FEAST (Feed Assessment Tool)

Feed for livestock is often cited as the main constraint to improved productivity in smallholder systems. Overcoming this constraint often seems an elusive goal and technical feed interventions tend to adopt a scattergun or trial and error approach which often fails to adequately diagnose the nature of the feed problem and opportunities and therefore the means to deal with problems and harness opportunities. The purpose of the Feed Assessment Tool described here is to offer a systematic and rapid methodology for assessing feed resources at site level with a view to developing a site-specific strategy for improving feed supply and utilization through technical or organizational interventions. The Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) is a systematic method to assess local feed resource availability and use. It helps in the design of intervention strategies that will optimize feed utilization and animal production. The tool comprises two main elements: - A focused PRA exercise which provides an overview of the farming system with particular emphasis on livestock feed aspects. - A simple and brief quantitative questionnaire, designed to be completed by experts under the guidance of the Feast facilitator. Output from 'FEAST' consists of a short report in a defined format along with some quantitative information on overall feed availability, quality and seasonality which can be used to help inform intervention strategies. In addition FEAST generates a prioritized list of feed intervention strategies which are assessed as being potentially suitable for the study location. The prioritized list is based on matching characteristics of a given village/community with the requirements of a particular intervention. These characteristics include factors such as land and labour availability, dominant farming system, main livestock commodity etc. The tool is aimed at research and development practitioners who are working in the livestock sector and need a more systematic means of assessing current feed-related strategies and developing new ones.

Summary of uses: • Assessing local feed resource availability and use, and optimizing feed utilization and animal production

Data and Resources




Data Types

AgroVoc Tags


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Additional Information

Field Value
Website http://www.ilri.org/feast
Contributing organisations International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Contact person Alan Duncan
Alternate contact Ben Lukuyu
Developer Alan Duncan, Luke York, Ben Lukuyu
Year 2009.0
Last update 2014.0
Person responsible for updates Alan Duncan
Source code http://ilri.org/feastmethodology
Participatory approach / method to address complexity
Target audience
When in the project cycle is the tool useful
Contribution to gender research
Spatial scale
Levels of organizations taken into account
Source of data
Expected output of tool
Type of assessment
Tool manual/User guide https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/66319/FEAST_application_user_manual_may2015.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Citation ILRI. 2015. Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) data application user manual. Nairobi: ILRI