LivestockPlus: Forages, sustainable intensification, and food security in the tropics
This article (PDF) in Ambio Journal elaborates on the ‘LivestockPlus’ approach, as an effort to intensify in sustainable ways the management of grasses, shrubs, trees, and animals in the tropics. By decoupling the human food and livestock feed systems, these efforts would increase the resilience of the global food system. Effective LivestockPlus approaches take one of two forms: (1) simple improvements such as new forage varieties and animal management practices that spread from farmer to farmer by word of mouth, or (2) complex sets of new practices that integrate forage production more closely into farms’ other agricultural activities and agro-ecologies. The authors highlight that efforts by forage experts to coordinate with other development and conservation agencies and NGOs can help motivate appropriate use of forages throughout rural landscapes. Furthermore, forage-focused sustainable intensification could represent part of a larger trajectory of desirable agricultural changes that would enhance human food security when there is a central coordination by larger organizations with national or international mandates to achieve sustainable intensification.