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Feed the Future



Ethiopia & Burkina Faso

The Feed Study

Principal Investigator (PI) and Lead Institution

Dr. Adegbola Adesogan, University of Florida

Collaborator Institutions and Co-PIs


The quantity and quality of livestock feed remains one of the most critical challenges to smallholder livestock farmers. Feed typically accounts for 50 to 80 percent of the total livestock production cost. Limited quality and quantity of feed hinders smallholder livestock producers by reducing the productivity of their livestock, as well as decreasing the economic benefits of livestock production. Although genetic, management, and health interventions all have the potential to increase livestock productivity, the benefits of these interventions are reduced, and are ultimately unsustainable, without quality and affordable animal feed.

The Feed Study focuses on improving the quality and quantity of animal feed, specifically for dairy cows in Ethiopia and for sheep and goats in Burkina Faso. These species of livestock are particularly important for poor livestock producers, and improving the productivity and profitability of these species is a priority for governments of the respective countries in order to reduce poverty, improve nutrition and promote resilience. Moreover, this work will also be applicable to other livestock species and have significant spillover impacts to other countries.

In recognition of the diverse challenges to improving animal feed quality and quantity, the Feed Study will work in five focal areas to:

  1. Conduct an inventory of feed resources through a landscape analysis to document the quantities, nutritional qualities and prices, availability and accessibility of feeds that can be used to improve livestock productivity
  2. Examine strategies to increase the yield, quality and preservation of fodder, with location-specific improved forages for the countries’ different agroecologies
  3. Determine and meet nutrient requirements of indigenous livestock with balanced rations
  4. Improve the capacity to analyze the nutritional value of livestock feeds
  5. Examine effects of synergizing feed, management and genetic interventions on milk production in Ethiopia

The Feed Study began in 2018 and plans to conclude its research in 2022.

This study is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the Equip project.

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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems

This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and it Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems managed by the University of Florida and the International Livestock Research Institute. The contents are the responsibility of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock systems and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.