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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) are investing an initial CAD13.5 million to lead, through IDRC, a fund for climate-smart livestock systems (CSLS) in Africa.
The focus of the fund will be to develop new climate-smart livestock technologies and business models to improve animal productivity, promote climate adaptation and lower emission intensity for smallholder livestock farmers in climatic hotspots in Africa.
The CSLS programming will have two streams of research:
climate-smart innovations in livestock systems
delivery models to commercialize and scale mature climate-smart innovations
Concept notes will need to be based on addressing one or two of these four themes. Each of the four themes presents examples of subthemes that applicants may address in their project.
Water, pastures and feed management
Enhancing water resource reliability and drought resilience: This priority focuses on increasing the reliability of water resources for livestock and improving resilience to drought conditions. This may involve implementing water management strategies such as water storage, efficient irrigation and water conservation practices.
Efficient utilization of bio-resources: The aim is to optimize the use of available bio-resources, particularly water resources, to ensure sustainable livestock production. This involves employing practices that minimize waste and maximize resource efficiency.
Climate-smart forage production: The initiative involves the development and widespread adoption of climate-smart livestock technologies and innovations. These technologies should enable the production of high-quality forage that is adapted to local agroecological conditions, ensuring the availability of nutritious feed for livestock, even in changing climate scenarios.
Pasture corridors: Implementation and improvement of pasture corridors are essential. This includes enhancing the connectivity of grazing areas, improving livestock movement patterns and using transhumance practices to optimize pasture utilization.
Involvement of women and youth: A key target is to engage at least 30 percent of women and young people in forage production activities. This promotes gender and generational diversity in the livestock sector while fostering inclusivity and empowerment.
Effective rangeland management: Implementing sound rangeland management practices is crucial for maintaining healthy grazing areas. These practices help prevent overgrazing, land degradation and desertification, ensuring the long-term sustainability of livestock farming.
Post-harvest management and processing: This initiative emphasizes effective post-harvest management and processing of fodder and animal products. It includes strategies to conserve and store fodder and animal-derived products, reduce waste and ensure a stable food supply in the face of climate challenges.
Indigenous knowledge systems, climate data and management
Documenting climate-smart practices: This initiative involves documenting existing climate-smart innovations and practices that have been tested across different contexts. This knowledge will serve as a valuable resource for adapting livestock management to changing climate conditions.
Validation and dissemination of traditional approaches: The collection, validation and dissemination of traditional knowledge and approaches aim to enhance livestock resilience and productivity. This includes recognizing and promoting Indigenous practices that have proven effective in livestock management.
Greenhouse gas emissions data: Gathering and sharing data on GHG emissions from various livestock systems is a key aspect of the work. Research focuses on understanding the links between feeding practices, genetics and emissions, as well as assessing the impact of different management practices on emissions.
Translation of local knowledge: The translation of local and Indigenous knowledge into practical innovations and indicators is essential for transforming livestock production systems and value chains. This process ensures that traditional wisdom is integrated into modern practices. It includes any Indigenous early warning systems that were used for events like droughts, floods and rainfall patterns.
Decision-support tools: Development of decision-support tools such as databases, applications, maps, policy briefs, technical briefs and extension sheets. These tools assist stakeholders in making informed decisions related to climate-smart livestock management.
Dissemination of information: The initiative includes the dissemination of climate-smart information, livestock and fodder insurance schemes and other information relevant to women, youth and male farmers. The focus is on using existing knowledge while building upon it to enhance skills, technologies and access to information.
Integration of renewable energy: circular economies
Integration with farming systems: The initiative focuses on integrating livestock systems with other ecosystems, including agroforestry and silvo-pastoral systems (regenerative agriculture). Regenerative agriculture benefits include improvement of pasture quality, lessening erosion and increasing water retention. This approach promotes sustainable land use by combining livestock grazing with tree cultivation, enhancing ecosystem services and biodiversity.
Integration with crop farming: Collaboration with crop farming involves using crop residue as fodder for livestock (circular feed production) and utilizing livestock manure as fertilizer for crop production (circular livestock farming). This circular approach reduces waste, enhances nutrient cycling and improves overall farm productivity.
Bioenergy and emissions reduction: Implementation of bioenergy solutions and innovative fertilizers plays a crucial role in reducing GHG emissions from livestock systems. By utilizing on-farm renewable energy sources (for example, manure can be used to generate biogas through anaerobic digestion) and optimizing nutrient management, emissions are minimized, contributing to climate-smart practices.
Carbon sequestration technologies: The program actively promotes the application of established carbon sequestration technologies on the ground. These technologies help capture and store carbon in soils and vegetation, contributing to climate change mitigation efforts while enhancing soil health and resilience.
Productivity: Livestock health issues like GI parasites in ruminants have an impact on rumination patterns and GHG emissions. Reducing livestock diseases, especially among smallholders and pastoralists, will both reduce emissions and improve livestock productivity. Research should also consider cost-effective ruminant disease control, especially community-based animal health delivery systems.
Technologies for disease monitoring: Precision livestock farming involves the use of advanced technologies such as sensors, data analytics and automation to monitor and manage livestock production. These technologies enable real-time monitoring of animal health, behavior and productivity, allowing farmers to make informed decisions regarding feed management, disease prevention and reproduction.
Vaccines: It is critical to make vaccines available and accessible, and to conduct research on increasing the uptake of livestock vaccines in Africa. Address gender-specific challenges in accessing animal health services by offering low-cost and rapid delivery of animal vaccines, while also challenging gender norms.
They intend to provide grant funding for up to six research projects of up to a maximum of CAD 1,500,000 each for 36 months.
Concept notes that will not be considered are those that:
do not clearly articulate gender considerations
comprise consortia (research teams from diverse funded institutions involved in each project) without an LMIC partner
focus on policy development
are harmful to the environment
focus on wildlife conservation
focus on infrastructural development or support (e.g. drilling boreholes)
are based on grants or subsidies to farmers
do not include a private sector partner
Only concept notes that meet the following eligibility criteria will be considered.
The lead applicant organization should be an African institution (public or private). It will be the administering institution.
The project shows a gender-balanced consortia without compromising the expertise needed to accomplish the objectives of each concept note.
The consortia preferably comprise researchers, farmer organizations, extension services, financial services and women’s groups.
Applicants from academia, and private and public sector organisations with strong research focus are eligible for this global call.
Applicants from United Nations (UN) systems are not eligible to apply to this call as lead or co-applicant organizations. UN organizations may participate as third-party organizations.
Applicants from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Centres are not eligible as lead organization but are eligible as co-applicants or third-party organizations.
At most, one person can apply as the principal investigator, only for one project.
Multi-country applications are encouraged.
Post Date: December 01, 2023
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