According to Reuters, the Gates Foundation will pump $40m into research for higher-yielding dairy cows, as well as chickens that lay better quality eggs, livestock vaccines and ‘supercrops’ that can withstand droughts or disease.
During the visit Ms Mordaunt also announced plans to develop the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health, which is based in both Edinburgh and Nairobi. The centre uses the most recent scientific advances in genetics and genomics that are being used by farmers in the UK and apply these to help smallholder dairy and poultry farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
‘Visiting Brisbane in November for the International Tropical Agriculture Conference for 2017, Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute Dr. Jimmy Smith discussed with Devex a range of new and exciting programs his organization is delivering to help create climate and disease resistant livestock for Africa.’
Researchers are on the hunt for a cow that produces less methane, one of the major contributors to climate change. If and when those green genes can be easily isolated, they could be spread throughout global cattle populations.
‘With per capita consumption of pork in Nagaland highest in the country, Nagaland Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services department has launched artificial insemination (AI) of pigs in the State on a pilot basis to boost pig production, double farmers’ income as also to eliminate diseases in pigs.The department launched the project in association with ILRI, ICAR-National Research Centre on Pigs, North East India Development Agency and Tata Trust.
The idea that the humble chicken could become a savior of wildlife will seem improbable to many environmentalists. But as the human population grows at a rate that rapidly outpaces the ability of natural habitats to feed it, a better backyard chicken could be a real hope for people and wildlife alike.
Appolinaire Djikeng has been appointed director of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health, a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and ILRI.