Development of Endiisa Decision Support Tool for improved feeding of dairy cattle in Uganda
(First prize, ‘Women in Science’ competition)
Efforts to improve livestock feeding in Uganda have had great strides in identifying nutritious feed resources for cattle. These include pasture grasses and legumes, leguminous shrubs and multipurpose trees, crop residues and agro-industrial by-products. Despite knowledge and the use of appropriate feed resources, milk production of dairy farms has remained low (2 to 5 L per cow per day). The poor performance indicates a gap in dissemination of knowledge to farmers. One major gap identified was that farmers did not know the quantities of feed that would adequately meet the nutritional requirements of their animals. This study demonstrates the use of decision-support tools (DST) in meeting such challenges. It provides information on low status of dairy cattle feeding. In conclusion, the DST that was developed and tested led to improved cattle feeding and increased milk production by 24%. The tool is available on the website of the Uganda National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO-Uganda), and is recommended for use by farmers, researchers, trainers and policy-makers.
Article taken from the 2011 CTA/FARA publication ‘Agricultural Innovations for Sustainable Development’ Volume 3, Issue 2.