Art underlines the precious value of poultry genetic research

ILRI news

Inauguration of Incubated Worlds, ILRI Addis Ababa campus: A guest pauses for a photo

Art combines with science to bring the message of the capacity of the new Incubated Worlds poultry facility to deliver prosperity to Ethiopia’s poultry smallholder farmers (photo credit: ILRI/Gail Amare).

Scientists and government officials in Ethiopia are taking advantage of the rapidly rising demand for poultry across Africa with the opening of an unusual kind of poultry research centre, referred to as Incubated Worlds. It is one in which art and science combine to improve nutrition and incomes in East Africa with disease-resistant, climate-resilient poultry.

Incubated Worlds is first and foremost an advanced poultry research facility that emerged from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)-led project, African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG), an initiative that is tapping the rich genetic diversity found in poultry to provide more opportunities for rural poultry producers—the majority of whom are women—to earn a decent living and raise healthy, well-nourished families.

Adding a new dimension to…

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Towards a sustainable, responsible and efficient livestock sector—Jimmy Smith at the Berlin Global Forum for Food and Agriculture

ILRI news

Kick-off event at Berlin’s tenth annual Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, Jan 2018 (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

This year’s GFFA in Berlin addressed
Shaping the Future of Livestock—Sustainably, Responsibly, Efficiently

The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), held annually in Berlin, had its tenth anniversary this year, from 18 to 20 Jan 2018. The forum is an international annual conference on the future of the global agri-food industry organized and hosted by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in cooperation with GFFA Berlin e.V., the Senate of Berlin and Messe Berlin GmbH. Politicians, business people, scientists and members of civil society all take part in discussions of topics shaping agricultural policy.

This year the focus of the GFFA was livestock, specifically, how the future of livestock can be shaped to be more sustainable, responsible and efficient.

The forum’s ten expert panels this…

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Cereal straws and stovers for sustainable livestock futures: When crop biomass becomes livestock gold

ILRI news

ILRI scientist Michael Blümmel (photo by ILRI/Stevie Mann) and beef cattle in Indonesia consuming straw (photo by ILRI/Jules Mateo).

Michael Blümmel, deputy program leader for the Feed and Forage Development program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), is lead author on a new paper that explores the big benefits of treating cereal straws and stovers—the ‘residues’ of cereal crops after their grain has been harvested—to release their sugars, thereby turning these crop residues into nourishing feed for ruminant farm animals—cows, water buffaloes, goats and sheep.

The dry stalks of cereal plants after their grain and chaff have been removed—called ‘straw’ from fine grain crops such as rice, wheat and teff and ‘stover’ from coarse grain plants such as maize, millet and sorghum—have been used to feed farm animals, to improve soils and to burn as household fuel since ancient times.

Evidence from ILRI and its partner organizations…

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DFID/UKAid fund British, ILRI, African genetics research to advance African livestock development

ILRI Clippings

Olivier Hanotte sampling chickens

ILRI geneticist Olivier Hanotte carries out work on chicken samples in Oromia, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Camille Hanotte).

‘. . . International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced the new UK aid research, which is being carried out by international organisation, CGIAR, during a joint visit to the University of Edinburgh with Bill Gates.

‘The Bill & and Melinda Gates Foundation is an important partner in international research and announced further investment in UK based livestock R&D during the visit. . . .

Unpredictable flooding, plant diseases and drought are threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of farmers in Africa who struggle to grow enough crops to put food on the table—the urgency of the task is clear.

That’s why UK aid is supporting British scientists to develop new crops that are more productive, more nutritious and more resistant to droughts and flooding, as well as creating new…

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Benefits of Camel Milk in Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism

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Yet more evidence that agriculture–particularly livestock agriculture–needs to be part of climate discussions

ILRI Clippings

The farmyard, by Marc Chagall, 1954 (via Wikipaintings).

Without big interventions, the future of food security looks bleak.

So says an article in One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World Website.

The clear message from . . . the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report is the urgent need for farmers to adapt to a changing climate and for all countries to seriously engage in mitigating climate change.

‘Within agriculture, enteric fermentation (methane from livestock) accounts for the largest proportion of emissions (39%) and increased 11% between 2001 and 2010 . . . .

‘With crop yields expected to decline (and already declining in many countries) and agricultural emissions appearing to be on an upwards trajectory, the former perhaps incentivising the latter, we need smarter agriculture, that is resilient to future climate change while also reducing GHG emissions, the very goal of sustainable intensification.

‘A recent paper in the Proceedings of…

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Agriculture can rein in greenhouse gas emissions ‘immediately’, say UN and CGIAR

ILRI Clippings

Portrait of a Boran calf in Yabello, Borena, Oromia, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Camille Hanotte).

The global agricultural sector can curb emissions immediately and provide a window for fossil fuel-guzzling energy and transport sectors to decarbonise before global warming spirals out of control, the United Nations said on Friday (10 November).

‘”In the next few years . . . agriculture . . . could produce early results immediately, cost-effectively and all over the world”, René Castro of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) told the COP23 climate talks in Bonn. That will give energy and transport sectors time to switch to renewables “to really take us out of the precipice and the path we are going on, which is far beyond the goal of two degrees Celsius”, he said.

‘Global temperatures are expected to rise three degrees above pre-industrial levels under current plans to curb emissions. This is far above…

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