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American agricultural economist Steve Staal leads livestock policy, trade and value chain research at ILRI


Steve Staal, leader of ILRI’s Policy, Trade and Value Chains program (photo credit: ILRI).

Steve Staal, who for the past 15 months has served the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Los Baños, the Philippines, as regional representative for East and South Asia, this month takes up leadership of ILRI’s Policy, Trade and Value Chains program and is now based in Nairobi. An American agricultural economist raised in developing countries and with long experience in smallholder agricultural systems in Africa and Asia, in agricultural research and in livestock research management, Staal has held various positions in ILRI, including director of a market opportunities theme and deputy director general—research.

Staal’s career in international agriculture began with several years as a fish culture extension agent in central Africa. He joined ILRI following his graduate studies. Over the years he has played a range of roles addressing research in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. A major area of his interest has been smallholder livestock producer livelihoods and competitiveness, their ability to adapt to rapidly changing markets, and also their ability to capture the non-market benefits of livestock. Linked to this has been his research on the intensification of smallholder systems, including spatial analysis and the role of location in farmer decisions at multiple scales of analysis.  Staal has also addressed policies in input and output markets serving livestock producers and explored the important role of the informal and traditional livestock products markets that feature in most developing-country settings.

This month, Staal has also been invited by Elsevier to serve as an editor of its new(ish) scientific journal (launched in 2012), Global Food Security: Agriculture, Policy, Economics, Environment. The editor-in-chief is Derek Byerlee, an internationally recognized agricultural economist specializing in agricultural development and food security.

Read the news item on the Elsevier site: Global Food Security welcomes Steve Staal as new editor.

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