Feed aggregator

Sustaining crop productivity while reducing environmental nitrogen losses in the subtropical wheat-maize cropping systems: A comprehensive case study of nitrogen cycling and balance

Our latest outputs -

Sustaining crop productivity while reducing environmental nitrogen losses in the subtropical wheat-maize cropping systems: A comprehensive case study of nitrogen cycling and balance Minghua Zhou; Bo Zhu; Brüggemann, N.; Dannenmann, M.; Yanqiang Wang; Butterbach-Bahl, K. Balancing the nitrogen (N) budgets of agricultural systems is essential for sustaining yields at lower environmental costs. However, it is still rare to find reports on the total N budgets of agricultural systems including all N fluxes in the literature. Here, we conducted a comprehensive study on the effects of different N fertilizers (control, synthetic fertilizer, 60% synthetic fertilizer N plus 40% pig manure N, pig manure N applied at the same rate of 280 kg N ha−1 yr−1) on N pools, cycling processes, fluxes and total N balances in a subtropical wheat-maize rotation system in China by monitoring in situ N fluxes combined with field 15N-tracer and 15N isotope-dilution techniques. The warm and wet maize season was associated with significantly larger N losses via gaseous and hydrological pathways than the cooler and drier wheat season. Nitrate leaching and NH3 volatilization were the main N loss pathways, accounting for 78% and 93% of the annual hydrological and gaseous N losses, respectively. The field 15N tracing experiment showed that the wheat system had a high N retention capacity (∼50% of 15N application), although the N residence time was short. In the subsequent maize season, 90% of the residual 15N-labeled fertilizer in the soil that had been applied to the wheat system was utilized by plants or lost to the environment. The combined application of synthetic and organic fertilizers (pig manure) or application of pig manure resulted in significantly higher soil N retention and lower NO3− leaching, while yields remained unaffected. However, the application of manure resulted in larger NH3 volatilization losses compared with the application of synthetic fertilizer alone. Thus, our study suggests that a combination of synthetic and organic N fertilizers is suitable for sustaining agricultural productivity while reducing environmental N losses by fostering interactions between the soil C and N cycles.

Gastrointestinal nematode infection in small ruminants in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Animal science for sustainable productivity program:Outputs -

Gastrointestinal nematode infection in small ruminants in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis Asmare, K.; Sheferaw, D.; Aragaw, K.; Abera, M.; Sibhat, B.; Haile, A.; Kiara, H.; Szonyi, B.; Skjerve, E.; Wieland, B. Gastrointestinal (GI) nematode infections are a major health challenge affecting productive and reproductive performance of sheep and goats in Ethiopia. However, there is no comprehensive summary on the occurrence and distribution of the infection at national level. This systematic review provides pooled prevalence estimates and assesses potential predictors of the nematode infections in small ruminants, i.e. helpful in planning interventions or control strategies. The review used 50 animal level datasets retrieved from 24 manuscripts. The studies used data collected from 9407 sheep and 3478 goats. A meta-analytical approach was employed to analyze Effect size (ES). The reported GI nematodes represented eleven genera affecting sheep and goats including:Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus, Teladorsagia/Ostertagia, Strongyloides, Bunostomum,Nematodirus, Chabertia, Trichuris, Cooperia, Skrjabinema and Oesophagostomum. The GI nematodes pooled prevalence estimate in the random effect model was 75.8% (95% CI: 69.6, 80.8). The subgroup analysis revealed significant (p < 0.05) differences in the prevalence between different regions and type of diagnostic methods used. ‘Postmortem technique’ and ‘eastern part of the country’ were associated with higher GI nematode prevalence and accounted for 68.1% of the between studies heterogeneity. In light of the high parasitic prevalence in all agro-ecologies, the need for strategic intervention is recommended. Meanwhile, data need to be generated for some of the regions where dependable survey reports are lacking.

From gender analysis to transforming gender norms: Using empowerment pathways to enhance gender equity and food security in Tanzania

Livelihoods, gender, impact and innovation:Outputs -

From gender analysis to transforming gender norms: Using empowerment pathways to enhance gender equity and food security in Tanzania Galiè, A.; Kantor, P. Drawing on studies from Africa, Asia and South America, this book provides empirical evidence and conceptual explorations of the gendered dimensions of food security. It investigates how food security and gender inequity are conceptualized within interventions, assesses the impacts and outcomes of gender-responsive programs on food security and gender equity and addresses diverse approaches to gender research and practice that range from descriptive and analytical to strategic and transformative. The chapters draw on diverse theoretical perspectives, including transformative learning, feminist theory, deliberative democracy and technology adoption. As a result, they add important conceptual and empirical material to a growing literature on the challenges of gender equity in agricultural production.

