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Feed the Future



The Feed Study

Ethiopia & Burkina Faso, 2018 - 2022

The Feed Study is part of the project EQUIP – Strengthening smallholder livestock systems for the future, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Principal Investigator (PI) and Lead Institution

Dr. Adegbola Adesogan, University of Florida


Dr. Mulubrhan Balehegn Gebremikael, 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 (click link for a leaflet):

  1. Creating an Inventory of Feed Resources Through a Landscape Analysis
  2. Increasing Yield, Quality and Preservation of Fodder with Location-Specific Improved Forages for Different Agroecologies
  3. Determining and Meeting Nutrient Requirements of Indigenous Livestock with Balanced Rations
  4. Improving Capacity to Analyze the Nutritional Value of Livestock Feeds with Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy
  5. Examining Effects of Synergizing Feed, Management and Genetic Interventions on Milk Production and Health of Dairy Cows in Ethiopia

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

More Information

 October 2020 research update FEED VGM (Virtual General Meeting)

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

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems (click for Home page) is part of Feed the Future

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This work was funded in whole or part by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Food Security under Agreement # AID-OAA-L-15-00003 as part of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. Additional funding was received from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors alone.