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Livestock Matter(s): ILRI news ’roundup’ February 2014

Livestock matter(s): ILRI News Round-up banner
This February 2014  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.

Corporate news

ILRI news blog gets a makeover
In February, the ILRI news services moved to a new address – – and a new look. The former news site content remains accessible.

East African Dairy Development project phase two launched
The East African Dairy Development (EADD) project received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its operation in a second five-year phase, from 2014 to 2018, and to scale up the impact from phase one, implemented from 2008 to 2013.

Consortium to tackle East Coast fewer in cattle in Africa
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) announced that a global consortium supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been formed to develop a new vaccine against a disease that’s devastating cattle herds in sub-Saharan Africa.

Innovation platforms in agricultural research
Innovation platforms are widely used in agricultural research to connect different stakeholders to achieve common goals. To help document recent experiences and insights, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) recently published a series of short innovation platform ‘practice briefs’ to help guide the design and implementation of innovation platforms in agricultural research for development.

Sustainable livestock: What are the options?
January’s Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) was the venue for a panel session on sustainable livestock organized as part of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock.

Project news

Australia-funded research fights aflatoxin contamination in East African foods
Across East Africa, more than 100 million people depend on maize as a staple food. Sorghum and groundnuts are other vital sources of food here. But maize, sorghum and groundnuts are susceptible to accumulation of aflatoxins, chemicals produced by a fungus that are toxic when eaten. These chemicals can cause cancer, are lethal in high doses, and may suppress immune systems, reduce nutrient absorption and stunt the development of infants.

Producing green fodder from wheat helps animals and people in India’s Uttarakhand State
In the hilly areas of Uttarakhand, a typical farming household has one or two cows, one buffalo and a bullock, and cultivates cereals and vegetables on tiny terraced plots. Livestock make important contributions to livelihoods but providing sufficient feed for them continues to remain a challenge, especially during the winter months. A research brief describes how a simple new technique using new varieties of cereals as dual purpose crops can provide nutritious green fodder to animals when it is most needed – with no detrimental impact on the eventual grain and straw yields.

AgInvest Africa web tool launched to map and track agricultural interventions in Africa
The Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System for Eastern and Central Africa (ReSAKSS-ECA) based at ILRI in Nairobi, Kenya, recently launched a web portal on mapping and tracking of agriculture investments in Africa.

Prevention of Classical Swine Fever – an impact narrative from Northeast India
Classical Swine Fever (CSF) is a highly contagious, poten­tially fatal viral disease caused by positive sense RNA virus affecting pigs of all ages It is endemic in Northeast In­dia. A research brief describes how 1.5 million pig rearing households can ben­efit from actions by the government that will produce adequate quantities of the CSF vaccine and launch a CSF control program with special focus on Northeast India.

Ugandans and pork: A story that needs telling
Largely unknown or under-appreciated is that Africa’s pig sector is growing rapidly, with the highest increases in pig populations occurring in Uganda, where the national pig population has grown, remarkably, from just 0.19 million animals 30 years ago to 3.2 million animals today.

Using science to preserve culture in Rwanda
Traditional culture and science often seem to be worlds apart, but for Theogen Rutagwenda, the director general for animal resources in the Rwandan government, the two mix as naturally as salt and food.

more from ILRI projects

ILRI in the media

Maasai boy with cows vaccinated against East Coast fever

A Maasai boy with his cattle wearing ear tags, designating that they have been immunized against East Coast fever in Tanzania (photo credit: ILRI/Lieve Lynen).

Nigeria, others to save $4.63bn annually by adopting cassava feed
The use of cassava-based feeds for farm animals in Nigeria and other countries in Africa will bring several benefits, including a reduction of maize imports mostly used as feeds for livestock, according to the Country Representative for the Ibadan based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Dr Iheanacho Okike.

Better livestock diets to combat climate change and improve food security
The projected transition of livestock systems from pure grazing diets to diets supplemented by higher quality feeds will cut greenhouse gas emissions from land use change globally by as much as 23% by 2030, while improving food availability and farmers’ income.

Partnership focuses on developing East Coast fever vaccine
A vaccine that protects cattle against East Coast fever, a destructive disease in eastern and central Africa, is being developed by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Kenya.

Connectivity and emerging infectious diseases in Southeast Asia
Experts sometimes describe Southeast Asia as a “hotspot” for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) because several major outbreaks have started in this region. Now, with unprecedented levels of connection between animals and people through urbanization, and of people with other people through increased air travel, scientists say the threat level for new diseases is high.

CGIAR news – updates from research programs involving ILRI

cgiar logo

ILRI to lead pilot study on livestock identification and traceability system for IGAD region
A livestock identification and traceability system will soon be piloted in the Intergovernmental Agency on Development region, following discussions at a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to review existing national systems and identify practical options towards a harmonized system for the region.

Egyptian aquaculture innovation platform plans for further growth in the sector
Stakeholders from Egypt’s $1.5 billion aquaculture industry came together in Cairo this week to discuss future development of the sector.

Uganda pig value chain partnership with private sector raises sector profile
The Uganda Daily Monitor published an article on a two-day training organized by the Pig Production and Marketing Ltd Uganda, to chart the way forward on how to develop the pig industry. ILRI graduate students and one national partner were among the invitees who also provided training to the pig farmers present at the event held on 14-15 February 2014.

Recent presentations

This month we feature a presentation by Amos Omore, on ‘Creating a livestock sector with global competitor advantages in East Africa’:

Recent ILRI publications


Battling an African cattle killer: Second-generation vaccine against East Coast fever
In this film, Vish Nene director of the Vaccines Biosciences program at ILRI, talks about new research that is seeking to create a second-generation vaccine against East Coast fever.

ILRI under the lens

This month we feature  ILRI management team members

Suzanne Bertrand

Suzanne Bertrand, ILRI deputy director general, biosciences (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

How well do you know them?, Read their profiles here

Upcoming events

Staff updates

In February, we welcomed these new staff:

  • Daisy Kariuki, program accountant- Biosciences
  • Monica Njuguna, laboratory procurement assistant – BecA-ILRI hub
  • Jennifer Kinuthia, administrative assistant, capacity development
  • Juliah Mbaya, administrative clerk
  • Julius Githinji, research technician – Livelihoods, Gender and Impact
  • Phelister Mujeu, lifeguard
  • Naftaly Githaka, tick unit support officer
  • Haron Mugo Ng’ang’a, ICT
  • Nicholas Mwenda, ICT
  • Diana Muia, ICT
  • Mary Wangari, human resources assistant
  • Joseph Njoroge, HR
  • Clement Musyoka, research technician
  • Aziz Karimov, scientist, value chains
  • Todd Crane, scientist, climate adaptation
  • Catherine Pfeifer, spatial analyst
  • Edgar Twine, post-doctoral scientist, value chains
  • Josephine Birungi, technology manager
  • Melakamu Dershe, post-doctoral scientist, feeds
  • Franklin Simtowe, monitoring and evaluation learning scientist
  • John Goopy, scientist, mitigation of greenhouse gases
  • Tunde Adegoke Amole, post-doctoral scientist, feeds

We said farewell to:

  • Sylvester Ochieng Ogutu, research assistant
  • Harrison Ikunga Rware, research technician
  • Elizabeth Ogutu, Liaison Officer
  • Alexandra Jorge, Forages genebank

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