When the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) was founded in 1995, it was decided that its contribution to international agricultural research would be demand-led and based on the Institute's comparative advantages. The Institute would focus its research where it could be most effective. To achieve this focus, it would be necessary to define a global agenda for livestock research that takes into account the comparative advantages and potential contributions of other stakeholders, especially the national agricultural research systems (NARS), regional research agencies and the other international agricultural research centres (IARCs), including ICARDA.
To develop the global agenda for international livestock research, a series of consultations have been held at strategic global locations to determine the priorities of the stakeholders. The first consultation was held at ILRI1 in Nairobi, Kenya. This was followed by four regional consultations organised by ILRI in collaboration with the following:
The meeting held in Nairobi served to establish an initial set of priorities for ILRI. Suggestions were made about topics and partners in the different regions of the world. Background papers were presented on on-going global initiatives, such as livestock and the environment and ecoregional analysis of livestock production systems, and regional papers for S. Asia, S.E. Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, West Asia and North Africa6.
1.Gardiner P. and Devendra C. (eds). 1995. Global Agenda for Livestock Research: Proceedings of a Consultation, ILRI, Nairobi, Kenya, 1820 January 1995. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), Nairbi, Kenya. 114 pp.
2.Devendra C. and Gardiner P. (eds). 1995. Global Agenda for Livestock Research: Proceedings of the Consultation for the South-East Asia Region, IRRI (International Rice Research Institute), Los Baños, The Philippines, 1013 May 1995. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), Nairobi, Kenya. 276 pp.
3.Devendra C. and Gardiner P. (eds). 1995. Global Agenda for Livestock Research: Proceedings of the Consultation for the South Asia Region, ICRISAT (International Crops Research for the Semi-Arid Tropics) Asia Center, Patancheru, India, 68 June 1995. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), Nairobi, Kenya. 141 pp.
4.Ruiz M.E., Sere C., Li Pun H. and Gardiner P. (eds). 1995. Latin American and Caribbean Livestock Research Priorities, San Jose, Costa Rica, 1620 October 1995. Summary Report. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), Nairobi, Kenya. 33 pp.
5.Devendra C., Smalley M. E. and Li Pun H. (eds). Global Agenda for Livestock Research: Proceedings of a Conference on Development of Livestock Research Priorities in Asia, National Institute of Animal Husbandry, Hanoi, Vietnam, 1315 May 1997. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), Nairobi, Kenya. 48 pp.
6.Sidahmed A. E. 1995. Livestock and feed development and improvement research needs in West Asia and North Africa. In: Gardiner P. and Devendra C. (eds), Global Agenda for Livestock Research: Proceedings of a Consultation, ILRI, Nairobi, Kenya, 1820 January 1995. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), Nairobi, Kenya. pp. 8992.
Regional working groups were also formed. The main areas of research identified for WANA were:
The first regional meeting on future livestock research needs in WANA took place on November 910, 1995, in Amman, Jordan.
It was convened by ICARDA and ILRI, taking advantage of the presence of WANA representatives at a meeting on crop/livestock integration, organised by ICARDA. It was attended by 20 people representing eight WANA countries, two advanced research institutes from Europe, one regional organisation and two international agencies. Introductory papers were presented on livestock production systems, feed resources, breeding, health, reproduction and socio-economics.
Major researchable issues identified for WANA were:
These topics were not prioritised, given the time constraints and the range of ecosystems covered in the discussions. Dominance of bio-technical topics was due to a predominance of livestock scientists at the meeting. Given the importance of a more holistic view of livestock problems and opportunities, future consultations should include socio-economists. It was also concluded that senior NARS representatives from a wider range of countries should be invited to another consultation, aimed at matching national development objectives with livestock research priorities.
Therefore, to complete the series of consultations, and as a follow-up to the meeting in Amman, ICARDA and ILRI with generous support from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) organised this regional consultation to establish research priorities for the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region. The meeting took place at ICARDA in Aleppo, Syria, November 1216, 1997.
The consultation brought together 40 representatives from national programmes in 17 West Asian and North African countriesAlgeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemenand three central Asian countriesKazakstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It was also attended by representatives from two regional agencies, ACSAD and AOAD, and four donor agencies: CIRAD, DfID, GTZ and Italian Co-operation. The FAO and the US Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Programme (GL-CRSP) were also represented. Altogether, the delegates represented 24 countries interested in livestock research and development in WANA.
The main purpose of the consultation was to identify research priorities and define an agenda for livestock research for development in the WANA region. Specifically it was intended to:
The consultation involved:
The country representatives provided background information on their agricultural systems, defined the importance of different livestock components and identified constraints to livestock production and development. The following general points emerged:
At the plenary session it was agreed that:
Three working groups developed a full list of constraints and opportunities. These were then prioritised and further refined. Alternative approaches to research on the identified priorities were considered to determine whether they could be tackled most effectively at the national or international level. Research priorities applicable across the different systems were identified as:
The main recommendations for research priorities to be addressed by the national agricultural research systems (NARS) were:
In addition to cross system recommendations identified in paragraph 13, the main recommendations of the working groups for issues that need to be addressed internationally through collaboration between the national agricultural research systems (NARS) and the international agricultural research centres (IARCs) were as follows:
As a follow-up, it was agreed that more specific project proposals would be developed for research on the priorities that had been identified in the consultation. This would be done in a participatory manner, involving the major stakeholders and following the agreed principles for partnerships.