The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems was established after USAID awarded the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) a five-year renewable $49 million grant to engage in agricultural research and capacity building as part of the US Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. There are 24 Feed the Future Innovation Labs across the US, but the one based at UF is the only one focused on country animal-source food (ASF) related issues.
The Livestock Systems Innovation Lab (LSIL) will focus on four countries in Africa (Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and Niger) and two countries in Asia (Nepal and Cambodia). It funds and implements global research and capacity building projects that (1) alleviate key constraints to ASF production and consumption and (2) take advantage of the increasing demand for ASF in developing countries to improve food security and reduce poverty.
The organizational setup of the Innovation Lab consists of a core 20-member management entity and a varying number of additional faculty members from different departments at UF. Local and international organizations and institutions, as well as UF faculty, can apply for grants from the innovation lab to conduct research which compliments the overall livestock system research agenda in the target countries. Currently members of the team are headed to Niger to establish contacts, meet government officials, researchers, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders working on livestock and human nutrition. On October 6th and 7th, an Innovation Platform meeting will take place at which research priorities will be discussed and prioritized with the main stakeholders. This information will inform the request for grant applications for Burkina Faso and Niger that will be published in November 2016. For more information, you can check out the LSIL blog here.