Innovations in agro-food sectors

Livestock & dairy

Innovations in agro-food sectors - Dairy
Image: via Flickr (by: CGIAR Climate)

In this Knowledge Portal topic the focus is on food production from domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting, as well as food products that are produced from the milk of mammals. In current debate, it is emphasized that animal-based food production costs more energy, land and water resources than plant-based food production. The resources provided in this topic focus on to what extent livestock-based food products contribute to food and nutrition security. Furthermore, the price of dairy products has increased substantially over the past decade and there are a growing number of dairy smallholders in Africa and Asia. This topic also discusses different innovations in the dairy value chain which could contribute to food and nutrition security.

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Meat, milk & more: Policy innovations to shepherd inclusive and sustainable livestock systems in Africa
Published by Malabo Montpellier Panel ,
This report highlights options for sustainably promoting growth in the livestock sector, drawing from what four African countries have done successuflly in terms of institutional and policy innovation as well as programmatic interventions. By adapting the lessons, African governments can meet their national and international commitments to agricultural growth and transformation. »
Fifty years of research on pastoralism and development
Published by IDS,
This archive reflects on 50 years of research on pastoralism at IDS. Much has changed, but there are also important continuities. The capacity to respond to today’s turbulent world, to make productive use of marginal environments, to make use of mobility to respond to heightened uncertainty, and to adapt and innovate are all features of pastoralism that can be important in meeting wider, global challenges. »
Five practical actions towards low-carbon livestock
Published by FAO,
This publication describes how five practical actions can be widely implemented in integrative and sustainable ways for measurable and rapid impacts on livestock emissions, taking account the diversity of livestock systems and enhancing synergies and managing tradeoffs with other sustainable development objectives. »
Improved feeding and forages at a crossroads: Farming systems approaches for sustainable livestock development in East Africa
Published by Outlook on Agriculture,
This article argues that farming systems approaches are essential to understand the multiple roles and impacts of forages in smallholder livelihoods. The article shows that improved forages in East Africa are at a crossroads: if adopted by farmers at scale, they can be a cornerstone of pathways toward intensified sustainable livestock systems in East Africa... »
Access to markets, weather risk, and livestock production decisions: Evidence from Ethiopa
Published by Agricultural Economics ,
This study examined whether and how livestock production responds to (access to) markets and varying weather risk and explores whether such responses vary across livelihood zones and livestock production systems. The heterogeneity in responses and impacts of weather risk among farming systems and livelihoods highlights the need for more tailored livestock sector policies and interventions. »
Future global pig production systems according to the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways
Published by Science of The Total Environment,
This study analyzed the development of the pig production sector at the scale of world regions, using the IMAGE-Pig model. The results show that due to the growing pork production total feed demand has increased by a factor of two. The sustainability of pig production systems for the coming decades will be based not only on the expected efficiency improvements at the level of animal breeds... »
Indigenous knowledge of veterinary medicinal plant use in cattle treatment in southwestern Burkina Faso
Published by South African Journal of Botany,
The aim of this study is to inventory medicinal plants in cattle husbandry in Burkina Faso. The results showed that 26 medicinal plants for veterinary use. The findings will contribute to integrate the local knowledge of communities into appropriate proposals to preserve veterinary medicinal plants. »
Rebounding from the brink of extinction: Commercial production of milk amongst pastoralists for climate change resilience in Uganda
Published by Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA),
This technical report describes how commercial milk production has several direct and indirect benefits that insulate pastoralists from climate and other risks, and generally improve their standard of living in Uganda. The most fundamental benefit is an increase in cash incomes experienced by the vast majority of milk producers. »
Effects of milk cooling: A case study on milk supply chain for a factory in Ethiopia
Published by CGIAR,
In this study the effects of different scenarios for introducing a cold milk chain are evaluated based on rejection rates and costs to increase the milk supply of a milk factory near Solulta (Ethiopia). Adequate design of milk collection chains and choice of technology options is essential to make the food product available with minimum climate impact. »
Adaptation opportunities for smallholder dairy farmers facing resource scarcity: Integrated livestock, water and land management
Published by Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment journal,
This study quantifies the water and land footprints of current livestock production systems in three agro-ecological zones in Kenya that contrast strongly in terms of land availability and rainfall. Across the three agroecological zones, improving breeds, feed provisioning and milk production per cow may achieve production intensification but concurrently exacerbates resource limitation. Consequently, the heterogeneity inherent in resource availability across dairy production zones should be considered when developing strategies for increasing dairy production. »
Possibilities of establishing a smallholder pig identification and traceability system in Kenya
Published by Tropical Animal Health and Production,
This paper begins a discussion on traceability in the pig value chain, with an initial focus on smallholder systems of Western Kenya. In the smallholder context, individual identification is proposed given that farmers may source pigs from different farms and will only keep a few at a time. Appropriate incentives would need to be explored to allow for widespread adoption of the intervention. »
Gendered barriers to livestock vaccine uptake and their implications on Rift Valley fever control
Published by Vaccines Journal ,
This study examined the barriers faced by men and women farmers in the uptake of livestock vaccines to inform strategies for optimizing the use of vaccines. The study has demonstrated that availability of vaccines does not guarantee uptake at community level due to social, spatial, economic, and vaccine safety and efficacy barriers faced by men and women farmers. »
The feasibility of low emissions development interventions for the East African livestock sector
Published by ILRI, CCAFS, USAID ,
This paper examines the potential of low emissions development interventions or measures to reduce emissions intensity of livestock in East Africa. The three top recommended practices for reducing greenhouse gas emissions intensities are increased production of improved forages in mixed systems and intensive dairy, the increased use of biodigestors in intensive dairy and improving the management of grazing for pastoral systems. »
Developing sustainable value chains for small-scale livestock producers
Published by FAO,
