Intensification of cattle-feeding: A case-study from Kenya's Coast Province
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Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/50739
Across sub-Saharan Africa increasing urban demand for milk is offering an income generating opportunity that in the context of increasing pressure on land is exacerbating cattle keepers' age-old problem of adequately feeding their cattle. In response to this situation, research and Development agencies have developed staff-feeding practises based on planted forages, primarily Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum), and purchased agro-industrial by-products. Yet, adoption of staff-feeding and planted forages by smallholders has not been as widespread as expected (Grass and Sumberg, 1993). An example of slow adoption is the experience in Kenya's Coast Province (Mullins, 1992), where the Ministry of Livestock Development's National Dairy Development Project extended a zero-grazing package between 1980 and 1995 (Maarse et al., 1990). The objective of the research Reported here was to understand the reasons for this slow adoption rate by identifying farmers' feeding strategies, especially the use of off-farm feed sources, and, therefore, to be better able to advise smallholders on cattle-feeding management. The study contributed to a comprehensive collaborative project between the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA, now ILRI) on smallholder dairying in coastal Kenya.