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Livestock Matter(s): ILRI news ’roundup’ May-June 2014

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

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

Corporate news

Official opening of the ILRI-Tanzania office: Amos Omore, Hon Titus Mlenga and Jimmy Smith

Amos Omore, Hon Titus Mlenga and Jimmy Smith at the official opening of the ILRI-Tanzania office in Dar es Salaam (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

ILRI-Tanzania country office opens in Dar es Salaam The Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development in Tanzania, Hon Titus Mlengeya (MP), officially opened the ILRI-Tanzania country office on Friday 13 Jun 2014 in Dar es Salaam at a reception hosted by ILRI and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

Livestock minister emphasizes fish farming at ILRI-Tanzania office opening
ILRI has been requested to work more closely with Tanzanian research institutions to develop appropriate technologies for fish farming and to raise the profile of fish farming in the country. Hon Titus Mlengeya (MP), the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development in Tanzania, made the request at the official opening of the ILRI-Tanzania office on 13 Jun 2014 in Dar es Salaam.

New maps for navigating a sea of changes in livestock production
A collaborative effort by some of the world’s leading agriculture experts has produced a new set of maps published today in the journal PLoS ONE that provides the most detailed rendition ever produced of the billions of cattle, pigs, poultry and other livestock living in the world today.

Project news

Crop residue for fuel wood and fattening (IPMS-Mi'eso)

Crop residue for fuel wood and fattening (IPMS-Mi’eso) Mieso, Mirab Hararghe Zone of the Oromia Region, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).

Tomatoes and onions changing livelihoods in Ethiopia
In June, the Livestock and Irrigation Value chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project organized a field day to visit farmers who have improved production techniques of irrigated tomato and onion in Arba Minch town in the Gamo Gofa region.

Gates-funded East African Dairy Development project expands into Tanzania
Earlier this year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided a grant of USD25.5 million to boost dairy technology uptake in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Given through Heifer International, the grant is being used to implement technology projects under the East African Dairy Development (EADD) project, which aims to support 179,000 families living on 1–5 acre plots and keeping a few dairy cows.

ILRI’s Alessandra Galiè publishes a chapter in a new feminist evaluation and research book
What does feminist theory and evaluation entail? How can it be used to inform agricultural research for development, and how different (or similar) is it from gender research? Alessandra Galiè, a gender scientist at ILRI, contributes a chapter in a new book, Feminist evaluation and research: theory and practice, published by Guilford Press, which seeks to answer these questions.

ILRI/Makerere postdoctoral scientist awarded TWAS-DFG cooperation visit to Germany
Joseph Erume, a researcher at Makerere University, has been awarded a three-month cooperation visit to the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) in Jena, Germany, starting 10 Jun 2014. Through this visit, he will continue his research work on seroprevalence and molecular characterization of Brucella suis in pigs in central Uganda which he started under the Safe Food, Fair Food and Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development projects.

Broadening Africa RISING work in Zambia
The Africa Bureau of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing support to Africa RISING (funded by the USAID Bureau for Food Security) for a study that advances the understanding of the landscape-level implications of farm-level sustainable intensification activities in Zambia. This study will inform the design of future integrated projects that address food security, climate change and biodiversity issues.

New study shows that waterbucks are an important source of tick-borne diseases of livestock
A recent study has found that wildlife are an important source of tick-borne diseases of livestock, with 70% of emerging pathogens originating from wildlife. The study found evidence of previously unknown parasite genotypes that may be infective to both small ruminants and equids (horses). Climate change could fuel the spread of such pathogens through the spread of their tick vector, further impacting livestock production.

Generating and sharing more and better data critical to determine resilience in drylands
At the recent ‘2020 resilience’ event in Addis Ababa, scientists from ILRI organized a side event on ‘measuring and evaluating resilience in drylands of East Africa.’ Panelists from ILRI and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) shared findings on ways to measure and evaluate resilience.

Vaccinology in Africa: Five-day Master’s level course open for applications from East and Central Africa
The next ‘Vaccinology in Africa Master’s Level Course’ will take place 13-17 Oct 2014 at ILRI in Nairobi, Kenya. The course is jointly organized by the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, the Fondation Mérieux, and ILRI with financial support from the Jenner Vaccine Foundation, Fondation Mérieux, GlaxoSmithKline, and other funders.

