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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 Pierre Dardenne (Walloon Agricultural Research Centre) and Paulo Salgado (CIRAD)

NIRS theory in a few words

Spectroscopy refers to the science dealing with the interactions between matter and light. In the infrared region (780 – 10 000 nanometers – Figure 1), the light hitting organic matter can be absorbed by the molecular vibrations at specific wavelengths depending on the chemical bonds (OH, CH, NH, etc.).

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Recent publications

FAO Assistance towards feed analysis increasing incomes, improving food safety and safeguarding the environment  - FAO, 2015. FAO, Rome, Italy

This document presents the assistance provided by FAO for enhancing feed analysis and thus improving feed quality, animal production profitability and food safety. 

Climate-smart agriculture sourcebook - FAO, 2013. FAO, Rome, Italy

The purpose of the sourcebook is to further elaborate the concept of CSA and demonstrate its potential, as well as limitations. It aims to help decision makers at a number of levels (including political administrators and natural resource managers) to understand the different options that are available for planning, policies and investments and the practices that are suitable for making different agricultural sectors, landscapes and food systems more climate-smart. This sourcebook is a reference tool for planners, practitioners and policy makers working in agriculture, forestry and fisheries at national and subnational levels.

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.