Over the last 20 years, the Ethiopian government has prioritized the transformation of the agricultural sector, yet the absence of a livestock roadmap has hindered implementation.
At a recent workshop co-hosted by an NGO called Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, Kenya, ILRI communications staff Susan MacMillan made a short presentation on why the 20-plus animal geneticists in the room should bother communicating their science to non-specialists. The big picture ‘A …
High population growth and rising living standards are putting pressure on Ethiopia’s livestock owners to increase the productivity of their animals. Improving the genetic potential of the country’s livestock is one of the keys—with better feeds and better health—to achieving food and nutrition security, and better lives through livestock. This latest research brief by ILRI and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Animal breeding and genetics in the Ethiopia livestock master plan, outlines how quick-win genetic-based technologies—including artificial insemination (AI) with oestrous synchronization and community-based schemes to improve indigenous breeds as well—can significantly contribute to transformed value chains for cattle, small ruminants and poultry.
Open letter to the heads of state attending the 70th UN General Assembly, September 2015, New York: ‘Co-advancement of Agricultural and Natural Resource Management within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’
Improved animal health services could hugely increase livestock productivity and the earnings of livestock keepers. As part of the Ethiopia livestock master plan, an analysis of animal health by the Livestock State Ministry (LSM) and ILRI outline the steps needed to transform the livestock sector, published as the latest ILRI brief: Livestock health priorities in the Ethiopia livestock master plan.
In recent weeks, ILRI has signed collaborative research agreements in China, India and Vietnam. These build on several years of past engagement and aim to deepen ILRI’s work in these and other countries in Asia.
Despite significant progress in increasing livestock production in Ethiopia, analysis of livestock production and consumption by the Livestock State Ministry (LSM) and ILRI show a huge shortfall in the supply of livestock products. Detailed interdisciplinary research provides clear empirical evidence of the potential benefits of a comprehensive livestock master plan (LMP) for Ethiopia. In the absence of investment, these gaps will grow, causing food insecurity and other important economic and social repercussions.
We are unaware of any comprehensive studies undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa to explore how mixed farms will be affected by climate change and the cost and benefits of different adaptation options. Underestimating the importance of livestock in the mixed’ smallholder farming systems that are ubiquitous across the developing world weakens both emissions reduction and climate change adaptation efforts.