This publication constitutes a practical development tool, which implements the sustainable food value chain framework with a focus on small-scale livestock producers. The sustainable food value chain (sfvc) framework is a market-driven approach to provide guidance in development thinking and intervention design. »
Climate and livestock policy coherence analysis in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda
Published by CCAFS-CGIAR,
This working paper examines 40 climate, agriculture, livestock, development, land, and environment policies across Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda for strength and coherence in addressing livestock sector adaptation and mitigation. The countries are clearly working to integrate livestock climate change strategies into climate and other policy areas, although at times with limited detail and coherence. . In terms of mitigation in the livestock sector, examples of robust strategies are more limited. »
Genetic improvement in dromedary camels: Challenges and opportunities
Published by Frontiers in Genetics,
This expert opinion states that camels have a large potential that is underutilized due to technical, logistic, political and economic challenges and genetic improvement is required. Camels are poised to be an excellent candidate species for production, due to their unique physiology and in light of climate change impact on ecosystems. However, to harness their potential, an improved understanding of the genetics underlying their unique biology is needed. Further, added value products need to be produced and smart marketing strategies need to be adopted to increase the value of camel products... »
Supporting sustainable expansion of livestock production in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa: Scenario analysis of investment options
Published by Global Food Security Journal,
This study used a scenario analysis to explore what targeted investments to the livestock sector could help enhance food security in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The results show that boosting livestock productivity primarily in these two regions could improve food security and producer incomes while limiting greenhouse gas emissions and agricultural water usage. »
Climate change and the global dairy cattle sector: The role of the dairy sector in a low-carbon future
Published by FAO,
This report is an attempt to understand the contribution of the dairy sector to global emissions between 2005 and 2015 as a further step towards addressing the challenge of climate change and defining a low-carbon pathway for the sector. Research, policies, regulations, infrastructure, and incentives will all be required to systematically support low-carbon choices. »
Contributions of livestock-derived foods to nutrient supply under changing demand in low- and middle-income countries
Published by Global Food Security Journal,
This paper assesses the contribution of livestock to the food and nutrient supply of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by presenting a case study of eight countries. For almost all the countries and under a range of scenarios of economic and climatic change in 2050, it is found that per capita protein supply from livestock-derived food (LDF) will increase relative to that from plant sources. »
Assessing competitiveness of smallholder pig farming in the changing landscape of Northwest Vietnam
Published by ILRI,
This research aims at identifying major constraints and opportunities in the improved integration of pig and maize production, to improve smallholder income, while making the system more environmentally sustainable by investigating more diverse and profitable crop rotations, as well as improvements to soil fertility through cycling of nutrients and organic matter. The study results highlight difficulties faced by smallholders in these communes with regard to accessing inputs and services as well as more profitable markets for their pig products. »
Review: Role of herbivores in sustainable agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa
Published by Animal Journal,
This paper reviews the state of knowledge of the role of herbivores in sustainable intensification of key farming systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. In SSA, the integration of livestock into farming systems is important for sustainable agriculture as the recycling of nutrients for crop production through returns of animal manure is a central element of the dominant mixed crop-livestock systems. The pathways to sustainable agriculture in SSA include intensification of production and livelihood diversification. »
Options and challenges for organic milk production in East African smallholder farms under certified organic crop production
Published by Livestock Science Journal,
The aim of this article is to suggest and discuss different development scenarios for organic dairy production, based on data from three East African studies of dairy production at certified organic cash crop farms. The study concludes that there are good possibilities for more local recirculation of feed and manure, although with limited benefits when there are only few animals with short lactations on the farm. »
An egg for everyone: Pathways to universal access to one of nature’s most nutritious foods
Published by Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal,
This article collates country‐level data on egg production, availability, consumption, prices, industry structure, and contextual trends and use these to estimate current patterns and likely future outcomes under four alternative scenarios. The accelerated spread of large-scale intensive production is needed to meet the needs or urban populations. »
Index-based livestock insurance as an innovative tool against drought loss: Good practices and impact analysis from northern Kenya
Published by CTA,
This report summarises findings on index-based livestock insurance (IBLI), a donor-funded programme aimed at designing, developing and implementing market-mediated, index-based insurance products to protect livestock keepers, particularly in the drought-prone arid and semi-arid lands. As a drought safety net, IBLI was fairly effective at protecting beneficiary households in northern Kenya against the worst effects of drought. »
Family poultry: Multiple roles, systems, challenges, and options for sustainable contributions to household nutrition security through a planetary health lens
Published by Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal ,
This article addresses key issues associated with the production of family poultry eggs in support of improved nutrition and sustainable, nutrition-sensitive agricultural practices. Family poultry production requires attention to husbandry practices, disease prevention and control in line with national and international animal health regulations, and food safety. »
PUM and the global dairy sector in emerging economies
Published by PUM,
This paper summarizes PUMs' approach and shares lessons learned of several dairy programmes with different stakeholders in emerging economies. PUM's dairy programmes reach out to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) along the value chains in emerging economies, reaching out to dairy farmers on a large scale. »
Regionalisation in poultry development in Eastern Africa
Published by WUR & NABC,
 This study and learning trajectory by WUR and NABC analyses the way in which national poultry value chains in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda are influenced by the dependency on inputs from and market outlets in other countries in the region. »
Do Dairy Market Hubs improve smallholder farmers’ income? The case of dairy farmers in the Tanga and Morogoro regions of Tanzania
Published by Agrekon,
This paper examines the effect of dairy market hubs (DMHs) on smallholder farmers’ income. The results indicate that participation in DMHs increased household dairy income by 4.07 percentage points on average for the period 2014 to 2016. »
Development of goat milk and meat value chains in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
