Agriculture and climate change: Scientists and stakeholders break down walls in Berlin

by Gareth Salmon

I recently returned from Berlin, where I attended the first International Conference on Agricultural GHG Emissions and Food Security (#AgriGHG) The agricultural sector contributes significantly to human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. Responding to this, the conference brought together scientists and stakeholders (policy makers and advisors, farmers’ organisations and the food industry) to discuss the challenges and opportunities for emissions mitigation within the sector. 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 disease diagnosis tools for Sub-Saharan Africa: a guide to what’s out there

SEBI researcher Theodora Tsouloufi has been looking into disease diagnosis tools for animal health: what tools are currently available, what are their main offerings, and how these have been put into practice?

One of the ways the Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI) programme works to deliver ‘better livestock data for better smallholder lives’ is by evaluating already-existent and new technologies. The goal is to gain a better understanding of what tools and technologies work best to improve livestock health and productivity, and under what conditions. Read more

Collaboration in action: better livestock data for Africa and Asia

by Vanessa Meadu

Members of the LD4D community have joined forces to identify ways to better target interventions in Asia and Africa, and gain a fuller understanding of the impact of their work.

The recent meeting in Brisbane, Australia brought together experts from GALVmed, the University of Edinburgh’s Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI) program, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

GALVmed, which helps smallholder farmers access affordable vaccines and other animal health products, was keen to collaborate with and draw upon the expertise of the different organisations. A central question is whether and how modelling can help GALVmed identify contexts in which interventions are likely to increase net economic benefits for smallholders. This type of insight would also help them prioritise future interventions to control livestock diseases that threaten productivity and income.

Photo credits: Jeda Palmer (CSIRO)

The Global Food and Nutrition Security team at CSIRO bring deep expertise modelling livestock productivity identifying pathways for improved yields (exemplified by the LiveGAPS project), while ILRI offers expertise in animal health economics, value chain analysis, and epidemiology. SEBI, which facilitates the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) Community of Practice, brings new approaches to collating, analysing and sharing data and analytics. Together, they hope to develop an approach to model impacts at a range of scales, and produce case studies for GALVmed and the wider livestock data community.

Read more via CSIRO’s Global Food and Nutrition Security blog: Creating better livestock data through collaboration – Global Food and Nutrition Security

Header image: Naked neck chicks (crossbred) at an experimental station of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan (photo credit: ILRI/M Sajjad Khan).

Vanessa Meadu is Communications and Knowledge Exchange Specialist for the Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI) Program based at the University of Edinburgh. SEBI facilitates the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) Community of Practice.

Integrating gender into livestock projects: How data can help

By Jac Davis

The success of livestock projects can depend on how well they address gender gaps. Differences between men and women’s social roles and responsibilities can have large impacts on how livestock projects are implemented and maintained. But the exact effects of these gender differences may vary from project to project.  Data collection, and data collaboration, can help uncover and predict the role of gender in livestock projects.

Why include gender in livestock projects? Read more

Work with the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH)

The Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) is seeking candidates for two exciting new positions based in Edinburgh, UK. CTLGH supports programs that improve livestock-based livelihoods in the tropics. It is a strategic alliance of The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland’s Rural College and the International Livestock Research Institute.

More information: 

Photo: ILRI Biotechnology researchers in laboratory. P. Karaimu (ILRI).

Report from Rome: Livestock modelers band together to answer Big Questions

LD4D member Gareth Salmon reports back from a week of fruitful discussions with an international group of livestock data modelers at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome. 

To answer big questions relating to livestock, the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) community has convened a working group on Livestock Modelling. At the end of May, I visited the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, for a workshop organised by the working group, and met with key technical people who work on livestock modelling, to discuss how to share and consolidate information and methods to increase the efficiency and accuracy of global livestock modelling efforts. The meeting helped identify ways to harness the efforts and energy of a diverse community of experts. Read more