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Livestock Matter(s): ILRI news ’roundup’, January 2013

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Welcome to the first issue of Livestock Matter(s), a monthly round-up of livestock development news, publications, presentations, images and upcoming events from the International Research Institute (ILRI) and its partners.

We aim to produce this on the first of each month. It will bring together some of the news and updates you may have missed. You can download a print version – or sign up to get Livestock Matter(s) in your mailbox each month.

Corporate news

Green livestock: ‘Game changers’ for environmental, social, economic gains

Nearly 100 experts participated in the Third Multi-Stakeholder Platform Meeting of the Global Agenda of Action in Support of Sustainable Livestock Sector Development, 22-24 Jan 2013, Nairobi (photo: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

A week-long Third Multi-stakeholder Platform Meeting of the Global Agenda of Action in Support of Sustainable Livestock Sector Development kicked off on 22 January in Nairobi, Kenya. The Global Agenda is committed to broad-based, voluntary and informal stakeholder actions toward improving the performance of the livestock sector. It ambitiously aims to protect natural resources as well as to reduce poverty and protect public health.

BecA-ILRI biosciences Hub receives grant from global life science tools company

Biosciences eastern and central Africa hub platform

ILRI’s advanced animal health laboratories, in Nairobi (photo: ILRI/David White).

Global life science tools company Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) announced the recipients of grants from its ‘Agricultural Greater Good Initiative’. One of these is the BecA-ILRI Hub, a state-of-the-art biosciences laboratory and facility platform located in Nairobi, Kenya.

Fixing fodder shortages for beef and dairy in Africa and South Asia

Feed for cattle in vietnam

High-quality planted grasses for fattening cattle in Vietnam (photo: ILRI/Werner Stür).

Last year, a group of researchers at ILRI worked with partners at the World Bank under the direction of Jimmy Smith, then a senior livestock advisor at the Bank and now director general of ILRI, in identifying investment opportunities for ruminant livestock feeding in developing countries. According to the report, ‘smallholders with crops and livestock will remain the mainstay of the sector in developing countries for some decades to come . . .

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Project news

New project to improve livestock and irrigation value chains in Ethiopia

Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) – project Launch. January 22, 2013 (photo credit: ILRI/Zerihun Sewunet).

A new research-for-development project was launched on 22 January 2013 by ILRI and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), both members of the CGIAR Consortium. Entitled ‘Livestock and Irrigation Value chains for Ethiopian Smallholders – LIVES’, it will directly support the government of Ethiopia’s effort to transform smallholder agriculture to be more market-oriented.

Africa RISING: The thinking behind the approach
The Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program, which comprises three research-for-development projects supported by the United States Agency for International Development as part of the US government’s Feed the Future initiative, outlined research that will be carried out by three Africa RISING projects in West, eastern and southern Africa and the Ethiopian highlands.

Animal-to-human diseases: From panic to planning–new recommendations
The UK’s Institute for Development Studies (IDS) has published a 4-page Rapid Response Briefing titled ‘Zoonoses: From panic to planning’. Veterinary epidemiologist Delia Grace, who is based at ILRI, along with other members of a Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, based at the STEPS Centre at IDS, c0-authored the document.

Media news

Kenya launches East Coast fever vaccine

East Coast fever vaccine administered to calf in Kenya (photo: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

Kenya’s fight against East Coast fever has gone a notch higher with the launch, in December 2012, of a new vaccine to curb the animal killer disease. The vaccine was jointly developed by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the Global Alliance for Livestock and Veterinary Medicine, the government of Kenya and ILRI.

Researchers to control brucellosis in Africa: January workshop
The Agricultural Research Service co-organized a workshop on ‘An Integrated Approach to Controlling Brucellosis in Africa’ sponsored by the US State Department Biosecurity Engagement Program, the US Agency for International Development and ILRI. Brucellosis infects both animals and humans, causing chronic fever and joint pain in humans and miscarriages in animals.

CGIAR news – updates from the research programs we work in

ILRI position paper highlights role of livestock in food and nutrition security
The January 2013 issue of Animal Frontiers features a series of articles on the contribution of animal agriculture to global food security. An ILRI paper highlights the direct and indirect effects of livestock on food and nutrition security and considers the future prospects of mixed crop-livestock farming systems that produce most of the world’s milk, meat and staple crops.

Austria funds Livestock & Fish project for more productive cattle in Nicaragua
In December 2012, the Austrian Development Agency approved a three-year research project to be conducted by ILRI, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), the Center for International Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the National Agricultural University of Nicaragua (UNA) on ‘increasing the productivity of dual-purpose cattle in Nicaragua — More milk and meat through better breeds.’

New online resource links value chain researchers and practitioners
The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets has launched a new online resource that links agricultural value chain researchers and field practitioners so that the methods and approaches used for analyzing value chains in developing countries may be better targeted and adapted to suit specific conditions in the field. The new AgriFood Chain Toolkit is an online resource that brings together the researchers who develop tools and methods for value chain analysis and the people who use the tools in the field.

Recent presentations

Taking the long livestock view
ILRI’s director general Jimmy Smith gave this opening address at the Third Multi-Stakeholder Platform Meeting of the Global Agenda of Action for Sustainable Livestock Sector Development, in Nairobi, Kenya, on 22 January 2013.

Recent publications by ILRI and ILRI staff

Beyond milk, meat, and eggs: Role of livestock in food and nutrition security by J Smith, K Sones, D Grace, S MacMillan, S Tarawali, M Herrero.

Zoonoses – From panic to planning by D Grace, C Holley, K Jones, M Leach, N Marks, I Scoones, S Welburn, J Wood.


Ann’s story: Length: 02:08
During the drought of 2009, many Kenyan pastoralists were forced to move with their livestock in search of grazing land. We met Ann and her family in the rangelands outside of Nairobi. This is her story of how the drought has affected her life.

Changing the fortunes of farmers in Ethiopia through better livestock feed
If you climb up the rickety ladder on to the roof of the stone dwelling where Gebremichael Desta lives with his family and livestock — he keeps his hay on the roof — you can gaze across a world which looks much as it must have done many centuries ago. . . . But appearances can deceive. ‘The difference between the past and present?’ muses Desta. ‘It’s like the distance between the sky and the earth.’ Today, families living in these remote highlands of Tigray, in northern Ethiopia, are facing the future with confidence.

Photographs and images

This month we feature Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) – Commodity Value Chain Development Inception Workshop and Project Launch photos

See photos from the workshop and launch

Group photo – LIVES project launch

Upcoming events

February 2013:

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