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UKAID Department for International Development (R4D) 1994

Evaluation of forages for smallholder milk production in the semi-arid zone of Zimbabwe

Forages Milk Zimbabwe

UKAID Department for International Development (R4D)

Titre : Evaluation of forages for smallholder milk production in the semi-arid zone of Zimbabwe

Pays : Zimbabwe

Projet de recherche pour le Développement : R6138

DFID Programme : Livestock Production

Organismes de mise en œuvre
Lead Institutes : Matopos Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural and Technical Services, Zimbabwe ; Natural Resources Institute (NRI)
Managing Institutes : Natural Resources International Limited (NRIL)
Collaborating Institutes : Natural Resources Institute (NRI) ; University of Reading

Durée : Start Date : 01-11-1994 End Date : 30-04-1997

Objectif
1.) To assess promising new P glaucum x P purpureum hybrids for their agronomic characteristics and capacity to sustain milk production in smallholder dairy systems under semi-arid conditions. 2.) To evaluate the potential of Jersey cross-bred cows fed improved forages in smallholder systems.

Descriptif
Milk and dairy products are not readily available in the rural areas of Zimbabwe and intake of animal protein is low. Interest in the production of milk in smallholder dairy systems, for both sale and home consumption, is increasing in the region. However, milk yields are constrained by the availability of feed, especially forage, and the genetic potential of the local cattle breeds. Preliminary trials in the semi-arid zone have identified four promising cultivars of Pennisetum glaucum x P purpureum hybrids from the ICRISAT breeding programme. The cultivars are well adapted to regions of low and erratic rainfall and are potentially superior in terms of yield and chemical composition to indigenous grasses. However, they have not been evaluated with the animal. In addition, as a result of a breed improvement programme initiated at Matopos Research Station, Jersey x Tuli and Nkone dairy cows are now available for smallholder dairy production systems. These animals will require a higher plane of nutrition to local breeds. The new cultivars are potentially capable of providing better feed for these improved animals, but this hypothesis needs to be tested.

Total Cost to DFID : £30,340

Présentation : UKAID

Page publiée le 15 novembre 2015, mise à jour le 22 octobre 2017