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New Water and Food Learning Portal

CRP 5: Program news -

07In just a few weeks, the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) will come to an end. A new online learning portal was launched last week as a means of retaining the research and findings gathered during more than a decade of research for development.

From 2002 to 2013, CPWF piloted new methods of improved water management for both food production and the nature conservation. The program supported more than 120 research projects in ten of the world’s largest river basins. In the wake of its conclusion, many activities, partnerships, and lessons learned are being integrated into the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). WLE shares a similar vision: to improve sustainable intensification, using ecosystem-based approaches and testing innovative ways through which research can influence poverty and environment related investment decisions.

The evolution of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food

When the program first began in 2002, the general assumption at the time was that of an unfolding global crisis of water scarcity. The proposed solution was to produce more food with less water.

However, as the program progressed, the relationship between water, food, and poverty proved to be more complex:

  • Water is usually not a physically scarce resource. While water in lakes, streams, and canals can be locally scarce, rainwater is often relatively abundant but under-utilized in agriculture.
  • Poverty is not strongly correlated with water scarcity. Poverty is associated a country’s position in its development trajectory, regardless of water availability.
  • Water productivity is useful as a diagnostic tool but has limited value as a standalone objective.
  • Water is often a good entry point to address development challenges in river basins. A research-for-development approach can be effective in addressing such challenges and progress towards outcomes.
  • Sustainable intensification of agriculture can improve livelihoods and reduce poverty. Achieving intensification, however, usually means combining technical, institutional, and policy innovations.
  • Benefit-sharing mechanisms and multiple use systems are just two of the areas where CPWF has had success in introducing innovations and achieving outcomes.
Research for Development: When Quick Fixes Don’t Work

In addition to research findings on pressing water and food issues, CPWF’s new learning portal also presents lessons on the program’s research-for-development approach.

The program defined research for development as “an engagement process for understanding and addressing development challenges defined with stakeholders.” In this context, stakeholders are champions and partners in the research process, as well as the main supporters and actors in bringing about the required change.

Involving stakeholders in the research process from the onset ensures that research is relevant and applicable. Using the research for development approach, CPWF aimed to facilitate the contribution of research outputs to development outcomes and, eventually, impact. Research becomes more relevant when it contributes towards impact on the ground.

Onwards and Upwards: the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems

Many CPWF activities, partnerships, and lessons are being integrated into the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems. WLE shares a similar vision to improve sustainable intensification, using ecosystem-based approaches and testing innovative ways through which research can influence investment decisions related to poverty and the environment.

WLE will continue both the quest to produce new knowledge that can help solve the world’s pressing water and food issues and the commitment to finding better ways for research to contribute directly to development outcomes.

In a recent blog post, Andrew Noble, director of WLE, details many of the activities and initiatives that WLE will carry forward and writes that “…it will be incumbent on WLE to continue to build on this legacy and ensure that it stays true to the discourse and purpose of research-for-development.”

The integration of many of these activities and knowledge with the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems together with the launch of the online learning portal are ways of ensuring that the lessons learned and research findings from the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food are preserved and used to further the research-for-development agenda. The learning portal, which ensures that research findings are both available and accessible to a wider audience, is also an example of the commitment to open access and data management that is currently being rolled out throughout the CGIAR Consortium, its members and research programs. While the generation of new knowledge is a critical component of the research-for-development process, maintaining, sharing and building upon lessons learned is just as important.

To learn more, follow the #waterandfood tag on Twitter and Facebook or visit www.waterandfood.org.

This post was developed by Marianne Gadeberg, communications consultant, CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food

Related resources:

Waterandfood.org

Research results from CPWF

Publications from CPWF

Alain Vidal, Director of the Challenge Program on Water and Food, reflects on its legacy and what lies ahead

Taking the road less traveled: building upon lessons from the CPWF – Andrew Noble, Director, WLE

 

 

The post New Water and Food Learning Portal appeared first on Water, Land and Ecosystems.

Strategising a new approach to crop insurance in India

CRP 7 News -

Superficial tweaks in existing agriculture insurance policies will not achieve our desired results: to protect farmers against crop losses. We need to fix the bottlenecks that have persistently plagued agriculture insurance for decades, said PK Mishra, Director General, Gujarat Disaster Management Authority. He delivered the opening talk at the workshop on ‘National Crop Insurance Program (NCIP): Challenges and Opportunities’ organised by CCAFS and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in New Delhi on April 1, 2014. 

The Chairperson of the meeting, A Bahuguna, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, noted that the workshop coincided with the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

The report shows the increasing vulnerability of South Asian countries to climate change. We must feel compelled to act not only to safeguard livelihood and incomes, but lives. Climate risk management is no longer an option but a necessity.”   

New insurance program

In November 2013, the Government of India proposed a National Crop Insurance Program (NCIP) that will merge existing insurance schemes, such as the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS), Pilot Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) and Pilot Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS). It aims to streamline insurance services to farmers and stabilise incomes, particularly during climatic shocks arising from extreme and unexpected weather events. A Bhuttani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, said the scheme wants to get buy-in from all stakeholders and the workshop was a good opportunity to iron-out details and clarify key points. 

During the discussions, a number of challenges came to the fore. Chief among them was the lack of access to credible data and the need to adopt technology.  


In order to design demand-driven insurance products and undertake research for stronger scientific basis linking weather to yield, we need to be able to access historical data on weather and yield,”   

said S.K. Goel, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra. He also called for better coordination from government agencies disbursing disaster relief funds and providing insurance. Farmers continue to view insurance as an investment and a lot more needs to be done to build awareness on insurance as a risk-mitigation strategy.

 Senior government officials, researchers and industry experts identify how existing schemes can be improved. Photo: N. Sigtia (CCAFS) 

Industry perspectives from Agriculture Insurance Company, HDFC, ICICI Lombard, Swiss RE, Bajaj Alliance and others, said developing a single portal to access data could be a game changer in the sector, making it possible for companies to carry out high-quality research and tailor their products for rural markets.

The use of technology such as 3D imaging, remote sensing and crop simulation modelling can increase accuracy in the measurement of weather and crop yields and in reporting and verification.   

J. Plappallil, CEO, Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd. noted that:

Nobody appears happy with insurance as it stands - neither farmers, nor insurance agencies or the government.”

Open, transparent and fair

While finding acceptance of all stakeholders can be challenging, it is important to ensure that processes are transparent and fair, he added. To encourage the private sector to work in agriculture insurance, regulatory mechanisms and grievance redressal systems must be strengthened. Weather stations and rain gauges must be maintained properly to reflect data accurately. 

The workshop also included two parallel group discussions on the Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme and the Weather-based Crop Insurance scheme to identify emerging opportunities in each of these.

Participants agreed that communication lines between everyone working in the sector need to be open and transparent. Many farmers are disillusioned with the current state of insurance because it does not address their individual needs, but there needs to be a find a balance between bridging these individual concerns and designing a policy that can be scaled out commercially.

Key recommendations for policymakers from the workshop:

  • Identify and apply appropriate technologies such as remote-sensing, simulation modelling, 3D imaging, and  information and communications technologies (ICT) tools to improve accuracy and objectivity of weather related crop yield loss assessment.
  • Create a single data repository where all insurance-related data on weather and crop yield data is easily and equally accessible to all stakeholders.
  • Develop an atlas of thresholds for critical weather elements that trigger crop yield losses during different crop growth periods for different agro-climatic regions which could be used by the government and insurance industry as benchmarks.
  • Researchers should quantify the optimal number of crop-cutting experiments that must be done for NCIP using appropriate scientific techniques such as Geographical Information Ssystems and remote sensing.
  • Establish historical time series of crop yields need to be  at village/panchayat/block level to support NCIP.
  • Develop innovative schemes by bundling insurance with other financial services such as loans, sale of inputs, and other risk management strategies to reduce cost of transaction and for long-term viability.  
  • Strengthen and standardize regulatory and monitoring systems and grievance redressal mechanisms.
  • Further research and coordination on macro-insurance policies at state or national level should be pursued. Convergence of disaster relief management and agricultural insurance can yield unique products.
  • Raise the capacity of farmers to understand details on crop insurance.
  • Promote innovation and learn lessons from innovative pilot projects on agriculture insurance by local NGOs and companies. 

Further reading:
Weather index-based insurance: a tool for managing climate risk 
How to accommodate farmers wary of rainfall insurance 
Farmers reap the benefits from climate insurance scheme

Blogging for impact – Nairobi science communicators get together in Nairobi

Knowledge and Information blog News -

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Lands and Ecosystems (WLE) recently hosted a training workshop on blogging for scientists and science communicators in Nairobi. Beyond the general training, Abby Waldorf aimed to expand participation, readership and writing opportunities for WLE’s Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog.

The Agriculture and Ecosystems blog has grown into a platform for discussion and networking among development professionals, academics and researchers. In 2013, the blog received over 100,000 page views and over 50,000 visitors. Discussions on this blog and LinkedIn have generated over 1,000 comments.

The workshop attracted 51 participants from ILRI, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), International Centre for Tropical Agriculture(CIAT), African Women in Agricultural Research and Development Program(AWARD),African Center for Technology Studies(ACTS), Burness Communications, Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK), Impact Africa, Futures Agricultures, Biovision, UNHCR, Somalia, Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture Association in Kenya (MESHA), the Scinnovent Center, the University of Nairobi and freelance science writers.

Abby Waldorf, Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog Coordinator, talked about how blogs can improve access to information, extend the reach of scientific publications, spark discussions and increase dialogue and feedback.  She also detailed how to write blog posts, how blogs are used in Africa and how social media can be used to promote blogs.

Paul Karaimu (ILRI) shared some experiences from ILRI scientist Jo Cadilhon whose blog post ‘How blogging about work can improve your professional influence’ shows how blogging positively influences a scientist’s professional career.

Susan Macmillan (ILRI) discussed how to design and extend great content experience while blogging. This was complemented by Tezira Lore who explained how social media can be used to promote blogs. She focused on how readers and bloggers can extend conversations by sharing their thoughts on the social media tools embedded in blog posts. As a writer you have an obligation to respond and continue conversations created by your readers, said Tezira.

Watch the combined slideshow:

The half day meeting was well-received with participants eager to learn more about using social media for impact, managing comments and how to write a blog. Participants also expressed their interest in further networking to share experiences and challenges related to scientific communication.

Resources shared during this workshop include:

All these materials are available on the ILRIcomms wiki

A similar session was also held at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa.

Of cows, camels and ‘charity insurance’ on Kenya’s Somali frontier–The Economist

Clippings -

Takaful insurance policy holder in Wajir, northern Kenya

Bashir Ibrahim Mohamed, Takaful Insurance of Africa policy holder. Ibrahim is the father of Hassan Bashir, the CEO of TIA (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale).

‘As well as a cheque for $700, a knowing look passed between Hassan Bashir and Bashir Mohamed, his 80-year-old father. A payment at a ceremony for herders in Wajir, a town near Kenya’s border with Somalia, settled an argument dating back to 1997, when the son moved into the insurance business.

Mr Bashir, born into a cattle-herding Somali family in the rugged north-east of Kenya, was told that his career choice was not only odd but un-Islamic. Many imams say that sharia law does not sanction conventional insurance, deeming it to contain elements of gambling.

‘Despite being proud of his earning power, Mr Bashir found his father would not touch the money. He would not even accept the cash to go on the haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. “He did not know anything about insurance,” said the son. “He just knew it was wrong.”

‘His family’s disapproval persuaded Mr Bashir to set up Takaful, Kenya’s first sharia-compliant insurance company. It offers mutual or “charity insurance”, whereby the insurer acts as an agent, charging a set fee rather than un-Islamic interest. But Mr Bashir would not stop at insuring his community’s cars, homes and businesses; he wanted to solve their biggest problem, the loss of livestock to drought.

Camels herded to water in Wajir, northern Kenya

Camels at a water point near Wajir, northern Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale).

‘That proved harder. Insuring animals who range with semi-nomadic herders across some of the harshest terrain on earth had defeated all previous efforts. Eventually he came across the work of a Kenyan economist, Andrew Mude of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Nairobi.

‘Mr Mude has developed an insurance model that uses satellite images to assess the impact of drought on the vegetation that camels, cows and goats need to survive. . . .

This model “insures the grass, not the animal”, says Mr Mude.. . .

‘Persuading seasoned Somali herders who have been husbanding their animals the same way for centuries to pay insurance premiums has not been easy. Mr Bashir has bent the ear of local imams and sheikhs and brought in Islamic scholars. Meanwhile donors, including Britain and Australia, whose aid agencies fund ILRI, have stumped up more money to get the word out around Wajir. . . .’

Jimmy Smith (left) and DFID's Lisa Phillips, at the Wajir insurance payouts

Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Lisa Phillips, of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) at a ceremony for payment vouchers to eligible participants, Takaful Insurance of Africa policy holders at the Red Cross Hall, in Wajir, northern Kenya, in Mar 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale).

ILRI works in collaboration with a wide array of partners in this program that include the government of the Republic of Kenya, Cornell University and the Index Insurance Innovation Initiative (I4), among many others.

ILRI and partners want to see livestock insurance available throughout East Africa, where an estimated 70 million people live in drylands, many of them making their living by herding animals. In Kenya alone, the pastoral livestock sector is estimated to be worth at least USD5 billion. The eight-nation Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) estimates that over 90 percent of the meat consumed in East Africa comes from pastoral herds.

