Jimmy Smith is a panel member in a special session occurring today organized by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture—Sustainable livestock and the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. In this session, Smith provides a concrete example of livestock advancing Agenda 2030 in the form of an Ethiopian ‘livestock master plan’ developed by the Ethiopian Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries with ILRI’s technical support and project funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as in-kind resources invested by the Ethiopian Government and ILRI.
The focus of the government of Uganda is to transform agriculture from subsistence to commercially oriented systems. The work being done by ILRI resonates with government’s objectives
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.
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.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, led by the University of Florida, is currently organizing a number of stakeholder consultation meetings to identify high-priority needs in the six countries it will cover (Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mali, Nepal, Rwanda). ILRI is a close partner in this new initiative and it helped organize the Ethiopia consultation meeting in Feb 2016.
Tanzania’s livestock sector will benefit from a recently started project targeting to transform it by guiding investments in the four main value chains comprising red meat, milk and products; poultry, eggs and pig meat.
Ethiopia is well-placed to lead Africa in harnessing the contribution of the livestock sector to maximize food and nutritional security, reduce poverty and develop sustainable farming. The recent publication of the Ethiopia livestock master plan indicates that it is gearing up to do so.