Without an accurate baseline it is difficult to assess how to reduce livestock yield gaps.
As such we are developing a framework for assessing productivity in livestock systems, particularly those owned and managed by smallholder farmers. Part of this work includes updating existing productivity maps for dairy, small ruminant (milk and meat) and poultry (eggs, poultry) developed by Herrero et al (2013b) for the year 2000 to the year 2010 for the specific countries and continents.
We will use new information from surveys and livestock monitoring systems for improving this effort. Additionally we will update the distributions of animal numbers and the share of smallholder production as part of this effort for regional level assessments, while at the farm level we will use household-level analysis for estimating the productivity of dairy, small ruminants and poultry. This will enable us to determine baseline hotspots of production, shares by production system, feed demand and supply and contribution of livestock to livelihoods in the regions of interest.
Reducing the gaps
As a second step, using state of the art livestock and household simulation models like CSIROs IAT, RUMINANT, APSFARM and other models from partners, we will estimate the impacts of best bet packages of interventions provided by key informants (genetics, nutrition, health) on livestock productivity, and farmers’ incomes and nutrition in different types of production systems in two selected BMGF target countries (India and Ethiopia). This is a practical way of getting a better sense of how to exploit yield gaps in these systems, rather than assessing technical and economic potentials. Additionally this can lead to a prioritization of key interventions in terms of production potential, costs and others.The study would not be complete without an assessment of the potential impacts of these practices if they were upscaled broadly throughout the individual countries to 2017 and 2030. This kind of information would enable BMGF to assess the feasibility and investment needs of selected practices and would enable us to assess country level impacts on consumption of livestock products and farmers’ incomes.