Gastrointestinal nematode infection in small ruminants in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Our latest outputs -

Gastrointestinal nematode infection in small ruminants in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis Asmare, K.; Sheferaw, D.; Aragaw, K.; Abera, M.; Sibhat, B.; Haile, A; Kiara, H.; Szonyi, B.; Skjerve, E.; Wieland, B. Gastrointestinal (GI) nematode infections are a major health challenge affecting productive and reproductive performance of sheep and goats in Ethiopia. However, there is no comprehensive summary on the occurrence and distribution of the infection at national level. This systematic review provides pooled prevalence estimates and assesses potential predictors of the nematode infections in small ruminants, i.e. helpful in planning interventions or control strategies. The review used 50 animal level datasets retrieved from 24 manuscripts. The studies used data collected from 9407 sheep and 3478 goats. A meta-analytical approach was employed to analyze Effect size (ES). The reported GI nematodes represented eleven genera affecting sheep and goats including:Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus, Teladorsagia/Ostertagia, Strongyloides, Bunostomum,Nematodirus, Chabertia, Trichuris, Cooperia, Skrjabinema and Oesophagostomum. The GI nematodes pooled prevalence estimate in the random effect model was 75.8% (95% CI: 69.6, 80.8). The subgroup analysis revealed significant (p < 0.05) differences in the prevalence between different regions and type of diagnostic methods used. ‘Postmortem technique’ and ‘eastern part of the country’ were associated with higher GI nematode prevalence and accounted for 68.1% of the between studies heterogeneity. In light of the high parasitic prevalence in all agro-ecologies, the need for strategic intervention is recommended. Meanwhile, data need to be generated for some of the regions where dependable survey reports are lacking.

Migration and self-protection against climate change: A case study of samburu county, Kenya

Our latest outputs -

Migration and self-protection against climate change: A case study of samburu county, Kenya Ng’ang’a, S.K.; Bulte, E.H.; Giller, K.E.; McIntire, J.M.; Rufino, M.C. Climate change will affect the livelihoods of pastoralists in arid and semi-arid lands. Using data on agro-pastoral households from northern Kenya, we explore whether migration of household members enhances adoption of agricultural innovations that aim to provide protection against weather shocks. Specifically, we seek to test whether migration and adaptation are complementary mechanisms to protect the household against adverse shocks, or whether they are substitutes. Do remittances relax capital constraints and facilitate the uptake of adaptive measures, or do they render adaptation superfluous? Our data provide suggestive evidence that remittances from migrant household members may relax capital constraints, and that remittances are an important mechanism linking migration to adoption, enabling the uptake of new technologies that involve change in activities or high costs. Specifically, migrant households adopt more adaptive measures (promoting self-protection), and we document some support for the hypothesis that this is especially the case for high-cost adaptations such as the purchasing of drought tolerant livestock. These findings suggest that migration and local innovation are complementary rather than substitutive mechanisms of self-protection for pastoral households in the semi-arid lands of northern Kenya. Households who have at least one member who has migrated are able to overcome barriers to employ high-cost agricultural innovations–through using remittances received—thus enhancing their self-protection against climate change related shocks.

Workshop: Innovative methods for measuring adoption of agricultural technologies

CRP 2: program news -

A workshop on "Innovative methods for measuring adoption of agricultural technologies: Establishing proof of concept and thinking about scaling up" will take place on August 3-4 in Boston, USA following the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economic Association (AAEA). The event is jointly organized by Michigan State University, the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) of the CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC), and the CGIAR Research Program on Policy, Institutions, and Markets (PIM). 

The workshop objectives are:

  • Take a stock of current and innovative methods for measuring adoption of agricultural technologies
  • Share and discuss results and insights from pilot studies and experiments conducted to establish proof of concepts to harness the potential of new methods for tracking adoption of agricultural practices and other types of technologies
  • Further the discussion on scaling up proven methods for measuring technology adoption

Dr. Jawoo Koo from IFPRI will represent PIM at the event.

Agenda of the workshop includes the following topics:

1. Tracking and estimating adoption of agricultural technologies in developing countries: Importance, challenges and need for innovative methods.

2. Current practice for large-scale varietal adoption studies: The expert opinion elicitation method

3.DNA fingerprinting for estimating varietal adoption: Taking stock of recent work

  • Cassava: Ghana, Malawi, Vietnam, Nigeria
  • Rice: India, Indonesia
  • Beans: Zambia
  • Maize: Uganda
  • Potato: China
  • Sweet potato: Ethiopia
  • Lentil: Bangladesh
  • Wheat and lentil: India
  • Discussion: Scaling up and implications for impact assessment

4. Remote sensing for tracking adoption of NRM practices and other types of technologies

  • Harnessing the potential of remote sensing for tracking adoption of agricultural practices
  • Bangladesh study on hyperspectral signature analysis for estimating AWD adoption
  • Vietnam study on Soil Moisture Oceanic Salinity (SMOS) and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) for estimating AWD adoption
  • Ethiopia study on landsat 8 satellite imagery and drones for estimating crop residue retention on soils (for conservation agriculture)
  • Discussion on: Scope and scale of this method in tracking adoption of agricultural technology; Types of technologies best suited; Lessons learned from pilot experiments, Cost, limitations

5. Using appropriate information and communications technologies (ICT) for surveys

  • Potential of ICT tools for collecting data and tracking adoption of agric ultural practices
  • India study on cell-phone based IVRS method for collecting data on farmer practices
  • Tanzania SMS-based mobile phone surveys
  • Tablet-based CAPI methods: lessons for technology adoption surveys
    • Experience of using TechTraker
    • Experience of Survey Solutions
  • Discussion on pros and cons of using this method for technology adoption data; Challenges of sampling; Cost; Potential for scaling up.

