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To feed themselves and their families, and to benefit from increasing demand for livestock products in developing countries, livestock keepers must have access to good quality feed for their livestock. Feed availability is currently a major constraint to increasing livestock productivity in many countries.

Overcoming this constraint is an elusive goal. People implementing technical feed interventions often adopt a ‘trial and error’ approach that fails to properly diagnose both the nature of specific feed problems and the opportunities and the means to deal with them.

So far, most efforts to increase feed supply have tended to focus on finding technical solutions. We believe that paying more attention to – and better understanding – the broader context in which feed sits is a promising way to complement and extend the impacts of these efforts.

What is FEAST?

The Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) is a systematic method to assess local feed resource availability and use. It helps in the design of intervention strategies that will optimize feed utilization and animal production.

FEAST differs from conventional feed assessment approaches that focus on the feeds, their nutritive value, and ways to improve it. FEAST broadens this assessment to account for the importance of livestock in local livelihoods, the relative importance of feed problems locally, and the local situation related to labour, input availability, credit, seasonality, and markets.

ILRI has been developing this tool over the past three years. It has been tested and tried in various sites across Africa and South Asia. FEAST has been used in the East Africa Dairy Development project (EADD) as an entry point for further interventions.

The FEAST methodology comprises a guide and questionnaire, a data template and a data template manual. DOWNLOAD the application and the manuals here.  

In 2015, a set of blended e-Learning materials are also available. See them here.

In 2015, we also developed a set of short  'feed intervention' tech sheets to accompany FEAST.  View them here.

In 2016 we developed a Global Data Repository for FEAST. Here you can upload data and make it public. You can also download your own and other’s data in aggregated form. Access the repository here.

All reports, documents and other information materials related to FEAST are accessible at https://cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/16490.

ILRI and partner work on feeds is reported and shared at http://feeding-innovation.ilri.org. See especially the many news and updates on the development of FEAST at http://feeding-innovation.ilri.org/tag/feast.

View a short brochure.

Watch a video introducing FEAST: