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Breeding foresight workshop: Presentation by ILRI

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Presentation at a workshop convened by CCAFS Learning Platform 1 in Rome, Italy, on 19-20 February 2019.

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Breeding foresight workshop: Presentation by ILRI

  1. 1. ONGOING AND PLANNED ACTIVITIES ON BREEDING FORESIGHT IN FEEDS AND FORAGES AT ILRI Chris Jones Breeding foresight workshop 19 February 2019 Bioversity HQ
  2. 2. Situation analysis • Radical shifts in feeding systems towards improved forages are needed to increase the resilience of livestock systems in low-income countries in the face of climate change. • Cultivated forages are ‘best bets’ for better feeding in the face of climate change • Improving productivity with low inputs, providing benefits to the fragile natural resource base, preserving grain for human consumption and increasing resilience to climate variability. • Alterations in rainfall patterns, elevated CO2 and rising temperature are already affecting the growth, distribution and nutritive value of major forage species
  3. 3. Situation analysis • Modern molecular genetics can be quickly integrated into current conservation, use and improvement strategies • To address yield, nutritional quality, and biotic and abiotic stresses • Disease resistant cultivars of important forage crops are urgently needed • Forages that perform well under drought conditions need to be further selected, developed and released • Plant symbionts, naturally occurring microbes, can be utilized to enhance the overall fitness of cultivated feeds and forages and provide resilience to both biotic and abiotic stresses • Increasing the availability and use of improved forage and forage seed and integrating forages into localized feeding strategies will enable livestock farmers to better adapt to climate change
  4. 4. ILRI’s Solutions • Utilize modern molecular genetics to select productive and resilient perennial forage varieties to benefit farmers now and breed new varieties for the future, focusing on high yield, good nutritional quality, enhanced disease resistance, and improved drought tolerance in the face of climate change • Utilize novel research in microbiomes to improve the resilience of major forage species • Rigorously test forage varieties with farmers in target regions • Roll-out forage varieties to farmers in target regions
  5. 5. Past and ongoing activities • MscCCAFS fellows • Impact of climate change on forage grass species in Ethiopian dairy systems • Targeting new climate-resilient feeds and forages in the smallholder mixed farming systems of East Africa • Feed and Forage flagship, Livestock CRP • Global assessment of future hotspots for 4 case study feed interventions based on relevant global data layers • Masters project • ILRI Climate Change Adaptation Agenda

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