Report | Developing grazing strategies as a new contribution to dairy cattle feeding in Ethiopia

This report on grazing strategies for dairy cattle in Ethiopia is written by 6 students from Wageningen UR: Jip Bekkers, Dorien Dolman, Zarra de Laat, Linde Lamboo, Berit Moneke, Marielle Karsenberg as part of their Academic Consultancy Training (ACT).

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In Ethiopia, several socio-demographic developments – like rapid population growth, urbanization and rising incomes – are increasing the demand for high quality milk. Ethiopian dairy farmers cannot respond to this demand with their current farming strategies. DairyBISS aims to find out whether grazing is a suitable feeding strategy to increase the dairy production in Ethiopia and if so, how this can be implemented. By means of a literature review and interviews, an answer to this question is provided. This report offers an overview of advantages and disadvantages of different feeding strategies and presents the dairy sector in the Netherlands and Ethiopia. This information is used to see how the Dutch knowledge fits the context of Ethiopia and how different theories could help to implement feeding strategies in Ethiopia. A practical action list is provided for DairyBISS with steps to take into consideration for the continuation of their project. Multiple interesting elements can be derived from this report: These are relevant during the implementation of the DairyBISS project in Ethiopia: (1) The Ethiopian dairy sector can learn from Dutch dairy farming strategies, though this knowledge should be open and flexible to the existing Ethiopian technologies and context; (2) The Ethiopian culture, climate and dairy market influence the adoption of new technologies; (3) Ethiopian farmers should play an active role in the design of the project in order to bring the Ethiopian and Dutch knowledge together.