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

Livestock matter(s): ILRI News Round-up banner

The May issue of ‘Livestock Matter(s), explores a round-up of livestock development news, publications, presentations, images and upcoming events from ILRI and its partners. Download a print version – or sign up to get Livestock Matter(s) in your mailbox each month.

Corporate news

Wherefore ILRI - Presentation by Jimmy Smith

ILRI’s global livestock research agenda: A strategy for ‘better lives through livestock’
Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), opened ILRI’s Annual Program Meeting on (15 May 2013) with a review of where the institute has come from, where it is now and where it’s going.

Celebrating achievement: Julie Ojango and Tadelle Dessie promoted
Two researchers in the Animal Sciences for Sustainable Productivity team – Julie Ojango and Tadelle Dessie – have been promoted to the position of Scientist. The appointments were made at the beginning of April 2013. Both Julie and Tadesse joined ILRI in 2006.

ILRI’s Azage Tegegne becomes Australia Awards African Alumni Ambassador
The Australian Government recently launched an Africa Alumni Ambassadors initiative aimed at raising the visibility of Australia Awards in Africa. ILRI’s Azage Tegegne, coordinator of the Livestock and Irrigation Value chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project joined the first group.

Project news

New advances in the battle against a major disease threat to cattle and people in Africa
As part of ILRI’s comprehensive fight against trypanosomiasis, the institute is now in the very early stages of a project to develop disease-resistant cattle, which could save the lives of livestock and people both. Thus far, ILRI and its partners have taken a preliminary step in the process, which involved successfully cloning a male calf from one of East Africa’s most important cattle breeds, the Boran. The calf is healthy and is being raised at ILRI’s research facilities in Kenya.

Study links the rise of zoonotic diseases to intensive farming and environmental changes
Modern farming practices, such as intensified livestock production, as well as environmental and biodiversity changes can be linked to the new wave of zoonotic diseases, according to a new study published in the 21 May 2013 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Capacity development for wildlife health management
The 2012 annual scientific meeting of the Wildlife Disease Association featured a workshop on capacity development in wildlife health management. The workshop consisted of presentations, table-top exercises and general discussion among over 60 participants from all over the world. ILRI was represented by Purvi Mehta-Bhatt, regional representative for South Asia, who gave a keynote presentation on capacity development in One Health and EcoHealth.

Uganda farmer explains smallholder pig value chain priorities
In recent months, pig value chain assessment activities have been carried out in Masaka district as part of the Uganda Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development (SPVCD) and Safe Food, Fair Food (SFFF) projects. One farmer approached by the project team was unavailable to meet the team; but shared a letter capturing the project’s objectives.

Livestock data collected in Niger, Tanzania and Uganda to measure — and improve — livestock development
‘Africa still suffers from a lack of good quality data on livestock that could be used to measure and improve progress as well as inform policymaking processes, scientists have said. ‘Good data are crucial for identifying effective public and private sector investment opportunities, and in helping to improve the livelihoods of smallholder livestock producers in Africa, according to ‘Livestock Data Innovation in Africa‘ initiative.

Tracking domestic pigs in western Kenya provides new insights into dynamics of disease transmission
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the International Livestock Research Institute are using GPS technology to track the movement of a different kind of asset that, though not motorized or electronic, is nonetheless of great value to resource-poor farmers in rural western Kenya: free-ranging domestic pigs.

ILRI in the media

Typical mixed crop-livestock farming of western Kenya

African cities test the limits of living with livestock
Raising chickens has become so fashionable among some urban Americans that there’s now a market for , as we reported this month. For a bit of a reality check, let’s consider what it means to raise urban livestock in the developing world, where people are poorer and hungrier, and cities are much more densely populated. It’s a starkly different picture of people and animals living together, and the question of how it’s done has major implications for improving food security and preventing public health disasters.

Keeping camels, and their keepers, free of disease in Kenya, where ‘raw’ camel milk is becoming popular
‘Camels are known for their ability to travel long distances across the desert without water. ‘But they’re also becoming an increasingly important source of milk for people in drought-prone regions. That includes East African countries like Kenya, where camel numbers have skyrocketed over the past few decades.

Kenyan experts search for ASF vaccine
Scientists in Kenya have launched research of a vaccine to be used against African swine fever. The study is still at an early stage where scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are identifying antigens and best-bet delivery systems to be used. “Research in this area, with the ultimate goal of generating resistant and productive domestic pigs, is just beginning,” said ILRI molecular biologist Dr Richard Bishop.

CGIAR news – updates from the research programs that ILRI works in

cgiar logo

Dryland agriculture program launched for developing countries: Hot topic for a hot climate
A new science program launched in Jordan last week—the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems—is setting itself a huge ambition: To help many of the 2.5 billion people living in the vast drylands of the developing world raise their levels of both food production and security. A CGIAR Fund is supporting the program’s first three years of work to the tune of 120 million dollars.

Livestock and Fish program annual review and planning meeting in May 2013
From May 20-22, the CGIAR livestock and fish program held its first annual review meeting in Ethiopia. t offered an opportunity for CGIAR centres and partners to assess progress and results, review the program’s Intermediate Development Outcomes (IDOs) and Results Strategy Framework and plan activities 2014-2017.

Livestock Fish program reports on its first year
After a period of engagement and design, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish began in January 2012. The first annual report was just published giving insights into progress, achievements and challenges.

Recent presentations

This month, we feature a presentation by Tom Randolph, the director of the CGIAR Livestock and Fish Research program during the Livestock and Fish Annual Review and Planning Meeting held in Addis Ababa, 20-22 May 2013.

Recent ILRI publications


Experts meet to share tactics in fight against ‘goat plague’: Filmed highlights
This short (3:50 minutes) film express the views of participants at a recent meeting to coordinate research strategies for a disease of small ruminants known as peste des petits ruminants, or PPR. This second meeting of the Global Peste de Petits Ruminants (PPR) Research Alliance, held 29–30 April 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya, brought together over 60 livestock experts from across the world.

ILRI under the lens

This month we feature photos on livestock in Uganda

Upcoming events

Staff updates

In May, we welcomed the following new staff:

  • Alessandra Galiè, Social Scientist, Livelihoods Gender, Impacts and Innovations
  • Charity Muthoni Muriuki, Research Technician, Biosciences
  • Teresa Abira, Senior Administrative Assistant, Directorate
  • Teresa Amaya, Senior Administrative Assistant, Biosciences
  • Cynthia Mbula Kyaka, Legal Officer, IP & Legal
  • Elizabeth Mwende Ngungu, Assistant Accountant, Corporate Services
  • Ivan Lihenzero Muhavi, Technical Assistant- Environment, Occupational Health and Safety
  • Racheal Mwaura, Program Management Specialist, IBLI

We said farewell to:

  • Isaac Kahugu Njung’e, Systems Administrator (Linux), RMG

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