Jimmy Smith (ILRI Director General) and Prof Fred Segor, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries at the ILRI@40 conference in Nairobi, 1 Oct 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

Nearly 500 delegates from over 20 countries will converge in Nairobi this morning October 27, to discuss Africa’s Animal Agriculture: Macro-trends and future opportunities. Meeting under the auspices of the 6th  All African Conference on Animal Agriculture, the delegates, comprising mainly of scientific researchers in different aspects of the agricultural field will debate, hold plenary sessions and have focus theme discussions on five thematic areas. These are: Which way for holder production systems? Pastoral Systems: Options for Tomorrow; Market access: opportunities for enhanced access to local, regional and global markets; Africa’s human capacity challenge for animal agriculture: which way now? And Youth: The future hope?

The second day of the conference will see the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) celebrate its 40th anniversary in style by leading discussion on Livestock-based options for economic well-being in Africa. The Director General of ILRI, Jimmy Smith, will offer thought leadership on the topic Africa’s animal agriculture: New opportunities as a great livestock transition gets under way. A livestock debate will later be held on: Livestock options present solutions for livelihoods on the African continent.

The facilitated discussion will provide opportunities for regional and local actors, industry players and key partners in livestock research to articulate propositions ‘for’ and ‘against’ the potential of livestock to significantly reduce poverty and transform livelihoods in Africa. The Moderator will be Ed Rege, of PICO–Eastern Africa. The participants will be Augusta Abate, Assistant Representative in Kenya, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Philip Kiriro, President, Eastern Africa Farmers’ Federation, Donald Nkrumah, Senior Program Officer, Agricultural Development – Livestock Genetics, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hameed Nuru, Senior Director, Policy and External Affairs, GALVmed, David ole Nkedianye, Governor, Kajiado County, Kenya.

Keynote speakers through the four days include Hameed Nuru, Senior Director, Policy and External Affairs, GAlmed, Tennyson William, Regional Director, World Animal Protection, Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and Monica Waiganjo, County Executive for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, in Kiambu County Kenya.

The conference is being organized jointly by the Animal Production Society of Kenya (APSK) and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MALF) in conjunction with All Africa Society for Animal Production (AASAP). Prof Fred Segor, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries in the Government of Kenya is a key driver in hosting this conference.

ILRI is a co- sponsor of the event and is represented on the organising committee by the chair of the Program Committee Okeyo Mwai. He is a Principal Scientist, leading the Dairy and Small ruminant breeding research.

Local television reports the event in a curtain raiser here .


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