Published by ILRI,
This paper analyses the value chain of goat mild and meat in India. Goats are an important livelihood component for landless, marginal and small farmers and acts as a financial 'safety net'. The dominant goat husbandry is a traditional low-input system. »
Socio-economic, marketing and gender aspects of village chicken production in the tropics: A review of literature
Published by ILRI,
This paper reviews the literature that focuses on the socio-economic, gender and marketing aspects of chicken production in the tropics. Chicken production contributes to food security, poverty alleviation and gender equality. However, the level of production and productivity is still low and constrained. »
Scoping study to strengthen the Technical Vocational Education and Training in the Dairy Sector in East Africa
Published by ICRA, AERES,
This study assessed the need, relevance, priorities, limitations and possible modalities of an East African Dairy Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) project. Potential for Netherlands support to have impact at scale would be to support a range of interested training organizations. »
The business case for a landscape approach to sustainable beef production in Brazil
Published by IDH,
This study provides a business case for a landscape approach to sustainable beef production in Brazil. Cattle ranch São Marcelo is seeking to support the increase in production of sustainable, zero-deforestation, traceable beef in order to meet customer demand for such products. »
The influence of livestock-derived foods on nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life
Published by ILRI,
This report synthesizes the best current evidence on the influence of livestock-derived foods, such as meat, milk and eggs, on the nutrition of pregnant and lactating mothers and infants during their first 1,000 days of life in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Africa and Asia. »
Food waste for livestock feeding: Feasibility, safety, and sustainability implications
Published by Global Food Security Journal,
This article describes an analysis to demonstrate the feasibility, safety and sustainability implication of recovering food waste for animal feeding (ReFeed). ReFeed is a vialbe option that has the potential to simultainiously address waste management, food security and resource and environmental challenges. »
Private and public costs and benefits of implementing a quality-based milk payment system in Kenya
Published by Wageningen Livestock Research, 3R Kenya,
This study assesses the model of dairy processor Happy Cow Ltd as a pilot to introduce a quality-based milk payment systems (QBMPS) in Kenya that integrates smallholders as suppliers. QBMPSs could successfully control and improve the milk quality in Kenya along the dairy chain. »
Examples of research for development approaches to benefit the livestock sector in LMICs – ILRI’s approach
Published by ILRI,
This report provides examples of how ILRI and its many partners are helping to meet specific SDGs. Targeted investment in sustainable livestock research for development can provide much more food to nourish the world’s rapidly growing population. »
Multi-scale measurements show limited soil greenhouse gas emissions in Kenyan smallholder coffee-dairy systems
Published by Science of The Total Environment Journal,
This article aims to quantify soil greenhouse gas emissions at different spatial (between farms, among fields within farms, and between fertilised and unfertilised locations within fields) and temporal scales (between seasons, wet and dry periods) in smallholder integrated dairy-coffee systems in Kenya. »
Small-scale poultry and food security in resource-poor settings: A review
Published by Global Food Security Journal,
This review highlights the multitude of avenues through which small-scale poultry production can contribute to improved household food and nutrition security in low- and middle-income countries with limited resources (resource-poor settings).  »
A qualitative evaluation of CSA options in mixed crop-livestock systems in developing countries
Published by Springer,
This book chapter summarizes the climate smartness of different alternatives in the mixed crop-livestock systems in developing countries from both a technical and an institutional perspective. »
Gendered perspectives on smallholder cattle production and health management in three sites in Tanzania
Published by Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security,
This article in the Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security provides a gender analysis of animal health in small-scale dairy farming and the food security implications in three villages of Tanzania. Dairy farming offers opportunities to address poverty and food security among small-scale livestock keepers, particularly rural women. »
Where food safety meets nutrition outcomes in livestock and fish value chains: a conceptual approach
Published by journal Food Security,
This paper proposes a conceptual approach to integrate food safety and nutrition assessments in livestock and fish value chains combining knowledge from food sciences, public health, nutrition and economics. There is increasing interest in the links between food safety and nutrition. »
Adapting Gambian women livestock farmers’ roles in food production to climate change
Published by Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society,
This article focuses on key climate change adaptation issues confronting women livestock farmers. Women livestock farmers are very productive and contribute greatly towards ensuring food security of their nations. However, their efforts are sometimes limited by climate-related hazards. »
Technology adoption and value chains in developing countries: Evidence from dairy in India
Published by Journal Food Policy,
This article analyzes farm-level technology adoption in the dairy chain in India. Adoption of modern technologies in agriculture is crucial for improving productivity and welfare of poor farmers in developing countries. Not much is known about how value chains do (not) affect technology transfer and/or adoption in food chains in developing countries. »
Women, village chickens, and animal source food consumption in Timor-Leste
Published by A4NH CGIAR,
This blog discusses promotors and inhibitors of animal source food consumption in rural households. It focuses on the links between village chickens, maternal and child diets, and nutritional status in Timor-Leste. »
Grazed and confused
Published by FCRN,
This report addresses the role of ruminants in grazing systems and their relationship with climate change. The potential contribution of grazing ruminants to soil carbon sequestration is small, time-limited, reversible and substantially outweighed by the greenhouse gas emissions they generate. »
Microalgae as feed ingredients for livestock production and meat quality
Published by Livestock Science journal,
This article unveils the dietary microalgae effects currently known on production and meat quality of livestock species. These small-sized algae, have been studied as a natural marine resource for a number of economically relevant applications, including animal feed. Research evidence so far has shown that the inclusion of microalgae in animal diets could improve growth and meat quality in ruminants, pigs, poultry and rabbits. »
Socioeconomic impacts of innovative dairy supply chain practices: The case of the Laiterie du Berger in the Senegalese Sahel
Published by International Food and Agribusiness Management Review,
This article analyzes the Laiterie Du Berger (LDB)’s milk supply chain and its contribution to strengthening the food security and socioeconomic resources of Senegalese Sahelian pastoral households. »
Beyond nutrition, investing in livestock can also deliver on health
Published by The World Bank,
