1875 Djikeng, Johnson et al 2014.pdf (178.95 kB)

Climate-smart Brachiaria grasses for improving livestock production in East Africa

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 15:46 authored by Appolinaire Djikeng, Idupulapati M. Rao, Donald Njarui, Mupenzi Mutimura, John CaradusJohn Caradus, Sita R. Ghimire, Linda JohnsonLinda Johnson, Juan A. Cardoso, Monday Ahonsi, Segenet Kelemu
Climate change is a global phenomenon with severe negative impacts on poor people in developing countries (Morton 2007). Across many parts of Africa, rural poor communities rely for their survival on agriculture and livestock, which are amongst the most climate-sensitive economic sectors. Climate-smart agriculture helps farmers to increase food production, become more resilient to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The main anthropogenic GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O); they are critically important for regulating the Earth’s surface temperature. Inadequate quantity and quality of feed are major constraints to livestock production, particularly during the dry seasons across Africa. The overall objective of this interinstitutional program is to increase feed availability in action areas of the target countries in East Africa (e.g. Kenya, Rwanda) by use of climate-smart Brachiaria forage grasses (Rao et al. 2011) for increased animal productivity and for generation of extra income by smallholder farmers. An innovative programmed approach will be used to reintroduce to Africa high quality, persistent and productive Brachiaria genotypes, that were selected and improved in Latin America (Miles et al. 2004). These forage grasses will help alleviate feed shortages, increase in-come of resource-poor farmers, improve soil fertility, adapt to and mitigate climate change, increase milk and beef production, and as a result improve livelihoods and protect the environment. The program uses trans-disciplinary research by integrating modern tools and technologies to identify and disseminate Brachiaria cultivars that are adapted to climate change through endophytes (biological protection agents), that improve adaptation to drought stress and also have the potential to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration in soil and reduction of emissions of both methane and nitrous oxide.


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  • English

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Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical

Journal title

Tropical Grasslands




Djikeng, A., Rao, I.M., Njarui, D., Mutimura, M., Caradus, J., Ghimire, S.R., Johnson, L., Cardoso, J.A., Ahonsi, M. & Kelemu, S. (2014). Climate-smart Brachiaria grasses for improving livestock production in East Africa. Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales, 2(1), 38-39

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