Africa / Animal Feeding / Cattle / Climate Change / Forages / ILRI / Kenya / LIVESTOCKCRP / Mazingira / News clipping

Green grass and greenhouse gas: Scientists are investigating the links between them

Cattle grazing on Brachiaria grass at the ILRI campus in Nairobi Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Collins Mutai).

‘A team of researchers at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are testing Napier, Rhodes and Brachiaria grasses for cattle feed, and then physically measuring the emissions in a respiration chamber within the institute’s laboratory.

‘”The study will help African countries monitor, measure, verify and report their emissions with the aim of reducing their nationally determined contributions [NDCs],” said ILRI principal scientist Klaus Butterbach-Bahl. . . .

‘”The measurements will help find better locally available tropical feed for the region as opposed to overreliance on feeds from the temperate world,” he said.

The ILRI study, which started three weeks ago, is the first of its kind on the continent. It involves 18 cows of Boran breed, and will go on for the next five months.

. . . According to Daniel Korir, one of the researchers, the study is also testing the best way to grow the grasses. . . .

It is estimated that more than 70 per cent of African agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are due to livestock production, dominated by emissions from enteric fermentation, a process in which the animals produce methane through digestion. . . .

Africa accounts for 3.8 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, compared with the largest emitters China, the United States, and the European Union, that account for 23, 19, and 13 per cent respectively. . . .

Read the whole article in The East African: How grass affects cattle greenhouse gases, 29 May 2018.

See related news:
USA’s National Public Radio ‘All Things Considered’ program: How scientists in Kenya are trying to understand cow emissions, 29 May 2018.

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