The Livestock Research Department comprises the Animal Production and Animal Health Divisions. It has the mandate to conduct strategic research in the livestock and poultry sectors and adapts relevant knowledge and techniques to local conditions. The department fosters close interaction among scientists, farmers and extension staff to ensure that research activities are planned in a multidisciplinary and participative manner.
To undertake applied and adaptive cost effective research for development, to boost the livestock sector in order to increase milk, meat, poultry and derived products and to enhance food security in a sustainable way.
- To develop new technologies and improve farming practices through applied and adaptive research aiming at increasing farm production and productivity in a sustainable way
- To support livestock farmers in value addition and marketing of their products as a profitable enterprise
- To assist farmers in the conception and implementation of livestock and poultry projects
The scope of research and development programme is to:
- Develop technologies/farming practices through cost-effective research in nutrition, breeding, reproduction, fodder/pasture and waste management to increase farm production and productivity
- Develop feeding strategies for livestock using locally available feed resources
- Conserve farm animal genetic resources for utilization in breeding programmes
- Professionalise and modernise the sector through efficient use of resources
- Develop and promote sustainable livestock production and sensitise on the concept of Clean, Green and Ethical (CGE) animal production
Linkages and collaboration with other international institutions have been built and are continuously maintained. These include: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the implementation of projects with peaceful applications of nuclear technology, the International Foundation for Science, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), etc.
The Livestock Research Department very often solicits support and cooperation from other stakeholders in Mauritius for optimizing efforts and resources for the benefits of the farming community namely the Agricultural Services and Forestry Service of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, the Mauritius Meat Producers Association, the Mauritius Meat Authority, the Mauritius Prisons Service, the Food Security Fund, the Empowerment Foundation, the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme – UNDP, Aadicon Biotechnologies Ltd., livestock farmers cooperative societies, etc.
The department manages one livestock research station, the Curepipe Livestock Research Station CLRS), located at Les Casernes, Curepipe. It provides support in implementing research on various themes related to livestock production and its facilities are used to train livestock farmers and entrepreneurs. It covers an area of 8 hectares and comprises production units for dairy cattle, goats, sheep and rabbits. It also has a fodder unit which includes a germplasm collection of fodder species and plots for testing of local and introduced fodder species.
The department has laboratory facilities for research on ruminant nutrition, milk processing and production of parasitoids for the biological control of stable flies.
- Ruminant Laboratory Facility: For the determination of dry matter degradability in order to assess the efficiency of utilization of various feeds by ruminants and for determination of pH, electrical conductivity, dry matter, bulk density, …
- Milk Processing Facility: For developing protocols of dairy products, training and demonstration on milk processing and promote agri-business opportunities.
- Parasitoid Production Unit: For rearing parasitoids (Trichopria sp.) for the biological control of stable fly (Stomoxys nigra). Some 125,000 parasitoids are released weekly in sugar cane fields around deer chassées and farms.