Australia / Drought / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / East Africa / Event / ILRI / ILRIComms / Insurance / Kenya / Launch / PIL / UK

Of cows, camels and ‘charity insurance’ on Kenya’s Somali frontier–The Economist

Insuring animals who range with semi-nomadic herders across some of the harshest terrain on earth had defeated all previous efforts. Eventually he came across the work of a Kenyan economist, Andrew Mude of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Nairobi. Mr Mude has developed an insurance model that uses satellite images to assess the impact of drought on the vegetation that camels, cows and goats need to survive. . . . Continue reading

Australia / Drought / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / East Africa / Event / ILRI / ILRIComms / Insurance / Kenya / Launch / Pastoralism / PIL / UK / USA

Shelter from the storm (literally): As remote herders get drought-related insurance payments, the heaven’s open

Livestock market in Wajir, where Kenya’s remote, never-before-insured livestock herders are getting their first protection from drought (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale). ‘It was almost inevitable that the day chosen to make the first drought insurance payments in Wajir, in the arid north-east of Kenya, would be the same day the rains came. ‘Herders who lost sheep, cattle … Continue reading

Australia / Drought / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / East Africa / Event / ILRI / ILRIComms / Insurance / Kenya / Launch / Pastoralism / PIL / UK

Africa’s first Islamic insurance for herders

Hassan Bashir is an astute entrepreneur, developing Africa’s first livestock insurance scheme to make payouts compliant with Islamic law, by bringing together Muslim scholars and number-crunching agricultural experts using NASA weather satellites. Continue reading

Africa / Animal Health / Disease Control / ECF / ILRI / ILRIComms / Kenya / Staff / Trypanosomiasis / UK / Vaccines

Declan McKeever – ‘Veterinary Record’ tribute to gifted ILRI/ILRAD scientist by Ross Gray and Ivan Morrison

Declan McKeever was a highly gifted and productive veterinary scientist, who made major contributions to our knowledge of a number of diseases that continue to impair livestock production in Africa. Continue reading

Agriculture / Farming Systems / HUMIDTROPICS / Innovation Systems / LIVESTOCKFISH / Opinion piece / Participation / PIL / PIM / Research / UK / Value Chains

Joining the PARADE: Lessons on participatory agricultural research by a livestock economist

I joined the PARADE workshop from 9 to 11 December 2013. PARADE stands for Participatory Agricultural Research: Approaches, Design and Evaluation. The PARADE event held this week was an expert meeting at Saint Anne’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom. It was sadly not a vibrant, colourful and noisy display of human diversity… Then again, perhaps it … Continue reading

Agriculture / CCAFS / CGIAR / Climate Change / Food Security / UK

CGIAR report says farming needs ‘climate-smart’ revolution to feed the world–BBC

Cattle grazing field in Nicaragua. A new report from CGIAR warns that changes are needed in agriculture and food consumption around the world if future generations are to be adequately fed (photo credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT). A Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change, which is an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture … Continue reading

Drought / East Africa / Event / ILRI / Insurance / Kenya / Pastoralism / UK / Vulnerability

Kenyan pastoralists benefit from unique livestock insurance

Children in Kenya’s Marsabit District pass one of thousands of carcasses of livestock that died in the drought in the Horn of Africa (photo on Flickr by Neil Palmer/CIAT). Voice of America reports today on ‘A new insurance program for poor livestock farmers in northern Kenya has made its first pay out to some 650 herders … Continue reading

Directorate / Drought / East Africa / Event / Food Security / ILRI / Insurance / Kenya / Pastoralism / UK / Vulnerability

Innovative livestock insurance scheme for remote Kenyan herders was dreamed up at Cornell

Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), speaks at an event in Marsabit town, in northern Kenya, where several hundred livestock herders were given payouts for livestock insurance that they took out earlier (photo on Flickr by Neil Palmer/CIAT). ‘In the midst of a drought-induced food crisis affecting millions in the … Continue reading

Food Security / UK

Post-modern posses to the rescue? Owen Barder on the World Bank on aid

Owen Barder at the opening of an ‘AgKnowledge Africa Share Fair’ held at the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, campus of the International Livestock Research Institute in Oct 2010 (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu). Owen Barder writes in his blog of an interesting recent meeting held on ‘the future of aid’ by the World Bank London office. He … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / Biotechnology / Cattle / Film and video / ILRI / Indigenous Breeds / Kenya / Research / UK / Zoonotic Diseases

‘New science’ is ‘networked science’: The data-crunching workflows and pipelines behind a recent gene discovery

The single-celled parasite Trypanosoma brucei (appearing in blue), which causes sleeping sickness in humans and trypanosomiasis in livestock, amongst the red blood cells of its mammalian host (photo credit: Parasite Museum website). Having been domesticated in Africa some 8,000 or more years ago, the N’Dama, the most ancient of African cattle breeds, has had time to … Continue reading