“I had a bad experience when I ordered some grass seeds that were being advertised on Facebook. What I got was a mix of Mulato and some unidentified variety that did not do well at all on my plot. Frustrated, I decided to uproot the grass.”
This was Rachel Kinyua’s experience before she met the team from the Piloting of Improved Brachiaria and Panicum Forages for Increased Livestock Production – a partnership between the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), now Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) in Kenya. She recalls being duped on Facebook in her quest for quality grass for her cows, but it also turned out to be the beginning of success for Rachel.
Rachel Kinyua is one of the successful dairy farmers in Meru County who have been working with the joint Alliance and SNV project since March 2018, planting Alliance's improved forages, which are high yielding, more palatable and nutritious, and have shown to respond better to biotic and abiotic stresses and to improve livestock productivity of milk and meat.
A mother of two, Rachel grew up in a family that practiced subsistence farming. When she got married, she decided to delve into vegetable farming but the returns were not good enough. In 2016, she decided to pursue dairy farming and realized the returns were much better than the vegetable venture.