Feed aggregator

Evaluating fire severity in Sudanian ecosystems of Burkina Faso using Landsat 8 satellite images

Our latest outputs -

Evaluating fire severity in Sudanian ecosystems of Burkina Faso using Landsat 8 satellite images Musyimi, Z.; Said, Mohammed Yahya; Zida, D.; Rosenstock, Todd S.; Udelhoven, T.; Savadogo, P.; de Leeuw, Jan; Aynekulu, E. The fire severity of the 2013–2014 fire season within Sudanian ecosystems in Burkina Faso was evaluated from Landsat 8 images using derivatives of the Normalized Burn Ratio algorithm (NBR). The relationship between the image-derived severity and the field observed severity i.e. Composite Burn Index (CBI) was best described by a nonlinear model of the form y = a + b*EXP(CBI *c) (R2 = 0.66). Classification of the image-derived burned area into burn severity classes achieved a classification Kappa accuracy statistic of 0.56. Highly severely burned areas were mapped with the highest accuracy (user's accuracy 77%, producer's accuracy 86%). The severity of the burn varied across phyto-geographical zones, protected status, land cover regimes, and forest management practices. The south Sudanian zone burned with a higher severity (low = 7%, moderate = 16% and high = 13%) than the north Sudanian zone (low = 5%, moderate = 10% and high = 5%). The mean of the highly severely burned areas differed significantly among the forest management practices (P = 0.005). A pair-wise comparison of the severity mean area indicated that the highly burned areas within forests managed for wildlife purposes differed significantly with that of both forests under the joint management (P = 0.006) and those under no management (P = 0.024). Among the management practices, forests jointly managed by the local communities and the government had the highest unburned area and the least highly severely burned areas reflecting the impacts of bottom-up forestry management where the local communities are actively involved in the management.

Exploring impacts of vegetated buffer strips on nitrogen cycling using a spatially explicit hydro-biogeochemical modeling approach

Our latest outputs -

Exploring impacts of vegetated buffer strips on nitrogen cycling using a spatially explicit hydro-biogeochemical modeling approach Klatt, S.; Kraus, D; Kraft, P.; Breuer, L.; Wlotzka, M.; Heuveline, V.; Haas, E.; Kiese, R.; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus Agriculture has been recognized as a major anthropogenic source of surplus loads of nitrogen in the environment. Losses of nitrate via subsurface pathways are severely threatening groundwater and surface waters. This study explored the capability of a coupled hydro-biogeochemical spatially explicit model, simulating nitrogen cycling in agricultural soils and the associated fate of excess nitrate subjected to vertical and lateral displacement towards water bodies. Different vegetated buffer strips (VBS) were tested for their nitrate retention capability and impacts on N2O and N2 emissions. The effectiveness of a VBS to remove nitrate by denitrification strongly depends on soil characteristics and hydrological flow paths. Simulated N2 emissions from VBS with high soil moisture were up to twenty-fold compared to VBS where groundwater levels were low. Simulated streamwater nitrate concentrations without VBS were 3.7 mg l−1 and showed a decrease to 0.1 mg l−1 for a 20 m VBS.

What works where for which farm household: Rapid approaches to food availability analysis

Our latest outputs -

What works where for which farm household: Rapid approaches to food availability analysis Ritzema, R.S.; Frelat, R.; Hammond, J.; Wijk, Mark T. van Sustainable intensification has recently been developed and adopted as a key concept and driver for research and policy in sustainable agriculture. It includes ecological, economic and social dimensions, where food and nutrition security, gender and equity are crucial components. This book describes different aspects of systems research in agriculture in its broadest sense, where the focus is moved from farming systems to livelihoods systems.

System productivity and natural resource integrity in smallholder farming: Friends or foes?

Our latest outputs -

System productivity and natural resource integrity in smallholder farming: Friends or foes? Vanlauwe, Bernard; Barrios, E.; Robinson, Timothy; Van Asten, Piet; Zingore, S.; Gerard, Bruno Sustainable intensification has recently been developed and adopted as a key concept and driver for research and policy in sustainable agriculture. It includes ecological, economic and social dimensions, where food and nutrition security, gender and equity are crucial components. This book describes different aspects of systems research in agriculture in its broadest sense, where the focus is moved from farming systems to livelihoods systems.

