This project aims to develop viable business models for forage seed production and marketing that assure economically sustainable access to high quality forage seed in Kenya and Uganda.
In East Africa, dairy farming has high potential as a means of gainful self-employment for the rural poor. It complements arable farming by making use of less productive land and crop residues as feed. The latter also leads to nutrient recycling and improved soil fertility in the long term.
High-quality feed remains elusive for many farmers
But sub-optimal feeding limits further professionalization and development of the dairy sector in Kenya and Uganda. Feed and forages account for 65% of the costs of dairy production, and their quality directly impacts the quality and quantity of milk produced. Unfortunately, for many farmers, high-quality seed of forage species and varieties remain inaccessible or underutilized.
Therefore, economically viable production and distribution of forage seeds is an appropriate starting point for improving forage productivity and access. This also calls for attention to quality assurance mechanisms used by different seed businesses.
The project specifically aims to:
- Analyse the functioning and challenges in the forage seed sector and identify opportunities for change;
- Identify, pilot and assess business models for commercially viable forage seed production of promising and highly demanded species, and
- Test different forage seed promotion strategies.
KIT Royal Tropical Institute addresses development challenges at local, regional and global levels through research that generates new insights and knowledge in our areas of expertise: health, sustainable economic development and gender.