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Legumes and seaweed as alternative protein sources for sheep

Detailed Description

The main objective of this project is to identify alternative protein sources, where locally produced legumes and seaweed seems to be the most suitable, sustainable and environmental friendly sources as alternatives to imported soya.

The project will challenge farmers and public authorities to the issue between the uses of imported versus locally produced feed ingredients in Norwegian livestock production. The social science approach will be followed up by experiments of such ingredients to evaluate their suitability in terms of nutritional value, effect on methane gas emissions and animal health on sheep.

The prohibition in the use of animal and fish protein subsequent to the BSE crisis in the 1990's produced a gap in the supply of protein to ruminants.
The Norwegian meat production is highly depending on imported protein sources and soya became the most suitable protein source. However, in 1996 the Norwegian government forbid import and use of GMO-ingredients in animal feeds. The increasing demand for feed worldwide includes also that of GMO-free soya which subsequently is difficult to find. Focus for covering the demand for protein sources in Norwegian concentrate should be put on locally produced products such as legumes and seaweed.

With sheep used as the experimental animal, the project will screen and investigate a number of legumes and red and green seaweed to determine the species best suited as alternative protein sources. The project will map characteristics important for a high growth rate in lambs; reducing the emission of enteric methane and reduce the burden of gastro-intestinal nematodes. The project will include a work-package addressing the individual and managerial perceptions on obstacles and opportunities following an altered protein supply change.

The results are expected to supplement and stimulate the production of environmental friendly and locally produced protein sources in the arctic region.

Financing/ Donor

Norwegischer Staat – Programm  BIONÆR

FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff (people who are not linked are former FiBL employees)
Research area
FiBL project number 50046
Date modified 12.11.2019
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