Expert opinion agrees that the best way to tap into the potential of the drylands is to build on the foundation of their livestock economies rather than ignoring them or seeking to replace them.
Partners and funders of a research-for-development project in rural Zimbabwe called ‘ZimCLIFS’ yesterday (18 Sep 2017) convened in the capital, Harare, to take stock of how small-scale mixed crop-and-livestock farmers improved their food and nutritional security and their livelihoods in four main districts (Goromonzi, Murewa, Gwanda and Nkayi, from 2012 to 2017) and in two spillover districts (Mutoko and Uzumba, from 2015 to 2017).
More than 2,250 pastoralists received insurance payouts following the extremely poor rains this year in southern Ethiopia. Low levels of rainfall have led to the loss of approximately 300,000 livestock in 2017 in the Borana zone of the southern Oromia region. The insurance payouts of more than ETB5.233 million (USD220,000) was the largest-ever micro-insurance indemnity made in Ethiopia. Each insured pastoralist received an average of ETB2,255 (USD96), which will allow the herders to purchase feeds for their surviving animals and to restock their herds.
A two-day workshop, 7–8 Sep 2017, on the topic of ‘Improving food safety along the pork value chain—lessons learned and ways forward’. The workshop consisted of two parts: (1) the closing of a project on ‘Reducing disease risks and improving food safety in smallholder pig value chains in Vietnam’, known as PigRISK, and (2) the launching of a project on ‘Market-based approaches to improving the safety of pork in Vietnam’, known as SafePORK
A delegation comprising IFAD staff visited the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) cassava processing sites at Lokongoma, Wushishi (Niger State) and Idogodo, Okpokwu (Benue State) in late July, 2017 to discuss progress with this important project.
An article in ‘Animal’ compares the lifetime performance (mortality, maturity, nutrition, birth weight etc.) of West African Dwarf goats kept under various feeding systems.
By ILRI’s Iain Wright: On 6–8 Jul 2017, I attended a conference at ICRAF on Impacts of International Agricultural Research: Rigorous Evidence for Policy organized jointly by the CGIAR ISPC’s SPIA and PIM. I welcomed the delegates at this meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, on behalf of ICRAF and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the two CGIAR centres headquartered in Nairobi. A modified version of my address and personal reflections on impact assessment in CGIAR follows.
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.