First RELOAD PhD student graduating at Egerton University

On Wednesday 22nd March 2017, Olivier Basolo Kashongwe successfully defended his PhD thesis on assessments of post-harvest losses in smallholder dairy cow and pastoral camel herds of Kenya. Dr Kashongwe is the first RELOAD PhD student to finalize his PhD research at Egerton University.

 Dr Kashongwe assessed milk losses and associated causes at farm level, using  a combination of surveys and on-farm milk and feed sampling. When comparing rural and peri-urban smallholder production systems, he found that udder health parameters were better in peri-urban production systems, while feed diversity, quality and quantity were better in rural production systems.

 All smallholder farmers applied milk hygiene practices, with some constraints occurring in pastoral systems due to limited availability of clean water. In general, such practices were followed more strictly by farmers participating in informal markets than by those in the formal market, and milk quality was higher in informal compared to formal market outlets.

 By applying participatory action research methods, options for enhanced feeding practices and animal health were identified and tested for their feasibility. Dr. Kashongwe’s PhD research was jointly supervised by Prof Bockline Bebe and Prof Josef Matofari, both Egerton University, Kenya, along with Dr Christian Hülsebusch, German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL) in Witzenhausen, Germany.