What it's about:
With drought killing off thousands of cattle in Kenya, fresh milk and meat prices have risen dramatically - but rain alone won't solve the problem.
New drought-resilient forage grasses could boost milk production by up to 40 percent, generating millions of dollars in economic benefits for struggling East African dairy farmers, according to a report by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
Seeds such as brachiaria are high-yielding, nutritious and easier for cows to digest, allowing them to produce less of the greenhouse gas methane too. Brachiaria is already popular in countries such as Brazil and Thailand, yet it originates in Africa.
The CIAT urges countries like Kenya to invest in drought-resilient feed for their cattle, to better prepare for worsening weather.
Why it's noteworthy:
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta declared a national disaster in February 2017 due to worsening drought conditions.
Pastoralists in the Highland areas of the country have been particularly hard hit, while others have been forced to migrate across the border to Uganda in search of feed and water for their livestock.
With the expected early return of the El Nino weather phenomenon to the country, Kenya is set for more erratic weather conditions.
Livestock is a crucial source of income for millions of people, ensuring that animals are well-nourished and better protected will lead to improved milk and meat production, as well as livelihoods.
Read it on
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)