Knowledge for Development

Relevant publications

Livestock report 2006

The livestock sector is undergoing rapid changes in response to pressures from globalization and rapidly growing demand for animal food products in developing countries. The centre of gravity of livestock production is moving South, and a few developing countries are emerging as powerful new players on the global scene. At the same time, the market chains for livestock and their products are rapidly being transformed. While trade is expanding much faster than production, it is constantly under threat by disease outbreaks and this puts increasing pressure on veterinary services to improve their management of transboundary diseases. Download PDF


Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and food safety: challenges and opportunities for developing countries

Because of fast-growing demand, export markets can absorb high value added products and offer high returns; for many developing countries export market development is thus a key requirement for rural income generation and rural growth. Although developing countries face increasingly strict sanitary and phytosanitary standards in their export markets, they can maintain and improve market access – and improve domestic food safety and agricultural productivity – by adopting a strategic approach to food safety, agricultural health and trade. High-income countries should increase development flows to help developing countries build the capacity to plan and execute the necessary strategies. Download PDF


Botswana using digital bolus to trace stolen cattle

In Botswana, the use of the Livestock Identification & Trace-Back System (LITS) has reduced cases of livestock theft that had earlier threatened the country’s lucrative EU beef export market. The digital ID system uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which is safe, environmentally friendly, and tamperproof to identify individual livestock throughout the country. Other than managing cattle records and deterring cattle thefts, the digital livestock identification system would also open up access to important livestock markets such as the EU. The EU beef market regulation requires that imported beef be traceable from the export slaughter facilities to the individual animal from which the meat came from. Download this document


Livestock, disease, trade and markets: policy choices for the livestock sector in Africa

After years of being ignored, livestock issues are beginning to be put back on Africa’s development agenda. Livestock are being recognized as essential assets for livelihoods; as key to moving out of poverty; as a way into lucrative markets; as a source of foreign exchange; as well as important cultural resources, social safety nets and means of saving. Given this renewed emphasis, this Working Paper asks: What are some of the underlying debates, assumptions and trade-offs? What competing perspectives on ways forward for African livestock development are being explicitly – and implicitly – discussed? The paper focuses on three interlocking themes – markets, trade and standards; service delivery and organizational arrangements; and science and technology priorities, examining both policy debates and field-level experiences from across Africa.Download PDF


Livestock Information Network and Knowledge System (LINKS) for enhanced pastoral livelihoods in East Africa - Annual report 2005

Given the high dependency of pastoral family livelihood in eastern Africa on cash income from the sale of livestock and livestock products, institutional focus has been directed toward improving livestock market information, infrastructure and efficiency. The LINKS research project of the Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Programme (GLCRSP) seeks to design and deliver an equitable livestock information and communication system that provides monitoring and analysis technology to foster strategic partnerships between pastoral communities, markets and policy. The LINKS project has established the necessary technical framework for the reporting of prices and volumes and assisted in establishing a limited number of monitoring markets. This past year focused on building a viable market information flow, stakeholder training and institutional strengthening for adopting the LINKS system in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. A spatial model of pastoral livestock movement in response to forage supply, terrain, water supply and ethnicity was completed. Future activities will focus on incorporating reporting of disease, market prices and conflict in the model. Download PDF


Proceedings - International Conference on Livestock Agriculture in West and Central Africa: Achievements in the past 25 years, challenges ahead and the way forward.

The International Conference on Livestock Agriculture in West and Central Africa (WCA) was jointly organized by the two sub-regional livestock research Centres, the International Trypanotolerance Centre (ITC) in The Gambia and the Centre International de Recherche-Développement sur l’Elevage en zone Subhumide (CIRDES) in Burkina Faso, in partnership with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), Wageningen, The Netherlands, and with support from the European Union. The Conference was structured in a way that combined the broader past, present and future issues of livestock agriculture with the specific research and development aspects and lessons learnt from the EU-funded regional ‘Programme Concerté de Recherche-Développement sur l'Elevage en Afrique de l'Ouest’ (PROCORDEL), as a possible model for future livestock-based R&D for the region. Download PDF


