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Studies show that cows’ milk yields rise when they eat Brachiaria grass. Cows are one of the major contributors to global warming through methane emissions, but important for their production of protein rich products in dairy. Iamge credit: Eric Ouma/ILRI

A grass native to Africa could transform the continent’s dairy yields

The cows kept by small-scale farmers in Africa are notoriously unproductive. The average dairy cow, for example, produces about 540 litres of milk per lactation. By contrast, dairy cows in North America that belong to commercial or intensive farmers can produce up to 10 479 litres of milk per lactation. One of the main differences between the two animals lies in the quality of their feeds and forage. Simply put, the more nutritious cows’ diets are, the more and better-quality milk they produce. And small-scale farms – of which there are about 33 million in Africa, contributing up to 70% of the continent’s food supply – usually cannot afford more nutritious feed.Read More »A grass native to Africa could transform the continent’s dairy yields