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Feedipedia: An on-line encyclopedia of animal feeds

Feedipedia is an open access information system on animal feed resources that provides information on nature, occurrence, chemical composition, nutritional value and safe use of nearly 1400 worldwide livestock feeds. It is managed jointly by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO.

The main objective of Feedipedia is to provide extension and development workers, planners, project formulators, livestock farmers, science managers, policy makers, students and researchers with the latest scientific information to help them identify, characterize and properly use feed resources to sustainably develop the livestock sector.

This is particularly important in emerging and developing countries where feed resources available locally are often under-utilized due to lack of information. Providing global knowledge on feed resources, including unconventional and lesser known ones, contributes to the development and use of innovative and appropriate feeding options and strategies.

Feeds datasheets contain the following information:

  • Feed names, including vernacular and scientific names
  • Description of the plants or plant parts/products used as feed
  • Feeding recommendations for the main livestock species: cattle, sheep, goats, camels, poultry, pigs, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
  • Tables of composition and nutritive value
  • Illustrations, including photos and processing charts
  • Distribution and basic agronomic information
  • Forage management
  • Processes for improving nutritional value
  • Potential constraints such as presence of anti-nutritional and toxic factors
  • Environmental impact of the production and use of feeds

Broadening horizons

By Harinder P.S. Makkar FAO, Rome


There has been a major shift to diets with increased consumption of animal products, and this change is likely to continue in the coming decade. The demand for meat and milk is expected to be 58% and 70% higher in 2050 than their levels in 2010 and a large part of this increase will originate from developing countries.

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Recent publications

Towards sustainable animal diets: a survey-based study - Makkar et al., 2014. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 198: 309-322

An FAO article, recently posted on line by Elsevier, is available for free download until 4 January 2015 at

State-of-the-art on use of insects as animal feed - Makkar et al., 2014. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 197: 1-33

This Feedipedia paper (available for free until November 20, 2014) is a review of current scientific knowledge related to the rearing, composition, nutritional value and use of insects such as black soldier fly larvae, housefly maggots, mealworms, locusts and silkworms as a replacement of soybean meal and fish meal in the diets of poultry, pigs, cattle and fish. 

TECA: Technologies and practices for small agricultural producers - TECA, 2014. Teca, FAO, Rome, Italy

TECA stands for Technologies and Practices for small agricultural producers and is composed of (1) the Knowledge Base of technologies and practices for small agricultural producers and (2) the Exchange Groups, which are online discussion fora where practitioners can exchange knowledge and experiences on specific topics related to smallholder agriculture.