Since 2017, as part of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and RTI International, the University of Rwanda, and TechnoServe have been implementing a research project that is enhancing the quality and consumption of milk to improve the income and nutrition in Rwanda. TechnoServe’s work focuses …
Research plays a key role in identifying challenges as well as opportunities that can be used to spur development in the livestock sector. Therefore, in conducting research one of the core objectives is to ensure it makes significant contribution towards improving livelihoods.
Given that there are many priorities competing for stakeholder attention and scarce resources, research should not only help generate and promote strategies, but also demonstrate how they contribute to sustainable livestock development.
An ongoing project in Rwanda is focusing on increasing the consumption of milk, which is considered a promising way of promoting income generation activities and nutritional outcomes. Many parents and other farmers are learning how to improve both the production of milk and their children’s nutrition.
Both in the scientific community and the media, there are a lot of talks about sustainable livestock systems, what they are and how to promote them. A sustainable farming system is one which is economically viable, socially acceptable, environmentally friendly and transferable to the future generations. But achieving sustainable smallholder milk production systems in developing countries, including Tanzania, is limited by many constraints including low cow productivity, shortage of feed, limited access to inputs and outputs markets and degradation of natural resources.
Achieving global goals of lowering livestock’s greenhouse gas emissions is hinged on changing the practices (feeding, herd management and manure management) of smallholder households. Animal husbandry is characterized by gendered division of labour, resource control and decision-making power, with men mainly claiming ownership of animals while women provide labour. Farmers worldwide are known to be motivated to adopt practices that enhance productivity and profitability.
Dairy is an important contributor to the nation’s economy in Nicaragua. Cattle production accounts for 45% of the national agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 32% of exports by value. An improved cattle feeding system is a profitable investment that can increase cow milk yields in the country.
Researchers from ILRI studied the farm impacts of different types of linkages between smallholder dairy farmers and large processors through dairy hubs.
Despite the observed decline in the demand for artificial insemination (AI) services in recent years, farmers are willing to use AI if the quality of the services is improved to match their preferences.
A recently published research report highlights that in order to appropriately address gender and socially inclusive development in the Kenyan dairy sector, any intervention must take into consideration the substantive cultural gender issues that are at play at both the household and producer organization levels.
On 8 September 2016, the International Livestock Research Institute and partners hold a working session at the 2016 African Green Revolution Forum on transforming dairy value chains in Africa: Pathways to prosperity.