Mapping of beef, sheep and goat food systems in Nairobi — A framework for policy making and the identification of structural vulnerabilities and deficiencies

Our latest outputs -

Mapping of beef, sheep and goat food systems in Nairobi — A framework for policy making and the identification of structural vulnerabilities and deficiencies Alarcon, P.; Fèvre, E.M.; Murungi, M.K.; Muinde, P.; Akoko, J.; Dominguez-Salas, P.; Kiambi, S.; Ahmed, S.; Häsler, B.; Rushton, J. Nairobi is a large rapidly-growing city whose demand for beef, mutton and goat products is expected to double by 2030. The study aimed to map the Nairobi beef, sheep and goat systems structure and flows to identify deficiencies and vulnerabilities to shocks. Cross-sectional data were collected through focus group discussions and interviews with people operating in Nairobi ruminant livestock and meat markets and in the large processing companies. Qualitative and quantitative data were obtained about the type of people, animals, products and value adding activities in the chains, and their structural, spatial and temporal interactions. Mapping analysis was done in three different dimensions: people and product profiling (interactions of people and products), geographical (routes of animals and products) and temporal mapping (seasonal fluctuations). The results obtained were used to identify structural deficiencies and vulnerability factors in the system. Results for the beef food system showed that 44–55% of the city's beef supply flows through the ‘local terminal markets’, but that 54–64% of total supply is controlled by one ‘meat market’. Numerous informal chains were identified, with independent livestock and meat traders playing a pivotal role in the functionality of these systems, and where most activities are conducted with inefficient quality control and under scarce and inadequate infrastructure and organisation, generating wastage and potential food safety risks in low quality meat products. Geographical and temporal analysis showed the critical areas influencing the different markets, with larger markets increasing their market share in the low season. Large processing companies, partly integrated, operate with high quality infrastructures, but with up to 60% of their beef supply depending on similar routes as the informal markets. Only these companies were involved in value addition activities, reaching high-end markets, but also dominating the distribution of popular products, such as beef sausages, to middle and low-end market. For the small ruminant food system, 73% of the low season supply flows through a single large informal market, Kiamaiko, located in an urban informal settlement. No grading is done for these animals or the meat produced. Large companies were reported to export up to 90% of their products. Lack of traceability and control of animal production was a common feature in all chains. The mapping presented provides a framework for policy makers and institutions to understand and design improvement plans for the Nairobi ruminant food system. The structural deficiencies and vulnerabilities identified here indicate the areas of intervention needed.

Potential of using host plant resistance, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers for reduction of Aspergillus flavuscolonization and aflatoxin accumulation in maize in Tanzania

Our latest outputs -

Potential of using host plant resistance, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers for reduction of Aspergillus flavuscolonization and aflatoxin accumulation in maize in Tanzania Manoza, F.S.; Mushongi, A.A.; Harvey, J.; Wainaina, J.; Wanjuki, I.; Ngeno, R.; Darnell, Ross; Gnonlonfin, B.G.J.; Massomo, Said Aflatoxin contamination (AC) in maize, caused by the fungal pathogen Aspergillus flavus(Link), starts at pre-harvest stage. Hence, interventions that reduce entry and development of A. flavus in the field are required. Trials were carried out at Seatondale and Igeri, to evaluate the effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer combinations, hereafter referred to as fertilizers, on A. flavus and AC in maize kernels. The main treatments were four combinations of N and P fertilizers (60 or 120 kg Nha−1 with 15 or 30 kg Pha−1) and sub-treatments were of six popular maize hybrids. Plants at 50% silking were inoculated with the fungus through the silk channels. Grains from inoculated and control ears were analysed for AC using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay, and pathogen content quantified by Quantitative Polymerase Chain reaction. Higher AC (mean 6.51 μg kg−1) occurred at Seatondale than Igeri (mean 0.45 μg kg−1), probably due to low temperatures (8–23 °C) at Igeri. Fertilizers didn't cause significant differences in neither pathogen colonization nor AC at both sites. However, mean A. flavusaccumulation, as measured by pathogen host DNA ratio, was thrice (0.16) as high in sub-optimal fertilizer conditions compared to optimal fertilizer rate (0.05). All hybrids were susceptible to A. flavus and AC, though a difference in AC was noted among the hybrids at both sites. PAN 691 showed the highest AC (14.68 μg kg−1), whereas UHS 5210 had the lowest AC (1.87 μg kg−1). The susceptibility varied among the hybrids and was mostly associated with ear droopiness, husk tightness, days to 50% silking, 50% pollen shed, Anthesis to silking interval, diseased ears, insect damaged ears, kernel texture, dry matter, grain filling, ear height, kernel ash content and kernel moisture content. At Seatondale, A. flavus accumulation was positively correlated with aflatoxin (r = 0.606), and both A. flavus accumulation and AC were positively correlated with diseased ears. Selection and growing of less susceptible varieties under optimal fertilizer regime offer ideal strategy for sustainable reduction of A. flavus and aflatoxin contamination in maize at pre-harvest.

