Woman harvesting Irrigated fodder-ILSSI

Gendered Feed Assessment Tool (G-FEAST)

G-FEAST is the gendered version of the Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) which aims to identify the aspects of gender relations in households that affect animal feeding practices, the uptake of feeding interventions, and differences in opportunities and constraints in animal feeding between different household types. 

The FEAST Data Application is a software utility for collecting and analysing data related to smallholder farming communities’ livestock feed resources. The software was developed in 2009 and is intended for use in conjunction with the Farmer-Centred Diagnosis research methodology, which involves holding focus group discussions and one-on-one interviews with farmers to get their input on local conditions, feed-related problems and potential solutions. 

Use of FEAST helped farmers, extension workers and researchers to fully diagnose and understand problems and potential interventions in animal feeding. However, one of the challenges with the original FEAST methodology was that it was based on very technical aspects (including rainfall patterns, types and breeds of livestock, livestock product markets and the quantities that farmers sold) while the complex gender dynamics in feed/forage provision were not integrated in the methodology of FEAST application. 

 As a result, the analysis of gender relations was excluded in the feed assessments making it difficult to integrate gendered feed interventions. Following this shortcoming, ILRI, the International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in collaboration with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) designed a gender-responsive approach to feed assessment, the G-FEAST tool in 2016 (https://www.ilri.org/download-g-feast). 

G-FEAST is now in use as a gendered tool which is diagnostic in nature and enables the assessment of gender relations in feed production. The application of the tool began in 2019. So far, the tool has been adopted and applied in five countries: Burkina Faso, Kenya, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia. Plans are underway for its use in Zimbabwe.
The aim of designing G-FEAST was to introduce an integral assessment of gender relations in feed assessments in order to account for gender differences in problem or constraint identification; choice or adoption of feed technologies as well as the effect the technologies or interventions would have on households.

This excerpt on the G-FEAST is adapted from a recently published research brief done by Esther Njuguna-Mungai, a senior gender scientist at ILRI. In the brief she notes that ‘the development of this tool was informed by the need to map out the feed resources available at community level, assess the quality and seasonality of the feeds, understand feed needs, reveal the constraints faced by communities in accessing feeds, and identify potential opportunities aimed at informing intervention strategies’.

The tool is developed in conjunction between ILRI’s research program on gender and the Feed and Forage Development program to address the increasing demand for animal-source foods by availing options that can improve livestock productivity by tackling the feed-related challenges in a gender responsive way. 

See more here - The Gendered - Feed Assessment Tool