Stakeholder summer camp on hydroponic fodder production technology

Egerton University hosted the first stakeholder summer camp on

9th to 14th November, 2014 at its Njoro Campus. The purpose of the summer camp was to strengthen capacity on management of indigenous livestock which is in line with the overall mission of iLINOVA project.

Over sixty participants including extension workers drawn from Western, Central, Eastern and Rift Valley regions of Kenya, farmers, lecturers, youths and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Development staff attended.

The focus of the summer camp was application of technology and innovation in fodder production and livestock feeding with specific reference to hydroponic fodder production. Seven presentations were made. These included “Livestock Feed Industry in Kenya” aimed at introducing the participants to the livestock feed industry in Kenya. “Hydroponic Fodder Production” that entailed two modules namely background on hydroponic fodder and scientific process in hydroponic system i.e enzymatic actions in fodder growth and nutritional benefits of hydroponic fodder. “Principles and Practice of Hydroponic Fodder Production, Establishment and Management” that focused on Hydroponic site selection, setting up of a simple hydroponic unit, fodder growing techniques, seed selection and supply, and seed treatment and costing were the topics that were covered in this section. “Fodder and Feeding Management” that covered a broad overview of feeding methods, ration formulation and costing, benefits of feeding hydroponic fodder and conservation strategies of hydroponic fodder. “Challenge in Hydroponic Fodder Production” aimed at familiarising participants with the challenges that most farmers who have ventured into hydroponic fodder production without professional training face. “Livestock Genetics and its Influence on Efficient Utilisation of Fodder” covering widely the effects of genetics on feed intake and production, effect of genetics A stakeholder being awarded a certificate for participation on feed intake and performance, how to decide on which bull to use, Breeding Worth(BW)/ Net Merit(NM), reliability of net merit or breeding worth and traits other than production. Finally, there was a presentation on “Integration of Aquaponics into Hydroponics.” That covered all aspects of aquaponics, recirculation of an aquaculture system, demonstration of an aquaponic unit,
aquaculture species incorporated in aquaponics and the benefits of aquaponics.

The summer camp gave the participants an understanding of the concept and practice of hydroponic fodder production, aquaponics and livestock genetics and its influence on efficient utilization of fodder. This summer camp helped to create a synergy that could contribute to further adoption hydroponic fodder production technology.

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