​’If you care about agriculture, you care about livestock’—Bill Gates

‘. . . According to Reuters, the Gates Foundation will pump $40m into research for higher-yielding dairy cows, as well as chickens that lay better quality eggs, livestock vaccines and “supercrops” that can withstand droughts or disease.“

ILRI Clippings

The Cow with the Subtile Nose, by Jean Dubuffet, 1954.

‘. . . According to Reuters, the Gates Foundation will pump $40m into research for higher-yielding dairy cows, as well as chickens that lay better quality eggs, livestock vaccines and “supercrops” that can withstand droughts or disease.

‘These will help farmers in need across the globe—the International Livestock Research Institute says that there are 750 million people in low and middle-income countries who depend on livestock (cattle, sheep and goats) farming, which acts as a source of both nutrition and income.

“If you care about the poor, you should care about agriculture. And if you care about agriculture, you care about livestock,” Gates told an audience at the University of Edinburgh on Friday.

“What that means in this context is helping poor farmers get as much as possible out of their animals.”

‘The input from Gates will be part of a $174 million agricultural project with Britain’s Department…

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DFID/UKAid provides £4 million for genetics and health research to aid sustainable livestock production in Africa

ILRI news

Ploughing with cattle in southwestern Ethiopia

More oxen for ploughing means less labour for farmers (photo: ILRI/Stevie Mann). In Ethiopia’s Ghibe Valley, ILRI-led tsetse fly control methods allowed cattle to flourish in an area previously almost uninhabitable for them. This encouraged more farming in the area, relieving to a degree population and soil erosion pressures in higher, tsetse-free, elevations. Such was the impact this has had on the livelihood of farmer Worku Mengiste that he was able to employ two casual labourers to do work he previously did himself. Here he watches on as they plough his field.

Research to improve the health and productivity of farmed animals in tropical climates has received a £4 million boost from the UK Government.

The investment from the Department for International Development (DFID) was announced by the Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, during a visit to the University of Edinburgh.

Funding will enable scientists in…

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Sustainable livestock futures—BMZ, GIZ and ILRI at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture this week

ILRI news

For several days this week (18–20 Jan 2018), several scientific directors and staff of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)—Jimmy Smith, Shirley Tarawali, Dieter Schillinger, Lutz Merbold and Kristina Roesel—will be participating with several ILRI partners in the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), held in Berlin, Germany.

This annual German three-day international conference focuses on the future of the global agri-food industry. Now in its tenth year, the GFFA in 2018 is focusing on Shaping the Future of Livestock—Sustainably, Responsibly, Efficiently.

GFFA is organized by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture in cooperation with the Berlin Senate, Messe Berlin GmbH and the GFFA Berlin e.V. This is the tenth year of GFFA, which takes place at the start of International Green Week (19–28 Jan 2018), a large Expo-like international exhibition of the food, agriculture and gardening industries. GFFA also includes the

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To transform agricultural extension, give youth a voice



At the recent Africa Agriculture Extension week in Durban, there was a common refrain: “Demand for food in Africa is growing and expected to double by 2050.” This is why we see continued growth and employment opportunities in the agricultural value chain and why agriculture extension—or training– is more important than ever.

So what exactly is agriculture extension? Agricultural extension focuses on delivering advisory services for technologies that help crop, livestock, and fishery farmers, among others. Extension workers are trainers, advisors, project managers, community developers and policy advocators. They also conduct administrative support for local governments and help farmers make decisions and share knowledge. Agriculture extension, which services smallholder farmers throughout the value chain, is crucial in achieving food, nutrition and income security.

Even though agriculture extension is key to building the food systems of the future, it is not always fit for purpose. In Africa, for example…

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Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is going to be history, but how?



I got impressed by the virtues of collective actions while reading the GFAR blog post Remembering our collective actions: The unforgettable story of Rinderpest eradication. This infectious disease which was once thought very difficult to control, was nevertheless totally eliminated from the world, thanks to the collective actions. My institution, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, among several others, played an active role in the global campaign against Rinderpest under the leadership of FAO and OIE. This disease is history now.

And I am wondering, what could be the next big opportunity for collective actions to make an impact on the livelihoods of people depending on livestock? Those of you who have background in the livestock sector must have figured out already: it’s Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), a destructive, fast spreading viral disease that kills sheep and goats—the livelihoods of millions of the world’s poor. Many of you…

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Second PENAPH Conference: Participatory Approaches to One Health


January 10-12, 2018 – Khon Kaen, Thailand

Participatory Approaches in Animal Health, Public Health, One Health and Ecohealth

Registration for the Second PENAPH Conference and conference courses is still open at


Hotel bookings for the Pullman Raja Orchid Hotel are still available. Please download the form in the link below and contact the hotel. Payments for the hotel can be made by advance wire or with a credit card on arrival.


We have 70 confirmed participants and 40 papers. See you in Khon Kaen.

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Sustainable food systems: What it means for CIAT research


38523449936_c9ea8f8cf8_k Mark Lundy is the Leader of Sustainable Food Systems at CIAT

It is big and involves so many processes and actors. Some would even say it’s scary.

I’m talking about the food system, or the movement of food from cultivation of crops to disposal of food scraps.

“It’s everything and it’s nothing. But the important thing about the food system as a concept and as a tool is it allows us to connect things,” said Mark Lundy, leader of Sustainable Food Systems program at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), during the #CIAT50 celebrations at the center’s headquarters in Cali, Colombia.

At CIAT, Lundy is leading efforts to define a sustainable food systems approach, particularly the focus areas of research.

CIAT characterizes sustainable food systems as food systems that “aim at achieving food and nutrition security and healthy diets while limiting negative environmental impacts and improving socio-economic welfare,” and…

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