Potential of using host plant resistance, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers for reduction of Aspergillus flavuscolonization and aflatoxin accumulation in maize in Tanzania

BecA outputs -

Potential of using host plant resistance, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers for reduction of Aspergillus flavuscolonization and aflatoxin accumulation in maize in Tanzania Manoza, F.S.; Mushongi, A.A.; Harvey, J.; Wainaina, J.; Wanjuki, I.; Ngeno, R.; Darnell, Ross; Gnonlonfin, B.G.J.; Massomo, Said Aflatoxin contamination (AC) in maize, caused by the fungal pathogen Aspergillus flavus(Link), starts at pre-harvest stage. Hence, interventions that reduce entry and development of A. flavus in the field are required. Trials were carried out at Seatondale and Igeri, to evaluate the effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer combinations, hereafter referred to as fertilizers, on A. flavus and AC in maize kernels. The main treatments were four combinations of N and P fertilizers (60 or 120 kg Nha−1 with 15 or 30 kg Pha−1) and sub-treatments were of six popular maize hybrids. Plants at 50% silking were inoculated with the fungus through the silk channels. Grains from inoculated and control ears were analysed for AC using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay, and pathogen content quantified by Quantitative Polymerase Chain reaction. Higher AC (mean 6.51 μg kg−1) occurred at Seatondale than Igeri (mean 0.45 μg kg−1), probably due to low temperatures (8–23 °C) at Igeri. Fertilizers didn't cause significant differences in neither pathogen colonization nor AC at both sites. However, mean A. flavusaccumulation, as measured by pathogen host DNA ratio, was thrice (0.16) as high in sub-optimal fertilizer conditions compared to optimal fertilizer rate (0.05). All hybrids were susceptible to A. flavus and AC, though a difference in AC was noted among the hybrids at both sites. PAN 691 showed the highest AC (14.68 μg kg−1), whereas UHS 5210 had the lowest AC (1.87 μg kg−1). The susceptibility varied among the hybrids and was mostly associated with ear droopiness, husk tightness, days to 50% silking, 50% pollen shed, Anthesis to silking interval, diseased ears, insect damaged ears, kernel texture, dry matter, grain filling, ear height, kernel ash content and kernel moisture content. At Seatondale, A. flavus accumulation was positively correlated with aflatoxin (r = 0.606), and both A. flavus accumulation and AC were positively correlated with diseased ears. Selection and growing of less susceptible varieties under optimal fertilizer regime offer ideal strategy for sustainable reduction of A. flavus and aflatoxin contamination in maize at pre-harvest.