6. Adoption data from markets: Surveys of input or output market participants to estimate adoption of technologies

  • Agro-dealer survery at informal markets in Rwanda
  • Bihar agro-dealer surveys

7. Outsourcing to the private sector

  • Perspectives from service providers, clients (CGIAR centers, donors) and researchers
  • Can data collection be outsourced?
  • Cost vs. benefits
  • Is there enough demand to sustain and institutionalize private sector led data collection to track technology adoption in developing countries?

8. Institutionalizing collection of adoption data through household surveys How can we institutionalize the routine use of these new methods?

  • Partnerships with national statistical agencies on specific surveys: Cases of Zambia, Ethiopia, Uganda and India

9. Wrap-up

  • PIM future plans on these issues
  • Plans for a future SPIA program to institutionalize these methods
  • Output plans from this workshop

Featured image (top): Neil Palmer (CIAT), Flickr

New frontiers for 21st century food systems

CRP 4 program news -

As nutrition gains more prominence in the global development agenda, research has evolved to explore ways for agriculture and other sectors to become more nutrition-sensitive. One way this is happening is through a shift in focus from agricultural production, to one explores a broader food systems perspective, emphasizing consumption and demand as well.

While this kind of approach is less common, A4NH is among the few pioneering initiatives to embrace it, as outlined in a recent article in Sight and Life magazine, co-authored by A4NH director, John McDermott. Since its start, A4NH has incorporated a multisectoral approach that looks beyond the farm when considering the role of agriculture and food, not only in improving people’s nutrition and health, but also in bringing more economic value to low- and lower-middle income countries.

The article presents new directions for food systems research and action, demonstrating the potential for a food systems approach to improve people’s nutrition and health, and also curb healthcare costs in both industrialized as well as emerging economies.

In addition to highlighting A4NH’s approach, the article also presents another emerging concept in this field, Convergent Innovation (CI), a platform which fosters change by instilling social and environmental objectives of agriculture, food product development, nutrition, and health into business strategies. Research based on CI focuses on agricultural commodities of high strategic importance at all geographic levels, and brings together a range of players, from smallholder farms and local markets, to global markets and large businesses—all competing and collaborating for better distributed value addition.

CI takes food as the transformational layer between agriculture and the health of people, economy, and planet.

Both A4NH and CI have the potential to offer new insights, especially for decision-makers and researchers in low-income, emerging, and industrialized economies, which can improve food security, reduce undernutrition, shape food habits, and strengthen convergence between human and economic development.

 

  • Read the full article in Sight and Life magazine here.

Greenhouse gas emissions from African cattle excreta less than estimated

Clippings -

‘While greenhouse gas emissions of cattle excreta vary by diet, breed and other factors, measurements found that commonly used Tier 1 emission factors consistently overestimated actual emissions.

Visit to climate-smart village site in Wote, Makueni Kenya

Cattle keeping in Kenya (photo credit: CCAFS/C Schubert).

Pretty Lady

Cattle keeping in South Africa (photo via StormSignal on Flickr).

‘Using the state-of-the-art laboratory established in 2015 in Nairobi called the Mazingira Center, scientists are measuring greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in Africa, key to improving the accuracy of emissions data for both national reporting and mitigation.

Gwanda 14

Cattle keeping in Zimbabwe (photo credit: ICRISAT/Swathi Sridharan).

‘Already, scientists found that Tier 1 emission factors established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) overestimate both methane and nitrous oxide emissions from cattle excreta, given typical smallholder practices in Eastern Africa.

Kadugli - Dilling Provincie Kordofan

Cattle keeping in Sudan (photo via Rita Willaert on Flickr).

‘In the paper, Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from cattle excreta on an East African grassland, scientists explain how they analyzed excreta from two breeds of cattle—Boran (Bos indicus) and Friesian (Bos taurus)—under three different diet regimes. While emissions varied based on breed and diet, emission levels were generally lower than the commonly used IPCC Tier 1 emission factors.’

The authors have submitted their findings to the IPCC with the hope that their work will improve emissions estimates for Africa.

uganda GV3_lo

Cattle keeping in Uganda (photo credit: CIAT/Neil Palmer).

Read the whole article: Greenhouse gas emissions from cattle excreta in Africa are less than estimated, CCAFS blog, 28 Jul 2016.

Read more about this on the ILRI News blog: Kenyan cattle found to have much smaller faecal carbon footprints than those used in climate change inventories, 17 Jun 2016.

