The two species play an important role in the rural economies of the UK, Europe and many other countries across the world, especially in areas which are unsuitable for other farming production systems - as small ruminants are efficient converters of poor-quality grazing into high quality protein.
New technologies taken up by other sectors such as the dairy industry can help farmers improve the efficiency of their businesses, but the development and uptake of these tools has been slower in the small ruminant sector.
A new EU-funded project named [email protected] (Small Ruminant Technologies) aims to demonstrate the potential of these tools and to highlight the possible returns to be made on investment to sheep and goat farmers.
The project will use well-equipped demonstration and commercial farms to help increase the uptake of PLF tools across the industry.
The SRUC’s Dr Claire Morgan-Davies said the funding would help researchers work closely with farmers and stakeholders throughout the food value chain to increase the awareness of new tools for efficient livestock production.
Dr Fiona Kenyon from Moredun Research Institute added that the project would deliver practical information from the demonstration and commercial farmers that would be helpful farmers throughout the UK and Europe.