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Livestock Matter(s): ILRI news ’round-up’ November–December 2014

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The November–December issue of ‘Livestock Matter(s)’ provides 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

Addis Ababa conference marks 40-year anniversary of world’s leading livestock-research-for-development institute
To mark 40 years of international research last year, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) facilitated a series of events highlighting the ways livestock research advances the global development agenda, specifically for food and nutritional security, economic well-being and healthy lives. The highlight event was a two-day conference on 6–7 November 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

ILRI@40 celebrations in Hanoi focus on opportunities for ‘One Health’ in livestock research
On 13 October 2014, ILRI in East and Southeast Asia celebrated 40 years of ILRI’s research by holding a gala dinner at Melia Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam on the sidelines of a three-day One Health workshop which the institute co-organized.

Azage Tegegne of ILRI-LIVES recognized for role in improving Ethiopia’s dairy production
Azage Tegegne, who leads the Livestock and Irrigation Value chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project was, in November 2014, honoured by the Ethiopian Government for his role in improving dairy cattle genetics and dairy value chain development in the country.

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Project news

ILRI@40 well-wishers in Vietnam

The ILRI@40 gala dinner at Melia Hotel, Hanoi on 13 October 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Jules Mateo).

New environmental research centre improves GHG emissions inventories for the livestock sector in East Africa
Globally, agriculture and livestock systems are responsible for 32% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are the largest users of land. Livestock systems are major drivers for land use change, including deforestation and soil degradation. Hence, improving their environmental performance could lead to significant GHG reductions and the protection of ecosystems services (water, biodiversity and others).

ILRI stresses need for sustainable use of animal genetics at high-level Southeast Asia agriculture symposium
Steve Staal, the ILRI regional representative for East and Southeast Asia, delivered a presentation on ‘The sustainable use of animal genetics in developing countries’ at the 2nd international conference on Agricultural and Rural Development in Southeast Asia (ARD2014) on 12-13 November 2014 in Manila, Philippines. The talk highlighted how demand for livestock products in Southeast Asia is driving increased use of higher productivity, mostly exotic livestock breeds and the need to conserve genetic diversity of animals, particularly in poultry and pigs, in the region.

Welcome home Brachiaria! Home coming of Africa’s ‘super’ grass
‘The hitherto overlooked Brachiaria grasses have returned home to Africa and have been warmly embraced by smallholder dairy farmers in eastern Africa.’ A paper, presented at the 6th All Africa Conference of Animal Agriculture in Nairobi on 27 October 2014, co-authored by nine scientists from seven institutions including the BecA-ILRI Hub gives an overview of the research, successes and challenges of adopting improved Brachiaria hybrids Mulato and Mulato II in the African context.

The global impact of ILRI’s epidemiology expertise: An impact narrative
A new brief illustrates how ILRI’s integration of epidemiology with agricultural economics and other social sciences is offering a unique approach for assessing the economic impact of animal disease, and for evaluating the implications of intervention options, whether at farm, national or global level.

Innovation platforms as a route to dairy development in India
The International Livestock Research Institute has adopted an Innovation Platform (IP) approach as a route to dairy development in the hills of Uttarakhand, India. A case study illustrates how the  approach is being used by the project ‘Enhancing dairy-based livelihoods in India and Tanzania through feed innovation and value chain development approaches’ (MilkIT), which is being funded by a grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). In Uttarakhand the project is working in two districts, with two village clusters – each of four to six villages – in each district.

Case study helps understand how IBLI developed the world’s first insurance scheme for African pastoralists
A business school type case study was prepared by ILRI, in November 2014, about its Index-Based Livestock Insurance program. The case asks students to focus on growth strategy for a specialized insurance product for the poor. It focuses on the challenges and opportunities of establishing index-based livestock insurance (IBLI) in locations with large populations of poor pastoralists.

Africa RISING learning event puts typologies, innovation systems and program framework under the lens
Partners implementing activities in all Africa RISING countries converged in Arusha, Tanzania from 11-12 November 2014 for the second annual program-wide learning event. More than 65 scientists and collaborators attended the meeting.

Linking poor livestock keepers to markets in Africa and Asia
Writing in the November 2014 issue of Rural 21, Isabelle Baltenweck, an agricultural economist at ILRI, argues that the growing global demand for animal products also offers poor livestock keepers the opportunity to switch from the subsistence to the market economy. She introduces three approaches in the meat and dairy sector in Africa and Asia with their respective potentials and limitations – and also warns against possible negative effects.

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Media news

Participants - Africa RISING learning event 2014 (Photo credit: IITA/Jeffrey Oliver)

Participants – Africa RISING learning event 2014 (Photo credit: IITA/Jeffrey Oliver)

ILRI conduct training program for scientists
Livestock is an important sector in Pakistan’s economy and considered to be a net source of invariable income for rural and middle grade agri-business holders. It can play a major role in poverty alleviation in rural areas of Pakistan. Inadequate fodder availability is the major limiting factor for profitable livestock production in Pakistan.