Read more about this on ILRI’s Livestock Systems and Environment blog: Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock waste in East Africa are significantly lower than global estimates: New study reveals, 16 Jun 2016.

Access the ILRI paper here: Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from cattle excreta on an East African grassland, by David Pelster, Betty Gisore, John Goopy, Daniel Korir, James Koske, Mariana Rufino and Klaus Butterbach-Bahl.

For further information about the study and Mazingira Centre, contact Lutz Merbold (L.Merbold[at]cgiar.org) or David Pelster (D.Pelster [at] cgiar.org).

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) project on ‘In situ assessment of GHG emissions from two livestock systems in East Africa’ provided technical and financial support for this ILRI project.


Filed under: Article, Cattle, Climate Change, CRP7, East Africa, ILRI, Kenya, LSE, Mazingira Tagged: David Pelster, Greenhouse gas emissions

Animal health research to improve small ruminant productivity in Ethiopia

CRP 3.7 News -

Capacity development interventions for animal health workers can improve health of livestock, according to a poster developed by veterinarian Barbara Wieland at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Wieland details a number of interventions, that if implemented, will help improve small ruminant productivity whilst increasing income and facilitating the lives of smallholders.

Download the poster:  Wieland, B. 2016. Animal health research to improve small ruminant productivity in Ethiopia. Poster. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.


Filed under: Animal Diseases, Animal Health, ASSP, CRP37, East Africa, Ethiopia, Goats, ILRI, Livestock, Research, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

India’s addiction to milk as a diabetes pandemic moves to the villages

Spotlight from ILRI news -

DSC_3977_MilkTree_Cropped

A ‘milk tree’ illustration at the National Dairy Research Institute, in Haryana, India
(photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

Note: This is the eleventh in a series of articles on
‘Curds and goats, lives and livelihoods—
A dozen stories from northern and eastern India’. PART 11: India’s addiction to milk
as a diabetes pandemic moves to the villages
By Susan MacMillan and Jules Mateo,
of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Addiction to milk in India, the biggest milk-drinking country in the world, is only getting bigger amid rising demand for food in this, the world’s second-most populous nation. As reported recently in Bloomberg, ‘Though eating beef is often taboo in India because the animal is revered in Hinduism, the country produces more than 160 million metric tons of milk a year as demand rises for cheese and other dairy products.’

Haryana_DairySign_Enhanced

One of endless branded advertisements for Indian dairy products (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

This love of milk was obvious to Jules Mateo, my communications colleague at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and I as we visited India capital and states of Haryana, in the north, and Odisha (formerly Orissa), on the east coast. Products made of milk are what we ate and were gifted with daily—for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner and for snacks. Always fresh and always delicious. But not an unmixed blessing, we discovered, in this country, where, we heard from scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), in Haryana, that diabetes could affect more than a quarter the population by mid-century. For that reason, NDRI researchers are developing dairy cows altered genetically to produce insulin in their milk.

DSC_4016

A glass of fresh milk offered to guests in Haryana, India (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

First, a bit of background on the growing dual problem of mal- and over-nutrition in low-income countries. Here’s how an influential science paper described this global phenomenon in 2012 (emphases added).

‘It is useful to understand how vastly diets have changed across the low- and medium-income world to converge on what we often term the “Western diet.” This is broadly defined by high intake of refined carbohydrates, added sugars, fats, and animal-source foods. Data available for low- and middle-income countries document this trend in all urban areas and increasingly in rural areas. Diets rich in legumes, other vegetables, and coarse grains are disappearing in all regions and countries. Some major global developments in technology have been behind this shift. . . .

DSC_4650

A traditional, and nutritious, lunch in Odisha, India (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

‘Most of the global increases in animal-source foods have been in low- and middle-income countries. For example, India has had a major increase in consumption of dairy products and China in pork and eggs, among others.

‘The increase in animal-source food products has both positive and adverse health effects. On the one hand, for poor individuals throughout the developing world a few extra grams of animal-source foods can significantly improve the micronutrient profile of food consumed. On the other hand, excessive consumption of animal-source foods is linked with excessive saturated fat intake and increased mortality. . . .

‘Despite substantial economic growth, large inequalities remain in many low- and middle-income countries, and it is common to see problems of underweight, stunting, and micronutrient deficiencies side by side with increasing rates of obesity. . . .

‘A challenge for programs and policies is the need to address food insecurity and hunger without adding to the burden of overweight and obesity.’

—Excerpted from ‘Now and then: The global nutrition transition—The pandemic of obesity in developing countries, by Barry Popkin, Linda Adair and Shu Wen Ng, in Nutrition Reviews, 2012, doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00456.x

DSC_5101

Milk and other sweets for sale at a popular sweet shop in New Delhi (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

And here’s how a health organization recently described how this problem is manifesting itself in India (emphases added).

