The chapter provides a detailed summary on the morphology and physiology of Bana, climatic and soil adaptation, establishment, fertilization, weeding, basic management, and uses of the grass such as hay and silage making in sub-Saharan Africa. A detailed review of pest, disease, and weed control as well as grazing management of the crop is given at the end of the chapter. Bana grass is a very robust improved grass that has vast potential to improve animal production in the tropics. The grass was originally developed in South Africa as a cross between Pennisetum purpureum and Pennisetum americum and was widely used as livestock feed. However, the limited use of the grass in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa like Zimbabwe might be attributable to knowledge gap in production and overall importance of the grass. The high cost of commercial supplementations in ruminant animals particularly in sub-Saharan Africa justifies promotion of improved forage production. The author calls upon researchers, government structures responsible for agriculture, and development partners to promote establishment and utilization of the miracle grass in order to improve livestock production and livelihoods and reverse the terrible effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa.
Part of the book: Forage Groups