A group of African researchers and climate change experts on Monday called for targeted investments and adoption of innovation in order to spur the growth of the livestock subsector in arid regions.
Appolinaire Djikeng, director general of Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), said the sector has the potential to transform livelihoods in the Horn of Africa and Sahel region, subject to robust investments.
“Through collaborative efforts, technological innovation, and responsible practices, we can chart a path toward a resilient and sustainable future, where livestock remains a cornerstone of both our heritage and our progress,” Djikeng said at a forum in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
Djikeng stressed that through scaled-up investments and innovation, the livestock sub-sector can help African nations feed their population.
He said the ILRI has developed innovative tools to help address challenges affecting the sub-sector and has worked with partners to deploy them at the grassroots.
George Wamukoya, a team leader of the African Group of Negotiators Expert Support (AGNES), said the latest drought in the Horn of Africa is devastating since it is affecting the majority of populations.
Wamukoya urged governments to increase domestic funding and introduce the use of technology with a focus on improving pasture quality and animal breeds to minimize environmental impact and reduce poverty.
He noted that leveraging climate finance emerges as a powerful tool in enabling investments in livestock for both adaptation and mitigation purposes and also enhancing resilience in regions vulnerable to droughts.
During the forum, researchers presented evidence and innovations that can help Africa’s livestock keepers adapt to climatic shocks and reduce losses while minimizing emissions, land degradation, and biodiversity loss.