A new research-for-development initiative is helping smallholder farmers in southern Malawi increase the productivity of their livestock and crops to enhance food security. The agribusiness Crop Livestock Integration and Marketing in Malawi project or CLIM2 is improving animal feeding and crop farming practices and market access for farmers’ produce.
The work of the MilkIT project to enhance dairy-based livelihoods in India and Tanzania through feed innovation and value chain development approaches was recently reported in IFAD’s 2016 annual report.
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.
As part of this exercise, we produced a series of around 30 short Tech Sheets which provide a brief description of the main feed intervention options for developing world smallholder/pastoral systems. These help users to visualize possible options and understand how they fit varying local conditions.
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: