Feed aggregator

The occurrence of bacterial and viral pathogens in smallholder pig production systems in Uganda

CRP 3.7 News -

This week’s Joint International Conference of the Association of Institutions for Tropical Veterinary Medicine and the Society of Tropical Veterinary Medicine featured a poster on the occurrence of selected bacterial and viral pathogens in smallholder pig production systems in Uganda by Michel Dione (ILRI), Charles Masembe (Makerere University), Joyce Akol (Makerere University), Joseph Kungu (National Livestock Resources Research Institute, Uganda), Winfred Amia (ILRI) and Barbara Wieland (ILRI).

Smallholder pig production plays a big role in the livelihoods of several communities in Uganda. Pigs potentially harbour several pathogens, most of which might be insidious. In order to check for presence and determine the level of bacterial and viral pathogens in smallholder pig herds in two districts (Masaka and Lira) of high pig population in Uganda, a survey was undertaken between June and July 2015. These pathogens were purposively selected based on one of the following criteria: good marker for biosecurity at farm, or pathogen which provokes clinical signs that resemble to those that were described by farmers in their swine herds during a previous study in the same locations.

In total 320 clinically healthy pig herds were selected from 32 villages, with 10 herds per village. In each herd, a maximum of 3 pigs were included in the study resulting in 623 serum samples. The samples were subjected to antibody serology for eight pathogens using commercial ELISA kits. In addition data was collected on potential risk factors, biosecurity knowledge and practices, as well as husbandry practices of pig farmers.

Streptococcus suis and Leptospira spp. were highly prevalent in most herds with animal level prevalence of 83.3% (CI95: 74.1-89.7) and 70.6(61.1-79.6) respectively. Additionally, high prevalence was found for Porcine circovirus type 2 with 43.7% (CI95: 34.08-54.3), Actinobacillus pleuro-pneumoniae 23.0% (CI: 15.0-33.40, Mycoplasma hyopneumonia 15.4% (CI95: 8.6-23.5), Influenza A 5.8% (CI95:2.2-12.6) and Porcine parvovirus 4.5 % (1.6-11.3). Significant differences were observed in prevalences of infected animals between districts with Streptococcus suis being higher in Masaka (P=0.016) and Mycoplasma hyopneumonia, Influenza A, and Porcine circovirus type 2 being higher in Lira (P=0.00, P=0.00, P=0.03 respectively). Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus 1.3% (CI95: 1.6-11.3) and Aujeszky’s disease virus 0.2% (CI95: 0.0-03.6) were less common.

The observed patterns of multiple infections, the related risk factors, biosecurity perceptions and practices of farmers provide important entry points to improve the current production systems and thus contribute towards reducing the economic impact of commonly occurring pig pathogens. These pathogens, which might be silent killers, are under diagnosed given the fact that the disease of focus of farmers is African swine fever, which they know most about. The findings of this study constitute baseline data to measure impact of future interventions aiming to reduce disease burden. This is the first report in Uganda examining occurrence of this range of pathogens of economic and public health importance in pigs. Follow up investigations are needed to characterise the most commonly pathogenic serotypes and genotypes of the above pathogens, and study the dynamics and impact of these pathogens in current smallholder pig production systems.

Filed under: Africa, Agri-Health, Animal Health, ASSP, CRP37, East Africa, ILRI, Livestock, Pigs, Research, Uganda, Value Chains

Goat meat—which makes up 60% of red meat worldwide—begins to go mainstream in the UK

Clippings -

Somali goat

Typical Somali goat of the Horn of Africa (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

‘When you think of goat meat, fragrant Jamaican curries, like the ones served up from colourful street stalls at the Notting Hill Carnival last weekend, or an exotic Moroccan tagine typically come to mind.

‘But did you know that shoulder joints melt like butter when slow-roasted, leg steaks are tender in casseroles and chops are particularly succulent after being cooked on a summer BBQ? Goat meat also makes for delicious garlicky Merguez sausages à la France, but more of that later…

Goat meat makes up 60 per cent of red meat worldwide, but the UK is one of the few places in the world where it’s not commonly eaten. That is slowly changing. Goat meat, kid, is in fashion. It . . . will soon be on supermarket shelves.

‘Why goat meat should be the next dish you serve up, I kid you not…

‘Former River Cottage chef, James Whetlor is one of the pioneers of the goat meat revolution. Founded in 2012, his company, Cabrito (Spanish for ‘young goat’) rears and sells upwards of 10,000 kids a year—which would otherwise be culled just after birth as a by-product of the dairy industry—to seasonal and highly-regarded restaurants such as St John and Quo Vadis in London and Romy’s Kitchen in Bristol. . . .

‘There’s about another 40,000 male billy goats in the dairy system that are still being senselessly wasted because as a nation we love goats cheese and goats milk, but don’t eat kid. However, James has to grow demand alongside supply, which is not the easiest of jobs, especially when you’re asking people to try something new that is comparable in price to organic lamb. . . .

‘For those that consume goat dairy products, the question of what to do with non-milk producing billies is a complex ethical issue, and one that bears thinking about. . . .

‘Animal welfare is top priority, the newborns are milked and weaned naturally by their mothers, sleeping all together in a barn at night and let out to graze by about 9:30am every day – they refuse to get up before then. “They are quite precious,” Fiona explains. “They also don’t particularly like wet feet, or loads of mud.”. . .’

Read the whole article at The Independent: Why goat meat is set to be the next big food trend: it’s not just tasty, it’s ethical, too, 3 Sep 2016.

Filed under: Animal Products, Article, Consumption, Europe, Goats, Small Ruminants, UK Tagged: The Independent

ILRI Vacancy: ICT Project Manager (Closing Date: 21 September 2016)

Jobs -

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit an Information Communications & Technology (ICT) Project Manager to manage small to medium-sized and moderately complex projects. This role will; develop the project scope, define project guidelines, obtain business and information technology sponsor approvals and coordinate the resources necessary to successfully complete the project. Other responsibilities shall include the refinement of requirements, project coordination, development of plans and schedules, resource planning and estimation and project maintenance.

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 USD83 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

Key Responsibilities

Project planning:

  • Develops, and continually updates, project plans and schedules.
  • Develops product breakdown structures.
  • Identifies project dependencies prior to the start of the project.
  • Works with the Business Analysts and the client to define/refine the project scope.
  • Facilitates the gathering of information required to estimate project cost, resources, time and deliverables.
  • Prepares all project management baseline products.
  • Ensures that the project outcome reflects the goals of the client.

Resource management:

  • Determines staffing requirements and forms project teams.
  • Develops budget requests for resources.
  • Works with resource managers in order to effectively align resources across projects.
  • Provides work direction and leadership to assigned projects, including scheduling, assignment of work and review of project efforts.
  • Evaluates project performance and makes recommendations for personnel actions.

Risk management:

  • Identifies the elements of risk in a project.
  • Analyzes and prioritizes project risks and assesses its potential impact to client.
  • Develops and maintains risk plans, processes and systems in order to mitigate risk, with assistance.
  • Creates action plan for risks that occur and follows through on plan.
  • Maintains issue list, proactively escalating issues to project and departmental leadership to mitigate risk.
  • Recommends and takes action to direct analysis and solution of problems.

Budget control:

  • Estimates costs associated with a project including physical, financial and human capital costs.
  • Develops a detailed cost baseline from cost estimations.
  • Refines project cost estimates and confirms funding sources.
  • Monitors and controls the actual cost of a project versus the budget.
  • Reviews bills and evaluates factors that may potentially cause cost changes.
  • Conducts in-depth root cause analysis of project budget discrepancies.

Procurement planning and vendor performance management:

  • Assists with identifying which resources need to be procured outside the organization.
  • Describes technical or other issues that need to be considered and assists in the development of Statement of Work (SOWs).
  • Determines if external consultants or contractors will be required to complete project plan.
  • Recruits and manages appropriate staffing resources.
  • Provides advice and counsel to the vendor relationship decision-making and contract development processes.
  • Evaluates service provider performance.
  • Approves invoices for payment.
  • Provides an issue escalation path and resolves vendor performance disputes.

Communications and relationship management

  • Develops a communication plan to convey project scope, goals, milestones, budget, risk, status, change requests and critical issues to the client and project team.
  • Assesses the effectiveness of the interaction and communication with the client and project team.
  • Develops and maintains productive working relationships with business owners, project sponsors, vendors and key clients.
  • Negotiates conflicts and resolves issues that arise.
  • Acts as a mediator between stakeholders and team members.
  • Resolves any issues and solves problems throughout the project life cycle.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Business, or other related field.
  • 5 to 7 years of relevant IT and business work experience.
  • Working knowledge of business operations and systems requirements processes.
  • Experience in supervising and building relationships with people at different levels.
  • Demonstrated ability to launch and deliver ICT projects on time and within budget.
  • Willingness and ability to travel domestically and internationally, as necessary.

