Celebrating the inaugural #WorldFoodSafetyDay: A focus on food safety research at ILRI


Food market near Khulungira Village, in central Malawi (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).
Food market near Khulungira Village, in central Malawi (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

Today marks the first ever World Food Safety Day following the adoption in December 2018 of a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly to set aside 7 June of every year to celebrate the benefits of safe food and inspire action towards preventing and managing foodborne diseases.

In Asia and Africa, most livestock products and fresh produce are sold in informal markets. The human health burden from foodborne disease is comparable to that of malaria, HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis. Unsafe food is also a barrier to market access for poor farmers.

Food safety is a key part of the research portfolio of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). ILRI leads the food safety flagship of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). This flagship seeks food safety solutions that can…

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Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘the single biggest way’ to harm poor livestock herders

ILRI Clippings

Pablo Picasso line drawings of a chicken, bull and camel.

Below are excerpts of a response to a new livestock report made by Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, a German veterinarian and researcher who is an expert on camels and camel herding societies, particularly the Raika camel herders of Rajasthan, India. Köhler-Rollefson is associated with LIFE Network, whose members work with livestock keeping communities on the ground, and with the League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development and the Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan, a local organisation in Rajasthan. She also advises international organizations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the German development organization GIZ, and the World Bank, on livestock matters.

‘An article entitled Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers just published in Science magazine and widely broadcasted by The Guardian  and The Independent newspapers is making some  startling claims. For this monumental meta-study, the…

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Brussels Briefing 48: Rural – Urban linkages in Africa

Brussels Development Briefings

Brussels Briefing 48: Rural – Urban linkages in Africa
Opportunities for inclusive economic growth and agricultural transformation

Experts and policymakers will discuss “Strengthening rural livelihoods in the face of rapid urbanisation in Africa” at the 48th Brussels Development Briefing on Monday 20th March 2017, organised by CTA with BMZ/GIZ, the European Commission – DG DEVCO, Concord and the ACP Secretariat. This event will explore best practices, successful approaches and public and private sector opportunities that respond to the urgent need to transform Africa’s rural economies to increase productivity and create employment in the context of increasing urbanisation and changes to patterns in food consumption.

Urban scenes in Accra market. Image:  K. Pratt / FAO

It is estimated that by 2050, Africa will see its population double to 2.2 billion people, with the proportion of Africans living in rural areas falling to only 43%, down from…

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Innovative cassava peels processing factories launched in Nigeria

ILRI Clippings

Peeling cassava rootsPeeling cassava roots (credit: IITA).

New factories that will transform cassava peels into high-quality feed for livestock have been launched in Nigeria.

The huge potential for use of cassava peel as fodder in Nigeria was first proposed by three CGIAR centres. Researchers from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Potato Center (CIP), with the support of CGIAR Research Programs on Roots, Tubers and Bananas, Humidtropics, and Livestock and Fish, showed that drying and grading cassava peels could hold the key to providing a readily available and sustainable source of animal feeds, increasing incomes for women and boosting food security in West Africa.

The new cassava peel processing initiative is supported by Synergos Nigeria, federal and state governments, the World Bank, Fadama III, the Kogi State University, and ILRI Nigeria in Ibadan. ILRI organized…

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Just a reminder: The role of urban gardens, family gardens and school gardens.


My publication in January 2010:


by Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem (Ghent University, Belgium)

The role of urban gardens, family gardens and school gardens (Willem Van Cotthem / IRIN / FAO)

For years we have been promoting family gardens (kitchen gardens) and school gardens, not to mention hospital gardens, in the debate on alleviation of hunger and poverty.  We have always insisted on the fact that development aid should concentrate on initiatives to boost food security through family gardens instead of food aid on which the recipients remain dependent. Since the nineties we have shown that community gardens in rural villages, family gardens in refugee camps and school gardens, where people and children grow their own produce, are better off than those who received food from aid organizations at regular intervals.

2007 – Family garden in Smara refugee camp (S.W. Algeria, Sahara desert), where people never before got local fresh…

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Supporting smallholders and family farmers, reducing pesticide and chemical use, and improving land conservation practices


Photo credit: FAO

High-input, resource intensive farming systems have substantially increased food production, but at a high cost to the environment.

Increasing food production without damaging the environment

FAO Director-General addresses European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

To achieve sustainable development we must transform current agriculture and food systems, including by supporting smallholders and family farmers, reducing pesticide and chemical use, and improving land conservation practices, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today addressing European lawmakers.

“Massive agriculture intensification is contributing to increased deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion and the level of greenhouse gas emission,” Graziano da Silva said. He stressed that while high-input and resource intensive farming systems have substantially increased food production, this has come at a high cost to the environment.

“Today, it is fundamental not only to increase production, but to do it in a way that does not damage the environment. Nourishing…

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Doubling Farmer Incomes in Five Years


farmers CCAFSAjit Maru,  GFAR’s Senior Officer, reports on his participation in an interesting workshop in India where GFAR’s and APAARI’s primary objective of transforming agricultural research and innovation systems was illustrated in practice by SDAU, a GFAR and APAARI partner!

How to double real incomes of smallholder family farmers and marginal farmers who have less than a hectare of land by 2022? This was the challenge discussed at a Workshop organized by the Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University (SDAU) in Gujarat, India on 18-19 April 2017. SDAU is a partner in GFAR and also an APAARI partner and is developing and implementing a multi-stakeholder collective action on further developing agriculture in the parched, semi-arid, arid and desert lands of the 7 districts of North Gujarat. These districts are the agricultural development responsibility of the University.

The smallholder and marginal farmers of North Gujarat have an average land holding just above 1 hectare…

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