Africa / Animal Feeding / CGIAR / CIAT / Crop-Livestock / Dairying / Environment / Feeds / Forages / Intensification / LIVESTOCK-FISH / Project / Research / Southern Africa / Systems Analysis / Tanzania / Targeting

Modeling environmental impacts of forage technologies in crop-livestock systems in Tanzania

Capturing nutrient flows on Tanzanian farms A CIAT-led project ‘Sustainable Intensification of Crop-livestock Systems through Improved Forages’ aims to assess environmental impacts of tropical forage technologies.

Six months after the project’s inception, first steps have been completed towards this goal, with two MSc students (Nairobi University and Sokoine University) having embarked on their respective field work. In Babati (Tanzania), activities are implemented in close collaboration with the Africa RISING program.

Soil and climate data was collected from ILRI-led Africa RISING on-farm trials to initiate Napier grass crop and modeling with the CropSyst model of Washington State University (WSU), which will also elucidate N2O emissions, NO3 leaching and soil organic carbon dynamics. Further, a farming system dataset from Wageningen University is used to calculate nutrient balances and therefore sustainability of farms.

In Lushoto (Tanzania), new Napier grass-Desmodium inter-cropping trials under varying input levels were planted on farmers’ fields. A WSU programmer is developing an inter-cropping routine for CropSyst which will be especially relevant for fodder crops which are mostly grown as intercrops.

A crop to farm modeling workshop in April 2015 in Arusha will bring together crop and farm modelers across various CGIAR research programs – Livestock and Fish as well as CCAFS – to review approaches, models, preliminary results and future opportunities for linkages.

This project is supported by USAID as part of the CGIAR-Unites States University Linkages Program designed to support collaborative research between US universities or USDA and CGIAR.

Read a related blog post

Contact Ms. Birthe Paul ( for more information.

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