What we do?

We look for pathways to maximise yield of livestock systems to address global food security.

Donors and development agencies need to target investments in the livestock sector that maximize their impacts for broad numbers of producers and consumers. To do this, estimates of livestock yield gaps are needed. A yield gap is the difference the yield the farmer could achieve and the actual yield achieved. Productivity and yield gap analyses help define the most appropriate technology entry points for different livestock species in terms of: health, nutrition, genetics, or policy levers.

For LiveGAPS 1, we estimated the productivity of livestock (see the figure above) and assessed different entry points for closing the yield gaps of livestock in Ethiopia and India. We then developed projections of productivity and production at a continental level. This information contributed to making informed investment decisions and target technologies in the livestock sectors of developing countries.

For LiveGAPS 2, we expanded on LiveGAPS 1 and looked at opportunities for closing the livestock yield gaps in Nigeria and Tanzania.

  1. We estimated livestock productivity in Nigeria and Tanzania and updated the productivity data for the LiveGAPS 1 target countries, Ethiopia and India. We used new information from surveys and livestock monitoring systems to develop this work. Additionally, we updated the distributions of animal numbers and the share of smallholder production for regional level assessments. At the farm level we used household-level analysis for estimating the productivity of dairy, small ruminants and poultry. This enabled us to determine baseline hotspots of production, contributions of varied production systems, feed demand and supply, and the contribution of livestock to livelihoods.
  2. Using livestock and household simulation models applied in LiveGAPS 1 (such as Integrated Assessment tool (IAT) and RUMINANT), we estimated the impacts of best-bet intervention packages provided by key informants (genetics, nutrition, health) on livestock productivity, and farmers’ incomes and nutrition in different production systems in Nigeria and Tanzania.