This blog describes how the livestock sector could contribute to nutrition and public health, while also describing the risks on the human-animal interface. Animal-sourced foods are important sources of nutrition and health, providing a broad spectrum of nutrients, energy and protein. »
The rising costs of animal-source foods in Ethiopia: Evidence and implications
Published by IFPRI, EDRI,
This working paper analyzes animal-source foods (ASF) price patterns in the last decade. In many developing countries in which staple foods dominate the composition of diets, higher consumption of ASF is associated with significant nutritional benefits. Prices are important for consumption decisions in these settings. »
Pastoralist societies in flux: A conceptual framework analysis of herding and land use among the Mukugodo Maasai of Kenya
Published by Pastoralism journal,
This article illustrates the relationship between globalization and apparent transformations in pastoralist behavior in recent years. The paper focuses specifically on the links among climate, land use, and herding in rural northern Kenya. »
The contribution of Swaziland Dairy Board on dairy farmers’ productivity
Published by Journal of Agricultural Studies,
This article aimed to establish the contribution of Swaziland Dairy Board (SDB) policy goals on smallholder dairy farmers’ productivity. The SDB was established to promote increased dairy production to satisfy the domestic and export market. »
Capitalising on the potential of women in livestock development
Published by Thompson Reuters Foundation,
This article emphasizes the importance and benefits of the inclusion of women in livestock development. The author argues that the frequent exclusion of women from livestock ownership, resources and decision-making is a major factor in hindering households from escaping poverty. »
Livestock and household nutrition
Published by Land O'Lakes International Development, ILRI,
This learning series tackles a broad set of issues affecting the design, implementation and monitoring of livestock development interventions intended to improve impact on household nutrition. With several webinars and presentation the series provides insights and lessons learned from several programmes. »
Trade-offs for climate-resilient pastoral livelihoods in wildlife conservancies in the Mara ecosystem, Kenya
Published by Pastoralism Journal,
This article investigates the ability of wildlife conservancies in Kenya, to act as an alternative for pastoralists that mitigates risks and maintains resilience in a changing climate. The paper analyses how conservancies contribute to and integrate with pastoral livelihoods, and how pastoralists are managing their livestock herds in response to conservancies. »
Women’s struggle in food value chains
Published by ECDPM ,
This article discusses women's struggle in food value chains, in particular the dairy value chain. Women in sub-Saharan Africa play a key role in informal and formal stages of food value chains, including as producers, processors, traders and consumers. At the same time, fostering food value chains has become both a priority and a challenge for many stakeholders in Africa. »
Small-scale poultry and food security in resource-poor settings
Published by Global Food Security,
This article reviews how small-scale poultry can contribute to improved household food and nutrition security. Small-scale poultry production systems are mostly found in rural, resource-poor areas that often also experience food insecurity. These poultry systems are accessible to vulnerable groups of society, and provide households with income and nutritionally-rich food sources. »
Assessing use of the Mazzican to transport and improve milk quality in Tanzania
Published by CGIAR Livestock and Fish research program,
This report presents results of field testing a new and affordable food grade plastic container (the “Mazzican“) to assess acceptability and validate its efficacy to improve the bacteriological quality of milk when it is used for handling and transportation of raw milk by agro-pastoralists and smallholder farmers. »
Enhancing the Uganda pig value chain through capacity building and multi-stakeholder platforms
Published by ILRI,
This research brief by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) highlights specific action research and capacity development interventions to address identified challenges and generate evidence for wider applicability along the pig value chain in Uganda. The smallholder pig value chain in Uganda was identified by the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish as a sector where research investment was most likely to make a major difference to the livelihoods of poor people. »
Dairy production systems and the adoption of genetic and breeding technologies in Tanzania, Kenya, India and Nicaragua
Published by Animal Genetic Resources Journal,
This paper in the Animal Genetic Resources Journal, characterizes dairy production systems in India, Tanzania, Kenya and Nicaragua, and describes the genetic and breeding technologies that hold promise for the advancement of global development goals. In all the countries, enhanced and adequately planned use of breeding and reproductive technologies, complemented with the relevant infrastructure, is needed to sustainably increase dairy productivity. »
Dairy matters: Inspiring stories on dairy development in Kenya
Published by SNV & WUR,
This book by SNV and WUR intends to give an insight into the work that SNV’s Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme (KMDP) has been doing over the past four years. This book introduces 18 of these farmers, farmer cooperatives and companies to illustrate KMDP's impact in the field. These inspirational stories trace the successes and struggles that have lead to changes in attitudes and significant improvements in management practices on dairy farms in different regions in Kenya. »
Mapping of beef, sheep and goat food systems in Nairobi: A framework for policy making and the identification of structural vulneralbilities and deficiencies
Published by Agricultural Systems,
In this article the authors map the Nairobi beef, sheep and goat systems structure and flows to identify deficiencies and vulnerabilities to shocks. Nairobi is a large rapidly-growing city whose demand for beef, mutton and goat products is expected to double by 2030. A mapping analysis was done in three different dimensions: people and product profiling (interactions of people and products), geographical (routes of animals and products) and temporal mapping (seasonal fluctuations). »
Rwanda dairy competitiveness program II: Efficiency gains in dairy production systems decrease GHG emission intensity
Published by CGIAR,
This info-note by CGIAR, USAID and FAO presents the results on the decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the Rwanda Dairy Competitiveness Program II (RDCP). It was estimated to have resulted in a strong decrease in the GHG emissions intensity of milk production. The increase in milk output was proportionally much larger than the associated increase in GHG emissions. This increase in the efficiency of dairy production systems was the basis for a transformation to more sustainable production patterns in intensive and extensive dairy systems. »
Capitalizing on the livestock revolution; ILRI corporate report 2015–2016
Published by ILRI,
This report by ILRI provides examples of putting science into practice, facilitating evidence-based decision-making and developing the capacities of livestock. The report has five chapters of interlinked areas: livestock genetics and breeding; livestock feeds and forages; livestock and human health; policies, value chains and livelihoods; and sustainable livestock systems. »
Assessing the environmental impacts of livestock and fish production
Published by CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish,
