Impact book

The Impact of the International Livestock Research Institute


Providing the first evidence-based global estimates of the many scientific, economic, policy, and capacity development impacts of livestock research in and for developing countries, this volume is an indispensable guide and reference for veterinarians, animal and forage scientists, and anyone working for the equitable and sustainable development of the world's poorer agricultural economies.

Livestock is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors, with most growth occurring in developing countries. For more than four and a half decades one global centre has been mandated to conduct research on leveraging the benefits and mitigating the costs of livestock production in poor countries.

This book focuses on the achievements, failures and impacts of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and its predecessors, the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) and the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (ILRAD). The scientific and economic impacts of tropical livestock research detailed in this work reveal valuable lessons for reducing world hunger, poverty and environmental degradation.

Describing the impacts of smallholder livestock systems on the global environment, the book also covers animal genetics, production, health and disease control, and livestock-related land management, public policy and economics, all with useful pointers for future livestock-for-development research.


McIntire, J. and Grace, D. (eds). 2020. The impact of the International Livestock Research Institute. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI and Wallingford, UK: CABI.


Iain Wright

Iain Wright

Deputy director general research and development–Integrated Sciences

This book, written by more than 70 authors, is a unique testimony to the impact of ILRI and its predecessors and the dedication of thousands of researchers over a 45-year period. The book contains a vast amount of information spread across more than 700 pages. While each chapter is a rich and detailed source of information on a given topic, each chapter begins with a short executive summary giving the reader an overview of the scientific, development and capacity development impacts of the work described, hopefully whetting appetites to read more. As the world faces new challenges related to food and nutrition security, climate change, environmental degradation and the sustainable and equitable transformation of our food systems, we hope this book provides an insight into how livestock research and agricultural research more generally can contribute to that transformation in the coming years.

Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Smith

Director general

This unique book documents 45 years of impacts of livestock research in regions of the developing world, particularly in Africa and Asia. ILRI’s broad portfolio of research for livestock development covers livestock health, feed, genetics, trade, marketing and consumption, the gender aspects of livestock systems, and the impacts of livestock on the natural resource base. It is our hope that this record—with its many examples of the wealth of scientific and public goods emanating from long-term intellectual and financial livestock research investments and partnerships—helps others to build on this legacy to create more sustainable as well as equitable livestock systems in future years.

Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty

ILRI staff and partners work for more equitable, broad-based and sustainable livestock development to help close great disparities in global economic and nutritional well-being and human and environmental health. Some big ideas are presented here, along with some approaches that were tested and then let go; there are both success and failure stories, as is only proper in such a record. And there are breakthroughs and scientific and development impacts to laud, including developing-world solutions for developing-world problems. This volume can serve as a reference and resource for all interested in the role of livestock in agricultural transformation and sustainable development.


Book summary