Created by Feed the Future, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems develops long-term research and capacity-development efforts, primarily through multi-disciplinary, integrated, and competitively-funded applied research.
As one of more than 20 Feed the Future Innovation Labs, the Livestock Systems Innovation Lab is led by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), in partnership with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The Livestock Systems Innovation Lab is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), from 2015-2020, and by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, from 2017-2022.
The Livestock Systems Innovation Lab is led by a Management Entity, with Regional Coordinators based in each target region or country, as well as Area of Inquiry Team Leaders and Cross-Cutting Specialists at the University of Florida. The Management Entity works with a University of Florida-based Internal Advisory Committee, and an External Advisory Board.
The Livestock Systems Innovation Lab has provided funding for nearly 50 projects, which use innovative approaches addressing country-specific research priorities identified in a participatory manner with national stakeholders. They also integrate human and institutional capacity development (HICD), gender and human health and nutrition dimensions.
The objectives of the Livestock Systems Innovation Lab are to sustainably improve livestock productivity and marketing and animal-source food consumption using appropriate improved technologies, capacity development, and policies, in order to improve the nutrition, health, incomes and livelihoods of vulnerable people.
Additional objectives include increasing the resilience of vulnerable populations; reducing the environmental impact of livestock systems; and advancing the understanding of evolving livestock systems and their roles in food security, nutrition, and health.