Yield gaps in oil palm: A quantitative review of contributing factors

Our latest outputs -

Yield gaps in oil palm: A quantitative review of contributing factors Woittiez, Lotte Suzanne; van Wijk, Mark; slingerland, maja; van Noordwijk, Meine; Giller, Ken Oil palm, currently the world’s main vegetable oil crop, is characterised by a large productivity and a long life span (≥25 years). Peak oil yields of 12 t ha−1 yr−1 have been achieved in small plantations, and maximum theoretical yields as calculated with simulation models are 18.5 t oil ha−1 yr−1, yet average productivity worldwide has stagnated around 3 t oil ha−1 yr−1. Considering the threat of expansion into valuable rainforests, it is important that the factors underlying these existing yield gaps are understood and, where feasible, addressed. In this review, we present an overview of the available data on yield-determining, yield-limiting, and yield-reducing factors in oil palm; the effects of these factors on yield, as measured in case studies or calculated using computer models; and the underlying plant-physiological mechanisms. We distinguish four production levels: the potential, water-limited, nutrient-limited, and the actual yield. The potential yield over a plantation lifetime is determined by incoming photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), temperature, atmospheric CO2 concentration and planting material, assuming optimum plantation establishment, planting density (120–150 palms per hectares), canopy management (30–60 leaves depending on palm age), pollination, and harvesting. Water-limited yields in environments with water deficits >400 mm year−1can be less than one-third of the potential yield, depending on additional factors such as temperature, wind speed, soil texture, and soil depth. Nutrient-limited yields of less than 50% of the potential yield have been recorded when nitrogen or potassium were not applied. Actual yields are influenced by yield-reducing factors such as unsuitable ground vegetation, pests, and diseases, and may be close to zero in case of severe infestations. Smallholders face particular constraints such as the use of counterfeit seed and insufficient fertiliser application. Closing yield gaps in existing plantations could increase global production by 15–20 Mt oil yr−1, which would limit the drive for further area expansion at a global scale. To increase yields in existing and future plantations in a sustainable way, all production factors mentioned need to be understood and addressed.

Modelling cereal crops to assess future climate risk for family food self-sufficiency in southern Mali

Our latest outputs -

Modelling cereal crops to assess future climate risk for family food self-sufficiency in southern Mali Traore, Bouba; descheemaeker, katrien; Wijk, Mark T. van; Corbeels, Marc; Supit, Iwan; Giller, Ken Future climate change will have far reaching consequences for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of whom depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Here we assessed the farm-level impact of climate change on family food self-sufficiency and evaluated potential adaptation options of crop management. Using three years of experimental data on maize and millet from an area in southern Mali representing the Sudano-Sahelian zone of West Africa we calibrated and tested the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) model. Changes in future rainfall, maximum and minimum temperature and their simulated effects on maize and millet yield were analysed for climate change predictions of five Global Circulation Models (GCMs) for the 4.5 Wm−2 and 8.5 Wm−2 radiative forcing scenario (rcp4.5 and rcp8.5). In southern Mali, annual maximum and minimum temperatures will increase by 2.9 °C and 3.3 °C by the mid-century (2040–2069) as compared with the baseline (1980–2009) under the rcp4.5 and rcp8.5 scenario respectively. Predicted changes in the total seasonal rainfall differed between the GCMs, but on average, seasonal rainfall was predicted not to change. By mid-century maize grain yields were predicted to decrease by 51% and 57% under current farmer’s fertilizer practices in the rcp4.5 and rcp8.5 scenarios respectively. APSIM model predictions indicated that the use of mineral fertilizer at recommended rates cannot fully offset the impact of climate change but can buffer the losses in maize yield up to 46% and 51% of the baseline yield. Millet yield losses were predicted to be less severe under current farmer’s fertilizer practices by mid-century i.e. 7% and 12% in the rcp4.5 and rcp8.5 scenario respectively. Use of mineral fertilizer on millet can offset the predicted yield losses resulting in yield increases under both emission scenarios. Under future climate and current cropping practices, food availability is expected to reduce for all farm types in southern Mali. However, large and medium-sized farms can still achieve food self–sufficiency if early planting and recommended rates of fertilizer are applied. Small farms, which are already food insecure, will experience a further decrease in food self-sufficiency, with adaptive measures of early planting and fertilizer use unable to help them achieve food self-sufficiency. By taking into account the diversity in farm households that is typical for the region, we illustrated that crop management strategies must be tailored to the capacity and resource endowment of local farmers. Our place-based findings can support decision making by extension and development agents and policy makers in the Sudano-Sahelian zone of West Africa.

The epidemiological search for Ebola’s hiding places

Clippings -

cdc_ebolavirusecology_graphic

Graphic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After the recent epidemic, Ebola disappeared. But this relief is only temporary: the virus is hiding somewhere—maybe in forest animals, maybe closer to home. Leigh Cowart joins the hunt.

There was a certain kind of quiet hopefulness when, in late April this year, the last Ebola patient of the West African epidemic—a two-year-old boy—walked out of a treatment facility in Monrovia, Liberia. With the smouldering embers of the outbreak fading, there was cause for celebration. But there remains the impotent fear of the unseen: Ebola is still out there, lurking. We just don’t know where it’s hiding or when it will be back.

