Thursday Links (21 March 2019)

A monthly round-up of recent articles, blog postings and tweets about livestock, aid and other topics that may be of interest to ILRI staff and partners, compiled by David Aronson.

Bill Gates writes that in poor communities in India, goats are helping empower women, “thanks to a new team of health workers who are training rural women how to gain financial independence by raising healthier goats.”

Data from the formal sector show that milk intake in Kenya grew seven percent last year and is now at an 18-year high.

A new study led by ILRI’s Dolapo Enahoro and published in Global Food Security shows that boosting livestock productivity primarily in Africa south of the Sahara and South Asia could improve food security & producer incomes while limiting greenhouse gas emissions and agricultural water usage.

Novel financing methods are giving Kenyan women a way to buy cattle, lease pasture land, and improve their lives.

4.5 million metric tons of bushmeat from the Congo Basin are taken each year, equivalent to about half of the annual beef production of countries in the EU.

According to the New York Times, vegan make-up is becoming all the rage.

Reporting from Somaliland, this journalist argues that climate change is already well underway—with dire consequences: “Climate Change Is Here—and It Looks Like Starvation” he writes.

The newest EPA greenhouse gas inventory is now available, and comes with this handy chart:


The Yale Program on Climate Change says that “lab-grown meat has the potential to use up to 98% less water and 90% less land than conventional meat, but its carbon footprint is still uncertain.”

The regulatory battles over alt-meats are growing ever fiercer in the US—with billions of dollars at stake. (In this newsletter, puns are both rare and well-done.)

A new Human Rights Watch report documents attacks by cow vigilante groups in India, and the inadequate response by the authorities.

Efforts to end unrest in central Mali, particularly between Dogon and Fulani, have not been enough to mend relations between different communities, especially in the presence of jihadist groups.

A new book tells the buried stories of black agrarian communities that used land and agriculture to build strategies for collective liberation in the US from the times of slavery to today.

The insect apocalypse might not be upon us—but the reality is still sobering.


Cheikh Oumar Seydi

Meet Cheikh Oumar Seydi, the new Africa director for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A Senegalese national, he joins the Gates Foundation from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), where he was the regional director for sub-Saharan Africa, based in Nairobi.

A world without clouds? Once global warming starts, feedback loops could kick in that could heat up the planet even faster than we expect. (Also note the great landing page for this article.)


Deep or absolute poverty (defined as less than USD1.90/day), is increasingly becoming a two country problem, World Bank data show:

A study of leftovers from 4,500-year-old pig roasts reveals that prehistoric ceremonial sites around Stonehenge served as “pan-British” centers that helped bring together disparate populations of Neolithic peoples from across the island.

In Nature, an article titled ‘The dos and don’ts of influencing policy: a systematic review of advice to academics’—provides a good overview of what we know and what we don’t.

A new life philosophy?