Conducting national feed assessments

national feed assessments

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome, 2012


A National Feed Assessment System (NFAS) is a complete set of procedures, facilities, tools, personnel, organizations, and institutions involved in the collecting, handling, processing of data necessary to calculate and report the supplies of livestock feeds from all sources and for all livestock types in a country. It is comprised of numerous components which interact in an integrated manner to achieve a common outcome, the National Feed Assessment (NFA). A NFA is a data- and computation-based analysis of the supplies and demands for livestock feeds in a country.

Accurate assessments of current and future supplies and demands for livestock feed are needed for national food security policy and planning, as well as the setting of environmentally sustainable stocking rates. Feed resources must be assessed and monitored to provide information for the development and implementation of policies that will contribute to the sustainable growth of national livestock sectors. Assessments will provide information on feed resource availabilities that will enable optimal policy decisions regarding the use of national feed resources.

This document provides guidance to countries in developing NFASs. Members of governments and research organizations who wish to establish NFASs will likely seek guidance on the technical issues and procedural aspects of building and institutionalizing NFASs. A set of recommended step-wise procedures is given for implementing NFASs, including procedures for planning, establishing, and updating a NFAS. It is hoped that using the information provided in this document countries will initiate activities to establish and maintain the NFA.


Aim and structure of this manual – a road map


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Section 1
State of knowledge

1. Trends in demand for feed

2. Assessing feed supplies in relation to increasing demands

3. A summary of case studies on national, regional and global feed assessments


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Section 2
Methodologies and guidelines

4. A synthesis of methodologies available for national feed assessments

5. Guidelines for the development of NFASs and the implementation of NFAs

6. References for Sections I and II


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Section 3
Case studies

7. Demand growth for animalsource foods: implications forlivestock feed production

8. The Swiss feed balance

9. The Indian feed inventory


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10. Pastoral surveillance system and feed inventory in the Sahel

11. Development and application of Earth observation-based rangeland monitoring techniques in Namibia


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12. Gobi Forage Livestock Early Warning System

13. Livestock feed inventory on the Tibetan Plateau by remote sensing and in situ observation


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14. The development of feed balances for livestock

15. The use of ecosystem simulation modelling to assess feed availabilities for large herbivores in heterogeneous landscapes


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16. Technologies, tools and methodologies for forage evaluation in grasslands and rangelands


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ISBN 978-92-5-107332-2

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© FAO 2012