‘India has the largest number of people with diabetes in the world. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of diabetics rose from its already high 1995 rate of 19 million to over 62 million in 2011. An estimated 11% to 20% of India’s urban population has diabetes, and 3% to 5% of the adult rural population has the disease. Estimates from the World Health Organization say that the disease currently costs India about $250 billion per year, and that in the next ten years this figure will skyrocket to $335 billion.

‘Clearly, India has a diabetes problem. But the real issue is that it’s a predictor of a growing global problem. According to the International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries, the alarming increase in diabetes “has gone beyond epidemic form to a pandemic one.”

‘India is just the “canary in the coal mine,” warning miners of dangers they cannot see. The rise of diabetes in India is being seen by health experts as a precursor of what we can expect to see happen all over the world in coming years.’

DSC_4225

One of many ice cream brands for sale in Haryana, India (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

‘Because most of the newly-diagnosed cases in India are of Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-diabetes), the root causes there are the same as they are in America—poor diet overloaded with fat, sugar, and calories, obesity, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle, in which people don’t get enough exercise. . . .

‘It has also been triggered by the large-scale importation of a Western lifestyle. Everywhere you go in India, you see roadside stands and carts selling sweets and samosas and pakoras deep-fried in “bad fats.” These vendors compete with fast-food franchises selling Western-style hamburgers and french fries. . . .

DSC_3955

Milk sweets, for those who can afford it, is a gift for daily occasions (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

‘The result of all of this is that the diseases related to diabetes—hypertension, kidney failure, retinal damage, and ulcers—have also skyrocketed. And it’s all because India’s base standard of living has improved. People who were considered poor a few years ago had a diet driven by necessity, but which was relatively healthy—beans, rice, and vegetables. Now most people can afford the fast foods and processed foods, and their diets have become the same as those in the upper middle class, containing far too much sugar, fats, and “empty calories.”. . .

‘In the West, the onset of Type 2 diabetes is most commonly seen in adults in their 40s and 50s. In India, it’s affecting people in their early to mid 20s.’

—Excerpted from HealthGuidance.org, The diabetes epidemic in India: A vision of the world’s future, by Juliette Siegfried, a health communications professional.

Beyond milk, new meat dietary changes are also occurring in India:

‘Two years after Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) announced that it will sell more vegetarian burgers in India, it is looking back at chicken in a big way. As competition in India’s burger market heats up, fast-food chains are returning to what they know best—in KFC’s case, tubs of fried chicken—leaving the vegetarian menu as it is, for now. . . . In the last six months, the fast-food chain has already rolled out three big marketing campaigns for its new chicken launches, including the Chizza which is fried chicken slathered with cheese.’
—Quartz India: KFC is ditching Indian vegetarians to do what it does best: sell fried chicken (25 Jul 2016)

The Times of India and Public Health Foundation of India report that:

‘Contrary to popular belief, diabetes affects more people in rural India (34 million) than affluent urban Indians (28 million).’

The paper goes on to report that the number of diabetes cases in India is expected to reach 101 million by 2030. By the year 2050, it is estimated that every fourth Indian will be diabetic, with India becoming the diabetes capital of the world.

fried-chicken-690039_960_720Kentucky Fried chicken in India (via Pixabay.com).

Read previous parts in this blog series: Curds and goats, lives and livelihoods—A dozen stories from northern and eastern India

Part 1: Colourful convocation: Jimmy Smith addresses graduates of India’s prestigious National Dairy Research Institute, 30 Mar 2016.
Part 2: Elite buffaloes and other exemplars of advanced Indian dairy science at the National Dairy Research Institute, 31 Mar 2016.
Part 3: Culture of the cow: Curds in the city—Better living through smallholder dairying in northern India, 5 Apr 2016.
Part 4: Building better brands and lives through peri-urban dairying and smart crop-dairy farming, 6 Apr 2015
Part 5: Wonder women of Bhubaneswar, 12 Apr 2016.
Part 6: Odisha Odyssey: The Arcadian landscapes and tribal goat keepers of Mayurbhanj, 9 May 2016.
Part 7: Odisha Odyssey: A look at the emerging dairy value chains in eastern India, 12 May 2016.
Part 8: Getting the (science) word out: ILRI and ICAR share livestock communications and knowledge management practices, 25 May 2016.
Part 9: Reaching stakeholders, influencing policies: ICAR–ILRI communications workshop, 11 Jul 2016.
Part 10: ‘Leveling’ livestock information: Knowledge management at an ICAR–ILRI communications workshop, 13 Jul 2016.


India’s addiction to milk as a diabetes pandemic moves to the villages

News from ILRI -

DSC_3977_MilkTree_Cropped

A ‘milk tree’ illustration at the National Dairy Research Institute, in Haryana, India
(photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

Note: This is the eleventh in a series of articles on
‘Curds and goats, lives and livelihoods—
A dozen stories from northern and eastern India’. PART 11: India’s addiction to milk
as a diabetes pandemic moves to the villages
By Susan MacMillan and Jules Mateo,
of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Addiction to milk in India, the biggest milk-drinking country in the world, is only getting bigger amid rising demand for food in this, the world’s second-most populous nation. As reported recently in Bloomberg, ‘Though eating beef is often taboo in India because the animal is revered in Hinduism, the country produces more than 160 million metric tons of milk a year as demand rises for cheese and other dairy products.’