And if we’re going to stop Ebola in the future, we have to find its hiding places.

Ebola is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can spread between animals and humans. It burns hot and fast through people. Its ruthless nature means that we are often the end of the line for the virus: a host like us that gets too sick too fast, that dies too quickly, cuts down the virus’s ability to jump into a fresh body. To remain a threat, Ebola needs a safe house in which to lie low and hide.

Such a long-term host, the quiet refuge of a pathogen, is known as a reservoir species. If a reservoir species is Ebola’s safe house, we are its luxury retirement property, a place for it to live out its last days with a bang. The trouble is that we aren’t sure where the safe house is. If we are going to be vigilant against Ebola’s re-emergence, we need to find it.

Searches so far have focused on forested parts of Africa, the home of a number of possible reservoirs. Classically, bats have been considered the most likely culprits, given that they overlap with humans geographically and can carry Ebola infection without symptoms. Based on research that has tested a wide variety of small mammals, bats, primates, insects and amphibians, several species of fruit bat have emerged as possible candidates. A 2005 study published in Nature and helmed by Eric Leroy tested over 1,000 small vertebrates in central Africa and found evidence of symptomless Ebola infection in three species of fruit bat, suggesting that these animals—which are sometimes hunted for bushmeat—might be Ebola’s reservoir. An editor’s summary ran alongside the paper, titled simply: ‘Ebola virus: don’t eat the bats’.

But not everyone is convinced that fruit bats are to blame. Some researchers, like Fabian Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, are working with circumstantial evidence that points to the insectivorous bat Mops condylurus. The first—or ‘index’—case of the 2014 Ebola epidemic was traced to a two-year-old boy in Guinea who may have spent time inside a large hollow cola tree near his house before falling ill. The tree was a known roost for these bats and a popular neighbourhood play spot. The boy died in December 2013, and by the following March, officials were alerting the public to the brewing outbreak. However, by the time researchers arrived in April to examine the tree and its inhabitants, it had been burned down.

Still others are looking elsewhere for Ebola’s home, sceptical that bats are to blame. Virologist Jens Kuhn of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, has told Nature that he thinks bats live much too close to humans: if they were the reservoir, it would be curious that there have been so few emergences of Ebola since we first discovered the virus 40 years ago. Instead, he believes insects or fungi could be possibilities. As he told National Geographic in 2015, he’s betting on finding Ebola in a “strange host”, explaining that perhaps the virus is hiding in a tick or a flea that intermittently bites bats, which only sometimes initiates the virus’s move from the wild into human communities.

Nevertheless, bats are largely considered to be our best bet, even if a lot of the incriminating evidence is circumstantial. The fact that certain bat species can harbour an Ebola infection is important. A screening test in 1996, during which researchers injected live Ebola virus into 24 species of plant and 19 species of animal—such as pigeons, cockroaches, small mammals and lizards—found that bats could test positive for Ebola infection for at least 12 days. None of the bats died from the virus, and none of the other species showed such potential as hosts.

This capacity to handle the virus adds to the argument that bats could be Ebola’s hideout. But without further evidence, we can’t be sure that they are.

The reason we need to be sure has to do with prediction and prevention: if we know the reservoir species and where they live, we can allocate resources to areas at risk, help the local communities better prepare, and cut down on potential exposure to the virus by educating those who might stumble through its territory.

And that’s where zoonotic niche mapping comes in.

These maps are a way to look for patterns in where Ebola comes out of the forest and into the homes that line the wilderness – scenarios known as ‘spillover’ events. By studying Ebola spillover, we can better predict where the virus might emerge in the future. Researchers like spatial epidemiologist David Pigott are combining measures of ecological features like vegetation, elevation and the presence of suspected reservoir species with the exact geospatial coordinates of index cases to create an algorithm that describes who might be at risk.

“We wanted to know where else in Africa could potentially be in the same situation as Guinea in 2013 and early 2014,” says Pigott, lead author of the newly updated zoonotic niche map of Ebola in Africa. Back then, doctors were seeing cases of Ebola virus disease but not diagnosing them correctly, “because no one thought that Ebola could be circulating in that area”.

