This extension brief by International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) researchers and their partners in Zimbabwe, explains the importance of velvet bean as a forage crop and the best practices in managing the crop.
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:
Rye grasses are widely grown cool season grasses that are better suited and have greater agronomic potential in the northern mountainous regions of Pakistan. Since 2015, the AIP-ILRI project has been working to improve dairy production through higher biomass production of improved fodder varieties, especially in mountainous areas like Gilgit.
The various livestock feed companies in Pakistan are suggesting that livestock farmers must introduce calf starter to their calves at the age of three months, at a recommended dose of 10% of their body weight. The AIP-ILRI project has been working to improve livestock production and create awareness among livestock farmers that they must fatten their calves to get higher economic returns.