by Jim Harper
Work is underway after the University of Florida received a recent grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its research on livestock systems in Africa. The $1.3 million grant expands the Innovation Lab’s research engagement to Nigeria in addition to its 8 previous target countries, and it includes Syracuse University and the Boston Consulting Group as new collaborators.
This one-year Market Analysis for Pastoralists project looks for future investment potential and income streams for nomadic livestock keepers, called pastoralists, in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Ethiopia. The around 40 million pastoralists in these three countries are a small subset of the estimated 270 million pastoralists in Africa, which is roughly equivalent to the number of adults in the United States.
“This project is important because of the challenges faced by so many of these livestock keepers,” said Gbola Adesogan, the director of the Food Systems Institute and its Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. “Identifying suitable options to improve pastoral systems can help improve their livelihoods, their resilience to droughts and prevent eruptions of violence that disrupt these regions.”
Portfolio of Successful Research
While this particular project will wrap up in September 2022, it is part of a portfolio of other projects and funding sources, which – over a ten-year period – add up to more than $60 million in grants for the University of Florida and its partners to conduct research for development geared at improving livestock systems to improve human nutrition among vulnerable people.