News and updates on research on livestock value chains by the International Livestock Research Institute and partners

Friday, May 27, 2011

Collaborative approaches towards better livestock data quality in Africa

Although there are currently several types of livestock data and indicators in Africa, many are difficult to access, such as productivity indicators, livestock inventories and marketing-related data.

On the other hand, some livestock-related data may be readily accessible but with attendant quality issues thereby potentially undermining their reliability and usefulness in policymaking and development planning.

The Livestock Data Innovation project seeks to address these issues through collaborative approaches aimed at improving the quality and accessibility of livestock data and promoting pro-poor investments in the livestock sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

This is a 3-year project sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by the World Bank, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the African Union - Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).

The presentation below, Livestock data in sub-Saharan Africa: Availability and issues, by Derek Baker of ILRI, Ibrahim Ahmed of AU-IBAR and Ugo Pica-Ciamarra of FAO highlights some of the quality and accessibility issues associated with livestock data in Africa and some proposed approaches of the project and of the AU-IBAR-led Animal Resources Information System 2 (ARIS 2) towards addressing these issues.

For more information, please visit the project web page.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Study reviews 20 years of global livestock disease dynamics

Livestock-dependent smallholder and pastoralist systems in developing countries have been identified as one of three trajectories of global disease dynamics. (Photo credit: ILRI/Mann)

From a livestock and global change special feature in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (online 16 May 2011) comes a review paper on global livestock disease dynamics by Brian Perry, Delia Grace and Keith Sones.

Dr Delia Grace, a veterinary epidemiologist and food safety expert, leads the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) research team on animal health and food safety for trade.

Lead author, Prof Brian Perry, is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK (based in Kenya), and Extraordinary Professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa. A veterinary surgeon by profession, he previously worked at ILRI for 20 years and led the research team on animal health and food safety for trade.

Dr Keith Sones is an animal health specialist with the Nairobi-based Keith Sones Associates.

The paper reviews the changing patterns of livestock disease over the last 20 years, discusses the main drivers of these patterns and plots future trajectories of livestock disease risk and associated control.

While acknowledging the complexity of disease dynamics, the authors point to three main drivers of changing livestock disease dynamics: ecosystem change, ecosystem incursion, and movement of people and animals. Underlying these dynamics are the growing demand for livestock products (the Livestock Revolution) and increasing human population size.

Three trajectories of global disease dynamics are identified as: (1) the intensified and worried well of the Western world, (2) intensifying and market-orientated sectors of the developing world (hot spots) and (3) smallholder systems dependent on traditional livestock-derived livelihoods (cold spots).

Read the abstract

Perry BD, Grace D and Sones K. 2011. Current drivers and future directions of global livestock disease dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 16 May 2011. doi 10.1073/pnas.1012953108

Thursday, May 12, 2011

ILRI film features integrated community-based methods to control trypanosomosis in West Africa

Livestock keepers in West Africa rely largely on treating their cattle with drugs to protect them from trypanosomosis, but resistance to these drugs has emerged in many areas.

This training film (approx. 13 minutes) from the project, Preventing and containing trypanocide resistance in the cotton zone of West Africa, outlines good practices for improving the use of drugs and slowing the emergence of resistance.

These practices, which are based on Rational Drug Use, an approach from human health now adapted for animal care, are clearly explained so that veterinary workers and farmers can treat animals safely.

Rational Drug Use can be combined with other methods that reduce the numbers of tsetse flies to further slow the spread of resistance to trypanocidal medicines.

This is one of three films telling the story of the current state of the war against a disease that is so deadly and widespread that farmers call it 'the malaria of cattle'.

Also see this related post on Livestock Markets DigestStudy calls for participatory approach to prevent trypanocide drug resistance in West Africa

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Study explores economic impacts of livestock commodity-based trade with health & safety focus

Commodity-based trade that focuses on health and safety attributes of the product rather than the status of the country of origin is one option for increasing market access for livestock products from Africa, a new study recommends.

Livestock market opportunities in Africa have traditionally been limited by the presence of certain infectious diseases that pose risks to animal and human health.

The study, published in the April 2011 online edition of Development Policy Review, analyses the technical considerations and likely economic effects of this innovative approach to commodity-based trade.

The paper was written by Dr Karl Rich of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Prof Brian Perry of University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh, and University of Pretoria.

View the abstract here

Rich KM and Perry BD. 2011. Whither commodity-based trade? Development Policy Review 29(3): 331-357.