ILRI and the Jean Golding Data Science Institute at the University of Bristol, UK, are challenging any data lovers to come up with novel, useful or exciting ways to use a big new dataset to improve understanding of farming practices and outcomes in low-income countries.
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.
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.
More than 2,250 pastoralists received insurance payouts following the extremely poor rains this year in southern Ethiopia. Low levels of rainfall have led to the loss of approximately 300,000 livestock in 2017 in the Borana zone of the southern Oromia region. The insurance payouts of more than ETB5.233 million (USD220,000) was the largest-ever micro-insurance indemnity made in Ethiopia. Each insured pastoralist received an average of ETB2,255 (USD96), which will allow the herders to purchase feeds for their surviving animals and to restock their herds.
A delegation comprising IFAD staff visited the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) cassava processing sites at Lokongoma, Wushishi (Niger State) and Idogodo, Okpokwu (Benue State) in late July, 2017 to discuss progress with this important project.
By ILRI’s Iain Wright: On 6–8 Jul 2017, I attended a conference at ICRAF on Impacts of International Agricultural Research: Rigorous Evidence for Policy organized jointly by the CGIAR ISPC’s SPIA and PIM. I welcomed the delegates at this meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, on behalf of ICRAF and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the two CGIAR centres headquartered in Nairobi. A modified version of my address and personal reflections on impact assessment in CGIAR follows.