This July issue of ‘Livestock Matter(s) presents 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.
During the just-concluded sixth Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and held in Accra, Ghana, 20–25 Jul 2013, Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), represented CGIAR at a press conference.
Jagger Harvey was presented the prestigious Societal Impact Award by The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) in Norwich, UK. The award, one of four given to TSL alumni who have worked with developing country agriculture, was presented to Harvey for his work at the BecA-ILRI Hub focused on research and capacity building.
Azage Tegegne, a senior scientist working with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Ethiopia has received recognition from Australia’s James Cook University for his outstanding contributions to agricultural research in Africa. Tegegne, an Ethiopian, was one of 12 recipients of the 2013 James Cook University Outstanding Alumni Award given on 26 Jul in Townsville, Australia. The award pays tribute to graduates of the university who ‘have made an outstanding contribution in their field of endeavour and to the community’.
The director general of the International Livestock Institute (ILRI) has called for significant investments in the development of Africa’s livestock sector, which he said is rapidly growing. Jimmy Smith told the told participants of a recent three-day Africa Livestock Conference and Exhibition (ALiCE2013), held in Nairobi, Kenya, that such investments ‘can ensure that livestock enterprises on the continent are economically profitable, environmentally sustainable and socially equitable.
Despite the prominence of cattle in Ethiopian society and its economy, relevant qualitative and quantitative information is both scarce and subject to a variety of interpretations. Mobilizing cattle, and their supporting natural and human resource base, in a sustainable manner for development purposes is therefore a challenge that begins with identification of problems and opportunities about which there is limited agreement.
What are the options for sustainable intensification through livestock feeding? How can we best deal with the competition for biomass between livestock feeding and soil fertility? These are some of the questions that future research on livestock keeping needs to address in order to feed and maintain the 600 million rural poor people worldwide who rely on livestock for their livelihoods.
From 24 June to 5 July 2013, the BecA-ILRI Hub hosted a training workshop on the use of the newly installed Illumina genome sequencing machine (MiSeq). The training conducted by Claudia Hasche, a senior field application specialist from the Alliance Global Group included both wet-lab sessions as well as a number of presentations describing the MiSeq system and its different applications.
Matters ARISING is the news update of the Africa RISING program. It brings you news and updates on from our projects in East, West and Southern Africa
Improving the breeds of farm animals is one important way of resolving food problems to ensure food security for the sustainable development of humanity. On 22 July, the Country Domestic Animal Genetic Resources Information System (C-DAGRIS) was launched in Nairobi.
ILRI in the media
SciDevNet reports on a ‘livestock genebank’ that’s needed to help conserve breeds and populations of farm animals, especially the wealth of diversity remaining in Africa and other developing regions, that are fast being eroded through cross-breeding and importations of exotic stock.
Improving crop yields using sustainable methods could cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 12% per calorie produced according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. At the same time, these changes could provide more food to people in need.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced the 13 winners of the $10,000 BREAD Ideas Challenge. The challenge, part of the Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD) program and co-funded by NSF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, asked participants from around the world to describe, in 100 words or fewer, the most pressing, novel issues facing small-holder farms–farms typically the size of a football field or smaller–in developing countries.
Smallholder farmers who have settled on intensive agriculture as a way to adapt to climate change are facing threats to their health and livelihoods from animal diseases previously thought to have been eliminated, experts warn. Kenya is no exception to these new pressures on the lives of the struggling poor. According to experts from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), diseases such as anthrax, Rift Valley fever and sleeping sickness are now common in regions experiencing climate shifts.
CGIAR news – updates from the research programs that ILRI works in
The CGIAR Consortium recently released its second annual CGIAR Research Programs (CRP) performance assessment report which took stock of CRP performance during 2012. According to the report, the first evidence of the CGIAR reform’s potential for improving scientific and development synergies within the system is becoming evident. Further, the overall picture emerging is of a CGIAR system that is well positioned to capture significant synergies, both within and across the CRPs, in a way that was not possible before the reform.
This month, we feature a presentation by Jimmy Smith, Shirley Tarawali, Iain Wright, Suzanne Bertrand, Polly Ericksen, Delia Grace and Ethel Makila at a side event at the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week, Accra, Ghana, 15-20 July 2013
Recent ILRI publications
- Financial costs of disease burden, morbidity and mortality from priority livestock diseases in Nigeria: Disease burden and cost–benefit analysis of targeted interventions
- Study of the Ethiopian live cattle and beef value chain
- Glossary of participatory epidemiology terms
- Agricultural productivity and greenhouse gas emissions: Trade-offs or synergies between mitigation and food security?
- Quantitative trait loci for resistance to Haemonchus contortus artificial challenge in Red Maasai and Dorper sheep of East Africa
- Moving towards resilient farming in northern Ethiopia
ILRI and the global development agenda is a video presentation by Jimmy Smith.
ILRI under the lens
- 14 August : ‘Can smallholders mitigate global warming’ – ILRI Livestock live talk by Klaus Butterbach-Baul, Nairobi, Kenya
- 26-30 August: 64th Annual Meeting of the European Association For Animal Production, Nantes, France
- 15-19 September: 22nd International Grasslands Congress, Sydney, Australia
- 23-25 September: CGIAR Science Forum 2013 Nutrition and health outcomes: targets for agricultural research, Bonn, Germany
- 15-20 October: 11th World Conference of Animal Production, Beijing, China
- 4-8 November: ICT4ag: The digital springboard for inclusive agriculture, Kigali, Rwanda
In July, we welcomed the following new staff:
- Assenath Kabugi: Program Management Officer, Livestock Systems and Environment
- Anita Mutua: Human Resource Officer, Human Resources
- Fridah Kariuki: Research Technician, Biosciences
- Habtemariam Assefa: Research Assistant, LIVES Project
- John Ngure: Payroll Accountant, Corporate Services
- Kaleb Shiferaw: Research Officer, LIVES Project
- Tadiwos Zewdie: Research Assistant, LIVES Project
We said farewell to:
- Erick Masanta, Corporate Services
- Behailu Moti, Corporate Services
- Balcha Haile Mariam, Corporate Services
- Daniel Kifle, Corporate Services
- Hailu Kassaye, Corporate Services
- Leykun Assefa, Corporate Services