Launch of a new open-access information system on animal feed resources
Feedipedia is an open access encyclopedia of animal feed resources that provides information, in the form of ‘Feed datasheets’, on nature, occurrence, distribution, chemical composition, nutritional value and safe use of nearly 1400 livestock feed resources. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), the Centre de coopération international en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD) and the Association française de zootechnie (AFZ), has set up ‘Feedipedia’. It is based on FAO's previous Animal Feed Resources Information System (AFRIS) and has been rechristened as Feedipedia – Animal Feed Resources Information System. It is jointly managed jointly by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO.
The targeted users of this information system are extension and development workers, livestock sector planners, project formulators, livestock farmers, science managers, policy makers, students and researchers.
The main objective is to provide the above stakeholders with the latest scientific information to help them identify, characterize and properly use feed resources, This is particularly important in developing countries and countries in transition where locally available feed resources are often under-utilized due to lack of information on their chemical composition and nutritive value. 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. At the same time such strategies have the potential to enhance: efficiency of natural resource use; biodiversity; access to food; income of small scale producers; and social equity. Furthermore they could also decrease the negative environmental impact of livestock production.
Feed 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 and guidelines for safe use of feed resources 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
The feed resources are categorized in four main categories: Forage plants, Plant products/by-products, Feed of animal origin, and Other feeds. Each category has several sub-categories. The Feed datasheets can be accessed using a search engine, and the search can be made through categories, common name, scientific name, and datasheet name. Alphabetical browsing and accessing of Feed datasheets is also possible.
Online resources – Books, journals, literature databases, plant and feed databases are also available
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