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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

On hearing jatropha (Jatropha curcas) two things come to mind:  it is an oil plant and its seeds are toxic. However, a non-toxic genotype of J. curcas exists in Mexico. Its seeds are consumed by people after roasting. Also after removal of the seed shells the kernel paste is used in local dishes in some parts of Mexico.

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Recent publications

CIPAV - Centre for Research on Sustainable Agriculture - CIPAV, 2014. Cali, Colombia

The Centre for Research on Sustainable Agriculture (brochure in PDF) is a NGO whose mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of the rural sector through research, development and outreach of environmentally friendly farming alternatives. It works in partnership with numerous groups, research centers, scientific and international cooperation institutions, rural communities and businesses that promote sustainable rural development in Colombia and in several countries of Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

Growing food and feed with less environmental  impact: A dual-crop impact narrative - ILRI, 2014. ILRI Research Brief

This document presents the progress made by ILRI and its partners in developing highly productive dual purpose crops.

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

This survey conducted by FAO establishes a direction for positive change for enhancing sustainability of livestock systems, prioritizes various elements of the concept, proposes sectors that should take initiative for implementation of the concept and identified modalities to put the concept into practice. Available on ResearchGate.