Five years of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health: celebrating achievements and renewing commitments


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CTLGH Principals & CSC group (left- right) Wayne Powell (SRUC), Steve Kemp (ILRI), Eleanor Riley (Roslin/UoE), Jimmy Smith (ILRI), Jamie Newbold (SRUC) & Appolinaire Djikeng (Roslin/UoE/CTLGH) (Photo credit: CTLGH/Maggie Bennett)


As the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) approached its five-year milestone, the principals of the founding partner organizations met at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to discuss the progress made so far and plan for the centre’s future.

CTLGH’s vision is to ‘support more resilient, sustainable and profitable tropical livestock production systems through genetic improvement’. The centre has successfully secured initial funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and more recently, the Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA).

The centre founders are the Roslin Institute (part of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh), Scotland’s Rural Collage (SRUC) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). On the 8th of August 2019, the principles (Eleanor Riley, Jimmy Smith, and Wayne Powell) of the three organizations agreed to renew the current collaborative framework agreement and strategic actions to ensure that emerging opportunities are identified. It was decided that the second framework would be signed during the centre’s annual meeting on 24-27 September 2019 in Edinburgh.

The principals also discussed some of the operational arrangements required to ensure stronger institutional interactions, engagement and management. They agreed that the CTLGH director, Appolinaire Djikeng would be supported by two deputy directors, one from each of the founding partners: Steve Kemp (ILRI) and Jamie Newbold (SRUC). They also resolved to establish robust guidelines to ensure that CTLGH is configured to ensure that best practice is followed with respect to access to information and benefits sharing and, biosecurity, biosafety and regulations.

Djikeng acknowledged the inherent challenges a new organization faces but said, ‘CTLGH is uniquely placed to provide end-to-end interactions and works through partners to reach the field addressing challenges which are visible to all strategic partners.’ He added that ‘the last five years has seen a phenomenal increase of opportunities at multiple levels to build a case for livestock development and for North-South and South-South learning.’

Kemp, deputy director of CTLGH and the program leader for livestock genetics at ILRI said, ‘CTLGH brings the ability to direct cutting-edge science towards the challenges and opportunities of tropical livestock keepers. In doing this, it is creating a cadre of world-class scientists who understand the complexity of achieving impact in the developing world. This in turn positions CTLGH as a unique interface entity catalysing a two-way flow of understanding and information between development and lab-based partners.


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CTLGH Principals (left-right) Wayne Powell (SRUC), Eleanor Riley (Roslin/UoE) and Jimmy Smith (ILRI) (Photo credit: CTLGH/Maggie Bennett)


For more information on key CTLGH projects conducted at ILRI contact