Terms of Appointment

This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) position based at ILRI’s Nairobi campus. It is open to Kenyan nationals only. The position is on a 3-year contract, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding.

Job Level

This position is job level 3C, 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 21 September 2016. The position title and reference number REF: ICT/PM/09/2016 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


Zebu Club – construction work

Latest ILRI announcements -

There will be construction work at the Zebu Club today, September 8th 2016.  This is to kindly request users cooperation towards this.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.


Admassu Wondimu  |  Housing, Catering and Conference Services Manager



Value chain actors’ practices associated with the spread of African swine fever disease in smallholder pig systems in Uganda

CRP 3.7 News -

This week’s Joint International Conference of the Association of Institutions for Tropical Veterinary Medicine and the Society of Tropical Veterinary Medicine featured a presentation on value chain actors’ practices associated with the spread of African swine fever disease in smallholder pig systems in Uganda by Michel Dione, Emily Ouma, Felix Opio, Peter Lule, Brian Kawuma and Danilo Pezo (ILRI).

A study was undertaken to assess the perception of smallholder pig value chain actors on the risk of exposure of their pigs to African swine fever, as well as practices associated with the spread of the disease in the pig value chain. Data was collected through 17 focus group discussions and two key informant interview sessions. Participarory Rural Appraisal tools such as listing, group consencus, ranking, proportional pilling and pairwise matrix were used to collect data from 145 value chain actors including pig producers, traders, butchers, consumers, health and feeds input suppliers and support services; and 36 key informants including, district veterinary officers, area veterinarians, commercial and production officers, sub-county police officers, leaders from pig farmer cooperatives and community youths, and representatives of NGOs and other services working in the pig sector.

Results from this study revealed that the transportation, slaughter and collection/bulking nodes were perceived as being the highest risk nodes in the spread of the virus due to the practices of traders, brokers and butchers, the main actors operating there. All value chain actors are aware of the disease and its consequences to the value chain, but agreed that biosecurity measures were generally poorly implemented at all nodes of the value chain. As for the causes, they pointed to several factors, such as inadequate knowledge of actors of pig husbandry practices and mechanisms for the spread of the disease, poor enforcement of regulations on disease control, and low capacities to implement biosecurity measures, among others.

The majority of recommendations to control and prevent ASF, as suggested by the actors themselves, targeted producers, mostly with actions related to farm hygiene and pig movement during outbreaks seasons. Although traders, butchers and veterinary practitioners accepted that they play an important role in the spread of the virus, they did not perceive themselves as key actors in the control of the disease; instead, they believed that it was farmers who should adopt biosecurity measures on their farms because they keep the pigs.

The recommendations by actors to control ASF included: the establishment of collective centres for live pigs, capacity building of value chain actors on disease control, the issuance and enforcement of by-laws on live pig movements and establishment of operational outbreak reporting mechanism at district level. This study suggests that interventions designed to control ASF through biosecurity measures should focus their efforts on at post-farm nodes mainly the trading node.


Filed under: Africa, Agri-Health, Animal Diseases, Animal Health, ASF, ASSP, CRP37, East Africa, ILRI, LGI, Pigs, Uganda, Value Chains

Innovation platforms for dairy development in India and Tanzania

Enhancing Livelihoods of Poor Livestock Keepers through Increased Use of Fodder: Project news -

The milkIT (enhancing dairy-based livelihoods in India and Tanzania through feed innovation) project aimed to contribute to improved dairy-derived livelihoods in India and Tanzania via intensification of smallholder production focusing on enhancement of feeds and feeding using innovation and value chain approaches.

Financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the project was organized around three sets of interventions:

  1. Diagnostic activities designed to help target interventions to real issues and constraints at community level
  2. Delivery of solutions – technical as well as institutional, to address challenges and needs
  3. Preparing for scale – engaging with other institutions, building partnerships and promoting wider uptake of the solutions and the approaches employed in the project
    . . . all devised and delivered through innovation platforms at different scales.

Multi-stakeholder innovation platforms were set up at different levels as part of the project, resulting in more milk sales, more interactions and better linkages among different value chain actors in India, and, in Tanzania, access to a larger variety of better feeds.

This video explains how the milkIT project worked with innovation platforms in India and Tanzania:


More about the MilkIT project


Subscribe to International Livestock Research Institute aggregator