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

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

Article / Cattle / Dairying / North Africa

Got Milk? Dairy found essential to prehistoric development in Africa–new research

Petroglyphs and pictographs in the Jebel Acacus, Libyan Sahara (photo on Flickr by Carsten ten Brink / 10b travelling). This month’s publication of a scientific article on new evidence of livestock herding in prehistoric Africa is stirring interest. ScienceDaily, for example, reports the following: Chemical analysis of pottery reveals first dairying in Saharan Africa nearly 7,000 years … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / Article / Biotechnology / Cattle / Disease Control / Film and video / Genetics / ILRI / Zoonotic Diseases

Livestock genes identified to unlock protection from animal plagues

West Africa’s ancient (humpless) N’Dama cattle (white) are genetically resistant to the disease trypanosomosis while East Africa’s Improved Boran (humped) cattle are susceptible to this tsetse-transmitted disease (photo credit ILRI/Elsworth). Xinhuanet, the Chinese Xinhua News Agency online service, reports on an international research team that used a new combination of approaches to find two genes … Continue reading

A4NH / Africa / Agri-Health / Animal Diseases / Article / Cattle / Disease Control / Genetics / Health / ILRI / Indigenous Breeds

An African cattle disease, disease-resistant cow and disease control solution

The tsetse fly, which spreads the livestock disease trypanosomosis (photo credit: ILRI/Elsworth). Aid Netherlands has picked up news of a paper published last month in a leading scientific journal about a breakthrough in determining the genes responsible for controlling a tsetse fly-transmitted disease of livestock that has devastated Africa, and held back farming on the … 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

Africa / Animal Diseases / Biodiversity / Cattle / Disease Control / Genetics / ILRI / Indigenous Breeds

Study finds gene clues to African cattle disease

Reuters reports the following yesterday. ‘Scientists studying the tsetse fly-borne disease “sleeping sickness” and a devastating version found in cattle say they have found two genes that may in future help rescue the livelihoods of millions of farmers in Africa. ‘In a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal on … Continue reading