Sustainable livestock systems – highlights from ILRI’s corporate report 2015–2016

ILRI news

Making technologies available to smallholder mixed crop–livestock farmers Making technologies available to smallholder mixed crop–livestock farmers to grow fodder can increase milk yields and quality in an environmentally sustainable manner. Hyderabad, India. (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann)

In 2015–2016, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partners revealed extraordinary findings that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cattle in Kenya maybe up to 10 times lower than previous estimates, clearly making the case for improving Africa-specific understanding of GHG emissions to develop better-targeted climate change mitigation and adaption strategies. Taking this research one step further, working with governments and other civil society partners, offers opportunities to bring about change in international policies benefitting smallholder farmers, as was shown with the passing of the United Nations Environment Assembly resolution on combatting climate change. Moreover, translating research in a favourable policy environment paves the way for capacity building that can translate into the mass scaling of the sustainable intensification of farming.

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Easy Understandable But Important Features of Camel Milk

Natural Health with theCamel Milk

According to a promo of Chinese Camel Milk Company of Xinjiang, the camels’ milk features are provided as following. The contents in brackets are provided by author for further details. With …

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USAID supports the commercial potential of cassava peel for livestock feed in Nigeria

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Women peeling cassava roots in a cassava processing center. Photo by IITA. (file name: CA_339). ONLY low res available.

Women peeling cassava roots in a cassava processing centre (photo credit: IITA).

‘The US government, yesterday, said it has invested $75 million (about N2.3 billion) in [Nigeria’s]  agricultural sector, just as it launched agribusiness partnerships with Chi Farms and Niji Foods. . . .

‘Speaking at the USAID Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation Initiative in Lagos, Mission Director of USAID Nigeria, Mr. Michael Harvey, said that USAID aims to address development and business challenges to agricultural inputs and mechanization by providing quality technical advisory services and expanded market opportunities for smallholder farmers via these partnerships, noting that the partnerships will also capitalize on the untapped potential of smallholder farmers and small processors to help grow agribusinesses, create secure jobs, and boost economic growth in Nigeria.

‘Harvey said, “Since 2014, Feed the Future has invested $75 million in Nigeria helping 800,000 Nigeria farmers acquire improved seeds, fertilizers, tools and access…

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Breeding legumes for livestock feed (biomass) as well as human food (grain)

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Cowpea fodder

Cowpea fodder bundles stacked in Niger for livestock feed (photo credit: ILRI).

‘Of the many virtues of grain legumes, one is little recognized. Visitors to the livestock fodder markets of West Africa are always surprised to see groundnut and cowpea haulms (stalks and stems of legume plants) sold at prices that exceed that of cereal grains and not infrequently even that of groundnut and cowpea seeds, particularly during periods when sheep keepers are fattening their animal for slaughter at festivities such as Tabaski.

‘In fact, the haulms of these legumes have proved excellent animal fodder of such high palatability that sheep can gain liveweight quicker than when fed many forage grasses planted for that purpose. In these times of increasing fodder demand fueled by the on-going ‘livestock revolution’, as well as decreasing land and water resources, producing good-quality fodder for animal stock from the same land and water as that…

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Guide to haymaking using tropical grasses and legumes

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A new extension brief by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) explains the principles of haymaking using tropical grasses and legumes.

Produced by ILRI researchers and partners in Zimbabwe, the brief gives practical steps on how smallholder farmers can make hay from grasses and legumes such as cowpeas, velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) lablab (Lablab purpureus) including details on cutting, conditioning and storage of hay.

Hay is a very popular form of forage preservation that provides an important source of animal feed in smallholder farming systems where natural rangeland is increasingly limited.

Download the brief: Principles of haymaking using tropical grasses and legumes

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$265 billion annually !


Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

Rural development and youth employment are strongly connected to migration. Photo: FAO/Riccardo Gangale

Global Goals on poverty and hunger require $265 billion annually – UN conference told

The world must take urgent action to mobilise the estimated $265 billion a year needed to achieve the first two Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and hunger by 2030, the head of the United Nations agency for financing rural development projects has told an international conference.

“The need is urgent,” Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said at last night’s opening of a conference, titled “Investing in inclusive rural transformation: innovative approaches to financing,” held in Rome, Italy on 26-27 January.

“Despite decades of commitments and considerable effort to end poverty and hunger, nearly 800 million children, women and men still go hungry every day, and an almost equal…

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Small farms to the rescue—reducing hunger by increasing low yields

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Visit to John Oboum's climate-smart farm site in Western Kenya

John Oboum’s climate-smart small-scale farm site in Western Kenya (photo credit: CCAFS / Cecilia Schubert).

‘One of the most urgent challenges we face in the next several decades is feeding a growing world population without irreparably damaging Earth’s land, air and water systems. Nearly 800 million people worldwide are undernourished today. The U.N.‘s Sustainable Development Goals call for ending hunger and achieving food security by 2030. . . .

‘Since 2000, [hunger] has decreased across all regions of the world, but 50 countries—mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia—still have alarming or severe hunger rates.

‘At the Global Landscapes Initiative in the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, our research focuses on increasing global food security while reducing harmful impacts from agriculture to Earth’s natural resources.

We have found that one key strategy to combating food insecurity—lack of access to nutritious foods—is increasing food production on small…

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