Improved forages and milk production in East Africa
This report (PDF) by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) describe a climate-friendly way to close the gap in the availability of livestock and dairy products in Sub-Saharan Africa, using improved forage varieties. The authors assess the potential economic impact of the development and release of improved forage varieties of the Brachiaria genus in six East African countries using an economic surplus model. Results are presented across a range of potential scenarios involving different adoption rates and percentage increases in productivity. For all but the lowest levels of adoption and productivity increases, improved forages have the potential for positive return on investment. Using these results, the authors present a formulae that help readers calculate the adoption rate or percentage increase in productivity necessary to achieve specific desired levels of net benefit. Overall, the model output suggests that investment in a forages research program related to both the qualities of the forage itself as well as programs to enhance dissemination and adoption of new materials would be low risk and with high likelihood for positive outcome, generating discounted net benefits on the order of potentially tens of millions of dollars.