In February and March 2016, an MIT D-Lab research team traveled to Odisha, India to conduct a needs assessment in collaboration with Heifer International and their partners. 

Through this research and the subsequent analysis, the team has started to identify critical challenges and gaps and potential interventions to improve the productivity of the smallholder goat activities. Over the next several months, the team will finish the analysis, identify more specific needs, generate the report/presentation and recommend technological solutions or processes that will address these issues. This information will be shared with Heifer International, their partners, and research participants in a format that is most useful to them (report, presentation, videos). The stakeholders will then discuss phase II of the project, which could include an evaluation of the recommended technologies, a co-design workshop or technology development. 


In the summer of 2014, D-Lab carried out an in-depth study to characterize and assess the small-scale dairy and beef production system in Morocco as it affects the livelihoods of the rural population. This assessment built upon and verified the findings of a preliminary study carried out by D-Lab a year earlier, which identified the high cost of animal feed as a major constraint for Moroccan smallholder farmers. Working in and around Tifelt, situated 65 kilometers east of Rabat, the D-Lab team selected and interviewed small-scale farmers about their cropping and livestock management practices.

The report includes a market analysis of the dairy sector in the Tifelt region, a stakeholder, analysis, and a value chain analysis of the dairy and beef production systems, as well as a bio-economic model that evaluates the nutritional and economic impact of potential solutions. For an overview of the report, see the D-Brief: Improving Livelihoods in Morocco: Needs Assessment of Small-Scale Cattle Farmers.