Climate-smart Brachiaria Grasses: livestock feed, household cash


A Swedish funded research program led by the BecA-ILRI Hub is improving the adaptation of Brachiaria grasses, an indigenous East African forage crop, to drought and creating forage seed production enterprises to benefit resource poor smallholder farmers in the region.

During the 22nd International Grasslands Congress held in Sydney, Australia from 15-19 September 2013, Sita Ghimire, a plant pathologist and senior scientist with the “Climate-smart Brachiaria grasses for improving livestock production in East Africa” program presented a poster about the possibilities that these highly nutritious grasses present.

By using the genetic diversity of Brachiaria grasses and endophytes found within the host (beneficial microorganisms growing within the plants) the research aims to enhance the drought resilience of the grasses; reduce the conversion of soil nitrogen to greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide; and possibly develop microbe based pesticides and fertilizers with wider applications.

See more about the project here: Climate-smart Brachiaria grasses research

View the poster here:  Climate-smart Brachiaria Grasses for improved livestock production in East Africa

Read about what drew Sita out of USA and into Africa to work on this project: Coming to Africa

6 thoughts on “Climate-smart Brachiaria Grasses: livestock feed, household cash

  1. tebug thomas tumasang

    I am from Tugi on the higlands of momo division of cameroon. I am interested in having bracharia adapted to highlands to improve our degraded pastures
    thanks TTT

      1. Laban Musinguzi

        The project may be for East Africa, but is there away of accessing the seeds for multiplication elsewhere. Though I am in East Africa (Uganda) it seems the programme is in Kenya and Rwanda and I am also interested in the pasture.

        1. BecA-ILRI Hub Communications

          Dear Laban,
          While the initial focus of the project is Kenya and Rwanda there is a vision to extend it to a wider region of eastern Africa. The project is currently analyzing local ecotypes and gene bank accessions of African origin for desirable qualities including drought tolerance and adaptation to marginal soils; biomass production; nutrition content; and their potential to produce seed. For more information about the project, visit the project web page

  2. Pingback: Feeding Rwanda’s livestock revolution - CIAT

  3. Pingback: Welcome home Brachiaria! Home coming of Africa’s “super” grass | BecA - ILRI Blog

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