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Livestock Matter(s): ILRI news ’roundup’ September-October 2014

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

ILRI@40 Cake
ILRI turns 40: Nairobi headquarters marks the anniversary
On  1 October 2014, ILRI hosted a high-profile conference in Nairobi on livestock-based options for sustainable development. In 2014, ILRI is marking 40 years of international livestock researchParticipants at the Nairobi conference included  global, regional and local actors in sustainable livestock development, including farmers, the public and private sectors and research and development agencies.

The power of livestock to transform today’s resource-scarce agricultural lands
A major presentation on the ‘power of livestock’ was made at a  side event at the Borlaug Dialogue on 15 Oct 2014. The side event was hosted by ILRI and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) as part of a series marking ILRI’s 40-year anniversary. The presentation was made by Chris Delgado, who in 1999 led ground-breaking studies showing that a ‘Livestock Revolution’ was taking place in the global South.

ILRI scientist Delia Grace receives the Trevor Blackburn Award for contributions to animal health and food safety
In September 2014 Delia Grace was awarded the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) Trevor Blackburn Award in recognition of her multiple outstanding contributions to animal health, animal welfare and food safety in Africa and Asia. In particular, she was recognized for her work with community health programs and research into public health and food safety; her pioneering work highlighting the benefits and risks of the engagement of women in livestock farming in developing countries and the delivery of training and studies in numerous African countries.

Getting agriculture ‘back on the table’: CGIAR Development Dialogues today in New York
Iain Wright, ILRI’s interim deputy director general for integrated sciences; Tom Randolph, director of the Livestock and Fish program and Iddo Dror, who heads ILRI’s capacity development work represented ILRI and the multi-institutional CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, which ILRI leads at the CGIAR Development Dialogues in New York on 25 September 2014.

Livestock options to meet development goals: ILRI side event at Tropentag Conference in Prague
On 18 September 2014, ILRI hosted a side event at the Tropentag 2014 International Conference, held at the Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic as part of a series of events marking ILRI’s 40-year anniversary this year.

ILRI researchers test communication approaches for optimizing informed consent processes
While piloting field tools in Morogoro, Tanzania, ILRI researchers tested three alternative tools to use as part of the informed consent process.  Tools used to explain the project for informed consent included a written form, a poster with cartoons (see below) and a poster with photographs.

Experts discuss livestock and livelihoods for Africa
Nearly 500 delegates converged in Nairobi on October 27 2014, to discuss Africa’s Animal Agriculture: Macro-trends and future opportunities. Meeting under the auspices of the 6th  All African Conference on Animal Agriculture, the delegates, comprising mainly of scientific researchers in different aspects of the agricultural field debated issues related to which way for smallholder production systems, market access opportunities for Africa’s livestock producers and Africa’s human capacity challenge for animal agriculture.

More from ILRI news….

Project news

Curious pig in Uganda raised for sale

Curious pig in Uganda raised for sale

Uganda smallholder pigs project launches household nutrition and dietary surveys
The Smallholder Pig Value Chain Development project, which is implemented by ILRI and other partners in Uganda, conducted consumer nutrition and dietary surveys from September to November 2014 targeting 1000 households in five districts of Kampala, Masaka, Kamuli, Hoima and Lira.

CTA-ILRI African dairy value chain seminar closes with colourful results
The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) and ILRI organized an African dairy value chain seminar in September 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. Around 80 participants came from all over Africa and beyond shared experiences, lessons learned, dairy value chain development models and analytical tools to study dairy value chains.

Beyond the (agricultural) field of vision: Situational analysis in northwest Vietnam
ILRI in collaboration with CGIAR and national partners and as part of the Humidtropics CGIAR Research Program has released ‘A situational analysis of agricultural production and marketing and natural resources management systems in northwest Vietnam’.

Cattle fattening in Gamogofa benefits from improved market linkages
Livestock commodity platform meetings organized by the Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project identified the poorly developed cattle marketing system as the number one challenge in Gamogofa zone. The LIVES regional team facilitated the establishment of market linkages between smallholders cattle fatteners in intervention districts in Gamogofa with a consumers’ cooperative in Addis Ababa.

Media news

Bright Rwamirama, Honourable State Minister for Animal Industry, Uganda Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, planted a tree at the ILRI@40 conference in Nairobi, 1 Oct 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Samuel Mungai).

Tree planting by Bright Rwamirama, Honourable State Minister for Animal Industry, Uganda Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries

Disease-resistant Napier grass for East African dairy farmers
A collaboration between ILRI, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the national research institutes of Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda is researching on a disease resistant Napier grass variety that would be resistant to stunting disease and headsmuts and is expected to be available in the next three years.

Livestock insurance protects cattle-herders in Africa from drought
Over the past several years, ILRI, in collaboration with Cornell University and technical partners, has pursued a research program aimed at designing, developing and implementing insurance products to protect livestock keepers from drought-related asset losses. Using satellite imagery to assess the amount of forage available, Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) provides insured pastoralists with a pay-out in times of drought based on predicted rather than actual livestock deaths.

Linking smallholder dairy farmers to modern value chains that respond to increasing urban demands in Africa
Many Sub-Saharan African countries have, in general, seen their dairy industries take different development pathways. All over the continent, the challenges of collecting and adding value to milk from itinerant pastoral herds remain daunting. Some countries are net exporters of dairy products while others are net importers. Moreover, language barriers are another obstacle in connecting African dairy value chain stakeholders.

FAO joins with AU-IBAR and ILRI on regional strategy for the control of African swine fever in Africa
The African Union’s Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), the FAO and ILRI have been collaborating since March 2013 to implement a regional strategy to control ASF in infected countries and to prevent its spread to non-infected countries. The strategy is based on collaboration and partnerships among farmers, traders, veterinary and animal production services, researchers, governments, civil society and development partners.

