International Potato Center Researches Use of Sweetpotato as Livestock Feed

July 2010: The June issue of the newsletter for the International Potato Center (CIP), a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), highlights ongoing research into the use of sweetpotato vines as a livestock feed supplement to increase productivity and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The article describes the contribution of livestock emissions to climate change and outlines a series of studies by CIP in Bolivia on reduced methane emissions from livestock due to supplementing feed with plants that are more digestible than grass. It notes that models on goats suggest that the use of sweetpotato vine can increase milk production by over 50% and lead to reduced emissions. The article cautions that some total methane emission reductions based on the reduced emissions per unit of milk may be offset by emissions from greater productivity. The newsletter also highlights work in Mozambique on drought-tolerant species and small-scale irrigation as strategies to ensure food security and adapt to climate change. [June CIP Newsletter]