ILRI was honoured this week (3 Sep 2018) to host a high-level German delegation including Maria Flachsbarth, parliamentary state secretary to Germany’s federal minister for economic cooperation and development, and Stefan Schmitz, deputy director of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as well as senior staff of the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, including Andrew Tuimur, chief administrative secretary, and Ann Onyango, agriculture secretary; and representatives from several other CGIAR centres working in Kenya, including Tony Simons, director general of ICRAF, and representatives from the Nairobi-based International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe).
‘The Incubated Worlds art exhibition clearly communicates the importance of poultry production, genetic diversity and the interdependence of communities worldwide. The facility will be more than a place of research, but also of learning and innovation for farmers, poultry businesses, associations, cooperatives and communities’, said Siboniso Moyo, the ILRI director general’s representative in Ethiopia.
Art and science unite to serve Ethiopian farmers—’Incubated Worlds’ explores genetic diversity of poultry to boost nutrition and incomes.
Vish Nene, one of the scientific organizers of the conference and a co-leader of the Animal and Human Health program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, gave a particularly lucid talk at the pre-meeting workshop on Novel tools and genomics approaches supporting vaccine development. The following is a transcript of Nene’s talk, lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
Research to improve the health and productivity of farmed animals in tropical climates has received a £4 million boost from the UK Government. The investment from DFID was announced by the Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, during a visit to the University of Edinburgh. It will support research in the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health—a joint venture between the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, SRUC, ILRI, the latter of which has major research facilities in Kenya and Ethiopia.
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) officially opens state-of-the-art facilities for genebank and bioscience research on 24 April 2017. The facilities will help protect a crucial component of the planet’s biodiversity—the diverse grasses and legumes that feed the world’s food animals. Research conducted here on livestock feed materials improves the sustainability and productivity of the livestock sector in many low-income countries across the world.
The experience of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partner geneticists in 2015–2016 clearly demonstrates the positive benefits to smallholder farmers of the application of new breeding and genomic approaches, leading to more productive and climate- and disease resilient livestock. However, it is when these new technologies are combined with improved management practices that they are translated into enhanced food security and higher incomes for smallholder farmers. These are the findings from the genetics research and interventions, presented in the ILRI Corporate report 2015–2016 highlights on Livestock genetics and breeding.