Animal Production / Article / CCAFS / Climate Change / Environment / Food Security / ILRI / ILRIComms / Kenya / Livestock Systems / Policy / SLS

What livestock eat (and don’t eat) determines how productive, and efficient, they are–PNAS study

Napier grass (aka ‘elephant grass’), a major feed supplement for dairy cows and other ruminant animals in Kenya (photo credit: Jeff Haskins). Even though research has shown that [greenhouse gas] GHG emissions from the Western world far outweigh those from the developing world, livestock keeping methods in Africa are increasingly becoming a key subject. Europe, … Continue reading

Environment / Intensification / Livestock / Livestock Systems

Sustainable livestock: What are the options?

January’s Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) was the venue for a panel session on sustainable livestock organized as part of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock. The session was run as a facilitated discussion, engaging both a panel of five experts and the 80 or so participants attending. Following panelist interventions, the discussion … Continue reading

Climate Change / Livestock Systems / Proposal call

Call for research proposals: Adapting livestock systems to climate change

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research for Adapting Livestock Systems to Climate Change announces three calls for proposals in support of its research program on livestock production and health in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. They are: (i) understanding parasitic disease transmission and control strategies to improve animal and human health; (ii) … Continue reading

CGIAR / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / Geodata / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Livestock Systems / Markets / NRM / Pastoralism / PIL / Policy / Project / Senegal / Vulnerability / West Africa

Africa’s dryland agricultural systems research: When East meets West (and when it doesn’t)

I have been working for nine months as an agricultural economist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) headquarters, in Nairobi, Kenya. I have come to realize that there are not enough bridges between West and East African agricultural research communities. Is it a problem of history? Different languages? Or perhaps inter-African communication links are … Continue reading

Animal Production / Cattle / Livestock / Livestock Systems / Pastoralism / Uganda / WLE

Corralling cattle to improve the productivity of pasture lands affected by termites

Researchers from the Department of Animal Science in Makerere University were excited, and with good reason, as they surveyed pasture land that had been corralled off in Nakosongala in the cattle corridor of Uganda. The team had been looking at options to improve livestock water productivity (LWP) in the Nile Basin. To their surprise, a … Continue reading

Agri-Health / Animal Production / Emerging Diseases / Food Safety / Human Health / ILRI / Intensification / Livestock Systems / Pigs / Poultry

Misuse of antibiotics and ‘factory farming’ of animals: Alarm bells sound

‘The Spoonful of Milk’ by Marc Chagall, 1912 (via WikiPaintings). ‘. . . It is estimated that about 70% of the world’s antibiotics are fed to farm animals: the precise amount used in agriculture is poorly recorded. But what seems sure — as the number of intensively farmed animals grows — is that their use increases too, … Continue reading

Agriculture / Environment / Farming Systems / ILRI / Livestock Systems / Research

People, the planet, and sustainable livestock: Livestock live talk at ILRI on18 January 2013

On Friday, 18 January 2013, Jeroen Dijkman, an internationally recognized authority on agricultural innovation systems and rural development practice and planning, will give a ‘livestock live talk’ seminar on ‘People, the planet, and sustainable livestock’, at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, Kenya. View the event announcement: He was previously the director of … Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / Livestock Systems / Livestock-Water / NRM / Project / Water / WLE

The ‘happy strategies’ game: Matching land and water interventions with community and landscape needs

In mid 2011, Catherine Pfeifer, ILRI/IWMI researcher in the Nile Basin Development Challenge (NBDC), posed us a challenge: What kind of exercise could we do that would combine ‘expert’ knowledge of land and water practices with the needs of ‘landscapes’ and communities where these could be applied. The result should be some validated ‘best bet’ … Continue reading

Africa / Agriculture / Asia / CCAFS / Central America / Climate Change / Environment / Farming Systems / ILRI / Livestock Systems / Research

Livestock and global change: Livestock live talk at ILRI on 28 November 2012

Globally, the demand for meat products is growing at 1.8% per year due to increasing populations, economic growth and rapid urbanization. Agropastoral and pastoral systems cover 45% of the earth’s usable surface and supply 9% of global meat production, while mixed crop-livestock farming systems produce 54% of the total meat and 90% of the milk … Continue reading

Climate Change / Disease Control / Emerging Diseases / Food Safety / Food Security / Livestock / Livestock Systems / Research / Zoonotic Diseases

Five grand challenges for animal science research – ASAS takes stock

The American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) has released five ‘Grand Challenges documents‘ that advocate research priorities for the future of animal science. The issues covered are: Animal health: Support for animal health research would improve disease resistance, disease prevention and animal productivity. Climate change: A better understanding of climate change would keep animal agriculture … Continue reading