ILRI research project to address milk poisoning in Kenya
ILRI has commissioned a research project that will ascertain the levels of aflatoxins in the milk consumed in Kenya. Kenyans consume more than 145 litres of milk per person annually increasing the risks associated with milk-related aflatoxins.

CGIAR news-updates from research programs we work in
cgiar logo

Livestock and Fish program publishes a monitoring, evaluation and learning framework designed for research for development programs
The CGIAR research program on Livestock and Fish has just published its Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) framework. The framework provides a concise overview of the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) approach that the program will employ for accountability, management decision making and program learning.

Update on Livestock and Fish smallholder pigs value chain activities in Vietnam
On 25 and 26 September, ILRI staff and national partners met to review and plan activities to transform the smallholder pig value chain in Vietnam. The group were updated on the overall progress of the program; they reviewed and updated earlier work on impact pathways and they discussed ways to intensify collaboration and partnership. Additional attention was given to cross-cutting work on value chain development, scaling activities, gender, and environment.

Integrating gender equality concerns into the Livestock and Fish program
A team from the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) has been commissioned to support the program integrate gender in its technical flagships and value chains. The starting point is the existing gender strategy that combines strategic and integrated gender research and identifies gender accommodative and gender transformative approaches.

Recent presentations

Why invest in livestock-based options for livelihoods, healthy lives and a sustainable environment?

This presentation by Modibo Traore of FAO on Why invest in livestock -based options for livelihoods, healthy lives and sustainable environment? was presented at the ILRI @40 conference on livestock- based options for sustainability food and nutritional security, economic well-being and healthy lives, in Nairobi, Kenya on 1 October,2014.

Livestock innovation systems: Research contributions from ILRI over the decades
In this presentation, given at the Tropentag 2014 conference, Ann Waters-Bayer, a former ILRI researcher, looks back on research contributions from ILRI over the decades and her experiences of working with ILRI.

ILRI initiative seeks new-generation vaccines against major livestock diseases
This poster, prepared for the Tropentag 2014 conference, explains the work of the vaccine biosciences group at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) which proposes to take advantage of rapid advances in biosciences and vaccine development to produce a new generation of vaccines for major livestock diseases such as African swine fever (ASF), contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), East Coast fever (ECF), peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and Rift Valley fever (RVF).

More presentations

Recent publications



ILRI and livestock research in Asia – Synergy between technology and public policy is key
To mark 40 years international livestock research, Purvi Mehta (ILRI India) talks with Professor M.S. Swaminathan. He reflects on the reasons for the establishment of ILRI and its predecessors ILCA and ILRAD and he explains why livestock are important in India and South Asia. Referring to India’s dairy revolution, he says that ‘if you bring all the ingredients together – breeding to feeding to marketing, processing and selling, we can achieve very high growth rates.’

ILRI under the lens

ILRI staff after attending the conference

ILRI staff after attending the conference at the ILRI@40 conference in Nairobi, 1 Oct 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

To mark 4o years, this issue  features  a collection of past  International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) directors.  View more of these photos here

Upcoming events

Nov 10 -14: BecA-ILRI Hub scientific research paper writing training workshop, ILRI, Nairobi campus
Nov 10 -14: 16th Asian Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies (AAAP) Congress, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Nov 11 -12: Africa RISING program learning event, Arusha, Tanzania
Nov 18 -20: International conference: Climate Change and Vector-Borne Diseases: Past, Present and Futures, Kigali, Rwanda
Nov 19 -21,: Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), FAO, Rome
Nov 26-28: Celebrating FARA: Renewing, Repositioning and Refocusing, Johannesburg
Dec 8-12: Global Food Safety Partnership 3rd Annual Conference, Cape Town , South Africa

Staff updates

In September and October we welcomed the following staff:

  • Bridget Otieno, Finance
  • Nicholas Mwenda, ICT customer services officer, ICT
  • John Nyingi, Finance
  • Edwin Kimani Kang’ethe, project officer – Nutrition
  • Evalyne Njiiru, environment, occupational health and safety officer – research
  • Victor Gatimu, facilities technician, transport
  • Victoria Kyallo, project manager – urban zoo, Animal Biosciences Program
  • Mark Kapchanga Kwemoi, communication specialist, ReSAKKS
  • Asaah Ndambi, livestock scientist, LSE program
  • Raphael Mrode, quantitative geneticist – dairy cattle, Animal Biosciences Program
  • Bizuhan Alemayehu, Office Assistant/Filing Clerk, Finance
  • Sewasew Tefera, Junior Accountant, Finance
  • Tilaye Girma, Security Group Leader
  • Demeke Wolde, Transport Coordinator
  • Shimelis Mengistu, Assistant Site Coordinator, Africa RISING
  • Fikadu Tessema, Assistant Site Coordinator, Africa RISING
  • Getachew Bisrat, Assistant Site Coordinator, Africa RISING
  • Endeshaw Tadesse, Assistant Site Coordinator, Africa RISING
  • Masresha Taye, Research Officer, LSE

We said goodbye to

  • Lucy Wangari Macharia, compensation and benefits manager, People & Organizational Development
  • Cecilia Njeri Rumberia, laboratory technician, Animal Biosciences Program
  • Peter Koinange Kagiri, head mechanic, Operations, Kenya
  • Wilson Mwangi Kimani, research technician – Crops, BecA-ILRI Hub
  • Kenneth Oluoch Ouma, conferencing assistant, Conference and Housing
  • Tatjana Sitt, post-doctoral scientist
  • Bryn Elizabeth Davies, marketing and capacity development manager, IBLI
  • Grum Gebreyesus, Research Assistant, Animal Biosciences

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