Big Data approaches offer hope for improved livestock analysis

By Louise Donnison, Karen Smyth and Vanessa Meadu

LD4D members report back from the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture Convention, which took place 3-5 October in Nairobi, Kenya.

How can data-driven approaches improve the sustainability and resilience of food systems? And can these approaches be successfully applied in the livestock sector? In October, members of the LD4D community met in Nairobi to participate in the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture Convention, which brought together agriculture and data scientists from around the world to share their innovative tools and approaches. Due to its unique role in bringing together livestock data producers and users, LD4D also acts as the CGIAR’s Big Data in Agriculture livestock data community of practice. The convention presented plenty of ideas which could offer inspiration to the LD4D community. Read more

Large increases in goat meat production are possible in Ethiopia and India, says new study

by Jeda Palmer and Vanessa Meadu

Small ruminants such as goats are an important source of income for smallholder farmers in South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. The LiveGAPS project, led by CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) work investigated potential for different intervention packages to increase yields and profitability of goat meat production in Ethiopia and India. The results are published in a new paper, “Closing yield gaps in smallholder goat production systems in Ethiopia and India“.  Read more

What livestock and where? Q&A with Timothy Robinson on Gridded Livestock of the World 3.0

by Vanessa Meadu

New data on global livestock distribution to help sector along sustainable pathways

Today, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and other partners, releases a new, 10 km global dataset of livestock distributions: the Gridded Livestock of the World, version 3.0 (GLW3), published in Nature Scientific Data.

GLW3 has a reference year of 2010 and includes global distributions of cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, chickens and ducks at a spatial resolution of 5 minutes of arc.

The digital maps in geotiff format are freely available for download via FAO’s Livestock Systems website, which also provides data on production systems and links to resources related to sustainable livestock sector development.

Timothy Robinson, Livestock Policy Officer at the FAO, who co-led GLW3, answers a few questions about this new data.

Q: Why map livestock? Read more

Livestock fact check: climate change, yield gaps and more

The LD4D community has released four new factsheets that dig into the data and evidence behind commonly held livestock facts. The latest factsheets investigate claims relating to livestock and climate change, the multiple functions and uses of livestock in Low and Middle Income Countries, the impacts of disease on livestock productivity and the gaps between current and potential yield from livestock.  Read more

Livestock fact check: watch the webinar

Unearthing the data behind the most prevalent livestock facts

On June 8 2018 LD4D hosted an online discussion to launch a set of factsheets and discuss the provenance of popular livestock facts, recognise gaps in knowledge, and get up to speed on the latest figures. Watch the recorded webinar and read a summary of the discussion below.

Watch the recorded webinar

We welcome further questions and comments, please leave them at the end of this page.

Why check the facts?

Livestock is often at the centre of economic, social and environmental discussions, but popular facts are not always rooted in reliable data. Read more

Livestock fact check: new series delves into data behind popular figures

by Vanessa Meadu

Facts around livestock feature prominently in debates about the economy, environment and human health, but some of the most commonly cited facts are not rooted in clear evidence. That’s why the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) community of experts are investigating the most widespread claims. Their findings are published today in the first of a series of factsheets known as Livestock Fact Check. Read more

SciDev.Net highlights impacts of missing livestock data in Africa

What happens when data about livestock health and productivity is unavailable or insufficient? SciDev.Net attended the recent meeting of the Livestock Data for Development (LD4D) Community of Practice (CoP) in Kenya, to hear from our members about the potential risks of missing data, and the opportunities that emerge when data comes together.

For instance, the experts said that the management of livestock diseases such as East Cost Fever requires data to effectively understand the impacts of the disease and its control interventions to prevent economic losses to smallholder farmers.

livestock data could boost the adoption of interventions for improving animal nutrition, husbandry, healthcare and genetics, which are important for increasing productivity.

The article goes on to mention some of the ways the LD4D community is tackling these issues, including bringing together livestock data suppliers and users, and enhancing the capacity of decision makers to use available data.

Read the full story: Impacts of missing livestock data in Africa – SciDev.Net Sub-Saharan Africa

Learn more about LD4D’s work via our Working Groups