Feed solutions are highly dependent on local conditions, including the agro-ecology, farming and livestock system, farm size and labour availability. Tools are needed to match potential feed solutions to the local situation.
Feed interventions that are better matched to biophysical and socio-economic on-farm conditions are more likely to be adopted. Benefits from livestock will increase through reduced feed costs and/or increased production and productivity. Drudgery and labour requirements, particularly for women, will be reduced.
Together with our partners, we have developed a number of tools:
- A rapid, interactive and ICT-based feed resource assessment and intervention prioritization tool (FEAST). Piloted across a dozen countries, it is now ready to be scaled out.
- LegumeChoice, which provides a systematic approach to assess and prioritize the various legume options available to mixed-crop livestock farmers.
- A generic, spatially-explicit feed supply-demand tool that can be made country or region specific, utilizing secondary data. Used to identify areas of feed surplus and deficit, it assists policy planning and feed value chain development.
- Nutrition analysis hubs, established in Africa and Asia, that support and facilitate comprehensive yet affordable food, feed, forage and fodder analyses for a wide range of private and public sector partners.
- Tropical Forages, Information and Selection Tool (SoFT), which enables users to identify forage species suitable for specific climates, soils and farming systems.