This brief by the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish introduces different streams of work to develop and test tools to assess the environmental impacts of livestock and fish production in developing countries. As demand for livestock products continues to grow, driven by rising population and dietary shifts, there is an urgent need to develop strategies to reduce the environmental footprints and GHG emission intensity from livestock. The first step in this process is to develop tools to estimate potential impacts of such strategies. »
Measuring the role of livestock in the households’ economy
Published by World Bank,
This Guidebook by Livestock Global Alliance presents a module template for including livestock in multi-topic and agricultural household surveys in low- and middle-income countries. The objective of this Guidebook is to provide a tool for practitioners tasked with collecting high-quality data on livestock and livelihoods in the context of the national statistical system and through the implementation of multi-topic household surveys. The Guidebook offers a template for module design that users are advised to tailor to their specific needs. »
Interactions between intervention packages, climatic risk, climate change and food security in mixed crop–livestock systems in Burkina Faso
Published by Global Food Security journal,
This article in the Agricultural Systems journal test the impact of climate change on mixed crop-livestock systems. It presents a study that test the impacts of different interventions in two contrasting mixed farms in Northern Burkina Faso against the background of plausible current and future climate scenarios. Smallholder crop–livestock farming systems have an important role to play for food security in Sub-Saharan Africa, but they have to cope with the effects of climate variability and change. »
Gender assessment of dairy value chain: Evidence from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda
Published by FAO,
This report by FAO presents a gender assessment of the dairy value chain in selected sites in Ethiopia: North Shoa Shewa (Degem woreda), East Gojam (Dejen woreda) and Gamu Gofa Arba Minch (Arba Minch Zuria woreda). The findings confirm that women’s empowerment is vital for sustainable dairy value chain development and that projects supporting dairy production need to increase their efforts to be gender inclusive. »
Farming Matters: Listening to Pastoralists
Published by ILEIA,
This issue of Farming Matters by ILEIA explores the different ways pastoral societies are joining forces to challenge the policies that undermine their culture and way of life. For millennia, pastoralist societies have managed the rangelands of the world’s most challenging environments, producing food and providing ecosystem services for millions of households. The experiences, opinions and perspectives presented in this issue highlight the importance of pastoral societies for agroecology and the transformation of entire food systems. »
Unleashing the potential of pastoralism to develop West Africa
Published by KIT, SNV,
This book by KIT and SNV aims to identify the trends affecting pastoralism and pastoral productivity, which helps to understand the current changes in the performance of value chains which play a key role in pastoral adaptation. The book puts into perspective the conditions for sustainable growth of production that supports entrepreneurial performance and competitiveness of local actors in dynamic markets. The authors observe a clear move towardslivestock production becoming more market-oriented, which influences the position of all actors in the various value chains. »
Herding livestock programs toward nutrition
Published by CSIS,
This report by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) examines the ways in which livestock and animal-sourced foods contribute to better nutrition. A case study of a Feed the Future dairy program in Rwanda is presented to understand how Feed the Future livestock programs can contribute to better outcomes for under nutrition. Using creative behavior change communications interventions, the Rwanda dairy program successfully built nutrition strategies into existing activities in addition to developing new activities. »
Gender dynamics in the cattle sector in Central America: A literature review
Published by CGIAR,
This literature review by CGIAR summarizes the research published about gender in the cattle sector in Central America. This includes the findings that (1) women lack access to and control over productive resources in the cattle sector and (2) extension services and training do not focus on women, likely because women’s contributions are undervalued. There is an urgent need to fill the enormous knowledge gap on gender dynamics in the dairy and cattle production value chains in the Central America region. »
Prospects for livestock-based livelihoods in Africa’s drylands
Published by World Bank,
This book by the World Bank examines the challenges and opportunities facing the livestock sector and the people who depend on livestock in the dryland regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. It presents a novel way of thinking about pastoral development, grounded in a conceptual framework that focuses on the multiple shocks that drylands livestock keepers face and how those shocks can be addressed. »
Improved forages and milk production in East Africa
Published by CIAT,
This report by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) shows that the introduction of improved forage varieties of the Brachiaria genus is a climate-friendly way to close the gap in the availability of livestock and dairy products in Sub-Saharan Africa. The authors assess the potential economic impact of the development and release of such varieties in six East African countries is using an economic surplus model. »
Taking stock of Africa’s livestock emissions
Published by Down to Earth Magazine,
This article presents a study, performed by Scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya. It challenged the estimates of greenhouse gasses from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to the study, the emissions of African livestock are two times lower then IPCC suggest. »
Livestock development and climate change: The benefits of advanced greenhouse gas inventories
Published by CGIAR,
This booklet by CGIAR shows how advanced inventory methods (Tier 2) can support climate change and productivity goals and help broaden countries’ policy options. Livestock development and climate change outcomes can support each other. More productive and efficient farm systems generally produce food at much lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of product. However, many countries use simple (Tier 1) methods for estimating livestock emissions in their GHG inventories. »
Positioning smallholder farmers in the dairy innovation system in Malawi: A perspective of actors and their roles.
Published by Outlook on Agriculture Journal,
This paper applies a historical analysis of the progressive development and complexity of Malawi’s diary innovation system through phased emphasis on technological, organizational and institutional development to illustrate the centrality of smallholder dairy farmers in the innovation system. A social network analysis is applied to assess the influence of smallholder farmers on other actors. »
Climate-smart livestock interventions in West Africa: a review
Published by CGIAR, ILRI,
This review focuses on livestock-related climate smart agriculture options in West Africa looking at herd management, feed, grazing management, animal breeding strategies, manure management, and policy options. Recent analysis suggests that developing world regions contribute about two thirds of the global emissions from ruminants, with sub- Saharan Africa a global hotspot for emissions intensities, largely due to low animal productivity, poor animal health and low quality feeds. »
Sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition: what roles for livestock?