So far, about 4,000 pastoralists in northern Kenya, not all of them Muslim, have bought IBLI contracts since the project launched in 2010, an indication that there is both interest in and demand for livestock insurance.

Watch a 4-minute film by The Economist on the insurance payout in Wajir: The Economist video on livestock insurance payouts in Wajir, Kenya

Read the whole article in The Economist: A new kind of insurance may protect herders against drought, 19 Apr 2014 (print edition).

Read ILRI’s news release about this event: Africa’s first ‘Islamic-compliant’ livestock insurance pays 100 herders in Kenya’s remote drylands of Wajir for drought-related livestock losses, 25 Mar 2014.

See other photos of this event.

Read other news clippings about this event:
Shelter from the storm (literally): As remote herders get drought-related insurance payments, the heaven’s open, 5 Apr 2014
Africa’s first Islamic insurance for herders, 2 Apr 2014
Takaful, ILRI payout ‘sharia-compliant’ insurance to drought-suffering livestock herders in Wajir, 28 Mar 2014


Filed under: Australia, CRP11, Drought, Drylands, East Africa, Event, ILRI, ILRIComms, Insurance, Integrated Sciences, Kenya, Launch, LGI, PA, UK Tagged: Andrew Mude, Economist, Hassan Bashir, IBLT, Takaful Insurance

Of cows, camels and ‘charity insurance’ on Kenya’s Somali frontier–The Economist

PA Clippings -

Takaful insurance policy holder in Wajir, northern Kenya

Bashir Ibrahim Mohamed, Takaful Insurance of Africa policy holder. Ibrahim is the father of Hassan Bashir, the CEO of TIA (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale).

‘As well as a cheque for $700, a knowing look passed between Hassan Bashir and Bashir Mohamed, his 80-year-old father. A payment at a ceremony for herders in Wajir, a town near Kenya’s border with Somalia, settled an argument dating back to 1997, when the son moved into the insurance business.

Mr Bashir, born into a cattle-herding Somali family in the rugged north-east of Kenya, was told that his career choice was not only odd but un-Islamic. Many imams say that sharia law does not sanction conventional insurance, deeming it to contain elements of gambling.

‘Despite being proud of his earning power, Mr Bashir found his father would not touch the money. He would not even accept the cash to go on the haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. “He did not know anything about insurance,” said the son. “He just knew it was wrong.”

‘His family’s disapproval persuaded Mr Bashir to set up Takaful, Kenya’s first sharia-compliant insurance company. It offers mutual or “charity insurance”, whereby the insurer acts as an agent, charging a set fee rather than un-Islamic interest. But Mr Bashir would not stop at insuring his community’s cars, homes and businesses; he wanted to solve their biggest problem, the loss of livestock to drought.

Camels herded to water in Wajir, northern Kenya

Camels at a water point near Wajir, northern Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale).

‘That proved harder. Insuring animals who range with semi-nomadic herders across some of the harshest terrain on earth had defeated all previous efforts. Eventually he came across the work of a Kenyan economist, Andrew Mude of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Nairobi.

‘Mr Mude has developed an insurance model that uses satellite images to assess the impact of drought on the vegetation that camels, cows and goats need to survive. . . .

This model “insures the grass, not the animal”, says Mr Mude.. . .

‘Persuading seasoned Somali herders who have been husbanding their animals the same way for centuries to pay insurance premiums has not been easy. Mr Bashir has bent the ear of local imams and sheikhs and brought in Islamic scholars. Meanwhile donors, including Britain and Australia, whose aid agencies fund ILRI, have stumped up more money to get the word out around Wajir. . . .’

Jimmy Smith (left) and DFID's Lisa Phillips, at the Wajir insurance payouts

Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Lisa Phillips, of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) at a ceremony for payment vouchers to eligible participants, Takaful Insurance of Africa policy holders at the Red Cross Hall, in Wajir, northern Kenya, in Mar 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale).

ILRI works in collaboration with a wide array of partners in this program that include the government of the Republic of Kenya, Cornell University and the Index Insurance Innovation Initiative (I4), among many others.

ILRI and partners want to see livestock insurance available throughout East Africa, where an estimated 70 million people live in drylands, many of them making their living by herding animals. In Kenya alone, the pastoral livestock sector is estimated to be worth at least USD5 billion. The eight-nation Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) estimates that over 90 percent of the meat consumed in East Africa comes from pastoral herds.

So far, about 4,000 pastoralists in northern Kenya, not all of them Muslim, have bought IBLI contracts since the project launched in 2010, an indication that there is both interest in and demand for livestock insurance.

