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FAO’s Modibo Traore and Uganda’s Bright Rwamirama at ILRI@40 Nairobi conference (1 Oct)

Bright Rwamirama, Honourable State Minister for Animal Industry, Uganda, and Modibo Traoré, of FAO

Bright Rwamirama, Honourable State Minister for Animal Industry, Uganda (left), and Modibo Traoré, FAO sub-regional coordinator for eastern Africa and representative to Ethiopia, the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, at the ILRI@40 conference in Nairobi, 1 Oct 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

Which matters most to Africa’s agricultural development? Research or infrastructure? We heard that both were vital at ILRI’s 40-year anniversary event in Nairobi, Kenya, on 1 Oct 2014. (No arguments from us!)

‘Research must precede Africa’s efforts to attain food security and reduce poverty through investments in smallholder agriculture, a livestock conference has heard. Livestock experts argue that without first conducting research, any investment increase in the smallholder system would be unsustainable, and could harm the environment.

Modibo Traoré, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) sub-regional coordinator for Eastern Africa, in a keynote address during a conference to mark the 40th anniversary of the International Livestock Research Institute last month (1 October), noted that the African scientific community must help produce evidence-based research.

Due to little investment in livestock research, predictions by various institutions show that Africa will be importing 15 per cent of its milk unless things change drastically.”. . .

‘Many governments in Africa are not adequately funding agricultural research and less money goes into livestock research . . . .

“Due to little investment in livestock research, predictions by various institutions show that Africa will be importing 15 per cent of its milk unless things change drastically,” Traore added.

‘Uganda’s minister for animal industry, said his government has prioritised investment in infrastructure including roads and electricity to facilitate smooth market access and to enable value additions to thrive. . . .

[Bright] Rwamirama acknowledged the success story of smallholder dairy sectors in Kenya and Uganda which are now able to meet domestic demand and export, proving that cash invested in research, disease control and productivity was money well spent.’

Read the whole article at SciDevNet: Research key to ‘sustainable smallholder agriculture’, 6 Nov 2014.

More information about ILRI@40

Plenary sessions of both days (6-7 Nov 2014) of the ILRI@40 conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia are available on our livestream site:

Visit to find out about the other ILRI@40 events.

Follow #ilri40 on Twitter.

Read recent blog posts about ILRI@40:

High-profile ILRI conference discusses the future of livestock research for healthy animals and people, 12 Nov 2014

Animal agriculture research director envisions developing-world livestock sector in 2054, 7 Nov 2014

Help smallholders protect their environments and adapt to climate change—IFAD president challenges livestock researchers, 7 Nov 2014

African animal agriculture: Grasping opportunities as a great livestock transition gets under way, 4 Nov 2014

A major presentation on ‘the power of livestock’ to transform today’s resource-scarce agricultural lands, 27 Oct 2014

In Des Moines for the World Food Prize? Join the special BMGF-ILRI livestock roundtable this evening, 15 Oct 2014

ILRI turns 40: Nairobi headquarters marks the anniversary, 6 Oct 2014

This week ILRI hosts a major conference in Nairobi on livestock-based options for development, 29 Sep 2014

Livestock innovation systems: Research contributions from ILRI over the decades, 23 Sep 2014

Natural resources: Abundant or scarce? (That would depend on just how ‘natural’ we think human resources are), 18 Sep 2014

Livestock options to meet development goals: ILRI side event at Tropentag Conference in Prague, 17 Sep

ILRI@tropentag 2014: Livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives, 16 Sep 2014

The International Livestock Research Institute turns 40–Join us at an ILRI@40 event!, 4 July 2014

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