Curiously, in Pigott’s model, the presence of bats is not the strongest clue precipitating a spillover event. Instead, he says, the main predictor of where Ebola may emerge is the vegetation index. The amount of vegetation “could influence a variety of different species,” he explains. Though bats were included in the model, “it was vegetation that dominated the profile”. Translation: among areas that had experienced a spillover event, there was a critical pattern of plant cover that stands to be very helpful in identifying areas that might be at risk from Ebola in the future.

While ecological niche mapping can help in predicting spillover, there’s also another, less well explored hiding place to consider: people. Ebola has an incredible ability, unknown until recently, to stake out a claim in bodily fluids of men who have survived infection, long after they have returned to health. In fact, a recent study found that over half of male survivors tested positive for Ebola in their semen one year or longer after they’d recovered, with one survivor’s semen testing positive a full 565 days post-recovery. Because of the risk of spreading infection, male survivors are recommended to avoid unprotected sex until their semen has twice tested negative for Ebola.

Despite this, Pigott thinks it’s worth bearing in mind that most outbreaks historically have followed a narrative of human–animal interaction. “The other big unknown in terms of future outbreaks is how long is the transmission route viable.” It’s hard to incorporate transmission by survivors into a predictive model because we simply don’t know how long people can carry the virus and remain infectious.

This potential for human-to-human transmission means that Ebola has opportunities to re-emerge without a spillover event from the forest. And this means you don’t even need to be near the forest to get it. Ebola’s persistence in semen means we now have to track this curious villain in two ways. We must look for both patterns of emergence in our messy data streams.

So to be prepared for Ebola in the future, we need to discover how the virus moves through the wild and the city alike. We must find out where it thrives and how it spills over, and we must track it to all of the places it goes when we are not watching from the hospital bedside. With Ebola, there remain too many questions for us to rest easy.

This article was written by Leigh Cowart and first published by the Wellcome Foundation on Mosaic on 27 Sep 2016. It is reproduced here under a Creative Commons licence.

ilri_ebolaassessmentinuganda_bookcover

Read about related Ebola epidemiological research conducted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partners:

New study recommends continued research on the possible role pigs could play in transmitting Ebola in Uganda, 1 Sep 2015

Ebola: Three unpalatable truths, 23 Oct 2014

New ILRI report assesses risk of Ebola in Uganda’s pig value chain, 7 Jul 2014


Filed under: A4NH, Africa, AHH, Article, Emerging Diseases, Epidemiology, FSZ, ILRI, Pigs, Uganda, Wildlife, Zoonotic Diseases Tagged: Ebola

ILRI Vacancy: Research Associate – Pastoralism and Rangelands – Internal Advert (Closing date: 28 January 2017)

Jobs -

The position: ILRI is recruiting a Research Associate who will work as a member of the Sustainable Livestock Systems Program contributing to its research, capacity building, and policy-influencing activities in rangelands and pastoral areas of Ethiopia and elsewhere, under the supervision of a Senior Scientist. This will include contributing to the undertaking of a baseline survey in pastoral areas of Ethiopia; developing activities on land governance, land use planning and pastoralism with state and non-state actors; and with various international partners contributing to the coordination of the International Land Coalition’s Rangelands Initiative (global component). The global component seeks to influence global discourse on land issues to be more inclusive of pastoral issues, improve the capacity of international and national members to engage on pastoral land issues, and to mobilize and develop activities in collaboration with partners including government, to improve resource/land governance and land use planning in rangelands.  The position will be based at ILRI Ethiopia involving frequent travel to pastoral areas in Ethiopia and occasional international travel.

General: ILRI works with partners worldwide to enhance the roles that livestock play in food security and poverty alleviation, principally in Africa and Asia. The outcomes of these research partnerships help people in developing countries keep their farm animals alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases. A member of the CGIAR Consortium working for a food-secure future, ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and offices in other countries in East, West and Southern Africa (Mali, Mozambique and Nigeria) and in South Asia (India and Sri Lanka), Southeast Asia (Laos, Thailand and Vietnam) and East Asia (China). www.ilri.org.

