Theme 2: Forage--Oral Sessions

Description

Over the last decades a wealth of information on tropical forage genetic resources has been collated and is accessible to users ranging from farmers, development practitioners and researchers to decision makers and academia, e.g. through online tools such as Tropical Forages: An interactive selection tool (www.tropicalforages.info). However, while genetic diversity is being conserved by international gene banks, adoption of improved tropical forages is still far from reaching its full potential. Major bottlenecks in our view include lack of awareness of available forage genetic resources, confirmation of adaptation in a wide range of bio-physical, socio-economic, political and cultural contexts and functionality of financing, extension and seed supply systems. This paper discusses the potential for adoption of tropical forages in the context of new opportunities by market driven innovation, and presents early successes using as examples improved Urochloa spp., Megathyrsus maximus and other grass and legume germplasm, while describing possible pathways to go to scale with small and medium size livestock producers. We use examples of approaches from the tropical Americas, tropical Africa and tropical Asia, including partnerships with the private sector in diverse market environments (e.g. Africa and Latin America) and network approaches (Asia).

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Linking Demand with Supply for Tropical Forage Genetic Resources to Reach Impact at Scale

Over the last decades a wealth of information on tropical forage genetic resources has been collated and is accessible to users ranging from farmers, development practitioners and researchers to decision makers and academia, e.g. through online tools such as Tropical Forages: An interactive selection tool (www.tropicalforages.info). However, while genetic diversity is being conserved by international gene banks, adoption of improved tropical forages is still far from reaching its full potential. Major bottlenecks in our view include lack of awareness of available forage genetic resources, confirmation of adaptation in a wide range of bio-physical, socio-economic, political and cultural contexts and functionality of financing, extension and seed supply systems. This paper discusses the potential for adoption of tropical forages in the context of new opportunities by market driven innovation, and presents early successes using as examples improved Urochloa spp., Megathyrsus maximus and other grass and legume germplasm, while describing possible pathways to go to scale with small and medium size livestock producers. We use examples of approaches from the tropical Americas, tropical Africa and tropical Asia, including partnerships with the private sector in diverse market environments (e.g. Africa and Latin America) and network approaches (Asia).