Haryana_DairySign_Enhanced

One of endless branded advertisements for Indian dairy products (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

This love of milk was obvious to Jules Mateo, my communications colleague at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and I as we visited India capital and states of Haryana, in the north, and Odisha (formerly Orissa), on the east coast. Products made of milk are what we ate and were gifted with daily—for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner and for snacks. Always fresh and always delicious. But not an unmixed blessing, we discovered, in this country, where, we heard from scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), in Haryana, that diabetes could affect more than a quarter the population by mid-century. For that reason, NDRI researchers are developing dairy cows altered genetically to produce insulin in their milk.

DSC_4016

A glass of fresh milk offered to guests in Haryana, India (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

First, a bit of background on the growing dual problem of mal- and over-nutrition in low-income countries. Here’s how an influential science paper described this global phenomenon in 2012 (emphases added).

‘It is useful to understand how vastly diets have changed across the low- and medium-income world to converge on what we often term the “Western diet.” This is broadly defined by high intake of refined carbohydrates, added sugars, fats, and animal-source foods. Data available for low- and middle-income countries document this trend in all urban areas and increasingly in rural areas. Diets rich in legumes, other vegetables, and coarse grains are disappearing in all regions and countries. Some major global developments in technology have been behind this shift. . . .

DSC_4650

A traditional, and nutritious, lunch in Odisha, India (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

‘Most of the global increases in animal-source foods have been in low- and middle-income countries. For example, India has had a major increase in consumption of dairy products and China in pork and eggs, among others.

‘The increase in animal-source food products has both positive and adverse health effects. On the one hand, for poor individuals throughout the developing world a few extra grams of animal-source foods can significantly improve the micronutrient profile of food consumed. On the other hand, excessive consumption of animal-source foods is linked with excessive saturated fat intake and increased mortality. . . .

‘Despite substantial economic growth, large inequalities remain in many low- and middle-income countries, and it is common to see problems of underweight, stunting, and micronutrient deficiencies side by side with increasing rates of obesity. . . .

‘A challenge for programs and policies is the need to address food insecurity and hunger without adding to the burden of overweight and obesity.’

—Excerpted from ‘Now and then: The global nutrition transition—The pandemic of obesity in developing countries, by Barry Popkin, Linda Adair and Shu Wen Ng, in Nutrition Reviews, 2012, doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00456.x

DSC_5101

Milk and other sweets for sale at a popular sweet shop in New Delhi (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

And here’s how a health organization recently described how this problem is manifesting itself in India (emphases added).

‘India has the largest number of people with diabetes in the world. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of diabetics rose from its already high 1995 rate of 19 million to over 62 million in 2011. An estimated 11% to 20% of India’s urban population has diabetes, and 3% to 5% of the adult rural population has the disease. Estimates from the World Health Organization say that the disease currently costs India about $250 billion per year, and that in the next ten years this figure will skyrocket to $335 billion.

‘Clearly, India has a diabetes problem. But the real issue is that it’s a predictor of a growing global problem. According to the International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries, the alarming increase in diabetes “has gone beyond epidemic form to a pandemic one.”

‘India is just the “canary in the coal mine,” warning miners of dangers they cannot see. The rise of diabetes in India is being seen by health experts as a precursor of what we can expect to see happen all over the world in coming years.’

DSC_4225

One of many ice cream brands for sale in Haryana, India (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

‘Because most of the newly-diagnosed cases in India are of Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-diabetes), the root causes there are the same as they are in America—poor diet overloaded with fat, sugar, and calories, obesity, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle, in which people don’t get enough exercise. . . .

‘It has also been triggered by the large-scale importation of a Western lifestyle. Everywhere you go in India, you see roadside stands and carts selling sweets and samosas and pakoras deep-fried in “bad fats.” These vendors compete with fast-food franchises selling Western-style hamburgers and french fries. . . .

DSC_3955

Milk sweets, for those who can afford it, is a gift for daily occasions (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

‘The result of all of this is that the diseases related to diabetes—hypertension, kidney failure, retinal damage, and ulcers—have also skyrocketed. And it’s all because India’s base standard of living has improved. People who were considered poor a few years ago had a diet driven by necessity, but which was relatively healthy—beans, rice, and vegetables. Now most people can afford the fast foods and processed foods, and their diets have become the same as those in the upper middle class, containing far too much sugar, fats, and “empty calories.”. . .

‘In the West, the onset of Type 2 diabetes is most commonly seen in adults in their 40s and 50s. In India, it’s affecting people in their early to mid 20s.’

—Excerpted from HealthGuidance.org, The diabetes epidemic in India: A vision of the world’s future, by Juliette Siegfried, a health communications professional.

