These two realms of research are combined into one area of inquiry because of the intersecting challenges livestock producers face due to the constant threat of diseases. While diseases can reduce the performance and the efficiency of overall production, it is feed that typically comprises the largest cost of animal production. Limited supplies of feed - or more frequently specific nutrients - can have negative consequences on animal health.
Our previous research--in Phase I--focused primarily on improving feed and forage quantity and quality, reducing mastitis, and improving pig, sheep, goat and dairy production. Several innovations for enhancing livestock production were developed, including a dairy farm evaluation tool validated in Rwanda and a ration balancing app for Nepal. Significant milk production gains were realized with improved feeding, but more research is needed on feed value chains and their potential economic benefits. In Phase II, livestock production related research should address these areas/domains:
A high burden of infectious and/or metabolic diseases can have a detrimental effect on food security, access to animal source foods, human nutrition, as well as income from livestock sales.
Previous research focused on assessing young stock mortality and mastitis; improving disease surveillance and animal health service delivery and examining strategies to treat diseases of various livestock species. In Phase II, the disease management related research scope is expanded to include:
Livestock diseases can have direct, severe, and widespread repercussions on the productivity, profitability and existence of livestock systems. It also impacts the nutrition, health, and incomes of vulnerable livestock keepers. Public health services may struggle to control, let alone prevent, the spread of diseases. As livestock numbers grow and infectious and zoonotic diseases spread among livestock and humans, this line of research grows ever more urgent.
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems (click for Home page) is part of Feed the Future
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.