Herd mobility leads the way for sustainable pastoral development: the case of Borana rangelands, southern Ethiopia

This paper develops concepts for the participatory planning of pastoral resource use on two sites in southern Ethiopia. Natural resources and herd movements were mapped using PRA tools, official maps and GIS. Socio-economic characteristics of 60 households and their herd movements during and after the last drought were analyzed. Socio-economic analysis determined preconditions for applying mobility at household level, specified for different stages of the drought cycle. It is concluded that revitalization of mobility should be attempted with the genuine involvement of the appropriate target groups and their experience. Download PDF


Integrating information and communication technology for the Livestock Early Warning System (LEWS) in East Africa

The GL-CRSP Livestock Early Warning System (LEWS) project in East Africa has developed a methodology and technology to address the informational needs of pastoral communities relative to changing forage conditions. The LEWS team has assembled an integrated suite of technology that provides estimates of livestock forage availability, deviation from normal, and a percentile ranking for a large portion of these four countries. When coupled with a 90-day forecasting system, information such as current forage conditions relative to historical conditions, conditions at the same time during the previous year, and likely forage response in the next 90 days can be provided. Since the human element in complex technology can be a major constraint for deployment in developing countries, LEWS has attempted to devise methods by which data is automatically acquired, analysis is conducted by resident programs scheduled to run unattended, and output information is generated and disseminated to outreach partners in the region. This information is updated every 10 days with situation reports and maps distributed via WorldSpace radios, email, internet, CDs, and newsletters, impacting over 400 organizations and 300 decision makers in the region. Download PDF


Pig husbandry in New Guinea - A literature review and bibliography

Pig production is the most significant part of smallholder livestock management in both Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Irian Jaya. In New Guinea as a whole, there are estimated to be nearly 2.5 million domestic pigs, or approximately one animal for every three people. In PNG, more than half the rural population raises pigs, and, in 1996, pork was the most consumed meat, with an estimated 11 kg eaten per person each year. Village pig production throughout New Guinea is a smallholder activity that is part of household livelihood strategies aimed at fulfilling both customary and (to a limited extent) market goals. This publication provides a bibliography of the literature on New Guinea pig husbandry, and reviews that literature. It is intended as a guide to, and overview of, the current state of knowledge on pigs in New Guinea. Download PDF


Livestock production and poverty alleviation – challenges and opportunities in arid and semi-arid tropical rangeland based systems

By C. Seré, A. Ayantunde, A. Duncan, A. Freeman, M. Herrero, S. Tarawali and I. Wright, International Livestock Research Institute, June 2008Rangelands are the largest land use system on earth. They constitute some 35 million km2 of the earth’s surface, with the majority in developing countries and some 65% (almost 22 million km2) of this in tropical Africa. Over 180 million people in the developing world depend for their livelihoods on these systems, with just over half of them living on less than $2 per day and a quarter on less than $1 per day (Thornton et al., 2002). Rangelands predominate in dryland areas where they may be defined as regions where there are less than 20 persons/km2 and where the length of the growing period (LGP) is less than 60 days/annum and does not permit significant crop growth. Figure 1 shows the location of the arid and semi-arid rangeland systems in tropical and subtropical regions of the World.


Livestock development and climate change in Turkana District, Kenya

By Notenbaert, A., Thornton, P., Herrero, M., ILRI, 2007. The main purpose of the study presented here is to shed some light using simple and aggregated methods on the following question: In view of the expected climate change, is there also a long-term perspective for livestock development in the area, i.e. will the Turkana ecosystem be able to sustain livestock production during the next few decades? In our search for an answer to this question, we looked at the current pressure on the environment, tried to interpolate the predicted climate change to the Turkana District scale and started exploring some of the possible impacts of climate change on the environment and the people depending on it. Due to the simplistic nature of the analyses performed, we consider these figures to be indicative only. This study goes hand in hand with another one focussing on market access and opportunities.


Managing water through livestock in the Nile Basin

By CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) Policy Brief, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2010. Livestock use and degrade much water in the Nile River Basin. New research suggests that the integrated development and management of water and livestock resources will conserve water and increase the profitability and environmental sustainability of investments by governments, development agencies, and farmers.


