Dr. Du Zhumei, a JIRCAS Fellow in FY2019-2020 from China Agricultural University and now a faculty member of Yangzhou University, received the 2022 Japanese Society of Animal Science (JSAS) Encouragement Award at the 130th annual meeting held at Tokyo University of Agriculture on September 14-17, 2022 for her research on controlling fermentation of silage using local feed resources. The award was given in recognition of her basic and applied research for the development of sustainable livestock agriculture in Africa.
During her doctoral studies at the College of Grassland Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Dr. Du conducted research on the preparation and processing of livestock feeds. From October 2019 to March 2021, she was a JIRCAS Fellow, where she participated in the research on development of preparation techniques of fermented TMR with feed resources in Africa under the "Food Security in Africa" project. Using crop by-products and woody plants as materials, she proposed a silage fermentation control technology based on advanced analysis of microbial communities, symbiotic networks, and final metabolites involved in silage fermentation using next-generation sequencing technology. The results were published in international journals such as Animal Science Journal. These technologies are extremely effective in alleviating feed shortages during the dry season by using readily available local forage resources in the local grazing-based livestock industry, which relies on natural grasslands for the majority of its feed. For example, they are expected to enable sustainable production while improving milk productivity of dairy cows and profitability of small-scale farmers.