod, Lovemore Christopher Gwiriri, Isaiah Nyagumbo, Godfrey Manyawu, Ngavaite Chigede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Poor productivity in smallholder farming systems has necessitated research on the potential of crop-livestock integration to sustainably improve productivity. The study hypothesized that improvement in individual agronomic and livestock systems and synergistic utilization of by-products of either system increases productivity, profitability and integration. Smallholder farming households were classified into: old and resource endowed (OR); part time (PT); and young, risk-taking and enthusiastic (YRE) following a survey conducted in Murehwa and Goromonzi districts of Zimbabwe. Crop-livestock systems' integration scenarios were developed for each farmer category. Expression of crop-livestock integration in physical terms, e.g., kg ha −1 , can be complex and confounding, hence the expression of integration in monetary values. Baseline scenario results indicate that OR had the highest crop-livestock integration of $3981 compared with PT and YRE despite OR having the lowest manure usage compared with PT and YRE farmers. Moreover, OR had the least legume yields of <800 compared with 3530 kg ha −1 in YRE farmers. Subsequent crop-livestock integration scenarios increased maize grain yields by at least 50%, thus increasing profitability to $1210, $3230 and $3100 yr −1 for mucuna, cowpea and groundnut, respectively. Total income increased by 135, 132 and 101% translating to $9880, $2960 and $6290 yr −1 in OR, PT and YRE farmers, respectively. Crop-livestock integration therefore has the potential to improve smallholder crop and livestock productivity, variable with socioeconomic status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
JournalRenewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2018




  • crop-livestock productivity
  • farm household typology
  • profitability
  • simulation modelling
  • Smallholder farming system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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