Mitigating the impact of Napier grass smut and stunt diseases for
             the smallholder dairy sector: key achieveme...
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Mitigating the impact of Napier grass smut and stunt diseases for the smallholder dairy sector: key achievements

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A poster prepared by Janice Proud for the ASARECA stall at the 5th African Agriculture Science Week and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) General Assembly, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, July 19-24, 2010 with the theme: African Agricultural Innovation in a Changing Global Environment.

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Mitigating the impact of Napier grass smut and stunt diseases for the smallholder dairy sector: key achievements

  1. 1. Mitigating the impact of Napier grass smut and stunt diseases for the smallholder dairy sector: key achievements Napier grass is grown Two diseases are Stunt & Smut extensively in Kenya, causing severe Tanzania and Uganda by reductions in Napier smallholder farmers as grass yield in the region feed for stall fed dairy resulting in decreased cows milk production This ASARECA funded project used several approaches to mitigate the impact of the diseases on Napier grass: • Collecting, characterising and evaluating diversity in Napier grass in the region • Participatory research to identify best management practices to mitigate disease impact and clones with some tolerance • Molecular tools to detect the diseases in plant tissue • Raising awareness of the diseases and best management practices, using various media, to mitigate disease impact Key technical achievements: Best management practices identified: Molecular diagnostic tools developed • Inspect crops regularly and remove and shared: diseased plants This will allow national partners to test • Keep Napier healthy by weeding and Napier grass clones to ensure material is manuring plots disease free before multiplication and • Use planting material from disease dissemination free areas Best clones identified: Molecular characterisation: Twenty clones of high yielding This will allow similar clones to Napier grass from Kenya have so be identified in each country and far been identified as tolerant to highlight potentially resistant Napier stunt disease clones for further evaluation, Seven clones are still being thus reducing the need to move evaluated in Tanzania clones between countries Knowledge sharing: Raising awareness of stunt Information shared: and smut and best • With different audiences: management practices: Farmers, extension workers, • Decreased incidence on the researchers, policy makers diseases in project areas (by • In different ways: 30-100%) and increased milk Posters and Leaflets in English production as reported by & local languages farmers using the management Demonstrations and practices promoted by the presentations at field days & project stakeholder meetings • Increased disease monitoring Newspaper articles and reporting Radio and TV programmes • Increased demand for disease Website tolerant clones Scientific publications Conclusions: Raising awareness of the diseases and best management practices are key to mitigating the impact of Napier grass diseases, to ensure adequate Napier grass production for stall fed dairy cows in the region Acknowledgements: Funding from ASARECA and partner institutions Project team leaders: Janice Proud and Jean Hanson, International Livestock Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Margaret Mulaa, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Beatrice Pallangyo, National Biological Control Programme, Tanzania, Jolly Kabirizi, National Agricultural Research Organisation, Uganda, John Lucas, Rothamsted Research, UK, Zeyaur Khan, International Centre for Insect Physiology & Ecology, Kenya

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