Copyright Betty Kawonga

Copyright Betty Kawonga


Enhancing smallholder dairy feeding systems to improve productivity and mitigate climate change impacts in Malawi

Date 01.09.2021 - 31.10.2021
Location University of Bristol, University of Western Australia, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources


One of three research funded projects for the UK/ Australia Season that focuses on key climate challenges facing ODA countries.

Subsistence dairy farming is an essential source of income for millions of smallholder farmers in rural sub-Saharan Africa. However, this livelihood is currently not sustainable as it is both vulnerable to climate change and is in itself a significant source of greenhouse gasses (GHG). Smallholder dairy cattle produce around three times as much GHG per unit of milk than do cattle in industrialised countries.

This project, based in Malawi, aims to apply local knowledge of dairy cattle nutrition and of locally sourced feed components in trials to reduce GHG production whilst improving performance. Diets will be formulated to account for seasonal variation in availability and resilience to the future effects of climate change. Interrelated UN Sustainable Development Goals on climate, poverty, hunger, gender equity, health and wellbeing to be addressed.