The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) are supporting four new research projects to address a broad set of robust and large-scale research priorities to guide program and policy efforts to improve food safety in Ethiopia. This will be achieved through a consortium of national and international research partners working together to support the country’s ongoing efforts.
Recognition of the importance of livestock in addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges, including meeting the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, has been rising sharply in recent years among leading national, political, donor and international bodies.
Research to improve the health and productivity of farmed animals in tropical climates has received a £4 million boost from the UK Government. The investment from DFID was announced by the Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, during a visit to the University of Edinburgh. It will support research in the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health—a joint venture between the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, SRUC, ILRI, the latter of which has major research facilities in Kenya and Ethiopia.
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 new research paper, Trade-offs for climate-resilient pastoral livelihoods in wildlife conservancies in the Mara ecosystem, Kenya, was recently published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice, May 2017. The paper is co-authored by Claire Bedelian, of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and University College London (UCL), and Joseph Ogutu, of ILRI and the University of Hohenheim.
ILRI’s Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) program and Takaful Insurance of Africa are this year’s winners of the prestigious Insurance Innovations Award 2017. The announcement was made at the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re)’s Insurance Awards gala dinner held on Monday 22 May 2017, at the Serena Kigo Hotel, in Kampala, Uganda.
A new open-access Nutrition Knowledge Bank has been created as part of a GSMA mNutrition initiative to help tackle malnutrition in Africa and Asia. This collection of content on good nutritional practices includes factsheets and mobile messages for anyone to download and use. Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the mNutrition project aims to deliver nutrition information to 3 million people in 12 developing countries.
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.
We’ve been a bit quiet recently on the ILRI blog front as we focused on covering the Science Forum 2016 organized by the Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) of CGIAR, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 12–14 Mar 2016. Below are links to a couple of the more challenging presentations.
The second of two scientists to make a short presentation to Sir Mark Walport, the UK chief scientific adviser, on his 15 Jul 2015 visit to the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, Kenya, was Tim Robinson, a livestock and spatial analysis expert.