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There are more than two million small-holder dairy farmers in East Africa. Most keep one or two d...
There are more than two million small-holder dairy farmers in East Africa. Most keep one or two dairy cows, usually crosses between European dairy breeds and local zebu, in a system that combines growing a variety of crops and keeping dairy animals.
Due to shortage of land, some practice zero or semi-zero grazing. Keeping dairy cattle in this way can be very rewarding. It can provide a range of benefits, including nutritious milk for home consumption, extra milk for sale and manure to help maintain soil fertility. By also growing protein-rich fodder crops, especially those from the legume family which can fix nitrogen from the air, this not only helps boost production of milk and saves money on buying commercial dairy meal or other concentrates, but will also further boost soil fertility.
And growing perennial fodder crops, such as legume shrubs and trees, especially along contours of sloping sites or along your boundary, can help prevent erosion of soil and supply useful products and services for the farm and household, such as fodder, fuel wood, mulch, living fences, shade and shelter, stakes and timber.