Melia Azedarach Forage and Oyster Mushrooms: Improving Nutrition, Milk Production and Health in Dairy Goats

Dairy Goat Feed with Melia azedarach

The demand for livestock products in Africa has outpaced domestic production, rendering the continent heavily reliant on importation of basic livestock products. In Swaziland, for example, dairy products’ consumption exceeds domestic production by ~50 million litres. Production is hampered by under-nutrition of dairy animals, and undernourished animals are immunocompromised and hence become susceptible to parasitic infection (e.g. Haemonchus contortus) during this period. Control of parasites through the use of veterinary drugs is expensive, out-of-reach for many smallholder farmers and ultimately unsustainable. The project team of experts from the University of Swaziland and Chinhoyi University of Technology aims to develop a nutritious pelleted goat feed with anti-parasitic properties derived from Melia azedarach.

To date the project team has completed the development of prototype pellets which have been validated in a dairy goat feeding trial to assess improvements in milk yield among other factors. Investigation on the most optimum level of inclusion of Melia azedarach leaves that will ensure improved milk yield and health status of the goats is on-going.

The novel feed pellets will address the problem of poor nutrition for livestock in the SADC region, especially during the winter and/or dry season, as well as their infestation with parasites that further worsen their body condition and productivity. The pellets produced are expected to improve milk yield as well as the quality of the animals’ health, particularly in dairy goats. Also, Melia azedarach is an invasive plant in many SADC countries; hence its use as an animal feed and medicine will help control its rapid proliferation in our natural ecosystems.



Dr Doctor MN Mthiyane
Principal Investigator & Coordinator – Swaziland
University of Swaziland

Prof. Irvin DT Mpofu
Co-Project leader – Zimbabwe
Chinhoyi University of Technology

Dr Douglas Kibirige
Project Finance Manager – Swaziland
University of Swaziland

Mr David IC Marais
Commercial Partner – South Africa
Arrowfeeds (Pty) Ltd

Prof. Abednego M. Dlamini
Project Scientific Advisor – Swaziland
University of Swaziland

Dr Diana Earnshaw
Co-Project Coordinator – Swaziland
University of Swaziland

Project Type

Seed project

Countries involved