Tremendous research progress has been made over the last ten years to better control the deadly African disease of cattle known as East Coast fever. This disease is caused by a single-celled organism, Theileria parva, which is carried by some tick species. Cattle become infected when a tick carrying the parasite takes a blood-meal from the animal over several days.
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.
Eight staff from Tanzania’s Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development are undergoing a 14-month training and planning program assisted by experts from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Improving the genetic makeup of Africa’s dairy cattle has the potential increase farmer productivity and profitability, hence transform the lives of millions of dairy families across Africa. This latest program, African Dairy Genetic Gains (ADGG) program, led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), offers real opportunities to help smallholders improve their lives through livestock. It also contributes to ILRI’s global livestock genetics program—LiveGene.
Many rural households in Zimbabwe rely on food aid to meet their nutritional needs. This problem, often aggravated by unemployment and falls in income, threatens the livelihoods of low income and food-insecure populations.
Farmers participating in the Zimbabwe Crop-Livestock Integration for Food Security (ZimCLIFS) project have increased their gross margins by up to 70%. The ongoing food security improvement project is targeting the country’s dairy farmers to help improve feed farming and overall dairy production.
On 9-10 June 2015, a delegation from CIRAD, the French agricultural research and international cooperation organization, visited ILRI in Nairobi to develop concrete ideas for collaboration between the two organizations.