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 / Human 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

Agriculture / Farming Systems / Intensification / Livelihoods / NRM / WLE

Intensify–not expand–tropical croplands where you can, new study recommends

A small-scale mixed crop-and-livestock farmer in Oyo State, Nigeria (photo credit: ILRI/Mann). From the University of Minnesota come this news yesterday of a new scientific paper showing the environmental importance of intensifying rather than expanding tropical farmlands to feed the world’s growing human populations and to provide poor people with livelihoods. ‘According to a study … Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Research

Scientists warn of livestock greenhouse gas boom

Soaring international production of livestock could release enough carbon into the atmosphere by 2050 to single-handedly exceed ‘safe’ levels of climate change, says a study. Scientists combined figures for livestock production in 2000 with Food and Agriculture Organization projections for population growth and meat consumption by 2050. They found that the livestock sector’s emissions alone … Continue reading


Just who should reduce their consumption of meat, milk and eggs to reduce livestock greenhouse gas emissions?

Milk from a dairy cow kept by a household in the highland farming community of Embu, Kenya, generates a regular income that helps this family pay for their children’s school fees (photo by CGIAR/Mann). Agricultural systems analyst Mario Herrero, of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), takes issue this week with a paper published 4 … Continue reading

Animal Breeding / Animal Feeding / Report

Reducing carbon ‘hoofprint’ can be done, says study

Soaring carbon emissions from a meat-hungry developing world could be cut back substantially by improving animal breeds and feed, according to a study. Demand for livestock products is predicted to double by 2050 as a result of growing populations, urbanisation and better income in the developing world, leading to rise in emissions from the industry. … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Production / Climate Change / East Africa / Feeds / ILRI / Kenya / Livestock Systems

Kenya – Preying on small uneducated farmers

A new study by the International Livestock Research Institute has found that reductions in greenhouse gases could be worth $1 billion dollars to poor livestock farmers if they could sell saved carbon on international markets. Greenhouse gas emissions caused by livestock operations in tropical countries — a major contributor to climate change — could be … Continue reading