Closing Out Livestock Month on Agrilinks
We hope you have enjoyed the smorgasbord of posts and events served up during Agrilinks’ livestock month! All content remains accessible on Agrilinks, including our popular webinar (370 participants!), the gender-livestock-climate review from our colleagues at the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, One Health programming in Indonesia, reducing food loss and waste in the dairy sector in Bangladesh, a global mapping of livestock projects and a host of other great material.
Thank you to all of our contributors. We appreciate you generously sharing your knowledge, perspectives and experiences about the importance of livestock systems.
Throughout the month, we have explored gender and climate change themes related to livestock systems. These issues are critically important to our livestock programs, policies and resource mobilizations if the sector is to fulfill its full potential in providing solutions to many of development’s greatest challenges.
USAID would like to highlight five areas on which USAID will continue to focus:
(i) Integrate climate mitigation and adaptation into efforts to support resilient livestock systems.
Sustainable greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation actions in agriculture, forestry and land use can deliver large-scale emission reductions and enhanced carbon removals. Many of these mitigation options are cost effective, strongly linked with development outcomes through co-benefits like increased milk production and can be implemented at scale. Climate adaptation is equally important and just as urgent for the vulnerable populations that we seek to serve. Integrating mitigation and adaptation actions will support robust programming.
(ii) Mainstream women, indigenous people and other vulnerable groups into livestock programming.
Livestock keepers, particularly women and marginalized groups, face a range of shocks and stressors including those due to climate change, like longer droughts and more irregular rainfall. It is imperative that we support their quest for climate solutions and their empowerment through effective livestock programming.
(iii) Adopt an evidence-based approach.
We should continue to prioritize the development of appropriate metrics and monitoring tools to track the environmental and social impact of livestock programming and to guide our investment decisions and those of our partners through informed decision-making. Disaggregating individual-level data by sex and age is an important step to ensure we track the impacts of our work on different groups and can adapt as needed to respond to their needs.
(iv) Position the livestock sector effectively within a just food system transition.
It is hard to imagine a sustainable food system transformation without the pivotal role of livestock. We should seek to engage in meaningful, evidence-based dialog with those holding both different and similar perspectives to ensure the livestock sector has an integral role in alleviating poverty and malnutrition. We should strive to ensure local stakeholders have the strongest voices in shaping the trajectories of their food systems.
(v) Plan for impact at scale.
It is imperative to form clear strategies for how the impacts of our programs will be sustainable and achieve scale. This includes how they will inform, influence and facilitate larger flows of development finance and foster productive partnerships, including with the public and private sectors.
We would like to remind readers to stay tuned for an e-consultation on Agrilinks in early February 2023 where we will respond to questions from this month’s theme. You can submit via a Google Form, and we will be answering questions submitted during our webinar this month that were left unanswered.
As we bring the curtain down on this Agrilinks livestock month, we would like to close by recognizing the immense contribution made to the livestock sector, by long-time colleague and friend of USAID, outgoing Director of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Jimmy Smith - thank you for your service to the livestock sector and for being a great livestock champion! We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Smith’s successor, Appolinaire Djikeng, on his appointment and wish him every success.