University of Edinburgh, ILRI Partner to Revolutionize Livestock Research

The University of Edinburgh and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) have rekindled their collaborative spirit, heralding a new epoch in livestock systems research.

This partnership, unveiled at ILRI’s Nairobi Campus on November 29, 2023, serves as a robust commitment to magnify their impact on global communities and environments, particularly in the Global South.

“We’re thrilled to reassert our partnership with ILRI, aiming to build on our joint successes and tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time,” expressed Bruce Whitelaw, Chair of Animal Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh, emphasizing the promising trajectory ahead.

The strategic collaboration is set to reshape food systems and bolster sustainable livestock production. Elsa Murano, Chair of the ILRI Board of Trustees, emphasized the pivotal role of livestock in agriculture, stressing the imperative for sustainable and equitable growth.

“ILRI and the University of Edinburgh have been at the forefront of enhancing livestock systems and animal productivity,” Murano highlighted, expressing delight in the renewed collaboration and anticipating further years of impactful teamwork.

The alliance converges on key areas such as One Health and Infectious Diseases, Food Systems Transformation, Genetic Improvement, and Sustainable Livestock Production, signaling a robust commitment to effecting positive change.

“We’re committed to nurturing future talent and essential infrastructure in Africa,” highlighted Professor Djikeng, Director General of ILRI, emphasizing their dedication to fostering career development and knowledge exchange opportunities.

This emphasis aims not just for scientific advancement but to bridge the gap between research findings and real-world applications.

Within this partnership, initiatives have already made substantial headway. For instance, ILRI and the Centre For Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) identified local breeds and forage varieties resilient to heat stress and emitting fewer greenhouse gases, paving the way for sustainable practices in dairy farming.

Moreover, the collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and ILRI, alongside partners such as Community Jameel, Save the Children, and J-PAL, resulted in the Jameel Observatory for Food Security Early Action.

Positioned at ILRI’s campus, this observatory serves as a vanguard against environmental shocks and climate change impacts, strengthening early warning systems across East Africa.

Professor Djikeng’s continued affiliation with the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh signifies an enduring commitment to fortifying ties between ILRI and the CGIAR system.

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