Agroforestry Research Program

Agroforestry Research Program

Welcome to the Agroforestry Research Program page



Background:


Smallholder dairy development can be a catalyst to agriculture-led economic development. Planted grasses, forage legumes and improved fodder trees and shrubs on the other hand, can enhance forage availability and subsequently milk production. Forage legumes, shrubs and trees provide protein that is required for milk production and supplement animal diet, as well as reducing methane emissions. The relatively high biomass yield renders planted grasses and forage legumes reliable sources of vital nutrients for dairy cattle. Forage trees and shrubs can also withstand extended periods of water stress as their deep root systems enable tapping of water and nutrients from deep into the soil profile (Kabirizi, 2004). In spite of these attributes, use of improved forage in Uganda’s livestock systems is limited, and animal feed supplies remain largely dependent on wildly existing stands, which limits livestock productivity (DSIP, 2010).

In Uganda, however, most smallholder farmers realise low milk production due to poor nutrient composition of the fodder used, which mainly comprises natural pastures, browse and crop residues. Seasonal shortage of such feeds, especially during dry spells, further impedes growth of the dairy sector in Uganda (DSIP, 2010).Though rich in fibre roughage, these feeds are deficient in proteins and other vital nutrients, which compromises the quality and quantity of milk produced (Gerrits, 1999). In addition, protein-deficient animal diets are not considered climate-smart since they result in high emission of methane as a by-product of digestion (Mugerwa et al., 2013). This study investigates current forage options and will inform farmers on the appropriate forage management practices to ensure optimal milk production.

Main Objective


The overall objective of the agroforestry research Programme is to develop and disseminate appropriate technologies that integrate trees and shrubs on-farm to mitigate deforestation, rural poverty, food security and environmental instability.

Specific Objectives:


The specific objectives of the agroforestry research programme include the following:

 

  • Diagnose and design appropriate agroforestry interventions focusing on boosting the productivity and sustainability of  small holder systems in the other agro-ecological zones of Uganda
  • Manage tree and conserve important high value tree species integrated on-farm, including their domestication.
  • Assess the role of trees and agroforestry in climate change mitigation.
  • Improve markets for agroforestry products from smallholder producers to increase incomes.
  • Assess adoption rates of agroforestry technologies in the highland and Lake Victoria Crescent.
  • Develop strategies for wide scale adoption and adaptation of agroforestry technologies.
  • Assess the impacts of agroforestry technologies.
  • Develop partnerships, collaboration, and networks to improve information sharing and building stakeholder capacities.
  • Manage pests and diseases in agroforestry systems.
  • Develop policy briefs and institutional structures to enhance various agroforestry interventions.

Ongoing Projects:

  1. Utilization of Indigenous Tree Species for enhanced land productivity and improved crop yields
  2. Production and promotion of quality agroforestry tree germplasm for enhanced farm productivity
  3. Improving forage production and utilization for increased productivity of Uganda’s smallholder dairy systems
  4. Enhancing the Productivity of Uganda’s dry lands for climate change adaptation and mitigation using hydrogel technology
  5. Trees for food security - Improving sustainable productivity in farming systems and evergreen agriculture in Eastern Africa

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