Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), this week made a short presentation at the annual meeting of the Food Forever Initiative held in Wilmington, Delaware, 23–24 Sep 2018. Food Forever is a global partnership to raise awareness on the importance and urgency of conserving and using agricultural biodiversity. Smith is one of 30 Food Forever champions advocating this important cause. Smith spoke on the central importance of better conserving, characterizing and using the world’s remaining livestock diversity to ensure future food security in the face of climate and other changes.
A new project is reconstructing Rwanda’s incomplete meteorological data record using cutting-edge climate science and developing climate information products and services based on the expressed needs of the country’s farmers and other end users. The work is carried out by RAB and Meteo Rwanda, in collaboration with CCAFS, IRI at Columbia University, ICRAF and ILRI, with funding from USAID.
At a time when the price of mutton is climbing and wool crashing, a groundbreaking new study has used advanced genetic sequencing technology to rewrite the history of sheep breeding and trading along the ancient Silk Road—insights that can help contemporary herders in developing countries preserve or recover valuable traits crucial to their food and economic security. The new findings regarding one of the first animals ever domesticated will be published in the October print edition of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. They are the product of an unprecedented collaboration involving scientists in China, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nepal, Finland, and the United Kingdom. The team analysed the complete mitochondrial DNA of 42 domesticated native sheep breeds from Azerbaijan, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Finland, China and the United Kingdom, along with two wild sheep species from Kazakhstan.
A new risk assessment paper, Assessing the potential role of pigs in the epidemiology of the Ebola virus in Uganda, was published in the science journal Transboundary and Emerging Diseases on 27 Aug 2015. The authors are scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Presently, there is no solid evidence that pigs have any role in the past outbreaks of Ebola virus disease. But the risk assessment paper indicates that further research on the role pigs may play in Ebola virus transmission in Uganda is warranted.
The first meeting of a new project, ‘B3Africa, short for ‘Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa’, was held this week (24–25 Aug 2015) at the University of the Western Cape, in Cape Town, South Africa.
The second of two scientists to make a short presentation to Sir Mark Walport, the UK chief scientific adviser, on his 15 Jul 2015 visit to the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, Kenya, was Tim Robinson, a livestock and spatial analysis expert.
The first scientist of two scientists to make a short presentation to Sir Mark Walport, the UK chief scientific adviser, on his 15 Jul 2015 visit to the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, Kenya, was Eric Fèvre, a veterinary epidemiologist and joint appointee at ILRI and the Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool. Fèvre manages several field-oriented research projects on neglected zoonoses on behalf of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health.