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Siaya farmers triple milk output with switch to Bra­chiaria grass

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Siaya County farm­ers have tripled milk yields by feed­ing live­stock on bra­chiaria grass, which con­tains more pro­teins than Napier .

Le­onard Oremo noted sig­ni­fic­ant in­crease in milk soon after he in­tro­duced the grass as part of the fod­der for his cattle.

In the past, Oremo got three litres of milk per day, but the yield has in­creased to 10 litres per day, the farmer told the Voice of Amer­ica, adding that at times the yield hits 12 litres.

Bra­chiaria grass has more than 15 per cent crude pro­teins and other min­er­als, which are ne­ces­sary in milk pro­duc­tion.

Napier grass has between 7 per cent and 8.5 per cent crude pro­teins. However, a new vari­ety like giant Napier grass has sur­passed this mark by of­fer­ing up to 26 per cent crude pro­teins to live­stock. 

READ ALSO: High pro­tein double yield­ing napier grass re­leased

READ ALSO: Farm­ers em­brace Rhodes grass to fight cli­mate change

In­ter­na­tional Live­stock Re­search In­sti­tute (ILRI) re­searcher An Noten­baert said the grass is not only ap­pro­pri­ate for low rain­fall re­gions, but a sure feed se­cur­ity solu­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Feed­pe­dia, an an­imal feeds re­source re­pos­it­ory, the grass does well in re­gions with rain­fall of between 1500mm and 3500mm per annum. But it can with­stand drought for between three and six months, within which it re­mains green, un­like other trop­ical grasses.

It also grows in poor and ni­tro­gen and other nu­tri­ents’ de­fi­cient soils and a PH of between 4 and 8. Al­though it does well in low nu­tri­ent area, the con­tent re­duces with de­crease in the ele­ments.

Fro those in­ter­ested in the grass, con­tact Ben­son Mu­turi of Kenya Ag­ri­cul­tural and Live­stock Re­search Or­gan­isa­tion  on +254724492456.

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