Michael Blümmel, deputy program leader for the Feed and Forage Development program at ILRI, is lead author on a new paper that explores the big benefits of treating cereal straws and stovers—the ‘residues’ of cereal crops after their grain has been harvested—to release their sugars, thereby turning these crop residues into nourishing feed for ruminant farm animals—cows, water buffaloes, goats and sheep.
A delegation from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) was involved in several of this year’s GFFA events, including a kick-off event, with ILRI Director General Jimmy Smith serving on the panel.
A delegation comprising IFAD staff visited the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) cassava processing sites at Lokongoma, Wushishi (Niger State) and Idogodo, Okpokwu (Benue State) in late July, 2017 to discuss progress with this important project.
A three-year ILRI-Odisha State project, ‘Feed and Fodder Production in Different Agro-Climatic Zones and its Utilization for Livestock of Odisha,’ which is worth more than USD2 million (INR18.08 crore), will map feed and fodder supply and demand, improve feeding practices and build capacity of key players in the feed value chain in the state.
The experience of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partner scientists in 2015–2016 shows the positive benefits of implementing pioneering research and development interventions that increase the overall quantity and nutritional quality of feed biomass and help smooth seasonal feed variability, creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for smallholder livestock keepers. But the real scope for spreading the knowledge in this research lies in the development of on- and off-line tools that can be used by isolated smallholder farmers in accessing approaches for assessing feed constraints and developing effective feed and forage improvement interventions.
Scientists are developing a way of transforming the mountains of cassava peels created every day in Nigeria, where cassava is a staple food, into a nourishing feed for smallholder farm animals. The several CGIAR centres involved include the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Potato Center (CIP). Also involved in this project are several CGIAR research programs—Livestock and Fish; Integrated Systems for the Humidtropics; and Roots, Tubers and Bananas—as well as the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21).
Existing technologies of drying and grading cassava peels could hold the key to providing a readily available and sustainable source of animal feeds, increasing incomes for women and boosting food security in West Africa.