Kenya

Kenya

What we do

ILRI’s mission is to improve food and nutritional security and to reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe, and sustainable use of livestock — ensuring better lives through livestock.
The institute’s research for development agenda addresses the complex mix of challenges and opportunities faced by small- and medium-scale livestock operators who are currently providing most of the meat, milk, eggs as well as staple cereals across the diverse mixed and pastoral husbandry systems of Africa and Asia.

Such enterprises present multiple and synergistic opportunities to meet the rising demand for milk, meat and eggs; while simultaneously improving incomes, livelihoods and nutrition for poor households, strengthening adaptive capacity and resilience (especially to climate change) and alleviating the threats posted by livestock farming to human and environmental health.

 

CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT is an important part of ILRI’s mandate and cuts across all its research and development areas. In a typical year, the institute hosts 90-100 graduate students, 60-70% of whom are at PhD level. Several thousand Kenyans have benefited from capacity building opportunities at ILRI, many have moved on to influential positions in research and policy institutions.

ILRI/David White
Women working in the advanced animal health laboratories of ILRI, in Nairobi, Kenya
Drawn from some 40 nationalities, ILRI has a work force of over 600 staff globally and operates on an annual budget of about US$100M.

 

The institute works through extensive partnership arrangements with research and development institutions in both the developed and developing parts of the world.

What we focus on

Working with partners, ILRI’s research for development portfolio spans laboratory-based biosciences to field-based research.
Topics include:

  • Raising animal productivity (through solutions for better health, genetics, and feeds),
  • Improving resilience and sustainability of livestock systems (particularly in relation to climate adaptation and mitigation),
  • Assessments that support prioritization of investments and transformation of livestock value chains,
  • Gender focused research that is integrated and transformative,
  • One Health approaches (food safety, AMR and zoonoses).

A center of excellence and innovation

 

ILRI’s Nairobi campus includes high-end biotechnology laboratories as well as the Mazingira (Swahili for ‘environment’) Centre which conducts environmental and climate change research and education in Africa, providing state-of-the-art facilities, analytical equipment and methodological approaches.

Researchers at the Mazingira Centre are investigating the environmental footprint of the highly diverse livestock systems on the African continent, ranging from smallholder mixed systems in the humid highlands to extensive pastoral systems in the semi-arid lowlands, to provide evidence and context-specific solutions for sustainable, low-emissions development that benefit smallholder farmers and livestock keepers.

Our partnerships in Kenya

 

In Kenya, ILRI works with Kenyan ministries, research institutes, universities and local government offices, as well as with nongovernmental organizations, private companies and local communities. In partnership with KALRO ILRI has over the years supported the dairy, poultry and small ruminant sectors.

Included here is research on:

Livestock genetics such as the Tropical Poultry Genetic Solutions (TPGS) project, the African Dairy Genetic Gains (ADGG) project and the biobanking Kenyan chicken genetic resources project. 
Improving animal nutrition through research on forages (such as exploring sequence diversity in Napier grass and identification of Brachiaria grasses for dairy production). 
Addressing animal health challenges through vaccine research (current work includes clinical trials to develop a subunit vaccine for contagious bovine pleuropneumonia in Kenya).

Research also includes restoration and sustaining rangelands and communities, building climate smart livestock-based systems through mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable intensification of crop-livestock systems along with projects in One Health.

Hung Nguyen-Viet

Hung Nguyen-Viet

Co-Leader, Animal and Human Health Program

Isabelle Baltenweck

Isabelle Baltenweck

Program Leader: Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods

Siboniso (Boni) Moyo

Siboniso (Boni) Moyo

Deputy Director General for research and development - Biosciences

Ally Okeyo Mwai

Ally Okeyo Mwai

Principal Scientist

Steve Kemp

Steve Kemp

Program leader, Livestock genetics

Chris Jones

Chris Jones

Program Leader, Feed and Forage Development

Alessandra Galiè

Alessandra Galiè

Team leader: Gender

Bernard Bett

Bernard Bett

Senior scientist, Animal and human health

Julie Ojango

Julie Ojango

Senior Scientist, Animal Genetic Resource Utilization and Management

Raphael Mrode

Raphael Mrode

Principal Scientist

Samuel O. Oyola

Samuel O. Oyola

Senior Scientist: Molecular Biologist and Head of Genomics

Vish Nene

Vish Nene

Co-leader Animal and Human Health program

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Related Publications

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Food System in Nandi County. A situational and stakeholder focused analysis on low emission food system development

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Assessing disease risk perceptions of wild meat in savanna borderland settlements in Kenya and Tanzania

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Shifting climate zones and expanding tropical and arid climate regions across Kenya (1980–2020)

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Consumer demand for milk and the informal dairy sector amidst COVID-19 in Nairobi, Kenya

  • Alonso, Silvia
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ILRI publication cover

The long-term impact of multi-season droughts on livestock holdings and Pastoralist decision-making in Marsabit, Kenya

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Gender-responsive design of bacteriophage products to enhance adoption by chicken keepers in Kenya

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