Joint Seminar of the FAO CIHEAM Networks
on Pasture and Forage Crops and on Sheep and Goat Nutrition

Alternative feed resources and their management for transiting towards a sustainable ruminant production

Catania, 27-29 September 2022

Boosting the contribution of livestock and forage productions to sustainable agri food systems

The Mediterranean basin is highly affected by climate change, while certain countries still need to increase livestock production in order to achieve food self-sufficiency. Producing «better» is an urgent issue.

In this respect, ruminants have an asset: they can be fed on plants, plant parts and agro-industrial by products which are not directly recoverable for humans.

The Mediterranean landscapes are composed of an agro-silvo-pastoral mosaic, which offers opportunities for interactions between livestock production, agriculture and natural areas. Mediterranean grasslands are an important source of forage; cultivated forage, possibly associated to perennial or annual crops, provides high-quality feed for periods of high nutrient requirements; agro-industry produces a variety of typical by-products which may be included in ruminant diets.

This joint seminar of the «Ruminant nutrition» and «Mediterranean pastures and forage crops» sub-networks aims at exploring the various opportunities in terms of novel or underexploited local feed resources, which could be valued better in the future and used to secure small ruminant feeding systems and boost animal production. Joining these two sub-networks gives the opportunity to consider the question from two complementary points of view, thus encouraging system approaches.