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.
The new National Climate Assessment released recently by President Obama’s Global Change Research Program contains dour predictions about the impact of climate change on livestock production in the United States. How can the country’s livestock sector adapt to these changes? One strategy suggested in the report will be familiar to experts at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). It involves raising livestock and crops together and taking advantage of the synergies between the two.
Making smallholder production more competitive is a powerful tool to reduce poverty, raise nutrition levels and improve the livelihoods of rural people in many developing countries