Published by Committee on World Food Security,
This report recognizes the unique role of pastoral systems. It identifies the key challenges that pastoralism is facing. Its recommendations include enabling the mobility of pastoralists, strengthening the role of local pastoralist organizations, improving social services and market access for pastoral communities and strengthening security, tenure and title of customary lands, property rights and governance of grazing resources. »
The evolution of collective land tenure regimes in pastoralist societies: Lessons from Andean countries
Published by ELLA Programme,
This research paper (PDF) from the ELLA Programme, aims to analyse how land tenure regimes of pastoralist societies living in the Andean altiplano have transformed over the last 50 years. It also discusses the implications of these transformations for the sustainability of resource management in these areas, based on the premise that a better understanding of customary land tenure regimes can help to inform public policy and decision making. »
Livestock wealth and social capital as insurance against climate risk: A case study of Samburu County in Kenya
Published by Agricultural Systems journal,
This article, published in the Agricultural Systems journal, uses data from 500 households in Samburu County (Kenya) to explore how natural environment and market accessibility affect coping and adaptation strategies of pastoralists. In particular, the authors ask whether households accumulate livestock wealth and invest in structural and cognitive social capital to protect themselves against climate risks. »
Livestock for sustainable development in the 21st Century
Published by Livestock Global Alliance,
The document (PDF) by the Livestock Global Alliance focuses on the potential of livestock as solutions to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It portrays the broad diversity of the livestock sector, ranging from grazing to industrial systems. »
Analysis of village poultry value chain in Ethiopia: Implications for action research and development
Published by IFPRI,
This study by LIVES is aimed at developing a baseline understanding of poultry producers in order to identify potential areas of improvement for action research and poultry value chain system development. There are little research and development efforts directed at village poultry in Ethiopia resulting in the sub-sector being highly underdeveloped in terms of its productivity and linkages between producers and consumers. Consequently, the nation is not benefitting much from the potential of village poultry in nutrition or income. »
The hidden effects of dairy farming on public and environmental health in the Netherlands, India, Ethiopia, and Uganda, considering the use of antibiotics and other agro-chemicals
Published by Frontiers in Public Health,
This article discusses the differences and similarities in dairy farming in the Netherlands, India, Ethiopia, and Uganda and its effect on public and environmental health. It emphasizes the strategies that have been developed during a project to reduce the use of antibiotics and other chemicals in dairy farming. The impact of antibiotic use on human health through antibiotic use, the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, and the lack of adequate control systems are discussed as well as the effects of dairy farming on the environment... »
Small scale dairy production system challenges and prospects in Fafen Zone, Eastern Ethiopia
Published by Journal of Animal Production Advances,
This article examines the existing challenges and opportunities of small scale dairy production in Ethiopia. The importance of dairy livestock as a source of livelihood for pastoralists in eastern Ethiopia cannot be overstated. »
Cooperative membership and dairy performance among smallholders in Ethiopia
Published by Food Policy Journal,
This study assesses the impact of cooperative membership among dairy producers in Selale, Ethiopia. Cooperatives are sometimes seen as being instrumental in poverty alleviation among dairy farmers and can provide a suitable environment for dairy intensification. However, the authors stress that in this case there were trade-offs between cooperative functions. »
Milking the data: Measuring milk off-take in extensive livestock systems. Experimental evidence from Niger
Published by Food Policy Journal,
This article argues that our understanding of the role of dairy production in livelihoods and nutritional outcomes is hindered by the lack of decent quality household survey data. It shows that reasonably accurate estimates via recall methods are possible, and provides a clear ranking of questionnaire design options that can inform future survey operations. While milk is an important source of cash and nutrients for many households in developing countries, data on milk off-take for human consumption are often difficult to collect in household surveys. »
Limiting livestock production to pasture and by-products in a search for sustainable diets
Published by Food Policy Journal,
In this article method was developed for designing ‘fair’ diets (not using more than globally available arable land per capita) and for assessing the sustainability of such diets. The diets were based on the principle of ‘ecological leftovers’ for livestock production, i.e. raising livestock on pasture and by-products not suitable for or wanted by humans. The method was applied to Sweden using three different scenarios for livestock production... »
The second report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
Published by FAO,
This report stresses that the world's livestock diversity remains at risk and that institutional frameworks for the management of animal genetic resources needs to be improved. Some of its key findings are that livestock diversity is important to improve the adaptation capabilities and resilience of production systems to future climate challenges; that roles and values of genetic resources remain diverse, especially in poor people's livelihoods; and that the impact of livestock-sector trends are increasingly impacting the animal genetic resources. »
Milk in the data: Food security impacts from a livestock field experiment in Zambia
Published by World Development Journal ,
This article in the World Development Journal studies the effect of livestock gift program in Zambia on household food security. Smallholder livestock ownership has potential to enhance food security by raising incomes of the poor and by increasing the availability of nutrient-dense foods. »
Impacts of feeding less food-competing feedstuffs to livestock on global food system sustainability
Published by Journal of Royal Society Interface,
