ABS / Africa / Animal Breeding / BioSciences / Breeds / CRP37 / Dairying / East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / Indigenous Breeds / Kenya / Livestock / Presentation / Staff

Land pressure drives hunt for resilient livestock genes in East Africa, world congress told

Scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are among experts discussing livestock genetics at the 10th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production in Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 17-22, 2014. Fidalis Denis Mujibi, discusses the Use of high density SNP genotypes to determine the breed composition of cross bred dairy cattle in smallholder … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Breeding / Animal Feeding / ASSP / CRP11 / CRP37 / ILRI / Integrated Sciences / Interview / Livestock / NRM / Vaccines

Mending our food systems: Upstream and downstream research must work together

Future food security will be achieved by exploiting the power of ‘new biosciences’. The new biosciences include genomics (the study of the structure, function, evolution and mapping of all the heritable traits of an organism), immunology and vaccinology (the science or methodology of vaccine bio-informatics. But without marrying the power of these new biosciences tools … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Breeding / ASSP / Breeds / CRP37 / East Africa / Ethiopia / Indigenous Breeds / Integrated Sciences / Livestock

Farmer Yohannes smiling all the way to the bank – chicken and eggs sustain Ethiopian farmers

Farmer Yohannes holds his sixteen (16) eggs, five hundred Ethiopian Birr and his brand new savings account book for his first ever bank account with only two entries – the starting balance and one subsequent saving deposit. He is celebrating a successful chicken farming enterprise; a partnership with his wife who helped feed the chickens at the right time and with his daughter who kept the records. Besides all that, he is also a converted believer to proper animal husbandry. This may be the reason Tadelle Dessie, a scientist in animal genetics and breeding; and the project leader, based at ILRI’s Addis Ababa campus, says that ‘chicken farming is the first ladder in the pathways out of poverty’ when we discuss the project with him. Continue reading

Africa / Animal Breeding / ASSP / Breeds / CRP37 / East Africa / Ethiopia / ILRI / Indigenous Breeds / Integrated Sciences / Livestock

Ear tags stir fresh interest in goats in Ethiopian village

Tilahun Seyoum is by all standards a grown up responsible husband, father and community leader. He also belongs to the school of thought that believes, to learning there is no end. Thus, after many years of keeping goats, cattle and sheep, he has in the last few months, learnt one new thing. He has learnt that the yellow tag now hanging from the ear of his goat means that the goat will sell for a higher price compared to that of his friend in the neighbouring village. That yellow tag means the parents of the animals are known and performances of its future offspring can be predicted hence the higher value compared to untagged animals. Continue reading

Africa / Article / ASSP / Climate Change / CRP11 / Drought / Drylands / Ethiopia / ILRI / Integrated Sciences / Kenya / Livestock / Pastoralism

Insurance, carbon capture and markets may support pastoralists

Three options exist to move pastoralists from vulnerable to resilient lifestyles. They are commercialization of livestock systems, payment for ecosystem services and social and financial safety nets including insurance.  This was said by Iain Wright, head of the Ethiopian office of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).  He was addressing about 70 delegates from around … Continue reading

Africa / ASSP / BioSciences / Breeds / Capacity Strengthening / CRP37 / Dairying / Disease Control / Film and Video / ILRI / ILVAC / Integrated Sciences / Kenya / Livestock

Saving livestock by killing east coast fever disease

East Coast fever kills more than a million cattle each year in Africa and particularly threatens genetically improved cattle breeds, which are the most expensive and productive, says Henry Kiara, a researcher in Animal Health in the Animal Sciences for Sustainable Productivity program (ASSP). With nearly 20 years of research to his name, he should … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Breeding / ASSP / Biodiversity / Breeds / Capacity Strengthening / CapDev / CRP37 / Dairying / East Africa / Event / Indigenous Breeds / Integrated Sciences / Kenya / Livestock / Tanzania

Tracking livestock tribes, families increases incomes and productivity

Did it ever cross your mind that cows, goats, sheep and all animals have tribes, families, clans and other family groups much like human beings do? Or that keeping track of those families is as important as it is for human beings? Understanding livestock families’ means understanding the parents of an animal, specific characteristics like the dominant colour of their skin, the likely weight it should have, the amount of milk or taste of meat it should produce when properly fed and its ability to cope with certain environments. It also involves understanding what feed and how much is best for that “tribe” (breed) of animal to produce the best milk or meat. Continue reading