Expert opinion agrees that the best way to tap into the potential of the drylands is to build on the foundation of their livestock economies rather than ignoring them or seeking to replace them.
Alessandra Galiè, a social scientist specializing in gender issues in agricultural research who now works in Nairobi, Kenya, at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), conducted her doctoral research in Aleppo, Syria, at ILRI’s sister CGIAR institution, the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). This week Galiè received a prestigious award for an academic paper she published documenting how ICARDA’s participatory barley breeding program in pre-war Syria impacted women’s empowerment.
As part of ILRI’s quest to pilot new technologies for better communication of its work, the institute’s Capacity Development Unit recently worked with scientific and staff based in Uganda to produce CGIAR’s first-ever 360-degree video, which offers glimpses into an ordinary day in the life of a Ugandan pig farmer, trader and consumer.
The most recent progress report from the Feed the Future Mali Livestock Technology Scaling Program describes some successes and swift progress made in recent months towards achieving these goals as well as some new challenges the program is facing.
Development assistance has long since slipped down in the agenda of African officials. With rapid economic growth forecast, priorities now focus on increasing productivity and investment. And in Tanzania, where approximately 37% of the rural households possess cattle, chicken, goats, pigs and sheep, livestock is officially at the centre of that debate.
A Global Livestock Advocacy for Development (GLAD) project is distilling evidence around livestock ‘goods’ and ‘bads’, reaching out to UN and other global policy processes and events, engaging global media and developing a group of champions—individuals capacitated to make the case for sustainable livestock.
New research findings suggest that imposing a user fee on veterinary antimicrobials is a plausible policy option to achieve meaningful reductions in antimicrobial use in the short term while simultaneously raising funds to improve farming practices that will benefit the long-term viability of the livestock industry.
Jimmy Smith, the director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), is in London today (5 Oct 2017), speaking at an Extinction and Livestock Conference organized by Compassion in World Farming and the World Wildlife Fund.