Utilization and management of spent brewers grain in Ethiopian dairy farms

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This report is based on the information generated through a survey, meetings with stakeholders, visits to farms, and research information already available to the organisation. The acquired knowledge has provided a realistic view of how dairy systems in the study areas in Ethiopia are managed and allowed the realisation of an analysis of the situation at the farm level. This information has then been used to propose the development of future actions so that the efficiency in the utilization of the spent brewery grain on Ethiopia dairy farms is optimised. The presence of numerous breweries in the area studied with a potential capacity of 10,660.000 hl of beer per year and their projected growth in the near future, offers an excellent opportunity to farmers in the area to have access to spent brewery grain at a very affordable price. The information gathered in this study reveals that spent brewery grain is a key ingredient in the dairy cow’s diet in Ethiopia, especially considering the scarcity of land to grow fodders and the quality of available feed. Yet the efficiency at which this by-product is currently utilised is very low. In order to improve the efficiency of its use it will be fundamental to take action in different aspects of the production chain, as listed below: •Improvement of the commercialization chain: At present there is a lack of transparency in thechain, along with transport issues and the lack of compromise of the stakeholders involved. Thissituation limits the ability of farmers to develop a feed budget based in the spent brewery grainutilization. •Storage: Condition and capacity of storage are the main on-farm limitations. Key aspects that willneed to be addressed are the improvement of the storage infrastructure and their capacity. Thepossibility to make silage of spent brewery grain, alone or combined with other feeds, can be aninteresting option to be considered. •Management: There is a manifest lack of knowledge and information on how to manage this by-product, and especially on how to avoid spoilage and heating. Farmers are requesting informationto overcome these issues. •Feeding: The current inefficient use of spent brewery grain as a component of the diet of dairycows is due to a combination of factors which includes not only those just mentioned, but also thelack of knowledge on the nutritional properties of the spent brewery grain and its potential use asan ingredient in the complete diet. According to the information gathered, we can conclude that spent brewery grain is a key ingredient in the diet of dairy cows of the study area and will be a crucial component in the profitability of the Ethiopian dairy farms in the future. The nutrient content of spent brewery grain combined with the low-quality feed available for dairy cows will allow to improve the expression of the animal genetic potential, increment their productivity, and improve animal condition. At the same time, the competitive price of the by-product will help improve the profitability of the dairy farm
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Livestock Research
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameWageningen Livestock Research report


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