Watch a 4-minute film by The Economist on the insurance payout in Wajir: The Economist video on livestock insurance payouts in Wajir, Kenya

Read the whole article in The Economist: A new kind of insurance may protect herders against drought, 19 Apr 2014 (print edition).

Read ILRI’s news release about this event: Africa’s first ‘Islamic-compliant’ livestock insurance pays 100 herders in Kenya’s remote drylands of Wajir for drought-related livestock losses, 25 Mar 2014.

See other photos of this event.

Read other news clippings about this event:
Shelter from the storm (literally): As remote herders get drought-related insurance payments, the heaven’s open, 5 Apr 2014
Africa’s first Islamic insurance for herders, 2 Apr 2014
Takaful, ILRI payout ‘sharia-compliant’ insurance to drought-suffering livestock herders in Wajir, 28 Mar 2014


Filed under: Australia, CRP11, Drought, Drylands, East Africa, Event, ILRI, ILRIComms, Insurance, Integrated Sciences, Kenya, Launch, LGI, PA, UK Tagged: Andrew Mude, Economist, Hassan Bashir, IBLT, Takaful Insurance

Of cows, camels and ‘charity insurance’ on Kenya’s Somali frontier–The Economist

East Africa Clippings -

Takaful insurance policy holder in Wajir, northern Kenya

Bashir Ibrahim Mohamed, Takaful Insurance of Africa policy holder. Ibrahim is the father of Hassan Bashir, the CEO of TIA (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale).

‘As well as a cheque for $700, a knowing look passed between Hassan Bashir and Bashir Mohamed, his 80-year-old father. A payment at a ceremony for herders in Wajir, a town near Kenya’s border with Somalia, settled an argument dating back to 1997, when the son moved into the insurance business.

Mr Bashir, born into a cattle-herding Somali family in the rugged north-east of Kenya, was told that his career choice was not only odd but un-Islamic. Many imams say that sharia law does not sanction conventional insurance, deeming it to contain elements of gambling.

‘Despite being proud of his earning power, Mr Bashir found his father would not touch the money. He would not even accept the cash to go on the haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. “He did not know anything about insurance,” said the son. “He just knew it was wrong.”

‘His family’s disapproval persuaded Mr Bashir to set up Takaful, Kenya’s first sharia-compliant insurance company. It offers mutual or “charity insurance”, whereby the insurer acts as an agent, charging a set fee rather than un-Islamic interest. But Mr Bashir would not stop at insuring his community’s cars, homes and businesses; he wanted to solve their biggest problem, the loss of livestock to drought.

Camels herded to water in Wajir, northern Kenya

Camels at a water point near Wajir, northern Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale).

‘That proved harder. Insuring animals who range with semi-nomadic herders across some of the harshest terrain on earth had defeated all previous efforts. Eventually he came across the work of a Kenyan economist, Andrew Mude of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Nairobi.

‘Mr Mude has developed an insurance model that uses satellite images to assess the impact of drought on the vegetation that camels, cows and goats need to survive. . . .

This model “insures the grass, not the animal”, says Mr Mude.. . .

‘Persuading seasoned Somali herders who have been husbanding their animals the same way for centuries to pay insurance premiums has not been easy. Mr Bashir has bent the ear of local imams and sheikhs and brought in Islamic scholars. Meanwhile donors, including Britain and Australia, whose aid agencies fund ILRI, have stumped up more money to get the word out around Wajir. . . .’

Jimmy Smith (left) and DFID's Lisa Phillips, at the Wajir insurance payouts

Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Lisa Phillips, of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) at a ceremony for payment vouchers to eligible participants, Takaful Insurance of Africa policy holders at the Red Cross Hall, in Wajir, northern Kenya, in Mar 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Riccardo Gangale).

ILRI works in collaboration with a wide array of partners in this program that include the government of the Republic of Kenya, Cornell University and the Index Insurance Innovation Initiative (I4), among many others.

ILRI and partners want to see livestock insurance available throughout East Africa, where an estimated 70 million people live in drylands, many of them making their living by herding animals. In Kenya alone, the pastoral livestock sector is estimated to be worth at least USD5 billion. The eight-nation Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) estimates that over 90 percent of the meat consumed in East Africa comes from pastoral herds.

So far, about 4,000 pastoralists in northern Kenya, not all of them Muslim, have bought IBLI contracts since the project launched in 2010, an indication that there is both interest in and demand for livestock insurance.

Watch a 4-minute film by The Economist on the insurance payout in Wajir: The Economist video on livestock insurance payouts in Wajir, Kenya

Read the whole article in The Economist: A new kind of insurance may protect herders against drought, 19 Apr 2014 (print edition).

