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.
A useful summary of the future plans of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), based in Washington, DC, has been published. Two of the five flagships of this multi-institutional research program are led or co-led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Nairobi, Kenya. Future work of these two flagships is described below.
Nagaland launches a comprehensive state pig-breeding policy, the first of its kind in India, developed through participatory and consultative processes.
A note in a scientific journal gives an update on long-term research to develop African cattle resistant to the Africa animal disease known as trypanosomiasis. The aim of this research is to help reduce widespread poverty and hunger on the continent by improving livestock livelihoods.
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.
Twenty organizations, including ILRI, made up the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, which from 2012 to 2015 coordinated research exploring the relations among African ecosystems and zoonotic diseases—those transmitted between animals and people—that impinge on ecosystem, human and animal wellbeing.
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.