Saturday April 14 2012

New initiative to boost milk production

A woman milking a cow. The booster can be used

A woman milking a cow. The booster can be used to boost quality and quantity of milk production.  

By Lominda Afedraru

Livestock farmers keeping cows for milk production are likely to earn more as scientists come up with milk booster to improve quality and production of the product.

The first batch of the animal feed is yet to be rolled out at the annual Agricultural Trade show slated for July this year in Jinja.

The booster is a result of a public private partnership that was entered into two years ago between Makerere University department of Animal Sciences, Kakira out-Growers Rural Development Fund and the Diary Development Authority.

The partnership conducted under the “Millennium Sciences Initiative” sought to link the use of crop residues to make animal feed for the livestock sector as well as industries that are capable of producing the products for commercial purposes.

According to Dr Fred Kabi, a senior lecturer at the department of Animal Science, the milk booster was developed using molasses commonly known as (Sukari guru), mixed with sugarcane crush, plant residue and cotton seed cake to come up with the animal diet.

The product has been tested on more than 100 cows in Jinja, Mayuge, Iganga, Kamuli and Mukono districts and has accordingly given tremendous results.

According to Dr Kabi, after the milk booster is given to cows, they are left for four days without being fed on any other product for their digestive system to get accustomed to the product.

The booster is also able to resist fungal infection for about a year.

Dr Kabi who led the team is currently exploring ways of coming up with bull booster product through using sugar cane leaves and other ingredients for the purpose of producing quality meat.

The product is, according to Dr Kabi developed through a careful scientific approach with 70 per cent of sugar cane molasses from Kakira Sugar Works, 17 per cent green tops and 13 per cent from trash which farmers usually discard
Data indicates that the three sugarcane industries produce115,000 metric tonnes of molasses which can be fully utilised to produce animal feed.