Global Challenges

Many of the most pressing global challenges today involve livestock. More than half a billion people in developing countries depend in whole or in part on farm animals for their livelihood. Some 821 million people are undernourished, many of them because they lack the proteins and micronutrients most readily available in animal-sourced food. The prospects of zoonotic pandemics or of human-triggered climate change are real and growing. The good news is that the livestock sector presents opportunities to address these challenges in ways that are safe, environmentally sustainable and broadly affordable. Explore the themes below about how livestock can feed and sustain today’s population and tomorrow’s in a way that is sustainable, environmentally friendly, and economically inclusive.

Our research

ILRI's mission is to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock.

Our research contributes towards

increased food production and productivity, providing safe, nutritious and affordable food to the world’s poorest people;

employment opportunities for millions of women and young people in the farming and other related sectors; and

efficient use of scarce natural resources and develop livestock practices which foster climate change mitigation and adaption.

Why is livestock research important?

More than 70% of the milk, meat and eggs in Africa and Asia is produced by smallholder farmers and sold locally.

The livestock sector in Africa and Asia contributes 40% to agricultural Gross Domestic Product, but receives less than 1% of official development assistance.

Demand for livestock-derived foods is increasing especially in Africa and Asia.

The transformation of small-scale livestock farming can help meet growing demand and contribute directly to eight Sustainable Development Goals and indirectly to all.