Herbage Seed Unit
The Herbage Seed Unit (HSU) was established in 1989 in response to the need to promote access to forage seeds to support efforts to enhance the incorporation of forages into sustainable farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa. The HSU works to strengthen national capacity to produce forage seeds through provision of starter seeds and training for scientists and technicians in the technical aspects of seed production and providing information on forages and forage seed technology to scientists in national programmes. The unit focuses on providing a source of tropical and sub-tropical forage seeds and planting material of selected best-bet species for use in establishing national forage seed production, with herbaceous legume, grass and fodder tree species represented. Specific subsets of accessions, including: accessions for drylands; accessions for highlands; a lablab core collection; promising disease resistant/tolerant Napier grass accessions and; promising drought-resistant Rhodes grass accessions, can also be made available. Seeds are available at a reasonable cost, which allows ILRI to recover the cost of production. Seeds can be purchased from the seed unit located on the Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Industry Development Institute (EMDIDI) campus in Bishoftu.
ILRI can also provide training in forage management and forage seed production through short courses with durations ranging from 3 days to 2 weeks that are tailor made for different groups, including courses for farmers, extension workers, researchers or commercial producers. If you would like to know more about the range and cost of forage planting material available and costs and opportunities for training with ILRI, please contact: Ermias Habte, Research Officer..