With the horn of Africa facing serious famine, research experts have been discussing different ways of implementing sustainable solutions to combat this crisis. Among the opportunities identified for this crisis in a media briefing on ‘Research Options for Mitigating Drought-induced Food Crises’ is to have the right kinds of animal breeds in the right environment so as to ensure that these animals are better adapted to their habitats and as well as engaging with the private sector in carrying out research. The media briefing was organised by the CGIAR Consortium at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi and was held on 1 September 2011.
The Dairy Genetics East Africa (DGEA) project is one such project that looks at providing such recommended long lasting solutions to these and many other challenges facing the small holder dairy farmers in East Africa. ‘The project seeks to determine the most appropriate genotypes for the range of dairy production systems and levels of production operated by smallholder farmers in East Africa and how these genotypes can be multiplied and delivered to smallholders’. The project team – ILRI, University of New England and PICO (People and Innovation to Create Change in Organization)- is monitoring 2500 individual animals under a representative range of small holder systems in 5 sites in Kenya and 3 sites in Uganda.More information about this project can be obtained in the project flyer ‘Germplasm for Dairy Development in East Africa.’