Read ILRI’s news release about this event: Africa’s first ‘Islamic-compliant’ livestock insurance pays 100 herders in Kenya’s remote drylands of Wajir for drought-related livestock losses, 25 Mar 2014.

See other photos of this event.

Read other news clippings about this event:
Shelter from the storm (literally): As remote herders get drought-related insurance payments, the heaven’s open, 5 Apr 2014
Africa’s first Islamic insurance for herders, 2 Apr 2014
Takaful, ILRI payout ‘sharia-compliant’ insurance to drought-suffering livestock herders in Wajir, 28 Mar 2014


Filed under: Australia, CRP11, Drought, Drylands, East Africa, Event, ILRI, ILRIComms, Insurance, Integrated Sciences, Kenya, Launch, LGI, PA, UK Tagged: Andrew Mude, Economist, Hassan Bashir, IBLT, Takaful Insurance

ILRI Vacancy: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician (Closing, 1 May 2014)

Jobs -

Vacancy Number: RCT/CS/04/14
Department: Corporate Services
Duration: 2 years renewable contract

ILRI seeks to recruit a Refrigeration and Air conditioning Technician to carry out preventive corrective and breakdown maintenance procedures on Mechanical, Ventilation, Refrigeration and Air conditioning systems and equipment in the institute.

ILRI works to enhance the roles livestock play in pathways out of poverty in developing countries. ILRI is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Consortium, a global research partnership of 15 centres working with many partners for a food-secure future. ILRI has two main campuses in East Africa and other hubs in West and southern Africa and South and Southeast Asia. www.ilri.org.

The Centre’s headquarters are located in Nairobi, Kenya, and research is conducted in 31 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We are supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and receive funding from over 50 different donors.

CGIAR is a global agricultural research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 research centres that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. www.cgiar.org.

Responsibilities

  • Carry out preventive corrective and breakdown maintenance procedures on Mechanical, Ventilation, Refrigeration and Air conditioning systems and equipment in the institute;
  • Carry out installation, testing and commissioning of he acquired equipment in Mechanical, Ventilation, Refrigeration and Air conditioning systems and equipment in the institute;
  • Giving support particularly in the coordination in Calibration, Decontamination, Certification of Laboratory Equipment wherever it is required in any section of the institute;
  • Undertaking repairs and calibration of broken down equipment and performing safety and operational test runs before handing back to the clients;
  • Assist in procuring of new equipment by providing technical specifications in Mechanical, Ventilation, Refrigeration and Air conditioning systems and equipment in the institute;
  • Advice the clients on the status of the progress of existing machines in Mechanical, Ventilation, Refrigeration and Air conditioning systems and equipment in the institute;
  • Provide training or standard operational procedures of equipment to new users especially in Mechanical, Ventilation, Refrigeration and Air conditioning systems and equipment in the institute;
  • Compile and regularly update machine maintenance records;
  • Updating the stores department on the spares to restock and which ones are obsolete;
  • Training the students on attachment in the Mechanical, Ventilation, Refrigeration and Air conditioning section;
  • Reporting the faults, execution and resolution of every job through developed systems like CAFMNet;
  • Working alongside with contractors to ensure that safety standards of the machines are maintained in the labs;
  • Team player especially in jobs that cut across various sections and departments;
  • Implementing Security, Safety and Environmental policies in line with institute goals and expectations;
  • Participating in areas that make the growth of the institute a reality like Innovation and participating in CSRs.

Requirements

  • Diploma in Refrigeration, Mechanical ventilation and Air conditioning;
  • Minimum of 4 years of experience in mechanical ventilation, Air conditioning ,refrigeration and related equipment’s  i.e. HVAC, Freezers, AHU, ACs etc.;
  • Knowledge of basic computer software packages;
  • Professional technical skills and experience on laboratory and other scientific and medical equipment’s e.g. laboratory gases like nitrogen, CO2, refrigerants etc.;
  • Professional technical skills and experience on basic controls of machines and equipment’s that uses software;
  • Professional technical service training in Generating Plants and Chillers;
  • Professional technical service training in Compressing Systems;
  • Professional technical service training in specific Laboratory Equipment like Laminar Flow, Biological Safety Cabinets, Fume Hoods and other Air Conditioning Equipment;
  • Basic safety and environmental aspects which will help to implement various policies;

Terms of appointment:

This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) positions based at ILRI’s Nairobi campus and is for a 2 years’ renewable contract period.