Beyond milk, new meat dietary changes are also occurring in India:

‘Two years after Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) announced that it will sell more vegetarian burgers in India, it is looking back at chicken in a big way. As competition in India’s burger market heats up, fast-food chains are returning to what they know best—in KFC’s case, tubs of fried chicken—leaving the vegetarian menu as it is, for now. . . . In the last six months, the fast-food chain has already rolled out three big marketing campaigns for its new chicken launches, including the Chizza which is fried chicken slathered with cheese.’
—Quartz India: KFC is ditching Indian vegetarians to do what it does best: sell fried chicken (25 Jul 2016)

The Times of India and Public Health Foundation of India report that:

‘Contrary to popular belief, diabetes affects more people in rural India (34 million) than affluent urban Indians (28 million).’

The paper goes on to report that the number of diabetes cases in India is expected to reach 101 million by 2030. By the year 2050, it is estimated that every fourth Indian will be diabetic, with India becoming the diabetes capital of the world.

fried-chicken-690039_960_720Kentucky Fried chicken in India (via Pixabay.com).

Read previous parts in this blog series: Curds and goats, lives and livelihoods—A dozen stories from northern and eastern India

Part 1: Colourful convocation: Jimmy Smith addresses graduates of India’s prestigious National Dairy Research Institute, 30 Mar 2016.
Part 2: Elite buffaloes and other exemplars of advanced Indian dairy science at the National Dairy Research Institute, 31 Mar 2016.
Part 3: Culture of the cow: Curds in the city—Better living through smallholder dairying in northern India, 5 Apr 2016.
Part 4: Building better brands and lives through peri-urban dairying and smart crop-dairy farming, 6 Apr 2015
Part 5: Wonder women of Bhubaneswar, 12 Apr 2016.
Part 6: Odisha Odyssey: The Arcadian landscapes and tribal goat keepers of Mayurbhanj, 9 May 2016.
Part 7: Odisha Odyssey: A look at the emerging dairy value chains in eastern India, 12 May 2016.
Part 8: Getting the (science) word out: ILRI and ICAR share livestock communications and knowledge management practices, 25 May 2016.
Part 9: Reaching stakeholders, influencing policies: ICAR–ILRI communications workshop, 11 Jul 2016.
Part 10: ‘Leveling’ livestock information: Knowledge management at an ICAR–ILRI communications workshop, 13 Jul 2016.


CIMMYT gathers partners to discuss biotic stress and crop model integration

CRP 2: program news -

When crops are damaged by other living organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, insects and other pests, weeds or even cultivated plants competing for space and nutrients, we talk of the biotic stress. Biotic stresses are a major constraint to agricultural productivity in low and middle income countries. They affect poor producers and consumers the most and undermine food security in general.

Examples of some biggest current concerns related to biotic stress are the wheat diseases fusarium head blight (FHB), wheat blast (caused by fungi), and the maize lethal necrosis (MLN) caused by viruses (also read here). 

Scientists in the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) know all about biotic stresses to crops. They also know that combatting these stresses is a task beyond the scope of any one organization or discipline. This was evident during the workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 20-22 that brought together breeders, physiologists, entomologists, pathologists, modelers, and socio-economists from CIMMYT and partner organizations including Auburn University, University of Passo Fundo, and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The workshop titled "How can we take biotic stress into consideration with crop growth modeling in maize and wheat?" was organized by CIMMYT as part of the Global Futures & Strategic Foresight (GFSF) project, a CGIAR initiative led by IFPRI under the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).

Crop growth (or simulation) models are computer programs processing data on weather, soil, and crop management to predict crop yield, maturity date, efficiency of fertilizers and other elements of crop production. Accuracy of the predictions is based on the existing knowledge of the physics, physiology and ecology of crop responses to the environment[1]. So, the more we know about this responsiveness to the environment, including biotic stress, the more accurate these predictions can be. Existing crop growth models do not adequately simulate biotic stress to calculate possible yield reduction. Colleagues who came to Addis Ababa were eager to expand this knowledge and increase the accuracy of the predictions through integrating biotic stress and crop models.

Biotic stress workshop at CIMMYT

Workshop participants. Photo: CIMMYT

Dr. Gideon Kruseman, an ex-ante and foresight specialist at CIMMYT, and Dr. Bekele Abeyo, a wheat breeder and CIMMYT’s Ethiopia country representative, opened the workshop by reviewing the use of crop models in maize and wheat production systems. Dr. Kruseman explained the importance of integrating the models for biotic stress with crop models for a holistic assessment of the potential impact of new technologies in several environments. Dr. Abeyo emphasized the need for the partners to work together across disciplines.

Workshop discussions were dedicated, among other topics, to CIMMYT’s experiences in applications of crop models (for example, see: Chung et al., 2014; Gbegbelegbe, Chung, Shiferaw, Msangi, & Tesfay, 2014; Tesfaye et al., 2015, 2016), opportunities and challenges of incorporating biotic stress directly into crop growth models, linking crop growth models with biotic stress models through soft coupling[2], phenotyping for biotic stresses[3], and the probabilistic approaches to linking biotic stress into crop growth models. Apart from that, colleagues focused on the scale of biotic stress as a challenge, data gaps, and future action points, emphasizing the importance of collaboration with other initiatives such as AgMIP.

