With the opening of the latest high-tech forage genebank and bioscience research facilities, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Ethiopia is well on the way to realizing it dream of becoming a major science hub in eastern Africa. Speaking at the beginning of the launch of the new facilities yesterday, Siboniso Moyo, representative in Ethiopia for the ILRI director general, spoke of the new facilities as the beginning of a drive to upscale facilities on the campus.
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 scientists in 2015–2016 shows the positive benefits of implementing pioneering research and development interventions that increase the overall quantity and nutritional quality of feed biomass and help smooth seasonal feed variability, creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for smallholder livestock keepers. But the real scope for spreading the knowledge in this research lies in the development of on- and off-line tools that can be used by isolated smallholder farmers in accessing approaches for assessing feed constraints and developing effective feed and forage improvement interventions.
A first look at a revamped ILRI research program: Feed and Forage Development
Just announced: Publication of the first issue of a newsletter produced by the Global Crop Diversity Trust that is a first step in fulfilling on a new strategy for tropical and subtropical forage diversity and use.
Crop diversity can be conserved and shared. Scientists know how to do it and at a very limited cost to the world community. It requires global leadership and stronger partnerships and the building of capacities of scientists in the developing world. No country is self-sufficient; successful breeding is highly dependent on functioning multilateralism, according to Marie Haga, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.
Ethiopia has long been recognised as a biodiversity hotspot, one of the eight centres of global crop diversity. Barley, coffee, sorghum and some wild types of wheat all originated in these fertile lands. Recognizing the importance of this diversity to guaranteeing global food security, the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, the Global Crop Diversity Trust and the International Livestock Research Institute hold a high-level seminar on 23 Feb 2016 at 6 pm.