On the need for expanding sustainability frameworks and veterinary vision in developing countries

ILRI news

Divine bovine, painting by Karen Bezuidenhout.

A new science paper argues for broadening traditional approaches to livestock sustainability and veterinary vision in developing countries. Two of the three livestock science authors—Brian Perry and Tim Robinson—have formerly worked at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) while the third—Delia Grace—co-leads ILRI’s Animal and Human Health program.

The following statements are excerpted from their paper.

‘This paper explores sustainability with reference to livestock systems, reviews the threats to, and opportunities for, sustainability, and introduces the concept of including One Health as a supplement to the traditional three sustainability pillars of economics, society and environment when addressing livestock. Three case studies, drawn from recent experiences of the authors, provide concrete illustrations of concepts discussed using a novel analytical framework that includes sustainability and health trajectory thinking.

‘. . . In agriculture, sustainability frameworks usually have three components, or pillars, namely enhance environmental quality, sustain…

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Livestock-enhanced diets in the first 1,000 days of life: Pathways to better futures in low-income countries

ILRI news

A new report was published this month on the value of ensuring consumption of meat, milk and eggs by infants up to two years of age and by expectant and new mothers in developing countries (the first 1,000 days). The report was published by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security.

The following highlights of findings

of a joint ILRI-Chatham livestock-nutrition study

were presented at a side event at the

EAT Stockholm Food Forum

on 11 Jun 2018.

I believe all of us here share the goal of the EAT Foundation—
‘a global food system that delivers healthy food in a healthy planet’.

To make agricultural production more ‘resource efficient’,
so that it produces more with less environmental cost,
and to adjust the diets of the world’s food consumers,
so that they are neither over- nor under-consuming livestock foods,
are two sides…

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How closing livestock yield gaps can enhance incomes, food security and the environment in Ethiopia and India

ILRI news

Understanding livestock yield gaps for poverty alleviation, food security and the environment is a report published by the LiveGAPS Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), in Dec 2016. The report was written by Mario Herrero (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation [CSIRO]), Di Mayberry (CSIRO), Jeannette van de Steeg (research consultant), David Phelan (University of Tasmania), Andrew Ash (CSIRO), Kanar Diyezee (CSIRO), Tim Robinson (ILRI), Ben Henderson (CSIRO), Marius Gilbert (Leuven University), Mark van Wijk (ILRI), Cecile Godde (CSIRO), Michael Blummel (ILRI), Di Prestwidge (CSIRO), Elle Stephenson (CSIRO), Brendan Power (CSIRO) and David Parsons (University of Tasmania).

From the Executive Summary
‘The BMGF and other donors and development agencies need to target investments in the livestock sector in ways that are likely to maximize the impacts for broad numbers of producers and…

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Livestock fact check – what’s behind the data behind facts on livestock development?

ILRI Clippings

There are many opinions about the merits and risks of livestock keeping. Livestock provide livelihoods and jobs for millions of people, they provide essential nutrients in human diets, they act as mobile assets for poor people, and they drive economic growth and development. They also carry diseases that can harm people, their food products can pose risks to food safety and eating too much of the wrong type can be bad for human health. Their production is also a major contributor to climate change thorugh greenhouse gas emissions.

Facts and data on these issues are often hard to pin down. A set of fact sheets from the Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI) project at the University of Edinburgh aims to inform discussion and decisions by providing robust, up-to-date and appropriately interpreted facts about some of the big questions.

The first set of fact sheets were released today and announced…

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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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