ILRI Launches Project to Help Strengthen Livestock Productivity through Climate-Friendly Practices

Addis Ababa (ENA) February 7/2023 The International Livestock Research Institution (ILRI) has today launched Enviro -Cow Project, geared towards assisting the dairy sector cope with the vagaries of climate change and improve production.

The three years project will be implemented in Addis Ababa and Oromia region by ILRI with the financial support obtained from the Bills and Gates Foundation.  

The project solely targets on ways to ensuring food security by increasing production and productivity through climate-friendly livestock practices.

The Project Leader and Professor of Quantitative Genetics at Scotland Rural College, Raphael Mrode said the project is supportive to national government goals on promoting positive development in the dairy industry in Ethiopia. 

The project touches on many national goals including nutrition and food security, livelihoods of farmers, poverty reduction and increasing resilience in the face of climate change, he said.

According to him, climate change is affecting the availability of rain and animal feed in East Africa including Ethiopia affecting the livelihood of millions of small holder dairy farmers.

The Enviro-Cow project will help develop potential mitigation and adaptation methods for small holder dairy cattle system, at the same time promotes productivity, food security and climate change resilience.

The researcher said over a two year period the research will gather data on the methane emissions produced by approximately 700 cows from up to 80 dairy farms in Tanzania and Ethiopia.

As part of the study, the animals will also be genotyped and the composition of their milk will be analyzed to detect any chemical indicators that could be linked to methane production.

The enviro cow project established to develop potential mitigation and adaptation methods for small holder daily cattle system at the same time promote productivity, food security and climate change resilience.

Speaking at the launching of Enviro-Cow project today, advisor to the State Minister of Agriculture, Alemayehu Mekonnen said in a bid to enhance the livestock sector the government of Ethiopia have been implementing various policy strategies.

The agriculture and forestry sectors are key to both national income and house hold livelihood as both sectors make up 43 percent of the gross domestic product and employ around 80 percent of the country’s population.

Therefore, he stated that the climate resilience green economy, which the country is implementing, is geared towards protecting the economic growth against the impact of the vagaries of current and future climate change challenges.

The Enviro-Cow project launched today will provide significant data and research gaps that the government needed, he said.

Ethiopian News Agency