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CIAT - Tropical Forages Program

Improving forages provides an unprecedented opportunity for many small farmers in the tropics to improve their livelihoods. But feeding animals in a sustainable, cost-effective way is challenging. A high proportion of smallholder crop-livestock systems in the tropics are located in vulnerable areas with low fertility, acid soils, prolonged dry seasons, exposure to water logging, and land in different stages of degradation. CIAT's Tropical Forages Program aims to help farmers by developing a range of forage options that can be grown under a variety of favorable and marginal conditions, as well as developing innovative ways in which crops can reach wider markets.

Project scientists

Brigitte L. Maass (co-principal investigator), Forage Agronomist, CIAT, Nairobi, Kenya Dr. Maass has more than 25 years of research experience in the tropics and has previously been an Associate Professor of Crop Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics with a focus on Agrobiodiversity and Genetic Resources at the University of Göttingen, Germany. For CIAT, she leads the development, adaptation and dissemination of tropical forage options in Eastern and Central Africa. She will coordinate all DRC team activities and manage information flow with other contributors. Scientifically, she will lead all forage and feeding improvement activities in conjunction with Dr. Niba from University of Dschang in Cameroon. She will also assist in capacity building of junior scientists. Email B.Maass(at), Mobile +254-717-969 603, Skype blmaass

Wanjiku Chiuri, Socioeconomist, CIAT, Kigali, Rwanda Prof. Chiuri has been an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Environment and Resource Development, Dept. of Environmental Science at Egerton University-Nakuru, Kenya. She has long-term experiences in participatory methods and livelihood analysis. She has also consulted widely in areas of natural resources management, environmental impact assessment and audit as well as in food security strategies for communities in vulnerable ecosystems. She will contribute to the socio-economic aspects of the project including participatory engagements where required, gender mainstreaming and analysis, and market linkages. She will be especially in charge of the Innovation Platforms. Email chiuriw(at), Mobile +254722613776, +250788307885, Skype wanjiku-rwanda

Associated researchers:

Birthe Katharina Paul, CIAT, Nairobi, Kenya Ms Paul, MSc Wageningen University, is an environmental scientist who joined CIAT’s Tropical Forages Program in Nairobi, Kenya in early 2012. Prior to CIAT, Birthe worked as research assistant and researcher for the Soil Quality and Crop Systems Analysis research groups at Wageningen University and the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility (TSBF) institute of CIAT Kenya (2010-2011). Amongst others, she assisted in the DIVERSITAS agroBIODIVERSITY network and a NWO Science for Global Development project on Conservation Agriculture in Western Kenya. She currently works on tropical forages and soil fertility in mixed crop-livestock systems in Eastern and Central Africa. She is responsible for field activities in DRC especially in the field of forage research. Email B.Paul(at), Mobile +254712179755, +243852995390, +250784529692, Skype birthe.paul

Pascal Habumugisha, CIAT, Kigali, Rwanda Email pahabumugisha(at)