Brachiaria – part of a sustainable solution

26 November, 2010 by (comments)

An article pushlished yesterday by Inter Press Service gives an informative overview of ongoing work by CIAT and its partners to improve the eco-efficiency of livestock production through the use of brachiaria forage grasses.

Colombia tests forage crops against climate change describes how brachiaria can help to retain soil nitrogen, reducing both the emissions of powerful greenhouse gases from livestock systems and the need for fertilisers. The article also considers some of the challenges of incorporating brachiaria into livestock production systems.

Brachiaria1

“The introduction of a single crop is rarely a ‘magic bullet’ solution”, said CIAT plant scientist Idupulapati Rao. “But planting brachiaria is just one of the options open to livestock producers, who can introduce a range of on-farm techniques and technologies to improve the long-term sustainability of their production systems. These include on-farm use of crop residues and mulching, systematic regeneration of forage lots and other eco-efficient agrofoestry techniques.

“Brachiaria research has tremendous potential – not just for livestock production but also for drastic improvements in food production. But just as important is improving the overall sustainability of the systems in which it is deployed, in order to realise it’s true value.”

If you’ve been following the CIAT blog in recent months, you’ll know that brachiaria has received wide interest as a hitherto unsung eco-efficient crop. Follow the links to find out more.

CIAT & Brachiaria on Voice of Amercia

CIAT Brief – Livestock and Climate Change

CIAT & Brachiaria in New Agriculturist

CIAT Tropical Forages Program

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Filed Under: Crops, Tropical Forages