Widespread drought conditions in the Horn of Africa have intensified since the failure of the Oct–Dec 2016 rains. Areas of greatest concern cover much of Somalia, northeast and coastal Kenya, southeast Ethiopia and the Afar region, and South Sudan, which faces a serious food crisis due to protracted insecurity. One focus of the East African-headquartered International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is to help developing-country livestock communities enhance their resilience in the face of recurring droughts. ILRI belongs to CGIAR—a global research partnership of 15 centres and their partners working yo reduce poverty, enhance food and nutrition security and improve natural resources and ecosystem services.
More than Ksh214 million is on tap for 12,000 pastoral households in six counties of northern Kenya through innovative policies that use satellite imagery to trigger payments for feed, veterinary supplies and water.
A new research paper by scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partner organizations confirms that milk, meat and eggs are widely consumed by poor people in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi: these animal-source goods make up nearly 40% of the food budget and half of this is spent on dairy products. Economic analysis revealed a high propensity to consume animal-source foods and elasticities showed that, if their prices could be lowered, consumption of animal-source foods would rocket, benefiting both the nutritional status of poor consumers and the livelihoods of small-scale livestock producers.
A new paper on the consequences of land fragmentation and fencing on rangelands outside Nairobi, Kenya, formerly rich with wildlife and critical for the functioning of Nairobi’s famed national park, has been published. All of the authors are former staff, and one former partner, of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), where this research work was conducted.
Insurance that pays out when forage coverage drops—known as index-based livestock insurance—is an elegant idea. Andrew Mude, an economist and principal scientist at ILRI, last month was awarded the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application. The award, a major prize in agricultural research, is given by the World Food Prize Foundation and financed by the Rockefeller Foundation. Tina Rosenberg covers the story in the New York Times.
Here’s a wake up call for all those who care about Kenya’s rich heritage of wild animals, rangelands and pastoral peoples. A new study reporting on the period from 1977 to 2016 says wildlife on the rangelands of Kenya, which still support some of the richest herds of mammals on earth, is in precipitous decline while populations of goats and sheep are increasingly sharply.
Andrew Mude, a principal research scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, Kenya, was yesterday named the 5th recipient of a prestigious award for his work in providing insurance to livestock herders in East Africa’s drylands through innovative, state-of-the-art technologies.