Biodiversity / East Africa / Ethiopia / FFD / Forages / Genebank / ILRI / Seeds

Collaboration with Brazil expands Napier grass diversity in ILRI’s forage genebank

From May 2011 to May 2013, the Africa-Brazil Marketplace sponsored a project to introduce Napier grass elite lines for screening for stunt resistance to provide feed for improved smallholder dairy productivity. The project was a partnership between the Forage genebank of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and EMBRAPA Dairy Cattle … Continue reading

Biodiversity / FFD / Forages / Genebank / ILRI / Seeds

ILRI forage seeds duplicated at CIAT in Colombia

One of the responsibilities of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) genebank is to assure that forage germplasm is adequately conserved and that major risks of losing valuable and often rare plant materials are minimized. ILRI has agreements with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) genebank to duplicate ILRI materials in their premises. This … Continue reading

Biodiversity / Ethiopia / FFD / Forages / Genebank / Germany / Seeds

German SES expert supports ILRI Addis Ababa genebank

In 2012, ILRI’s Forage Diversity team hosted Senior Experten Service – SES scientist Evelyn Möller. Since then, she has visited Addis Ababa 3 times (Nov-Dec 2012; April – May 2013 and Nov-Dec 2013). Her assignment was to help ILRI improve the quality control of its genebank laboratories, more specifically regarding plant health diagnostic techniques and … Continue reading

Agriculture / Animal Feeding / Colombia / Environment / Forages / ILRIComms / Latin America / LIVESTOCKFISH / Project

Making grass greener: CIAT breeds tropical pasture that suppresses greenhouse gas emissions

Guillermo Sotelo of CIAT’s entomology team, working with brachiaria grass in a greenhouse at the institution’s headquarters in Colombia (picture credit: CIAT/Neil Palmer). ‘. . . On 13 September, researchers announced that they have bred a tropical pasture grass that can significantly suppress greenhouse-gas emissions. The team, from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) … Continue reading

Cattle / Forages / Goats / ILRIComms / India / Intensification / Pro-Poor Livestock / South Asia / Vulnerability

Nepal’s livestock sector: In demand and in decline?

Livestock fodder on road between Chitwan District and Pokhara, Nepal. An ILRI-CSISA (Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia) project on the Indo-Gangetic Plains of Chitwan District, in south-central Nepal, began in Sep 2010. Project staff are introducing residue-based feeding strategies supplemented with green fodder and concentrates to increase cattle and buffalo milk production (photo credit: ILRI/Susan … Continue reading

Feeds / Forages / Goats / Markets / Small Ruminants / Southern Africa / Value Chains / Zimbabwe

Small stock connections lead to better business for goat keepers in Zimbabwe

Feed is scarce for livestock in the dry season, farmers can lose up to 30% of their herds in these three months (photo on Flickr by ICRISAT/Swathi Sridharan). Willie Dar, director general of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), highlights the success of taking a ‘value chain’ approach to improving goat … Continue reading

Cattle / Climate Change / Drylands / Environment / Food Security / Forages / Goats / Pastoralism / Presentation / Sheep / Small Ruminants / Soils / USA / Vulnerability / Wildlife

Want to green the world’s deserts? Do the unthinkable: Put livestock back on them — Allan Savory

Watch this new provocative 22-minute TedTalk by Allan Savory on ‘How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change’. Alan Savory, a Zimbabwean-born biologist/ecologist and rangelands specialist, gives environmentalists pause in a recent TedTalk, published 4 Mar 2013, on the ‘cancer’ of desertification of the world’s drylands, which make up some two-thirds of the … Continue reading

Africa / Biodiversity / CGIAR / Fodder / Forages / Genebank / ILRI / Seeds

New funding agreement to help maintain world’s genebanks–and save plant genetic diversity

Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium, is given a tour of the ILRI Forage Genebank, located in Addis Ababa, by its manager, Alexandra Jorge, in January 2013 (photo credit: ILRI\Zerihun Sewunet). The Global Crop Diversity Trust and the CGIAR Consortium have announced a new agreement which will bring financial stability to 11 international genebanks of … Continue reading

Agriculture / Animal Feeding / DRYLANDSCRP / East Africa / Ethiopia / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / LIVESTOCKFISH / Project / Value Chains

Refining livestock feed assessment tools – ILRI’s work in 2012

Feed is often cited as the first limiting constraint to livestock intensification in smallholder mixed-crop farming systems in developing countries. However attempts to deal with the feed constraint tend to focus on promotion of a fairly standard set of feed technologies with often disappointing results. Our experience is that feed intervention failures can be traced … Continue reading

Agriculture / Animal Feeding / Cattle / Climate Change / Forages / Report / Southeast Asia

Improving forage crops in livestock systems shows potential for reducing climate change

Vietnamese farmers with cattle fodder. A report by CIAT says livestock systems that use improved forage crops reduce the effects of climate change (photo credit: ILRI/Werner Stür). Last week, AlertNet published an opinion piece highlighting recent research by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) on how forage-based systems, which dominate agriculture in the tropics, … Continue reading