Assessing societal changes from changing dairy value chains in Sahelian pastoral communities
Scientists at ILRI reported on preliminary findings from Senegal, where ILRI and its partners are measuring the social impacts of dairy supply chain innovation in pastoralist societies of the Sahel.

Genetic diversity studies: Improving goat productivity, improving farmers’ lives in Ethiopia
The most significant part of research is the point at which the output transforms the lives of those for whom it is intended. When Tilahun Seyoum, a smallholder livestock farmer in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, learnt basic principles of goat breeding and health management from a group of researchers, his approach to goat farming completely changed.

Safe Food, Fair Food project trains Tanzanian students and lab technicians on milk quality testing
Four university students and three laboratory technicians from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi, Tanzania, successfully completed a week-long training workshop, held at SUA, on microbiological assessment of milk quality and safety.

Media news

SLP field trip boy feeding goats

The SLP crop residues project field trip to Ginchi in Ethiopia, 11 December 2010. Photo Credit: ILRI/Gerard

£3.6m to improve health and farming in Kenya
ILRI is one of the partners in a new £3.6m research project led by the University of Liverpool aimed at reducing the incidence of diseases transmitted between people and livestock in western Kenya. The Zoonoses in Livestock in Kenya project (ZooLinK ) will train veterinary and medical technicians to monitor farms, markets and slaughterhouses. Other partners in the project include the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Veterinary College, the University of Nottingham, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the University of Nairobi and the Kenya Government Zoonotic Disease Unit.

Study reveals conditions linked to deadly bird flu and maps areas at risks
A dangerous strain of avian influenza, H7N9, that’s causing severe illness and deaths in China may be inhabiting a small fraction of its potential range and appears at risk of spreading to other suitable areas of India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to a new study published today in the journal Nature Communications. Researchers from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), ILRI, Oxford University, and the Chinese Center of Disease Control and Prevention has found that the emergence and spread of the disease is linked to high concentration of markets catering to a consumer preference for live birds and does not appear related to China’s growing number of intensive commercial poultry operations.

Rising star uses paper to tackle food-borne diseases
A University of Alberta researcher, Frédérique Deiss, who developed an idea to detect deadly pathogens in food using a paper device, will be working with farmers near Nairobi, Kenya, in collaboration with ILRI, to develop and test a prototype that provides an affordable method for detecting pathogens such as salmonella or E. coli, which can be present in raw milk, on equipment, or in water or waste water.

More ILRI news….

CGIAR news-updates from research programs we work in

cgiar logo

A meeting of minds – Livestock and Fish program kicks off collaboration with SNV
Following the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between ILRI and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, staff from SNV’s global Dairy and Extensive Livestock Commodity Teams met in Nairobi on 27 May 2014 with scientists from ILRI and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

African talent feeding African markets with African products: Global food and agribusiness meeting hears of ‘livestock value chains’ in Africa
Earlier this month, three agricultural economists working with ILRI made presentations at the World Forum of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) in Cape Town, South Africa, 16–19 Jun 2014. They presented case studies that show that by training farmers, processors and other stakeholders supporting agribusiness development, African talent can create new products and innovative processes that help feed African markets with African products.

PIM Impact Story: Volunteer farmer trainers change the way we think about extension
How most efficiently to help farming men and women access information and advice they need to be more effective managers of their enterprises is a puzzle not yet solved. Work led by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and ILRI shows that volunteer farmer trainers (VFTs) can be effective agents of change. The results of the studies indicate that VFTs are highly effective, training on average 20 farmers per month. VFTs have an in-depth knowledge of local conditions, culture, and practices; they live in the community, speak the same language, and instill confidence in their fellow farmers, which explains this good performance. VFTs require effective back-up from more fully trained extension agents or subject-matter specialists.

Livestock and Fish 2013 report highlights progress
The Livestock and Fish program’s second annual ‘performance monitoring report’ provides insights into its progress, results and challenges in the past year.