‘The role of livestock in developing communities: Enhancing multifunctionality’

‘The role of livestock in developing communities: Enhancing multifunctionality’ was launched on 9 November 2010 at the University of the Free State, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The book was edited by Frans Swanepoel, Aldo Stroebel and Siboniso Moyo, co-published by the University of the Free State South Africa, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The book provides critical information and knowledge on the importance of livestock in the global effort to alleviate poverty and promote human health. It describes and evaluates case studies, examines theoretical frameworks, and discusses key global policy development issues, challenges and constraints related to smallholder livestock production systems around the globe. It describes successful livestock development strategies, including ways to promote gender equality and to empower women through livestock development and ways to develop small-scale livestock enterprises without harming the environment. The book is written for academic professionals, industry experts, government officials and other scholars interested in the facts and issues concerning the contribution of livestock to the social and economic progress of developing countries.(Source: Frans Swanepoel, Aldo Stroebel and Siboniso Moyo. Co-published by the University of the Free State South Africa, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), 9 November 2010.)


Food-Feed Crops Research: A Synthesis

The December 2010 special issue of Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology focuses on the fodder quality of crop residues and how this can be improved through the close collaboration of crop and livestock scientists in multi-dimensional crop improvement programmes. ‘Food-Feed Crops Research: A Synthesis’ synthesizes the salient findings of the 16 papers included in the special issue on food-feed crops. While summarizing the approaches and outcomes of the research papers, the synthesis also discusses related issues, which are of importance in delineating the future research agenda on this topic. Cereal crop residues (CCRs) constitute the single most important fodder resource but the inherent low nutritive value of most CCRs is a handicap in the effective utilization of this feed resource. The synthesis paper, besides providing an update on the progress in food-feed crop research, suggests future approaches to exploit the variability in fodder quality traits for improving livestock productivity. It also highlights the need for the plant and animal scientists to work in tandem to achieve this goal. Furthermore, it stresses the need for greater integration, focus, coordination of efforts to improve the utilization of food– feed crops. The fundamental issues explored in this special issue, are: (1) availability of livestock nutritionally-significant cultivar-dependent variation in crop residue fodder quantity and quality; (2) relationships between crop residue fodder traits and primary food traits and possible trade-offs between the traits; (3) technologies for quick and inexpensive phenotyping of large sets of samples for simple fodder quality that are well correlated with actual livestock productivity; (4) breeding techniques for further genetic enhancement towards food-feed traits; and (5) upgrading crop residue fodder in value chains through densification and fortification. See the ILRI News release about the special issue.(Source: A.K. Pattanaik, K. Sharma, S. Anandan, M. Blümmel; in Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology (Journal), Special issue on fodder quality of crop residues , December 2010)


Farmer-led research in village pig production in Lao PDR

Farmers are always looking for ways to improve their crop and livestock production systems. Recently, an opportunity for improving feed supply for pigs was identified by farmers in northern Laos. The legume Stylosanthes guianensis CIAT 184 (Stylo) had been introduced as a feed for ruminants but farmers also evaluated its use as a feed for pigs. They found that stylo was liked by pigs. They used it to replace naturally-occurring green feeds which took a long time to collect from fallow fields and forest margins. Women had been spending, on average, 3 hours per day collecting and cooking feed for pigs. With stylo, this time was reduced to 90 minutes per day. As farmers started to feed more stylo, they found that their pigs grew much better, increasing the average daily weight gain from approximately 100 to 200g.This better growth halved the time needed to grow pigs to marketable weight. These benefits prompted other farmers in surrounding villages to also grow and use stylo for their pigs. Creating an environment in which farmers were able to freely evaluate and adapt forage technologies to their own situation was a critical element in the evolution of this innovation. Participatory approaches were employed to ensure that farmers were involved actively in every stage of technology development. This generated unexpected outcomes and opened new research opportunities.(Source: P. Phengsavanh and W. Stür, for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR and CIAT.; Farmer-led research in village pig production in Lao PDR, P Phengsavanh [Livestock Research Center (LRC), National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute(NAFRI), Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Vientiane, Lao PDR] and W. Stür [International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), P.O. Box 783, Vientiane, Lao PDR] )