Main duties & responsibilities:

  • Contributing to the design and implementation of a Baseline Survey for a national pastoral project, including development of household survey questionnaire, arranging fieldwork logistics, technical oversight of survey consultancy firm, and contributing to analysis and write-up of results.
  • Contributing to the development of a study on issues related to land governance and/or land use planning in rangelands-pastoral areas, potentially in Ethiopia, Tanzania and India.
  • Assisting the ILRI staff member responsible for the coordination of the International Land Coalition Rangelands Initiative (global component) including the development of material for a website, the writing of reviews, articles and reports; communication with and development of collaborative activities with ILC members and partners; development of new strategies and activities towards making rangelands more secure for local users.
  • Contributes to publications and presentation of results.
  • Builds capacity and provide practical trainings to partners as appropriate.

 Minimum Requirements:

Education:
  • Masters in rangelands, drylands, anthropology, sociology, geography, environment, agriculture or similar.
Training:
  • Participatory and research tools.

Experience:

  • At least three years’ experience of research in rangelands, pastoralism, land governance and/or land use planning including participatory approaches and surveys for national/international organizations.
  • Experience of working in pastoral areas of Ethiopia, with some international experience preferred.
  • Proven experience of working on gender issues and social inclusion in research.

Required and Desirable Skills:

  • Excellent communication and writing skills for different audiences (academic, government, NGOs, public, social media), in written and spoken Amharic, English (French/Spanish and/or knowledge of languages spoken in Ethiopia pastoral areas would be an advantage).
  • Strong motivation and long-term interest in pastoral development, natural resource management and land issues.
  • An innovative and strategic thinker, who enjoys working with different state and non-state actors.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills and ability to work under pressure.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collegially and collaboratively in diverse, multicultural partnerships

 Skills:

  • Knowledge of rangelands, drylands, NRM, land governance and land use planning; good communication skills (written and spoken) in English, Amharic (and French/Spanish would be an advantage); ability to engage/communicate with different sets of actors; surveys; participatory research tools; ability to work with minimal supervision in a multi-disciplinary team; familiarity with social media and website development an advantage.                 

Duty Station: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with frequent travel to pastoral areas of Ethiopia – Afar, Somali, Oromiya, SNNPR; occasional travel to India and Tanzania.

 Job level:   2D.

 Monthly Base Salary: Birr 21,367 (Negotiable depending on experience, skill and salary history of the candidate)

Terms of appointment: This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) position and the appointment is a fixed term for one year with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and the availability of funding. The ILRI remuneration package for nationally recruited staff in Ethiopia includes very competitive salary and benefits such as life and medical insurance, offshore pension plan, etc.

 Applications: Applicants should provide a cover letter and curriculum vitae; names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to be included in the curriculum vitae. The position and reference number: REF: RA/02/17 should be clearly indicated in the subject line of the cover letter. All applications to be submitted online on our recruitment portal: http://ilri.simplicant.com on or before 28 January 2017.

To find out more about ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org/ilricrowd/

Suitably qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply.

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Establishing the foundation for climate services in Rwanda

CRP 7 News -

Rwanda has been confronted by the vagaries of a changing climate in recent years. Hailstorms, floods, strong winds, heavy rains leading to landslides, prolonged droughts and changed weather patterns have become more recurrent, making seasons increasingly unpredictable and traditional indicators no longer suitable. This has many implications for the mostly rain-fed agriculture sector in Rwanda, which is also the main source of subsistence for the majority of the country’s population. Agriculture contributes to 30% of the GDP, whereas pastoralism, practiced only in small pockets of dry areas in the country, contributes to 10% of the GDP.

Setting the base

The CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in collaboration with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) are leading the research-based monitoring and evaluation component of the Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture project. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the project seeks to transform Rwanda’s rural farming communities and national economy through improved climate risk management. In order to establish a research baseline for the project, surveys were conducted in 30 districts in Rwanda. The survey sought to assess:

  • Climate risks and coping strategies among farmers;
  • Climate information, sources of information, use of information for decision making by farmers and institutions; and
  • Climate information services and impacts on crop farming, livestock management and other livelihoods

Using a combination of computer aided personal interviewing (CAPI) and key informant interviewing techniques, information on key outcome indicators was collected including basic household socio-economic characteristics, climate risks, access and use of climate services, types and sources of information to inform their agricultural activities, farm management decisions, agricultural technologies adopted by households, crops, livestock, and livelihood activities and food security.