How mix of livestock and crops on small farms will feed world
According to the report done by ILRI, farmers and policy makers need to turn their attention away from already over farmed land to mixed farming, especially in high-potential areas. According to the report, ‘it is these mixed farms that, more than the traditional breadbaskets and rice bowls of the past, will feed the growing world over the next few decades’.

East Africa scientists conduct research on disease resistant Napier
Scientists in East Africa are currently conducting research in order to select a disease resistant Napier grass variety. The research is a joint collaboration between ILRI, the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the national research institutes of Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda under the East African Productivity project.

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CGIAR news-updates from research programs we work in

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The value of knowledge in rural development – ‘I also have a right to decide.
Supporting technical solutions to on-farm problems with knowledge for development initiatives is crucial to ensure rural families can better manage their resources to rise out of poverty. The Learning Alliance, is being implemented by the CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics (Humidtropics) in Northern Nicaragua, where the Livestock and Fish program also promotes capacity development activities to strengthen the involvement of small farmers in the beef and dairy value chains.

Piecing together the (gender) research for (capacity) development puzzle
Conducting research for development is at the heart of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish’s value chain approach. Diana Brandes, global capacity development specialist at ILRI, argues that, in a world of complex sustainable development challenges, the solution(s) to ensure program outputs respond to localized demands to facilitate value chain transformation is a puzzle, where any number of rural communities, organizations, institutions may hold different pieces.

New feed technology to offer more nutritious and sustainable aquaculture in Vietnam
Launched on 20 November 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City, the ‘Nutritious-system feeding concept; nourishing Vietnamese ponds to produce quality seafood’ project aims to increase the contribution of naturally occurring food in the diets of farmed fish and shrimp in the country. The project will work with Vietnamese aquaculture farmers to research an innovative ‘nutritious-system’ concept that involves feeding not only the cultured animals in the pond but the entire pond ecosystem, including algae and bacteria in the water.

Introducing Africa’s bridge between climate change research and policy
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) the Rockefeller Foundation and Pamoja Media came together to form the Climate and Agriculture Network for Africa (CANA), a regional learning platform that seeks to capture the synergies of research and create opportunities for linking emerging lessons with policy.

Recent presentations

Introducing the MilkIT project and its initial results
This presentation by Alan Duncan of ILRI on introducing the MilkIT project and its initial results was presented at at the MilkIT Outreach Meeting, Dar es Salaam, 11 December 2014.

Sustainable intensification and climate change: An EARS-CGIAR Mega-program initiative in support of the Government of Ethiopia and the African Union
Presented by Barry Shapiro (ILRI) at a Consultative Meeting on Strengthening CGIAR – EARS partnerships for effective agricultural transformation in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, 4–5 December 2014

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Recent publications

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Animal agriculture research director envisions developing-world livestock sector in 2054
Jimmy Smith, director general of ILRI, provided a vision of what he thinks livestock production in the developing world will look like in 2054, 40 years from now. He presented this on the first of a two-day conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to mark the 40-year anniversary of ILRI.

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ILRI under the lens

Ushers at the ILRI 40 celebration

Ushers at the ILRI 40 celebration in Addis Ababa, 6 Nov 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).

To mark ILRI’s 4o years, this issue features images from ILRI@40 events last year.

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Staff updates

In November and December we welcomed the following staff

  • Degefa Biru, driver, Integrated Sciences
  • Ayda Tegenu, administrative assistant, Animal Biosciences
  • Rahel Eshetu, helpdesk administrator, Engineering and Facilities
  • Tesfaye Kebede, electrical technician, Engineering and Facilities
  • Alemayehu Negussie, driver, Integrated Sciences – Livestock Systems and Environment (LSE)
  • Sikhalazo Dube, regional representative – Southern Africa, Institutional Planning and Partnerships (IPP)
  • John Recha, postdoctoral fellow – participatory action research, Integrated Sciences (IS)
  • Alok Kumar, postdoctoral scientist – Feed and Forage, BioSciences
  • Annie Cook, postdoc scientist-epidiemolgy, BioSciences
  • Iain Wright, deputy director general, Integrated Sciences
  • Edwin Pancras Oyieng, research technician, Animal Sciences for Sustainable Productivity (ASSP)
  • Lilian Nekesa Masigah, administrative assistant, ICT
  • Diana Ndunge, ICT helpdesk administrator, ICT
  • Loise Makara, ICT helpdesk administrator, ICT
  • Mercy Macharia, research assistant, BecA-ILRI Hub
  • Polycarp Onyango, communication specialist, Bio-Innovate Program
  • Mercy Macharia, research assistant, BecA-ILRI Hub

We said goodbye to:

  • Nebiat Kassa, program accountant, ASSP
  • Emily Kerandi, development officer – Recruitment, People and Organizational Development (P&OD)
  • Timothy Njoroge, assistant technology manager, BecA-ILRI Hub
  • Titus Mureithi Kathurima, research technician III, BecA-ILRI Hub
  • Purvi Mehta Bhatt, regional representative and director general representative, Asia
  • Georgina Diana Oduor, Integrated Sciences
  • Cynthia Mbula Kyaka, legal officer, IP and Legal Unit

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