Improving feed resources availability on smallholder dairy farms: A case of Kasenge parish, Mukono district

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J. Kabirizi
Nanyenya W
Ebong C
Odogola W
Mugerwa J
Kayiwa S


Kasenge parish is located in Mukono district, Central Uganda. Poor knowledge of research recommendations by farmers and limited research efforts to improve dairy production systems are some of the factors which have contributed to inadequate feed resources and poor management of dairy cattle in the parish. Besides, animal production, extension workers put more emphasis on disease control with very little attention on animal nutrition. This explains the current milk yield that is far below realistic potential levels given the farmers’ investment in inputs and grade anmals. Poverty among dairy farmers remains rampant in the parish. As improved forages have potential to contribute significantly to improved feeding of dairy cows, efforts were taken to identify existing forages and the effect of season on their feeding value. Suitable elephant grass varieties were then tested on-farms with full participation ofthe farmers. This paper presents results of a survey carried out in Kasenge parish to identify available feed resources and the effect on protein content and fibre fractions during the wet and dry seasons. Results of biomass yield and crude protein content of three varieties of elephant grass are also presented. Results showed that during the wet season crude protein content of all the feeds was higher than the recommended level for lactating dairy cows, however, the levels reduced (by about 10%) during the dry season. On-farm testing of three elephant grass varieties (Pennisetum var. Kawanda 4; Pennisetum var. 99 and the Pennisetum var. local) showed that Pennisetum 99 produced higher levels of CP (11.2% ) and herbage biomass yield (17 Mt/ha) than Kawanda 4 (9.8% and 14 Mt/ha) and the local variety (7.6% and 9 Mt/ha). On smallholder dairy farms where land is a major constraint, forage which produce high herbage biomass yield and high levels of CP such as Pennisetum var. 99 are recommended.

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Kabirizi, J., W, N., C, E., W, O., J, M., & S, K. (2003). Improving feed resources availability on smallholder dairy farms: A case of Kasenge parish, Mukono district. Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 8(10), 395–400. Retrieved from