June 2010


The final report of the SLP projet Balancing livestock needs and soil conservation: assessment of opportunities in intensifying cereal–livestock systems in West Africa led by IITA in collaboration with ICRISAT and ILRI is now available on line

Photo: Tahirou Abdoulaye (IITA)

The general objective of the project was to identify key areas where research can make a difference in balancing trade-offs among livestock, soil, and crops, while taking advantage of synergies in evolving crop–livestock systems. The project focused on the identification of socioeconomic factors influencing decision-making on crop residue uses, quantification of trade-offs in using crop residues as soil amendment or livestock feed, and the identification of entry points for improving the productivity of cereal–legume–livestock systems.

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Published: Jun 2010 – IIED and FAO

Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in agricultural investment. In many cases, this has translated into large-scale acquisitions of farmland in lower- and middle-income countries. Partly as a result of sustained media attention, these acquisitions have triggered lively if polarised debates about “land grabbing”. Less attention has been paid, however, to alternative ways of structuring agricultural investments that do not involve large-scale land acquisitions. These include a wide range of more collaborative arrangements between investors and local smallholders and communities, such as diverse types of contract farming schemes, joint ventures, management contracts and new supply chain relationships. Drawing on a literature review, this report explores the range of business models that can be used to structure agricultural investments in lower- and middle-income countries, and that provide an alternative to large-scale land acquisitions.

The Fodder Adoption Project has recently published Fodder Fact Sheets for Ethiopia in English, Amharic and Oromiffa

Seen on IIED website

The ancient tradition of pastoral nomadism in landlocked Niger in West Africa is a source of huge cultural wealth in one of the poorest countries on earth. But with Niger’s eastern reaches suffering 35 years of drought — an entire generation’s worth — local pastoralists have faced a massive challenge. Diffa, les premiers matins du monde is a new video that tells the stories of many of these pastoralists and how they have coped with increasing drought.

An interesting letter exchange between John McDermott (ILRI’s Deputy Director General for Research) and Vicki Hird (Senior Food Campaigner at Friends of the Earth) is published in the June 2010 issue of People&Science

An interesting study by Wageningen University which unfortunately ignores completely livestock in the system, crop residues playing a major as feed. System specific trade-off analyses are certainly needed to assess competitive use of crop residues to either feed animals, maintain soil productivity or produce energy looking both at short and long term impacts on livelihoods and system productivity.

Following the launch of the ILRI new website few weeks ago, link to the ILRI-SLP Feed Database was lost. It is now re-established

Visit the Feed Database