Sarah L. Mubiru is the Programme Assistant at Livestock and Fisheries Programme, Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA). She win the first prize of Women in science competition 2010 with her research “ Development of ‘ENDIISA” Decision Support Tool for Improved Feeding of Dairy Cattle in Uganda”. In the video, she appreciate this competition.
Abstract of her study
Efforts for improvement of livestock feeding in Uganda have achieved great strides in identification of nutritious feed resources for cattle (Kabirizi, 2006; Nakiganda 2004; Mwebaze, http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Counprof/uganda.htm; Stobbs, 1969). The feed resources include pasture grasses and legumes, leguminous shrubs or multi-purpose trees, crop residues and agro-industrial by-products. Despite, knowledge and in some instances utilisation of the appropriate feed resources, milk production on dairy farms has remained low in the ranges of 2–5 Lcow-1day-1 (Mubiru, 2006; Mubiru et al., 2007). This poor performance is clear indication of a gap in the knowledge disseminated to farmers with regards to cattle feeding. One major knowledge gap that was identified in studies done in Uganda was the inability by farmers to know the quantities of feeds that would adequately meet the nutritional requirements of their animals. As a result, the farmers only provided 59% and 36% of the required metabolisable energy (ME) and crude protein (CP) respectively to their animals (Mubiru et al., 2003). As such, it was found necessary that a mechanism be developed by which farmers could establish adequate feed quantities for their cattle even when they are combining a variety of feeds. One practical means of achieving this was through the use of a decision support tool which was one of the major outputs of this research. In conclusion, the study provided information on the low status of feeding of dairy cattle in the central zone. The DST that was developed and tested with improved cattle feeding status increasing milk production by 24%. The tool, which was uploaded on the website of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO-Uganda) should be recommended for use by farmers, researchers, trainers and policy makers. A mechanism should be established for regular updating of the DST to include new feed resources and incorporation emerging information.
Keywords: metabolisable energy (ME), crude protein (CP), milk production, feed combinations, nutritional requirement