This article explores how sustainable livestock production can be designed to limit its impacts on the environment and available resources. There are several strategies to curb the adverse environmental impacts of the livestock production and implementing sustainable livestock production is one of them. In this strategy livestock feed components that compete with direct human food crop production are reduced. The article shows, zero use of food competing foodstuffs would deliver substantial environmental improvements across a range of indicators as compared with the reference scenario (i.e. business as usual in 2050), and small improvements with the exception of freshwater use. »
Sustainable livestock production? Industrial agriculture versus pastoralism
Published by Centre for Development and Environment,
In this policy brief the authors urge that not all forms of livestock production are wasteful and energy-intensive. People who herd animals or combine livestock keeping and cropping at a smaller scale – called pastoralists or agro-pastoralists – can sustainably produce meat, milk, and other animal products. »
Effects of co-operatives and contracts on rural income and production in the dairy supply chains: Evidence from Northern Ethiopia
Published by African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
This article pays particular attention to the impact of co-operatives and contracts on dairy production and the income of dairy farmers in the local food chains in Northern Ethiopia. Farmer-induced collective action (co-operatives) or buyer-driven contracts are often in place in global agrifood chains. The authors suggest that strengthening co-operatives may enhance and upgrade the dairy sector/chain, improve the livelihoods of smallholders, and facilitate the link to global food chains. »
Perceptions and practices of farmers on the utilization of sweetpotato, and other root tubers, and banana for pig feeding in smallholder crop-livestock systems in Uganda
Published by Livestock Research for Rural Development,
This study highlights the major practices and strategies deployed by pig farmers in response to feeding constraints in Uganda. While there is potential for the use of sweet potato and other root tubers as pig feed in the smallholder pig farming systems, their use is limited due to the lack of knowledge. »
Legitimizing informal markets: A case study of the dairy sector in Kenya
Published by IIED,
This brief reflects on informal dairy markets and their legitimization in Kenya. New approaches, based on gradual improvements and an inclusive path to formalization, are evaluated as promising to ensure safe food in the dairy sector... »
Cattle keepers’ preference for hub options for dairy business in Tanzania
Published by ILRI,
This brief (PDF) of the International Livestock Research Institute elaborates solutions for the dairy value chain in Tanzania. Since demand for milk in Tanzania increases, there is a need for new mechanisms to increase productivity and market orientation. »
Recent developments in the dairy sector in Eastern Africa: Towards a regional policy framework for value chain development
Published by ECDPM,
This brief argues the dairy sector in Eastern Africa is under-exploited. It states that there are opportunities to strengthen or build upon existing regional structures and market complementarities, to activate stronger regional levers and coordinate actions across countries. »
Field assessment of rapid market estimation techniques: a case study of dairy value chains in Tanzania
Published by African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
This article uses rapid market estimation techniques to quantify the informal milk market in two Tanzanian municipalities. Many market research techniques do not document the informal components and therefore producers only have access to limited information. In this action research project, the participants tried to quickly gather key information to inform the design of interventions to upgrade small-scale urban dairy production. »
Increasing the efficiency of the dairy value chain in Uganda: Determinants of choice of milk marketing channels by dairy farmers
Published by Livestock Research for Rural Development,
This article in argues that while the Ugandan dairy sector has experienced continuous growth the sectors milk marketing has remained largely informal. It emphasizes that to improve milk production and sale in formal channels, investment in infrastructure and training by the government is needed. »
Institutions and policies to implement the Ethiopia livestock master plan
Published by ILRI,
This research brief identifies institutional and policy shortcomings in the Ethiopian livestock sector. Detailed interdisciplinary research provides clear empirical evidence of the potential benefits of a comprehensive livestock master plan (LMP) for Ethiopia. The brief identifies four institutional and policy issues for attention. »
Gene therapy for a changing climate
Published by Agriculture for Impact,
This blog elaborates on some examples in which genetic improvements for seeds and livestock varieties provided benefits to smallholders. Genetic intensification incorporates conventional breeding and the use of biotechnology to cultivate crops and livestock breeds that satisfy a number of needs and can overcome challenges, such as climate change. Although many of these technologies remain controversial, they seem to be gaining wider acceptance in some places. »
Innovation platforms to improve smallholder dairying in India and Tanzania
Published by ILRI,
This report by ILRI reflects on the potential role of innovation platforms as spaces to identify and spread useful innovations associated with dairy production and feeding. It draws examples from MilkIT, a project to promote milk production in India and Tanzania. The idea of innovation platforms is introduced and it is shown how they can... »
LivestockPlus: Forages, sustainable intensification, and food security in the tropics
Published by Ambio Journal,
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. »
Policy incoherence in smallholder dairying in Bihar, India
Published by CGIAR,
This discussion paper (PDF) by CGIAR, explores the dairy innovation system of Bihar mainly to explore the critical bottlenecks in the policy environment that constrain smallholder dairying in the state. »
Restoring community livelihoods and food security through livestock asset during drought disasters: case study of Mwingi, Kenya
Published by African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development,
This article (PDF) in The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, and Development elaborates on mitigation strategies used to prevent the impact of droughts on livestock and food security in Mwingi, Kenya. Since in Mwingi, people’s primary source of income is keeping livestock, the impacts on livelihoods were severe when during a previous drought almost half of the livestock died. Therefore a new integrated and collaborative approach was developed to mitigate both immediate and long-term effects. »
Gut feelings and possible tomorrows: (where) does animal farming fit?
