AgricultureCrop ResearchLivestock Research

Growing climate-smart Brachiaria grass to improve livestock production in Rwanda

In the ‘Land of a thousand hills’ where the largely steep landscape  has led to severe erosion, finding sufficient feed to support the growing dairy industry has been a major challenge to smallholder farmers.

However, a visit to farmers in Eastern and Southern provinces of Rwanda during the country’s dry season in July revealed that the climate smart Brachiaria grass—or ivugbwe as it is known locally—has the potential to extend forage availability throughout the year.

Rwandan dairy farmers have been participating in a research project to assess the performance of best bet varieties of Brachiaria grass for different agro-ecological regions in Rwanda. The Swedish funded project on ‘Climate smart Brachiaria grass to increase livestock production in East Africa’ was led by the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub and implemented in collaboration with the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB).

In this 5-minute video, the farmers talk about why Brachiaria grass has quickly become a favorite forage for their livestock.

A five-minute video on the importance of Brachiaria grass to smallholder livestock farmers in Rwanda. I shot part of the footage for this video during field visit in Rwanda. I also developed the concept, script and oversaw the production by Artful Eyes Productions.

(First posted on the BecA-ILRI Hub Blog, 18 July 2017)