News and updates on research on livestock value chains by the International Livestock Research Institute and partners

Monday, January 16, 2012

New project adopts innovation and value chain approaches to enhance livestock feeds in India and Tanzania

Fodder market in India
Fodder market in India: Research by ILRI and CIAT aims to enhance  dairy-based livelihoods in India and Tanzania through feed innovations and value chain approaches (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

Lack of access to adequate high-quality livestock feed is a key constraint towards improved milk yields and hence dairy income for smallholder dairy producers.

As part of efforts towards addressing the problem of feed scarcity, two CGIAR centres, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), have embarked on a research initiative that will use novel systems-based approaches to enhance feeds and feeding in smallholder dairy production systems in India and Tanzania.

By adopting a value chain perspective and using innovation system principles, the project places feed in a broader context and acknowledges that enhancing feed supply involves more than just introducing or promoting feed technologies at farm level but also includes other dimensions such as animal health, livestock breeding and knowledge sharing.

The objectives of the project Enhancing dairy-based livelihoods in India and Tanzania through feed innovation and value chain development approaches (MilkIT) are three-fold:

  • Institutional strengthening: To strengthen use of value chain and innovation approaches among dairy stakeholders to improve feeding strategies for dairy cows
  • Productivity enhancement: To develop options for improved feeding strategies leading to yield enhancement with potential income benefits
  • Knowledge sharing: To strengthen knowledge sharing mechanisms on feed development strategies at local, regional and international levels

The three-year project is embedded in the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish. It will be coordinated by ILRI with CIAT acting as a major partner. Dr Bernard Lukuyu and Dr Amos Omore from ILRI's Markets, Gender and Livelihoods theme will make key contributions in the areas of livestock feeds and technical/institutional options for improving market access, respectively.

Already, some preliminary activities have taken place. In the latter half of 2011, a number of scoping visits were made to the two study countries to identify project sites and partners. A pre-inception planning meeting is scheduled for 24-25 January 2012 in Nairobi to officially launch the project activities. You can read about the scoping visits in this post on the ILRI Fodder Adoption blog.

For more information about this project, please contact Dr Alan Duncan (a.duncan @

Download the project brochure

1 comment:

  1. You can view the PowerPoint presentations at the January 2012 pre-inception workshop at