Integrated crop and goat breeding in Tanzania

The challenge

More than 80% of Tanzanians live in rural areas and depend on crop and livestock production for their livelihoods. Among livestock, goats rank second only to cattle in terms of their contribution to the income and nutrition of the rural poor. However, the feeding practices used by farmers in Tanzania often result in poor growth and milk production rates for goats.

The research

This project, supported by IDRC and GAC through the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF), will improve food security and nutrition in Tanzania through an integrated breeding and management program that will increase goat milk and meat production.

Researchers will test improved cassava and sweet potato varieties to increase production, improve household nutrition, and develop optimal feeding strategies for goats. Research will focus on environmental impacts, marketing opportunities, and disease control — while examining ways to enhance women’s participation in the research — to ensure that household and nutritional benefits are sustained over the long term.

Insights from the research will lay the groundwork for wider-scale adoption of improved mixed-farming practices throughout Tanzania and East Africa.

Expected outcomes

  • Increased availability of cross-bred goats and increased goat milk production due to better breeds, better health, and reduced disease
  • Improved varieties, productivity, and processing of cassava and sweet potato crops
  • Increased household consumption of locally produced goat milk, sweet potato, and cassava
  • New opportunities to market goats and root crops
  • Enhanced role for women in crop and livestock production

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

End Date

Sunday, August 31, 2014


42 months

IDRC Officer

Pascal Sanginga

Total funding

CA$ 1,688,827



Project Leader

Dr. Gordon M. Hickey


Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning/McGill University

Institution Website

Project Leader

Dr. Lutta Muhammad


Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization

Institution Website