Invasive species – telling the story of the hidden threat to livelihoods

THE GFAR BLOG

invasives

Millions of people living in rural communities around the world face problems with invasive species –animals, diseases, insects and plants – that are out of control and have resulted in damage costing more than an estimated US $1.4 trillion globally (Pimentel et al 2001). Yet, while we may have heard about the threats of losing biodiversity, some may have never considered how the addition of a species could be a detriment to agriculture and farmers.

Their stories tell us how.

Africa

grace 
Grace Kiseku
is the Assistant Head of her village near Lake Baringo, Kenya. She and her neighbours are pastoralists. They graze their livestock (sheep, cattle and goats) on the land around the village. But her cattle are dying. They are affected by prosopis (Prosopis juliflora), an invasive weed which is threatening her and her neighbours’ livelihoods. The plant is taking over, meaning the animals are forced…

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Measuring the roles of livestock in rural households

Livestock is often neglected in many national statistical operations and, as a result, decision makers are unable to design evidence-based livestock sector policies and investments.

ILRI Clippings

Measuring livestock systems—and the socioeconomic benefits they generate—remains a challenge due to a lack of high-quality, nationally representative data. Livestock is often neglected in many national statistical operations and, as a result, decision makers are unable to design evidence-based livestock sector policies and investments.

A new multi-partner publication provides guidance for effectively including livestock in multi-topic and agricultural household surveys. The livestock module template provided in this Guidebook can be used by survey practitioners and stakeholders to generate household-level statistics on livestock, its role in the household economy, and its contribution to livelihoods.

More information

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Opinion: Can the livestock sector find the elusive ‘win-win’ on drug resistance?

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics in animals, especially livestock, has become a driving force for global health concerns by accelerating the resistance of disease-causing bacteria that also infect people. Delia Grace from International Livestock Research Institute explains why it’s crucial to recognize regional variations in antibiotic use in animal health.

Source: Opinion: Can the livestock sector find the elusive ‘win-win’ on drug resistance?

Can we remix the East Coast fever Muguga cocktail?

There is scope to improve the composition of the Cocktail, to simplify the standardization protocol and possibly widen its protective efficacy.

ILVAC

Following the 2016 ECF Consortium annual meeting in May 2016, participants in the project drafted short blog posts about different aspects of their work related to East Coast fever (ECF) vaccine development. This post was contributed by Joana da Silva (University of Maryland), Ivan Morrison (University of edinburgh), Dirk Geysen (ITM Antwerp), George Chaka (CTTBD), Ine de Goeyse (ITM Antwerp) and Kyle Tretina
(University of Maryland).

The Muguga Cocktail, composed of three isolates, is currently being used in the field to vaccinate cattle against East Coast fever. Two recent studies, led by The Roslin Institute, in Scotland, and Institute for Genome Sciences, in the US, unveil its genetic composition in great detail, with implications for both vaccine production and to interpret its protective properties.

The three components of the Cocktail were selected because they differed in their ability to protect against various heterologous challenges, but that in…

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