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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fighting famine in the Horn of Africa: What role for research on livestock market access?

Arid lands
Arid lands in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa: What role can agricultural research play in finding lasting solutions to the problem of drought and famine in the region? (Photo: ILRI)

The current drought in the Horn of Africa is the worst ever in 60 years and some 13 million people have been affected by the attendant food shortage.

Amid several calls for governments and policymakers to come up with long-term interventions to this recurring problem, a team of experts within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) will meet at the Nairobi headquarters of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on Thursday 1 September 2011 with a few selected development partners to discuss how agricultural research by the CGIAR can provide long-term solutions towards mitigating the effects of drought  and  improving and sustaining agricultural livelihoods in the drylands.

The topics to be addressed include:

  • Promising options and innovations to help farmers become more resilient and food-secure in the face of weather and other shocks;
  • The role of infrastructure and access to viable, functioning livestock markets in food security and prices;
  • Whether drought-tolerant crops and large-scale irrigation are the answer;
  • Whether pastoralism is a driver of drought-induced food insecurity or a buffer against it; and
  • Policies that are needed, and at what levels, to ensure that recommendations and innovations for drought-prone areas are put in place in those areas that need them most.

Among the panelists are Lloyd Le Page, Chief Executive Officer of the CGIAR Consortium; Mark Gordon, Co-Chair of the UN Somalia Food Cluster, World Food Programme; and Namanga Ngongi, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

The briefing is open to the press and the public and will be held from 1030hours to 1200hours. Please visit the CGIAR website for details and to RSVP.

For more information on this topic, and for the live video and chat link during the briefing, please visit the Horn of Africa page on the CGIAR website.

You may also follow @CGIAR on Twitter (hash tag #Ag4HoA).

1 comment:

  1. For details of the discussions during the media briefing, check out the following links:

    ILRI News blog - CGIAR media briefing on the food crisis in the Horn of Africa: A strengthened and joined-up approach is needed (

    Voice of America website - Experts debate how East Africa livestock herders should handle drought (

    The Guardian - Investment in pastoralists could help combat East Africa food crisis (