Job level and salary:

This position is job level 2B with a starting salary of KES 72, 581 per month. In addition to salary, ILRI offers Medical insurance for staff and dependents, Life insurance, Pension at 12.5% employers contribution, Annual holiday entitlement of 30 days+ public holidays within ILRI’s National Recruited Staff Scheme

How to apply:

Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Human Resources Director through: http://ilri.simplicant.com/ before 29 April 2014. The position title and reference number RCT/CS/04/14 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the online application.

To find out more about ILRI, visit our websites at http://www.ilri.org

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org/ilricrowd/

 

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer

More ILRI jobs

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ILRI Vacancy: Research Technician (closing, 24 April 2014)

Jobs -

Vacancy Number: RT/FSZ/04/14
Department: FSZ
Duration: 1 year fixed term contract

ILRI seeks to recruit Research Technician to support research activities at the Food Safety and Zoonoses unit (FSZ) through laboratory analysis of biological samples collected by the various projects under this unit and ensure all the biological samples collected are analysed before the project outputs are generated.

ILRI works to enhance the roles livestock play in pathways out of poverty in developing countries. ILRI is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Consortium, a global research partnership of 15 centres working with many partners for a food-secure future. ILRI has two main campuses in East Africa and other hubs in West and southern Africa and South and Southeast Asia. www.ilri.org.

The Centre’s headquarters are located in Nairobi, Kenya, and research is conducted in 31 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We are supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and receive funding from over 50 different donors.

CGIAR is a global agricultural research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 research centres that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. www.cgiar.org.

Responsibilities

  • Receive and archive human and animal blood and serum samples when being delivered from the field in the Biosciences repository
  • Screen all the serum samples collected from livestock and humans for the key zoonotic diseases being studied (including brucellosis, Rift Valley fever, coxiellosis and leptospirosis) using ELISA tests
  • Record the results obtained using the Laboratory Information and Management Systems that have been developed in Biorepository;
  • Keep records on the diagnostic kits being used
  • Contribute to the development of the DDDAC project reports and the development of new concept notes.

Requirements

  • BSc in biological sciences, biotechnology, veterinary medicine or related field;
  • A minimum of two years’ experience on serological and molecular laboratory diagnostic techniques
  • Good knowledge on data analysis;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to write scientific publications.

Terms of appointment:

This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) positions based at ILRI’s Nairobi campus and is for a 1 years’ fixed term contract.

Job level and salary:

This position is job level 2B with a starting salary of KES83,606 per month. In addition to salary, ILRI offers Medical insurance for staff and dependents, Life insurance, Pension at 12.5% employers contribution, Annual holiday entitlement of 30 days+ public holidays within ILRI’s National Recruited Staff Scheme

How to apply:

Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Human Resources Director through: http://ilri.simplicant.com/ before 24 April 2014. The position title and reference number RT/FSZ/04/14 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the online application.

To find out more about ILRI, visit our websites at http://www.ilri.org

 To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org/ilricrowd/

 ILRI is an equal opportunity employer

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ILRI Vacancy: Research Technician, BecA (Closing, 24 April 2014)

Jobs -

Vacancy Number: RT/BECA/04/14
Department: BecA ILRI-hub
Duration: 8 months fixed term contract

ILRI seeks to recruit a Research technician on a short term contract at the BecA ILRI-Hub. The job holder’s focus will be in the application of molecular biology and genomics tools on crop and animal pathogens that create major constraints in African small farming systems.

ILRI works to enhance the roles livestock play in pathways out of poverty in developing countries. ILRI is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Consortium, a global research partnership of 15 centres working with many partners for a food-secure future. ILRI has two main campuses in East Africa and other hubs in West and southern Africa and South and Southeast Asia. www.ilri.org.

The Centre’s headquarters are located in Nairobi, Kenya, and research is conducted in 31 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We are supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and receive funding from over 50 different donors.

CGIAR is a global agricultural research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 research centres that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. www.cgiar.org.

ILRI also manages the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub, the centre for excellence in modern plant and animal biology in Africa.  BecA is an initiative developed within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)/ African Union African Biosciences initiative. It consists of a Hub based on the ILRI campus in Nairobi, Kenya and a network of regional nodes and other affiliated laboratories and organizations throughout the region.  The BecA Hub facilities are world class, including a range of molecular, plant transformation, and genomics laboratories and equipment (e.g. 454 sequencing, Illumina MiSeq, Biosafety level 3 laboratory, plant growth facilities).  The Hub hosts and conducts research in crop, microbe and livestock areas where new developments in science offer promise to address previously intractable problems constraining Africa’s development.  Capacity building is a major goal of all activities. The scope covers agriculture and food security and their intersections with human health and nutrition, and the sustainable use of Africa’s natural resources.  Further information is available at http://hub.africabiosciences.org/

