Genetic Bank of Worldwide Grass at the UN
This is the only genetic bank of cold climate forage species that exists in a University of the country. A circular piece of land of 570 square meters (1,870 square feet), located in front of the graduate building for the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Breeding, turned into the home for twelve of the best Leguminosae and Poaceae (plant grasses of long and wide leaves), from many places of the world.Bogotá D. C., 09 de julio de 2009 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
Fabaceaes from Africa, Switzerland, New Zealand, other originated from Ireland, Brazil, native species as the black grass and poas are just some of their names:”This is a true laboratory in situ, where students can learn to differentiate and recognize fodder species adapted to the cold climate ecosystem of Colombia,” explains Edgar Alberto Cárdenas, associate professor at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and creator of the genetic bank.
Every semester around 50 students of Animal Breeding and 70 students of Veterinary Medicine benefit from this small area, and also students from Agronomy and Agricultural Engineering. In addition, the circular piece is visited by universities with agricultural programs from all around the country, such as Universidad del Llano, Universidad del Tolima, La Salle and Uniagraria.
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture, CIAT, located in Colombia, between Palmira and Cali (considered as one of sixteen centers for agricultural investigation in the world), has another bank of this kind, with more than 23 thousand species where maize, rice, kidney bean, yucca and pastures are evaluated, but only for cultures that grow under 1,800 meters below the sea level.
The savannah of Bogotá is mainly populated by two classes of grasses: the ryegrass which arrived to Colombia after the Second World War. The other kind is the grass named kikuyu, dominant in the savannah, which comes from the high zones in Africa.
Among the variety of species that coexist in the circular piece from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Breeding of UN in Bogotá, exists specie Leguminosae named Clover Bird Leg, which has the capacity to increase quality of the animal diet, and allows consuming a mayor protein for the production of milk and meet.
“This is a display to attend producers and University students and the essential task is to find new nutritional options for the cold climate bovines. To produce meet and milk is a process that generates high contamination for the country and we must look for models of sustainable pastures, so that we are profitable for the economic and environmental point of view,” concludes Cárdenas.