In this guest post, originally published by Farming First, Shirley Tarawali, assistant director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), takes a closer look at livestock’s impact on the environment, and what is being done to manage its environmental ‘hoofprint’.
A first look at a revamped ILRI research program: Feed and Forage Development
In recent years, ILRI scientists have been working with institutional partners and local farmer organizations in Odisha, a large eastern state of India on the Bay of Bengal, on research to improve the feed and fodder resources readily available to smallholder livestock keepers. ILRI conducted this collaborative research through a collaborative CGIAR Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) aiming to increase and sustain small farm productivity in selected regions of Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
As part of an ILRI photojournalism trip to India undertaken in early Mar 2016, the authors visited a town on the outskirts of Bhadrak, a city in northern Odisha, to capture a bit of what the ILRI-led CSISA work has accomplished for small-scale dairy farmers in the area.
Many rural households in Zimbabwe rely on food aid to meet their nutritional needs. This problem, often aggravated by unemployment and falls in income, threatens the livelihoods of low income and food-insecure populations.
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.
On 5 February 2015, the Humidtropics Ethiopia Action Site R4D Platform was launched at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa. The platform is designed to oversee, and link with, the local level innovation platforms at field sites for co-learning and guiding Humidtropics integrated research-for-development activities in the country.
Livestock matters a great deal in developing countries, playing an increasingly important role in food security and economic development. In fact, the livestock subsector is growing faster than all other agriculture sectors in developing countries worldwide. And importantly in the International Year of Family Farming, the bulk of that livestock production is occurring on small family farms. Livestock farming offers unique features to support local livelihoods and economies, especially for women.