Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Livestock science will benefit sub-Saharan Africa

20.02.2012
Africa will benefit greatly from advances in livestock science that will benefit the animals and the people they provide with high quality protein, said scientists here Sunday.

Panelists addressed the hopes and challenges of modernizing livestock production in Sub-Saharan Africa during the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Vancouver, B.C.

"We explored how implementing new technologies will benefit society," said University of Idaho animal scientist Rod Hill. He studies physiology in cattle, focusing on topics including feed use efficiency and muscle development.

"The issue is," Hill said, "how do we get them to work best for mankind and benefit societies in Africa."

Hill, an associate professor of animal science in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho, organized the session with Albert Medvitz of McCormack Sheep and Grain in Rio Vista, Calif. The American Society of Animal Science sponsored the session.

Medvitz and his wife, Jeanne McCormack, operate a 3,700-acre ranch that has been in her family for 120 years. The couple, who met in the Peace Corps in Africa, produces wheat, and sheep and goats on pasture without importing grains or using antibiotics.

"We wanted to look at how new technologies are changing how we raise livestock," Hill said, "And how do we get them to work to best advantage for the benefit of mankind and societies ranging from developing communities in Africa to highly developed ones in the United States."

As in many areas where science meets society, opinions differ, Hill said.

"There are opposing views in every aspect of technology and technology development. We don't seek to support a particular perspective," he said, "except that implementation of new techs is going to have long term benefit to society.

"We're going to have 9 billion people to feed with limited agricultural resources over the next 25 to 30 years, so that's a huge challenge for agriculture," Hill added.

Panelists included Charlotte G. Neumann of the UCLA School of Public Health, who spoke about how animal agriculture builds human capital by boosting nutrition. Neumann focused on studies that confirm foods from animals increased both the mental and physical development of children in sub-Saharan Africa.

The private sector is stepping up its efforts to bring science to traditional livestock keepers. Christie Peacock, chairman of Nairobi, Kenya-based Sidai Africa, Ltd., reviewed her organization's efforts to establish a chain of stores that will provide reliable vaccines and other services.

The focus on high quality veterinary and other livestock services includes reliability testing of products and an emphasis on preventative care.

Panelist Appolinaire Djikeng of the International Livestock Research Institute based Nairobi, Kenya, explored the advanced agricultural biotechnology laboratories that have been established in Africa. Their goal is to focus on problems constraining Africa's development that once seemed intractable.

Jeannie Harvey of the U.S. Department of Agriculture joined the panel to discuss the overall themes presented during the session. An expert in women's roles in agriculture, Harvey is former director of the University of Idaho Women's Center.

"One point we felt was important to make goes with the old saying that if you teach a man something, you affect one person," Hill said, "but if you teach a woman something, you influence the entire family."

Hill also has proven adept at organizing discussions of animal science related topics on the largest stage in U.S. science. The annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science typically draws some 6,000 scientists and an international media contingent or 700 or more.

Hill serves as the American Society of Animal Science delegate to the AAAS. This marks the third symposium he has organized for the associations' annual meeting. Past sessions have focused on nanotechnology and food science.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow to its 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.

Contacts: Rod Hill, Department of Animal and Veterinary Science, (208) 885-2028, rodhill@uidaho.edu; Bill Loftus, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, (208) 885-7694, bloftus@uidaho.edu

Bill Loftus | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uidaho.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>