The Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) helps us to understand how local livestock are kept and fed. Standardized data visualizations give a good overview of where feed comes from, how it varies seasonally and what farmers view as the main problems and opportunities for feed improvement. In recent years, around 1000 people have downloaded the app. Here’s an update on a few recent developments with FEAST that may be of interest.
Multi-stakeholder innovation platforms were set up at different levels as part of the milkIT project, resulting in more milk sales, more interactions and better linkages among different value chain actors in India, and, in Tanzania, access to a larger variety of better feeds. This video explains how the milkIT project worked with innovation platforms
The milkIT project hypothesis was that improvements in milk markets would lead to increased productivity by farmers. This video explains the approaches followed: linking farmers to markets (using market ‘pull’ to drive productivity increases) and farmers’ productivity increases which will attract the market to them.
The Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) was one of the key tools used in the milkIT project to assess local feed resource availability and use, guiding targeting and appropriate intervention strategies. This video explains how FEAST was used in the project:
For better livestock production and productivity, it is essential to assess the genetic diversity of the food which is fed to livestock. One of the main food sources for livestock in East Africa is Napier grass.
Tropical Forages: an Interactive Selection Tool enables users to identify forage species suitable for specific climates, soils, and farming systems such as cut and carry, agroforestry, erosion control, beef, and dairy. Users can also view images of the plants and their use, search a database of scientific references with abstracts, and consult a glossary of botanical and management terms.
A new working paper from CIAT report focuses on the current state of forage seed systems in Kenya under both formal and informal sectors and seeks to provide useful information for farmers and development actors looking or likely to engage in tropical forage seeds, especially in Kenya.