Livestock-Climate Newsletter released

The first issue of Chronicles, the quarterly newsletter of the Livestock-Climate Change Collaborative Research Support Program is now available online and in paper format. The Adapting Livestock Systems to Climate Change Collaborative Research Support Program (ALS-CC CRSP) was established in 2010. The goal of the Livestock-Climate CRSP is to reduce vulnerability, increase adaptive capacity, and augment the income of livestock producers in regions where agricultural systems are changing, available resources are shrinking, and climate is having an impact.(Source: Livestock-Climate Change Collaborative Research Support Program, Fall 2010)


Mapping a better future: Spatial analysis and pro-poor livestock strategies in Uganda

by Norbert Henninger, Florence Landsberg, with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Uganda, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the International Livestock Research Institute, October, 2010This report commissioned by the World Resource Institute, USA, uses mapping data to examine the spatial relationships between poverty, livestock production systems, the location of livestock services, in order to ensure that government investments in the livestock sector benefit smallholders and high-poverty locations. The process of compiling the data, producing the maps, and analyzing the map overlays has shown that: Analysts working with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, and other collaborators can combine poverty maps with maps of livestock systems and distributions, milk surplus and deficit areas, and areas of high disease risk to highlight relationships that might not otherwise be obvious. From these map overlays, analysts can create new indicators and maps juxtaposing levels of poverty and the type and levels of livestock production. Analysts can use these indicators and maps to select geographic areas with specific poverty and livestock profiles for pro-poor targeting. Decision-makers can use these new indicators and maps to make more informed and transparent choices when prioritizing investments in the livestock sector and to communicate these priorities to the public. Maps showing milk surplus and deficit areas can highlight geographic differences in market opportunities for poor dairy farmers. This information can help policymakers, dairy researchers, and development agencies to better target knowledge dissemination, market infrastructure investments, and service delivery to dairy farmers.(Source: World Resources Institute, Feb. 2011)


New avenues for pastoral development in sub-Saharan Africa

A special issue of the European journal of development research (Volume 22, Issue 5, Dec. 2010) special issue of the European journal of development research highlights current avenues for the analysis of pastoral development in sub-Saharan Africa from multiple empirical perspectives.Among the key questions it addresses are: What development challenges are pastoral societies currently confronted with and how do they address these challenges? What are the impacts of the multiple social, ecological, economic and political transformations of the past two decades on development problems and interventions in pastoral areas? What are the contemporary practices and discourses of ‘pastoral development’ of various actors including development agencies and state actors? What are the roles of indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge systems in pastoral development? What are the development implications of the major research findings of different bodies of literature focussing on African drylands and their inhabitants? What are the continuities and ruptures in terms of pastoral development trajectories that are observable in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa? By addressing these and other questions, this special issue provides a timely update of earlier attempts at taking stock of the development challenges faced by African pastoralists


Thematic dossier from the CSFD on dryland pastoralism

The latest thematic dossier of the French science committee on desertification (CSFD) focuses on pastoral systems in sub-Saharan Africa, their relevance, their many roles, threats to them, as well as interactions between pastoralism and natural resources. It also questions the conditions for sustainable pastoralism.


Intra-household access to livestock information and financial services in Kenya

Access to timely and reliable information on livestock production and marketing is important in addressing the production and marketing aspects of the sector alongside access to financial services. This study analyzes the intra-household disparities in access to information and financial services among rural households in selected districts in Kenya. Specifically, it compares women's access to information on livestock production and financial services with that of men. Results show that informal channels such as farmer to farmer interactions were the key sources of information for livestock production and marketing. Men in male headed households received more training and were exposed to greater and more varied topics than women. Men borrowed more from formal credit providers such as banks and co-operatives while women mainly borrowed from their community groups and neighbours. Analysis of determinants of savings by women revealed that women's age and education positively and significantly increase their probability to save.