Livestock feeds in the developing world come from a range of sources including crop residues, planted forages, agro-industrial by-products, grazing and others. Improved feeding comes from producing more feed, improving feed quality, or smoothing seasonal imbalances in feed supply.
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.
This extension brief by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) shares the principles of silage making that smallholder farmers can use to make forage for feeding animals in dry seasons.
This poster, produced for the Tropentag 2016 conference, highlights a study that compared digestible organic matter (dOM) and metabolizable energy (ME) estimates of tropical feeds derived from selected equations with those determined by the in vitro gas production method.
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.