Strengthening Capacity for Participatory Management of Indigenous Livestock to Foster Agriculture Innovation in Eastern, Southern and Western Africa
Hydroponic Fodder Production
Venue: Egerton University, Kenya
Feeding livestock is a challenge in most countries in Africa resulting to low productivity and efficiency of livestock production per animal unit. This is because feedings systems in Africa heavily rely on natural pastures during the rainy season and agricultural by-products and low-cost feed during the dry season. For high productivity of livestock, adequate supply of pasture and fodder throughout the year is necessary, which can be produced on the farm. However, the increasing trend in human population accompanied by diminishing land sizes limits farming activities resulting to competition for space between fodder cultivation and crop cultivation in most smallholder farms. In addition, the effects of climate change are likely to affect fodder production. Application of innovative technologies on livestock feeding systems such as use of hydroponic system for fodder production forms a good strategy that contributes to sustainable production of livestock feeds. Hydroponic generally means working with water. The system allows for plants to be grown in water as the medium as opposed to soil in conventional systems. With hydroponics, one has the ability to produce high yields of fodder over a short period of time in a smaller area and the system is not dependent on climate conditions hence fodder can be produced all year round.
The project ‘Strengthening Capacity for Participatory Management of Indigenous Livestock to Foster Agricultural Innovation in Eastern, Southern and Western Africa (iLINOVA)’, is co-financed in the ACP-EU Co-operation Programme in Science and Technology II (S&T II); a programme of the ACP Group of States, with financial assistance of the European Union, and runs from 1st January 2014 to 31st December 2016. The project is implemented by the ACP Group of States Secretariat through a partnership consisting of Egerton University, Kenya (coordinator); Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Malawi and; Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria.
The Project’s results include:
- Strengthened capacity of scientific staff, students, enterprises, policy makers and civil society organisations (CSOs) to create, update and use knowledge on indigenous livestock (IL) management
- Developed knowledge on innovative IL management practices to promote further innovations
- Promoted culture and importance of innovative livestock technologies (ILT) among the general public and governments
- Contributions to local and international policies on IL management, related scientific goals and formulated priorities
The iLINOVA project, Egerton University, Kenya has organised a Summer School on hydroponic fodder production. The training will cover the following areas:
- Introduction to livestock feed industry: challenges and opportunities
- Introduction to livestock feed and feeding systems
- Introduction to hydroponic fodder production: Background, scientific processes, enzymatic actions and nutritional values benefits
- Challenges in hydroponic fodder production: Moulds and control and Water treatment
- Principles and practice of hydroponic fodder production establishment and management, hydroponic site selection, setting up a simple hydroponic fodder production unit
- Principles and practice of hydroponic fodder production, establishment and management, fodder growing techniques, seed selection, supply, treatment and costing
- Fodder and feeding management, feeding methods, ration calculation and costing
- Hay and silage production using fodder from hydroponic system
- Digestive system of ruminant and non-ruminants with regard to efficient utilization of fodder
- Livestock genetics
- Entrepreneurship and hydroponic fodder enterprise development
This is the third Summer School on hydroponic fodder production.