The FAO has published the paper: Crop residue based densified total mixed ration: A user-friendly approach to utilise food crop by-products. In this publication, the authors argue that “crop residues are valuable resources since they form a bulk of ruminant feed in many tropical countries. Due to lack of effective management of these resources, unfortunately they are being burnt in some countries, causing environmental pollution. The digestibility of crop residues and other low quality forages can be increased through the action of rumen microbes by strategically mixing nitrogen and minerals that are deficient in these feed resources. The increase in digestibility of crop residues and low quality forages, in turn also increases their intake. Both these phenomena enhance the efficiency of nutrient utilization from these feed resources in animal food chains.

To achieve this, the present paper discusses a technology based on the formation of a complete diet in the form of densified feed blocks or pellets from straws mixed with minerals, oil seed cakes and other agroindustrial by-products. The methods for preparation of such total mixed rations, their use and impact have been presented. It is hoped that this technology will enhance income of farmers, decrease environmental pollution and help alleviate shortage of good quality feeds in tropical countries. In addition, the feed produced in the densified form as blocks or pellets could also provide complete feed to livestock in emergency situations. Public-private partnership is expected to enhance the application and impact of this technology”.

This publication is available from the FAO website


The book provides a stocktaking of where we are with livestock system classification. It presents the most up to date maps of global livestock production systems and provides revised estimates of the number of poor livestock keepers, globally, within the different production systems. It proposes alternative approaches to mapping production systems that are explicitly linked to livelihoods, and reviews the ways in which intensive production can be accounted for. Several examples are presented of how systems’ information can be of value. It also underscores the areas that need further development. The FAO and ILRI continue to work jointly on several of these.

Download the pdf of this FAO/ILRI book

The Technical Consultation on Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems for Development reported in this document was the culmination of a collaborative process in which FAO, IICA, EMBRAPA and IFAD and
many individuals from a number of organizations participated over several months to ensure its success. The Consultation process was initiated by the Office of the Assistant Director General of the Agriculture Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization (AG-FAO) of the United Nations. The process comprised two parts – an electronic Consultation during February and March 2010 in which some 300 individuals from a number of organizations participated, and a face-to-face Technical Consultation that was held at the EMBRAPA Maize and Sorghum Institute in Sete Lagaos, Brazil, from 23-26 May 2010. Institutions that helped to plan and organize the Consultation included: FAO, IICA/PROCITROPICOS, EMBRAPA, IFAD, FARA, ICRAF, ILRI, CGIAR-SLP.

Pdf document is available from FAO website

CARWG with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), The African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT) and the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is hosting a regional symposium on Conservation Agriculture in Johannesburg South Africa, 8-9 February 2011.

The symposium has the following objectives:
1. To share and document information on the biophysical, social and economic impacts of Conservation Agriculture technologies in the region;
2. To share and document experiences on Conservation Agriculture scale up approaches and impacts; and
3. To identify key areas for research and development and explore institutional and policy innovations for Conservation Agriculture scale up.


The importance and consequences of animal feed and feeding has largely been under-estimated and under-valued by donors, development agencies and policy makers alike. To rectify this, FAO is in the process of forming a network for all those with an interest in animal feeds and feeding. The objective is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and information. It is envisaged that the network will function through the FAO Feed Portal which will be operational in the coming months, and  will provide a platform for debate on a wide range of  animal nutrition related issues, for example: research and development in developing countries, challenges and opportunities in meeting the demand for feeds; the  importance of animal nutrition in increasing livestock productivity and  mitigating greenhouse gases and pollutants from livestock systems, and preparing adequate responses to ongoing global warming.

The long term goal is to launch a Global Feed Initiative and it is hoped that discussions through this network will pave the way for achieving this.

Those working primarily on animal feeds and feeding are invited to join the network by providing the following information to Harinder Makkar (Harinder.Makkar@fao.org)

FAO,  Animal Production Officer (Animal Nutrition).

  1. Name (essential):
  2. Email (essential):
  1. Contact details (optional) including postal address, telephone and fax numbers, website.
  2. Primary area of interest/expertise  (please do not list more than three areas) (essential)
  3. CV and List of Publications in the last 5 years (optional)
  4. Are you:

a) willing to have your details listed publically on the FAO Feed Portal, or

b) would you prefer they remain restricted to FAO.

If interested please  provide the above information by the end of April . Please feel free to pass this invitation onto other colleagues who you believe may wish to join the Network.

  • Do we pursue global food security better by supporting smallholder farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists or commercial producers?
  • How can we make sure Livestock Keepers rights become a general broadly accepted principle?

The Community of Practice for Pro-poor Livestock Development and The Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition invite interested parties to discuss these and other questions related to the future of Livestock keepers.

The topic is raised by Ilse Koehler Rollefson from the League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development. Among the participants will be Antonio Rota from IFAD, Walter Mwasa from CARE International and Livestock experts from FAO.

Results of the debate will help with advocacy work and in preparation for the Convention on Biological Diversity 2010 at Nagoya. The main outcomes of the discussion will also be presented at the InterAgency Donor Livestock Group (IADG) Annual Meeting which will be hosted by IFAD in May 2010

join the discussion

see FAO website

The Consultation process will now move into the second part which is the face-to-face Workshop scheduled to be held from 23-26 March 2010 at Embrapa, Sete Lagaos, Minas Geráis, Brazil.

The Workshop programme and agenda will be posted on the above website this week, and the outcome of the Workshop will be shared with you in due course.

Compiled by Amir Kassam, Moderator of CA-CoP listserver

The full report is now available on the FAO website

Documents related to the consultation can be found on the FAO web site.


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