GREENER PASTURES:

Pasture technology, better grass could end clashes

Pasture rehabilitation in dry areas could increase livestock production, reduce effects of climate change

In Summary

• The government has started rehabilitation and improvement of pastures and fodder for quality livestock, which could eliminate clashes over pastures.

• Grasses will be better and more durable, so will livestock and pastoralists will have less reason to roam and compete. 

A Karlo staff member shows a farmer how to plant grass using new technology to rehabilitate pastures.
BETTER GRASS: A Karlo staff member shows a farmer how to plant grass using new technology to rehabilitate pastures.
Image: REUBEN GITHINJI

Pastoralists can look forward to greener pastures, better livestock and an end to clashes with other communities over scarce grazing land.

New technologies are expected to improve grass, improve fodder and raise better cattle, sheep, goats and camels in dry and semi-arid areas.

 

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) has developed 10 ways of rehabilitating pastures and improving grasses to support quality livestock.

Kalro director general Eliud Keriger says it has developed Technologies Innovations Management Practices (Timps). They include planting durable, climat-resistant grass seeds in dry lands and and creating of pits for water harvesting for pasture production, among other measures.

Keriger was speaking at Gachoka area of Mbeere South subcounty in Embu when he officially opened a Trainers of Trainers workshop for 52 beneficiaries from West Pokot and Laikipia on the new technologies.

He said they are also producing supplements fodder from acacia seedpods for goats that have stopped feeding on mother's milk. They also produce supplement fodder from prosopis juliflora - mathenge trees - seedpods flour for mature goats.

With more and better grass and livestock, pastoralists will not have reason to roam and cause violent competition for pastures.
Kalro director general Eliud Keriger

They also use cotton seedcake as supplementary fodder to help beef cattle mature.

Kireger said they are providing cost-effective conservation of animal feed, modern ways of planting grass and other fodder and producing durable livestock.

The programme is among activities funded by the World Bank in its Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project in which Kalro provides and promotes facilitation of technologies to improve production.

 

Kireger said after the grass and other fodder is available, it's expected farmers and animal keepers in small farms will get enough grass and quality livestock for domestic and commercial benefits.

Pastoralists who roam from one place to another in search of grass cause clashes with other communities with pasture shortage. With more and better grass and livestock, pastoralists will not have reason to roam and cause violent competition for pastures.

Kireger said the TOT will train their neighbours so more people can have better grass and livestock. Training is also being offered in Kajiado, Tana River, Madera, Wajiri, Garissa Taiya Taveta, Isiolo Marsabit Laikipia and West Pokot Counties.

(Edited by V. Graham)

 

Director General of Karlo Dr Eliud Keriger at Gachoka area of Mbeere South subcounty.
A BETTER WAY: Director General of Karlo Dr Eliud Keriger at Gachoka area of Mbeere South subcounty.
Image: REUBEN GITHINJI