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

Africa / Animal Breeding / Article / ASSP / CRP37 / Dairying / Disease Control / East Africa / Event / ILRI / Integrated Sciences / Kenya / Livestock

Using science to preserve culture in Rwanda

Traditional culture and science often seem to be worlds apart, but for Theogen Rutagwenda, the director general for animal resources in the Rwandan government, the two mix as naturally as salt and food. “I grew up looking after cattle and knew they were productive. Then my family moved to Uganda, where our animals died from … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Breeding / Animal Feeding / Asia / ASSP / CRP37 / East Africa / Ethiopia / ILRI / Integrated Sciences / Kenya / Livestock / Livestock Challenges / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Four scientists in the Animal Science team named to management roles

Four scientists in the Animal Science for Sustainable Productivity (ASSP) program have  joined  program director Iain Wright in heading the newly established ILRI country offices. The four are Amos Omore who will head the Tanzania country office, Danilo Pezo   (Uganda),  Saskia Hendrickx (Mozambique) and Mohamed Ibrahim (Pakistan). They  effectively become  ‘Country Representatives’ from January 1, … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Breeding / Article / ASSP / Climate Change / CRP11 / Drylands / East Africa / Kenya / Livestock / Pastoralism

Outsmarting climate change locally

Understanding the local context is key to improving pastoral production and outsmarting climate change, a new study has revealed. It further observes that many top-down approaches that aimed at introducing innovations from outside failed because they ignored the pastoral context locally. This is published in Identifying local innovations in pastoral areas in Marsabit County, Kenya … Continue reading

Africa / ASSP / Biodiversity / Central Africa / CRP37 / East Africa / Ethiopia / ILRI / Indigenous Breeds / Integrated Sciences / Kenya / Launch / Livestock / North Africa / West Africa

New project launched to compile information on African livestock breeds

Improving the breeds of farm animals is one important way of resolving food problems to ensure food security for the sustainable development of humanity. This was said by Chan-Woo Kim, the ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Kenya, on July 22 at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi. He was speaking during the … Continue reading