Together with global partners, we're providing the data needed to improve the livelihoods of livestock farmers in developing countries.

The challenge

Livestock yields are below what they should be

Livestock are crucial to the livelihoods of more than 900 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. However, there are large production yield gaps in livestock systems in these two regions. This means that most of the time, farmers produce much lower yields than they could achieve. To increase yields sustainably, development agencies and donors need to have better information to make good decisions. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation want to invest in development in Africa, but are unsure where and how to best deploy resources.

Child with goat in Sub Saharan Africa.  ©International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Our response

Determining the best options for farmers

Together with our partners in the LiveGAPS project, we looked at a range of pathways that might result in sustainable yield increases in dairy, small ruminants (e.g. goats) and poultry systems in Ethiopia, India, Tanzania and Nigeria.

The approach was to:

  • collate current baseline data and quantify yield gaps
  • identify best-bet interventions to increase productivity sustainably
  • model impacts of interventions on livestock production and household income, and identify trade-offs.

Our partners include Supporting Evidence-Based Interventions (SEBI), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the University of Tasmania (UTAS).

The results

More informed decisions, better investments

Livestock are crucial to the livelihoods of more than 900 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.  ©International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Our research enables development agencies and donors to assess the feasibility of different interventions and what sort of investment is needed to improve productivity in livestock systems.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are using this work to better understand the contemporary state of livestock systems for the regions and species which are a priority to them.

CSIRO and partners are now working on LiveGAPS 2, which will investigate approaches to increase livestock yields in Tanzania and Nigeria.

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