Published by FCRN,
This publication (PDF) by the Food Climate Research Network (FCRN) focuses on the future of livestock production or rather on a range of different livestock futures. This paper takes a closer look at who the stakeholders are in the debate around livestock, the different narratives that they construct about the livestock problem and the solutions they propose. »
Responses of vegetation and soils to three grazing management regimes in a semi-arid highland mixed crop-livestock system
Published by African Journal of Ecology,
In this article (PDF) in the African Journal of Ecology, three grazing regimes currently applied in Tigrai region of northern Ethiopia were compared to identify the best grazing management in key native vegetation and soil attributes. The methods used include a vegetation sampling, a soil sampling and a data analysis. »
Reviews highlight successes and challenges of Tanzania dairy innovation platforms
Published by CGIAR,
These reports by CGIAR review capacity building training of dairy innovation platforms in Tanga (PDF) and Morogoro (PDF) in Tanzania and highlight key opportunities and challenges in improving dairy production in the country. The outcomes of training programs held in December 2014 and January 2015 are highlighted, targeting dairy innovation platform leaders in the two regions to enhance their capacity and understanding of the functioning and usefulness of innovation platforms established by MilkIT dairy development program. »
New biogas plant improves waste management in Kampala pig abattoir
Published by CGIAR,
Projects led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partners are improving waste management at Wambizzi, the only pig abattoir in Uganda, as part of wider efforts to improve pig production and pork marketing in the country. A new biogas plant, funded by ‘More Pork For and By the Poor’, transforms waste from the pig slaughterhouse into methane gas. »
Global strategy for the control and eradication of PPR
Published by FAO,
This joint publication of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) introduces a Global strategy for the control and eradication of Peste des petits ruminants (PPR). PPR is a highly contagious disease of sheep and goats caused by a Morbillivirus closely related to rinderpest virus and is considered to be one of the most damaging livestock diseases in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. »
CARE’s dairy value chain: Making markets work for smallholder farmers in Bangladesh
Published by Care,
In this book by CARE: Making Markets More Inclusive, in-depth, behind-the-scenes lessons are highlighted from CARE’s work in the dairy value chain in northwest Bangladesh. The book provides a top five of lessons on how to make markets work. »
Global trends in antimicrobial use in food animals
Published by PNAS,
This study by experts from Princeton University, ILRI and other institutions is the first to measure global antibiotic consumption by livestock. Antimicrobials are used in livestock production to maintain health and productivity, however these practices contribute to the spread of drug-resistant pathogens in both livestock and humans, posing a significant public health threat. The paper... »
East African dairy farmers implement innovative livestock insurance
Published by Northrift News,
This article by Northrift News highlights an innovative livestock insurance project for dairy farmers in Kenya. East African dairy farmers who have opted for crossbred or exotic animals face the challenge of how easily the animals die due to hunger, disease or other factors, compared to hardy indigenous animals. The crossbreeds and exotics are often a liability, »
Global assessment of manure management policies and practices
Published by CCAC & Wageningen UR,
This study (PDF) by the Livestock and Manure Management Component, part of CCAC, studied manure management policies and practice in 34 developing countries (in Asia, Africa and Latin America). Furthermore, an in-depth assessment of manure management practices in Bangladesh, Viet Nam, Ethiopia, Malawi, Argentina and Costa Rica was conducted. The focus of the report is on the global challenge of reducing climate emissions from livestock while improving food security and livelihoods. »
Milk production pays off – Experiences of a DPPP approach in Northern Sri Lanka
Published by Rural21,
In 2013, an international packaging company and a local retailer enterprise set up a project in Sri Lanka called “develoPPP initiative” (development partnerships with the private sector). The project aims at an increased quality and quantity of milk production and medium-term coverage of the regional demand, with a special focus on involving women and creating... »
World mapping of animal feeding systems in the dairy sector
Published by IDF/ FAO/ IFCN,
This report (PDF) by three partner organizations (IDF, FAO and IFCN) builds a knowledge foundation for animal feeding systems to serve as a valuable resource for the dairy sector and connected chain partners. The paper includes IFCN survey results on dairy cattle feeding systems for 44 countries; the IDF survey results on dairy cattle feeding systems... »
Livestock population dynamics and pastoral communities’ adaptation to rainfall variability in Botswana
Published by Pastoralism Journal,
In this study in Pastoralism Journal, drought severity and the impact of rainfall variability on livestock population and adaptation practices were investigated in Kgalagadi, Botswana, a district that is vulnerable to recurring mild droughts. »
How a mix of livestock and crops on small farms will feed the world
Published by Standard Digital News,
This article in the Kenya’s Standard Digital newspaper, highlights the important role that mixed livestock and crop farms will play in feeding the world in coming years. The article cites research by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) that showed that ‘farmers and policymakers need to turn their attention to mixed farming systems’. The article highlights... »
Biodigesters to improve milk production in Bolivia
Published by Hivos,
In this project in Bolivia with financial support from Hivos and the technical support of SNV, a technology is used to convert dung into biogas that can be used for cooking and lighting. The slurry left over from this process is used as an organic fertilizer in order to increase the existing pasture yield and... »
Participatory evaluation of chicken health and production constraints in Ethiopia
Published by Science Direct,
This study in Preventive Veterinary Medicine aims to investigate, using participatory research methods, the constraints facing both backyard and semi-intensive chicken farmers in and around Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. The goal of the study is to identify key issues to be addressed in order to facilitate the role of chicken production as a means to reduce... »
Assessing societal changes from changing dairy value chains in Sahelian pastoral communities
Published by ILRI,
In this article by ILRI, a method is introduced that is being tried out in Senegal to measure the social impacts of dairy supply chain innovation in pastoralist societies. To collect and add value to milk from local herders and to help meet increasing demand for milk products in Dakar, a dairy plant has adapted its supply chain to the social customs of the Fula herders of this region. »
Optimum crossbreeding systems for goats in low-input livestock production system in Kenya
Published by Small Ruminant Research,
This study in the Small Ruminant Research, aimed to maximize the amount (kg) of high value meat arising from surplus males and females per kilogram of the goat population and, maximize weight gains to turnoff age. Subsequently, the study aimed to decrease turnoff age, maximization of reproduction rates and minimization of the mature weight of... »
Success stories for the Crop-Livestock integration project in Uganda
Published by ASERECA,
From 2011 to 2013, ASARECA and the National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI) implemented a project “Harnessing crop-livestock integration to enhance food security and livelihoods resilience to effects of climate change in Eastern and Central Africa”. The aim of the project was to enhance productivity and value of smallholder crop-livestock systems in Uganda. This was... »
Netherlands Food Partnership

The F&BKP is continuing in Netherlands Food Partnership: find more knowledge & expertise at the NFP website.