About us

About ILRI

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works for better lives through livestock in developing countries. ILRI is co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, has 14 offices across Asia and Africa, employs some 700 staff and has an annual operating budget of about USD 80 million.

ILRI is a CGIAR research centre, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services. Its research is carried out by 15 CGIAR centres in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector.

Peter Doherty, a former member of the ILRI Board of Trustees and co-winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, serves as ILRI’s patron.

Vision, mission and strategy

As a CGIAR research centre, ILRI contributes to and takes inspiration from the CGIAR vision: A world with sustainable and resilient food, land, and water systems that deliver diverse, healthy, safe, sufficient, and affordable diets, and ensure improved livelihoods and greater social equality, within planetary and regional environmental boundaries.

ILRIs’ mission is that: 

People’s lives in low- and middle-income countries are improved through livestock science that contributes to equitable and resilient livestock systems in order to deliver food systems transformation with climate and environmental benefits.

ILRI's strategy 2024–2030 was approved in May 2024. It emerged from a wide process of consultation and engagement. You can read more about it here.

ILRI Values – respectful, responsible and responsive

Through its livestock research for development leading to better lives through livestock, ILRI is committed to helping build a world where everyone has an opportunity to fulfil their potential. In living its ‘3R’ values—respectful, responsible and responsive—ILRI commits to counter prejudice in all forms and to drive towards a more equitable world for all.

As in the case of CGIAR as a whole, ILRI unequivocally condemns and rejects all prejudices that lead to multiple inequities and discrimination including all forms of racism, tribalism and gender inequity.

See CGIAR’s commitment to gender, diversity and inclusion.

ILRI's history

ILRI was established on 21 September 1994 as an international not-for-profit livestock research organization by an Establishing Agreement signed by the Governments of Kenya, Ethiopia, Denmark, Sweden and the Swiss Confederation and the United Nations Environment Programme.  Under the agreement, ILRAD (the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases established in 1973 with headquarters in Nairobi) and ILCA (the International Livestock Center for Africa established in 1974 with headquarters in Addis Ababa) were unified to create ILRI.

ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and is co-hosted by the Government of Ethiopia through a Host Country Agreement with the Government of Kenya signed on 29 December 1994 and the Government of Ethiopia signed on 8 June 1995.