Biotic stress workshop at CIMMYT chart

Example of linkages among biophysical and economic models

As a way forward, participants agreed that soft coupling biotic stress models with crop models is a feasible approach in the short- and mid-term perspective whereas full integration can remain a long-term strategy. The soft coupling efforts presented by colleagues from Auburn University, USA, and University of Passo Fundo, Brazil, should serve as a springboard to link the major maize and wheat biotic stresses with current crop models such as those comprised in the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT). Moreover, an approach that considers probability of disease incidence, probability of disease severity, and probability of damage can also offer scope for linking crop growth models and biotic stress either separately or in combination with soft coupled models. The probabilistic approach can be especially useful when linking crop growth models with economic models, for example, to see how the chance of a disease outbreak shapes the choices made by farmers.

As a result of the workshop, partners agreed to start a small pilot project on integrating biotic stress with crop models to prove of concept. Concept notes shall be submitted to the competitive grant by the CGIAR Research Program on Maize. At the next stage partners shall come together to develop a bigger project and approach donors.

“I really enjoyed the workshop because it brought together a very diverse range of scientists that I would never normally get to interact with. Modeling abiotic stresses allowed us to quantify the potential impacts of improved varieties at the regional and national level. I’m excited to be able to do this for biotic stresses”. -- Jill Cairns Maize physiologist at CIMMYT

[1] What Are Crop Simulation Models? United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/docs.htm?docid=2890 accessed on 7/27/16

[2] Soft coupling refers to linking two separate models through an interface that allows information to be exchanged amongst them.

[3] Phenotyping for biotic stress refers to trials conducted specifically to obtain information on how varieties react to pests and diseases, by subjecting the trials to substantial levels of the specified stressors.

References

Chung, U., Gbegbelegbe, S., Shiferaw, B., Robertson, R., Yun, J. I., Tesfaye, K., … Sonder, K. (2014). Modeling the effect of a heat wave on maize production in the USA and its implications on food security in the developing world. Weather and Climate Extremes, 5-6, 67–77.

Gbegbelegbe, S., Chung, U., Shiferaw, B., Msangi, S., & Tesfay, K. (2014). Quantifying theimpactofweatherextremesonglobalfoodsecurity: A spatialbio-economic approach. WeatherandClimateExtremes, 4, 97–108. Retrieved from http://crossmark.crossref.org/dialog/?doi=10.1016/j.wace.2014.05.005&domain=pdf

Tesfaye, K., Gbegbelegbe, S., Cairns, J. E., Shiferaw, B., Prasanna, B. M., Sonder, K., … Robertson, R. (2015). Maize systems under climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 7(3), 247 – 271. http://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-01-2014-0005

Tesfaye, K., Kai Sonder, Jill Cairns, Cosmos Magorokosho, Amsal Tarekegne, Girma T. Kassie, Fite Getaneh, Tahirou Abdoulaye, Tsedeke Abate, and Olaf Erenstein (2016). Targeting Drought-Tolerant Maize Varieties in Southern Africa: A Geospatial Crop Modeling Approach Using Big Data. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 9 (A): 75-92.

Featured image (top): Maize crop infected with the maize lethal necrosis disease in Kenya. Florence Sipalla/CIMMYT

Program Management Framework next steps and process owners

Latest ILRI announcements -

As many of you are aware we have been working with Accenture Development Partnerships for the past year developing the Program Management Framework (PMF). The Framework has now been designed and rolled out at a series of training workshops which many of you attended. The contract with Accenture Development Partnerships has concluded and Jenny Brately who was leading the process has returned to the US. To ensure that we continue to develop the Framework in the light of experience and provide the necessary support to users we have asked the four Process Owners to continue supporting the different processes:

Nadine Sanginga: Proposal Development

Jasmine Bruno: Project Planning

Assenath Kabugi: Project Executing & Closing

Simon Turere: Program Management

In addition we have asked Assenath to be the Coordinator/Facilitator of the group. If you have comments or queries about the PMF processes you should direct then to the relevant process owner. Comments/queries about the PMF in general should be directed to Assenath. The team will also be working to prioritize what needs to be done to improve the PMF over the next few months. As part of a review of how best to support program and project management with different roles and responsibilities we will be looking at how best to support the PMF and how you use it in the longer term.

In the meantime we are grateful to Nadine, Jasmine, Assenath and Simon for supporting the process.

I remind you that more information on the PMF is available on ILRINET at https://www.ilri.org/pmf or go to ILRINET > ILRI by department > Program Management Framework.

Best Wishes

Iain

Iain A Wright| Deputy Director General – Integrated Sciences

Pages

Subscribe to International Livestock Research Institute aggregator