Next steps

The baseline information will be used to track changes in behavior associated with the delivery of climate forecasts yearly for each rainfall season to inform on program’s effectiveness. Data is being analyzed and will be used to inform national partners, researchers and other stakeholders on the needs of farmers and pastoralists for climate services in Rwanda. The baseline data will also be used to evaluate how successful the program has been in impacting decision making at household and community levels.

Further readings

ILRI Vacancy: Animal Technician – Small Animal Unit(closing date: 3 February 2017)

Jobs -

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit an Animal Technician to provide assistance to the Small (and if required the Large Animal Unit).

ILRI works with partners worldwide to enhance the roles that livestock play in food security and poverty alleviation, principally in Africa and Asia. The outcomes of these research partnerships help people in developing countries keep their farm animals’ alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases www.ilri.org

ILRI is a not-for-profit institution with a staff of about 700 and in 2017, an operating budget of about USD83 million. ILRI is a CGIAR research centre working for a food-secure future. ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and offices in other countries in East, West and Southern Africa and in South, Southeast and East Asia www.cgiar.org

Responsibilities

  • Feeding and watering animals;
  • Breeding small animals (mice, rats and rabbits)
  • Cleaning of the animal facilities;
  • Maintaining general cleaning of the animals unit
  • Keeping records for birth, animals that have been weaned, deaths;
  • Assist in collection of samples;
  • Assist researcher during experiments as defined in protocols;
  • Report animal health matters of concern and activities within defined areas;
  • Assist during routine dipping, treatment and vaccinations of all the animals;
  • Collect animals from external sources.

Requirements

  • A certificate in Animal Health
  • At least 2 years relevant working experience in a research set up or similar environment
  • Ability to communicate in English and Kiswahili
  • Basic Computer knowledge in animal record keeping
  • Excellent interpersonal skills

Terms of Appointment

  • This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) position based at ILRI’s Nairobi campus.

Job Level

This position is at job level 1B and open to Kenyan nationals only.   ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes; pension, medical and other insurances for ILRI’s Nationally Recruited Staff.

How to apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position,, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal http://ilri.simplicant.com/ on or before 03 February 2017. The position title and reference number REF: AH/SAU/01/2017 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

To find out more about ILRI visit our websites at http://www.ilri.org

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org/ilricrowd/

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

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ILRI Vacancy: Animal Technician – Large Animal Unit (closing date: 3 February 2017)

Jobs -

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit an Animal Technician to provide assistance to the Large Animal Unit at the Institute.

ILRI works with partners worldwide to enhance the roles that livestock play in food security and poverty alleviation, principally in Africa and Asia. The outcomes of these research partnerships help people in developing countries keep their farm animals’ alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases. www.ilri.org

ILRI is a not-for-profit institution with a staff of about 700 and in 2016, an operating budget of about USD 83 million. A member of the CGIAR Consortium working for a food-secure future, ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and offices in other countries in East, West and Southern Africa and in South, Southeast and East Asia. www.cgiar.org

Responsibilities

  • Feeding and watering animals;
  • Cleaning of the animal facilities;
  • Maintaining general cleaning of the animals unit
  • Keeping records for birth, animals that have been weaned, deaths;
  • Assist in collection of samples;
  • Assist researcher during experiments as defined in protocols;
  • Report animal health matters of concern and activities within defined areas;
  • Assist during routine dipping, treatment and vaccinations of all the animals;
  • Collect animals from external sources.

Requirements

  • A certificate in Animal Health
  • At least 2 years relevant working experience in a research set up or similar environment
  • Ability to communicate in English and Kiswahili
  • Basic Computer knowledge in animal record keeping
  • Excellent interpersonal skills

Terms of Appointment

  • This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) position based at ILRI’s Nairobi campus.

Job Level

This position is at job level 1B and open to Kenyan nationals only.   ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes; pension, medical and other insurances for ILRI’s Nationally Recruited Staff.

How to apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position,, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal http://ilri.simplicant.com/ on or before 03 February 2017. The position title and reference number REF: AH/LAU/01/2017 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

To find out more about ILRI visit our websites at http://www.ilri.org

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org/ilricrowd/

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

More ILRI jobs

Subscribe by email to ILRI jobs alert


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