For several days this week (18–20 Jan 2018), several scientific directors and staff of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)—Jimmy Smith, Shirley Tarawali, Dieter Schillinger, Lutz Merbold and Kristina Roesel—will be participating with several ILRI partners in the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), held in Berlin, Germany. This annual German three-day international conference focuses on the future of the global agri-food industry. Now in its tenth year, the GFFA in 2018 is focusing on Shaping the Future of Livestock—Sustainably, Responsibly, Efficiently.
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.
Speaking last week at the opening of the annual meeting of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH), ILRI Director General Jimmy Smith reminded his scientific audience of the specific livestock means by which the world can meet their ambitious goals. The four livestock development pathways Smith describes for meeting the SDGs—economic growth, equitable livelihoods, nutrition and health, ecosystem health—(see below) are largely unknown outside of the South, where they are taken for granted. Time for that to change, Smith said. Time for livestock researchers to conduct their science ‘with the end in mind’.
A newly launched pig genetics project seeks to increase the productivity and profitability of the Ugandan smallholder pig enterprises by developing a genetic improvement strategy to ensure the availability and accessibility of appropriate pig breeds.
On Friday 14 July, the role of livestock in achieving the SDGs is the focus of a special event at the High-Level Forum on Sustainable Development. Organized by the International Livestock Research Institute, Heifer International, the Livestock Global Alliance and the Global Agenda on Sustainable Livestock, the session explores why livestock are essential for Agenda 2030.
A recent opinion piece on women and livestock was written by Isabelle Baltenweck, an agricultural economist and deputy leader of ILRI’s Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods program. Her piece was published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation News.
The following policy recommendations build on the main findings of the CFS High Level Panel of Expert’s Jul 2016 report #10, on Sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition: What roles for livestock? The sustainable development of agriculture, including livestock, is essential for poverty reduction and the achievement of food security and nutrition.