The Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the Kenya State Department of Livestock within the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation (MALFI) are organizing next year’s Joint 24th International Grasslands and International Rangelands Congress, to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, 25–30 Oct 2020.
Driven by population growth, urbanization and rising incomes, demand for livestock products in Africa and Asia may increase by 200% by 2030. Increased availability of milk, meat and eggs offers huge opportunities to meet this demand, improve diets and decrease malnourishment, especially among millions of infants, school-age children and pregnant and lactating women. New livestock-related businesses could also enhance the incomes of poor people and enable them to purchase better food for their families. But the supply of livestock products in many developing countries is constrained by low animal productivity, largely due to shortages of quality animal feed.
Hundreds of Nigerian chicken farmers in the southwestern state of Oyo have expressed interest in using cassava mash in poultry feeds. In two meetings of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) in late March 2018, many farmers said they feel they may have found a viable low-cost high-quality alternative in the cassava mash.
ILRI is working with small-scale women dairy producers who are members of a large women’s dairy cooperative in the semi-arid Telengana state of India—the Mulkanoor Women’s Dairy Cooperative. The are growing sorghum for a cash fodder crop.
Findings from a review of a five-year irrigation project in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania show that all the men and women farmers who had adopted irrigation practices ‘were financially better off, more food secure and had more diverse diets’.
An online article in Africa Business Magazine explains how Zimbabwe’s small-scale mixed crop-livestock farmers are benefiting from cultivating sunn hemp.
New factories that will transform cassava peels into high-quality feed for livestock have been launched in Nigeria. A prototype cassava peel processing plant was launched in in Ojakpata community of Kogi State in March 2017. A month later (April 2017) a similar factory was launched in Benue State.
Cowpea fodder bundles stacked in Niger for livestock feed (photo credit: ILRI). ‘Of the many virtues of grain legumes, one is little recognized. Visitors to the livestock fodder markets of West Africa are always surprised to see groundnut and cowpea haulms (stalks and stems of legume plants) sold at prices that exceed that of cereal …
The forage collection maintained by ILRI, for example, contains germplasm from around 19,000 plant populations representing over 1,400 forage species, including grasses, legumes and fodder trees, many of which are under threat in the wild from land use changes and over-grazing. ILRI’s forage collection is providing scientists with the genetic material to develop climate-smart, high yielding and disease tolerant varieties that will have a key role in Africa’s farming future.
Research on disease-resistant Napier grass forage for dairy cows is a joint collaboration between ILRI, KALRO and the national research institutes of Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda under the East African Productivity project.