Healthy feed for dairy cattle
Napier grass, also known as elephant grass, is the most important type of ‘cut and carry’ grass used to feed dairy cattle in sub Saharan Africa. But in the central highlands of Kenya, an area where dairying is vital for farming incomes, Napier grass is being attacked by a harmful disease – head smut – which makes the leaves thin and tough, greatly reducing its feed value. In recent years, plant breeders from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) have developed a variety of Napier known as Kakamega 1, which is not affected by head smut. Around ten thousand farmers are now planting Kakamega 1, ensuring they have good supplies of feed for their cattle. Winnie Onyimbo visits the International Livestock Research Institute genebank in Ethiopia, which provided smut-tolerant Napier samples to the KARI breeders.
You are free to use the audio files for personal or public use. If used in a radio broadcast, please credit the correspondent who submitted the report, with Agfax as the source. Audio items may be edited as required, so long as the meaning of any sections used is not distorted from that intended by the speaker. If you are in any doubt, please contact us and we will be happy to advise.
To be notified when new Agfax reports come online, write your email address in the box below.
- Storing feed for year-round milk production
- Farming information by mobile phone
- Community abattoir - making more from meat
- Making rangelands secure - the learning journey begins
- Making rangelands secure - reflections on a journey of learning
- Tephrosia - effective organic tick control
- Dipping and treating livestock - a community approach