Livestock genetics


Our approach is to identify genetic/breeding bottlenecks limiting the benefits of livestock for small-scale farmers. We work with partners to apply established approaches to neglected systems (for example improved artificial insemination delivery), while simultaneously seeking innovative solutions which can accelerate (or skip) traditional approaches—for example use of genome editing.

Working with networks of partners at national, regional and international levels, we aim to:

  • Target a tangible product with a route to sustainability and scalability—which typically involves private sector partnerships established early in the process.
  • Ensure LiveGene’s role is always complementary to the capabilities of its partners.
  • Seek out and respond to farmer needs.
  • Work with national breeding programs to co-create capacity.
  • Maintain a balance of high-risk/high-impact, short-term, long-term, innovative and ‘traditional’ approaches.
  • Maintain an eye on the external environment to ensure that we can respond to new developments, partnerships and ideas.

Recent accomplishments

The first evaluation of the potential impact of genomic selection in the African dairy sector—an essential milestone in planning a ‘traditional’ genetic improvement approach.

The first demonstration of heritable resistance to East Coast fever, one of the major constrains to cattle production in eastern Africa, and a possible route to a ‘technology-skipping’ precision breeding approach.


ILRI Projects on Livestock genetics

ILRI News on Livestock genetics