Responsibilities

  • To provide high level technical support in molecular biology, genomics, NGS libraries; preparation, data analysis for research at the BecA-ILRI Hub;
  • Conduct research under supervision of research scientists;
  • Conduct trainings and assist students in molecular biology techniques;
  • Ensure observation of good laboratory practice, good laboratory etiquette and research ethics;
  • Prepare and edit SOPs for the laboratory manual;
  • Coordinate and manage purchase requisition of consumable stock items;
  • Coordinate with ILRI engineering and lab manager to ensure that the laboratories and equipment are in good working order;
  • Manage sample collections for the overall project;
  • Establish and curate databases containing overall project data.

Requirements

  • MSc degree in biological sciences or related field;
  • Experience in molecular biology methods and research;
  • Experience in genomics tools and their applications to address a wide range of issues;
  • Ability to organize and coordinate technical activities of the work unit;
  • Ability to communicate effectively and to work in a multidisciplinary team;
  • Knowledge of laboratory health and safety procedures;
  • Computer literacy in MS Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is essential;
  • Knowledge of bioinformatics;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and within a team setting;
  • Ability to adapt new technology and methods to enhance program effectiveness;
  • Strong English language skills, both written and spoken;
  • Experience in molecular biology techniques ;
  • Knowledge of next-generation sequencing strategies and methods.

Terms of appointment:

This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) positions based at ILRI’s Nairobi campus and is for a period of 8 months from May-December 2014.

Job level and salary:

This position is job level 2C with a starting salary of KES 116,417 per month. In addition to salary, ILRI offers Medical insurance for staff and dependents, Life insurance, Pension at 12.5% employers contribution, Annual holiday entitlement of 30 days+ public holidays within ILRI’s National Recruited Staff Scheme

How to apply:

Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Human Resources Officer through: http://ilri.simplicant.com/ before 24 April 2014. The position title and reference number REF: RT/BECA/04/14 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the online application.

To find out more about ILRI, visit our websites at http://www.ilri.org

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org/ilricrowd/

 

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer

More ILRI jobs

Subscribe by email to ILRI jobs alert


Searching for that evergreen farm with the Shamba Shape Up make-over team

CRP 7 News -

Evergreen, or conservation farming, is a method that has been used in Kenya for generations and is particularly prolific in areas which are very arid. It is the integration of appropriate trees into food crop systems, and is fast emerging in Africa and South Asia, as an approach to increasing smallholder productivity under a more variable climate, and at low marginal costs to smallholder farm families.

The show, which is aired both in English and Swahili on the weekend, has the support of many CGIAR research programs and centres. Programs such as the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and International Potato Centre (CIP) provide an important source of research and information for SSU, and to the 10 million viewers who tune in each week.

Shamba Shape Up Team during a TV shoot on Farmer Anne's shamba. Photo: S. Quinn (CIP)

What can trees do for farmers?

Planting trees can be an excellent way of creating Evergreen Agriculture within your own shamba. Trees are vital to a healthy farm, yet not enough people see them as a successful method of income, preferring to focus on the more usual crops, such as wheat and maize.

It is important on a farm to build terraces, which helps to stabilise the soil and stop the devastating effects of soil erosion from the flash rains and wind. Planting trees within the terraces gives more stability as the roots of these trees bury down into the soil and hold it in place. The loss of valuable top soil from erosion is a huge problem facing famers all over Africa.

building terraces while planting trees can help to stabilise the soil and stop soil erosion from flash rains and wind.
Photo: Hans-peter Liniger

High value trees such as Calliandra, which are planted in the episode, are not only great for preventing soil erosion, for rejuvenating the soil with its nitrogen fixing content and for providing shade, firewood and timber but they also can be given to animals for fodder. 4kg of fresh Calliandra is said to be the same as 1kg of dried feed - and its much cheaper too!

By planting a variety of crops in the shamba, Swahili for 'farm', farmers can make sure that even if the rains cannot be depended on as much as in the past, some, or most, of the crops planted will flourish. By using crop rotation and intercropping, farmers can create a diverse farm. A diverse farm not only means a larger variety of crops for sale, but also takes the pressure off one crop which has the potential to fail.

To watch the episode, go to Shamba Shape Up and click on Kioko's Farm.

- Learn more about how our colleagues are working with SSU: Sweetpotato projects to star in Shamba Shape Up: East Africa’s very own Complete Farm Makeover television series
- More on Evergreen Farming: Is Africa’s future evergreen?
- All of our Shamba Shape Up blogs

 

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