ILRI research found that conception rates to artificial insemination (AI) in Ethiopia are low: just 27% of inseminated cows go on to calve. The Global Affairs Canada-funded project, Livestock and irrigated value chains for Ethiopian smallholders, developed novel institutional arrangements and training programs with the regional governments for mass synchronization and AI for smallholders’ cattle. Over 600,000 cattle have been inseminated since 2011, conception rates have more than doubled and the federal government has included this intervention in its GTP II (2015–2020) in order to produce five million crossbred heifers in five years. It is projected that national milk production will double during the GTP II period. The approach has also been adopted in Kenya.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Feed the Future Accelerating Value Chain Development Program in Kenya, led by ILRI, targets livestock, dairy, root crops and drought tolerant cereal value chains. The livestock component in the arid and semi-arid region targets 60,000 households with improved marketing of livestock, improved productivity, a proven model for animal health care delivery coupled with innovative electronic syndromic surveillance (eSurveillance), community-based breeding and feeding practices, and improved household nutrition. It also supports county governments to create an enabling environment for a robust livestock sub-sector.
The dairy component targets 38,000 emerging smallholder dairy farmers in pre-commercial dairy areas with improved feeding, health care and breeding technologies, improved milk market access and enhanced business orientation. ILRI works with the private sector and the county governments to enhance delivery of ECF vaccination and scale out novel breeding approaches. We also work with development partners and producer organizations to develop dairy business hubs (based on the East African Dairy Development project’s model) for efficient milk marketing and enhanced access to inputs. The program also supports a grassroots extension model that enhances dissemination of improved forages while catalysing commercial fodder production, using tools to aid site-specific feeding solutions.
The USAID Feed the Future Mali Livestock Technology Scaling program promotes inclusive growth of ruminant value chains for increased income and food and nutrition security for 266,000 cattle, sheep and goat keepers, and other value chains actors. It seeks to reduce ruminant livestock productivity gaps and increase the volume and value of livestock marketed.
Main interventions in animal health include : (1) the production and delivery of the thermo-stable vaccine, developed by ILRI, against peste des petits ruminants (goat pox) and the control of other major epidemic diseases of ruminants (PPR, CBPP, pasteurellosis) through innovative animal health delivery systems that improve vaccination coverage. Feed interventions focus on the upscaling of food-feed and forage crops. By building the technical and managerial capacities of livestock value chain actors, the program is promoting the expansion of profitable livestock-based enterprises, linking producers with input and service providers and livestock buyers. The program also works with partners to influence the livestock policy framework.
ILRI research, funded by the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, found that classical swine fever caused an annual loss of over INR 2.2 billion (USD34 million) in three states in northeast India. Extrapolating to the national level, country-wide annual losses are estimated at INR 12.9 billion (USD199 million). Working with partners, ILRI supported the government to develop a Classical Swine Fever Control program.