A scoping review of feed interventions and livelihoods of small-scale livestock keepers

Isabelle Baltenweck, Debbie Cherney, Alan Duncan, Erin Eldermire, Edda Lwoga, Ricardo Labarta, Elizaphan James Rao, Steven Staal, Nils Teufel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Livestock support the livelihoods of one billion people in Africa, Asia and Latin America, but the productivity of animals remains low, reducing the potential of the sector to support higher incomes and better nutrition. Improved livestock feeding has been identified as the most important step towards higher productivity. This scoping review assessed the evidence for the uptake of improved ruminant livestock feed options, the effect of this uptake on livestock productivity and the degree to which this improves smallholder farmer livelihoods. In total, 22,981 papers were identified, of which 73 papers were included in the final analysis after a rigorous double-blind screening review. Only papers that reported farmers’ decision to use a new feed intervention were selected, thereby excluding feeding trials and participatory feed assessments. Of the 73 papers, only 6 reported combined evidence of adoption, effect on productivity and livelihood changes. A total of 58 papers looked at adoption, 19 at productivity change and 22 at livelihood change. This scoping review highlights the gap in evidence for the adoption of new livestock feeding practices and provides recommendations to support farmers’ uptake of feed interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242–1249
JournalNature Plants
Early online date12 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Oct 2020


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