Patrick Ongadi Mudavadi
Patrick studies the decisions made by smallholder dairy farmers that allow them to adjust to seasonal fluctuations in milk production
Patrick holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Production (Honours) from Egerton University of Njoro, Kenya and a Master of Science degree in Animal Science (Livestock Production Systems) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. His master’s thesis was a descriptive and modeling study of the bio-economic performance of grade dairy cattle in mixed small scale farming systems of Vihiga, Kenya. After graduation, he worked as Research Officer (Livestock Production Systems) with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). He was later seconded to World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) as Dissemination Facilitator for the East Africa Dairy Development Project (EADD) and Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) as Senior Feeds Specialist for the Kenya Market-led Dairy Program (KMDP). Patrick returned to Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) as Senior Research Scientist. Still interested in dairy cattle research, he secured a fellowship with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology and returned to academia to pursue a PhD in Life Sciences under the Programme for Enhancing Health and Productivity of Livestock (PEHPL) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Farmer-led breeding and feeding decisions to overcome seasonality driven milk fluctuations in smallholder dairy farms
Thesis Research Project
Farmer-led breeding and feeding decisions to overcome seasonality driven milk fluctuations in smallholder dairy farms. I am working with Dr. Emmanuel Mpolya (NM-AIST) and Dr. Mizeck G.G. Chagunda (SRUC) in collaboration with other PEHPL colleagues at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology. The main challenge in the production phase of the dairy value chain, especially among the smallholders, is the continuous seasonal fluctuation ("flush season syndrome”) of milk production and supply. In order to propose a solution to this challenge, my study will address the following:
What feeding and breeding decisions affect productivity of smallholder dairy cattle in different agro-ecologies, production systems, and seasons?
Do smallholder dairy farmers make deliberate decisions to feed their dairy cattle breeds for milk yield or reproduction in the face of seasonality?
Are there socio-political, cultural, economic, and bio-physical aspects working to counter meeting the biological requirements of dairy cattle?
Are decisions on feeding and breeding to overcome seasonal fluctuation in productivity determined by complexities and interactions between the farmer, bio-physical, socio-political, cultural, environmental, and economic factors and the need to maximize profitability?