Product lines

Our research is delivered through product lines: These research efforts usually involve multiple steps with dynamic learning over several years and are achieved through multiple projects. They are produced by a team of researchers and partners either within a specific ILRI program or across programs.

Impact at scale

Policies, institutions and livelihoods

Women's Empowerment in Livestock Index (WELI)

Women’s empowerment in the livestock sector is essential to progress towards gender equity and to foster livestock development. Diverse strategies exist to empower women, yet they are difficult to prioritize without a reliable and adapted means to measure ‘empowerment’.

Value chains for competitive smallholder systems

Livestock development is regularly constrained by low adoption rates of seemingly profitable and technically sound technologies. The improved integration of livestock farmers, especially women, into value chains is recognized as a precondition for many innovations to be attractive. Knowledge on the...

Human nutrition and livestock

Animal-sourced foods have hugely underused potential to improve the diets of the poorest, particularly during the first 1,000 days of life, but evidence of the effectiveness and potential for scaling up livestock interventions for nutrition outcomes is lacking.

Gender and equity

Access to livestock assets and income is often inequitable with regard to gender, age, ethnicity, etc. Various barriers to accessing technologies, services and markets limit the contributions of women and young people to their own livelihoods and aspirations, to their families and to the livestock...

Policy and foresight

Despite the rapid growth of the livestock sector in low- and middle-income countries, understanding of the potential trajectories of future livestock system evolution remain limited. Existing models do not address the complexities associated with the sector. This impedes our ability to assess...

Sustainable livestock systems


Livestock are a key asset that helps communities manage shocks and stressors, especially in dryland regions. Many actors now refer to building resilience as a method for reducing vulnerability to shocks and enhancing processes of recovery, with the understanding that fostering greater resilience is...

Sustainable intensification

A clearer understanding is still needed of when, where and how sustainable intensification (SI) can be successful, given the trade-offs among the sustainability, economic and productivity objectives. The answers will allow growth in productivity and production to occur with minimal negative impacts...

Climate change

Climate change is a double-edged challenge for the growth of the livestock sector. Livestock production in the tropics is currently vulnerable to climate risk and therefore will be significantly affected by future climate change; conversely, livestock production is the largest source of greenhouse...

Livestock genetics


We lack a systematic approach of properly describing current scenarios and modelling the impact of possible interventions early on in the product development pipeline to target investment of resources for maximum impact and return.

Gene discovery

Livestock development in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia has seen limited applications of modern methods of livestock genetic improvement for the benefit of smallholder farmers resulting in performance which is far below its potential.

Digital platform for farmer feedback

Increased demand for milk and milk products means that dairy farming in East Africa has clear potential to create an important income stream for smallholder farmers. However, current systems significantly underperform due to low milk yield. We have identified the following underlying problems: A...

Delivery of genetic gains

Small- and medium-scale dual-purpose poultry production is an important source of income and nutrition for smallholder farmers, especially benefiting women. However, productivity and survival is well below its potential due, in part, to suboptimal genetics.

BecA-ILRI hub


Feed scarcity causes low livestock productivity across sub-Saharan Africa. Smallholders face significant challenges in gaining access to high-quality forages to feed their animals, especially in the acid and low fertility soils of the arid and semi-arid lands of eastern Africa. Smallholders in the...

Technology platforms

Many national research institutes and universities lack the resources to acquire state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and the management capacity to support their agricultural research programs. The provision of shared research technology platforms is a cost-effective way of supporting these...

The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund

Africa needs skilled researchers in the biosciences who can contribute towards the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. These scientists need access to state-of-the-art laboratories. With limited resources, a collaborative approach is needed to address issues affecting...

Animal and human health

Zoonoses control

Three-quarters of new human diseases emerge from animals; for most of those with pandemic potential, domestic animals are involved. At the same time neglected zoonoses continue to impose a huge health burden on poor people and reduce the value of their livestock assets.

Saving livestock with vaccines

Infectious diseases in developing countries cost billions of dollars a year through livestock mortality and illness. Many Africa-specific diseases are neglected as there is little private investment in developing vaccines for them.

Safe food, fair food

In Asia and Africa, most livestock products and fresh produce are sold in informal markets. The human health burden from food-borne disease is comparable to that of malaria, HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis. Unsafe food is also a barrier to market access for poor farmers.

Healthy livestock

Livestock in developing countries suffer from high disease burdens reducing productivity and welfare.

Feed and forage development

Providing more and higher quality feed biomass

A key challenge in the livestock sector is provision of sufficient high-quality fodder throughout the year, especially in drier regions with recurrent drought and seasonal feed shortages. In mixed crop-livestock systems, crop residues of poor nutritional quality often form the basal diet for...

Making better use of existing feed resources

Significant opportunities exist to use existing feed resources more effectively by moving feed between areas of surplus and deficit, improving feed quality and utilization through processing and better rationing of livestock. This will reduce the environmental impacts of feed production and reduce...

Feed and forage tools and platforms

Feed solutions are highly dependent on local conditions, including the agro-ecology, farming and livestock system, farm size and labour availability. Tools are needed to match potential feed solutions to the local situation.