Aflatoxins in Kenya’s food chain: Overview of what researchers are doing to combat the threat to public health
Jimmy Smith, director general of ILRI, made the following remarks at a media roundtable ILRI held late last year (14 Nov 2013) on the subject of aflatoxins in the food chain and what research is doing to combat their presence in developing countries.

ILRI scientists present at international conference on building resilience for food and nutrition security
On 15-17 May 2014, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) held an international conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on building resilience for food and nutrition security. ILRI researchers joined the over 700 participants and decision-makers at the meeting who discussed, among other topics, food safety in informal markets.

Recent presentations

In this edition we feature a presentation by Jonathan Davies, Lance W. Robinson and Polly J. Ericksen on ‘Resilience and sustainable development: Insights from the drylands of eastern Africa’, presented at the Third International Science and Policy Conference on the Resilience of Social and Ecological Systems, Montpellier, France, 4-8 May 2014

Recent publications



Cows in the city: A living from milk ; This film tells the story of Sheha Saidi, a dairy farmer from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, who shares her experiences of the differences between keeping dairy cattle in the city compared to keeping animals in the rural area of Pongwe, Tanga, where her sister lives and keeps dairy cows.

ILRI under the lens

Official opening of the ILRI-Tanzania office: Tree planting

Hon Titus Mlengeya, Tanzania’s minister for livestock and fisheries development, plants a tree to mark official opening the ILRI-Tanzania office in Dar es Salaam on 13 Jun 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

This month we feature photos of the official opening of the ILRI Tanzania office. Read more on this event here.


 Upcoming events


Staff updates

In May and June we welcomed the following staff:

  • Patricia Chale, director, people and organizational development
  • Gail Amare, head of administration, Addis Ababa
  • Anandan Samireddypalle, livestock nutritionist, Kenya
  • Wellington Ndukwe Ekaya, capacity building support
  • Immaculate Omondi, monitoring, learning and evaluation scientist
  • Esther Mukoya, HRIS engineer
  • Fredrick Gathogo, Internal auditor
  • Stanley Irungu, Office assistant, Livestock Systems and Environment Program
  • Leonard Mulei, Research technician- ReSAKSS
  • Collins Mutai, research technician- BecA-ILRI Hub
  • Dalmas Ngere, general lab assistant, BecA-ILRI Hub
  • Patrick Muinde, research technician, Animal Biosciences Program
  • Maurice Murungi, research technician, Animal Biosciences Program
  • Mary Wambugu, technical support coordinator, BecA-ILRI hub
  • Muthoni Mucheru, legal officer
  • Vallerie Muckoya, analytical chemist, Livestock Systems and Environment Program
  • Emmanuel Muunda, research assistant, Food Safety and Zoonosis Program
  • Evalyne Njiiri, research technician, Food Safety and Zoonosis Program
  • Titus Kathurima, research technician, BecA-ILRI Hub
  • Edwin Mainye, audio visual technician, ICT
  • Gideon Ndambuki, animal technician, Animal Biosciences
  • Peter Muchira, business systems administrator
  • Anne Kabuthu, finance consultant, Ethiopia
  • Bruck Tassew, business systems specialist
  • Abdella Mulugeta, customer service junior technician
  • Abebaw Melakneh, driver, LIVES) Pproject
  • Eyob Assefa, accountant – budget & hosted institutes
  • Eleni Tadege, liaison helpdesk assistant
  • Dinkayehu Wolde, driver, Africa RISING
  • Wossenu Tefera, driver, Africa RISING
  • Kagnew Kassahun, Driver, Africa RISING
  • Behailu Gebeyehu, accountant – property and inventory
  • Selam Seifu, procurement and logistics assistant
  • Simret Yemane, administrative assistant, N2 Africa
  • Tadios Tekalign, senior human resources assistant, People and Organizational Development
  • Henok Abiye, senior human resources assistant, People and Organizational Development
  • Tamene Temesgen, research assistant, Animal Science for Sustainable Productivity (ASSP)

We said goodbye to

  • Gerba Leta, Addis Ababa
  • Meaza Tesfahunegn, Addis Ababa


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