Welcome to ‘The Boma’—a new podcast about livestock in the developing world—the cattle, camels, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry—that provide billions of people with nutrition, income, resources and livelihoods. How can small scale livestock systems be sustainable, as well as profitable? How can they help protect the environment? Do they harm or enhance human health? Check out The Boma to hear diverse perspectives on some of the hottest topics debated today and dive deep into the best and latest scientific research on livestock and development. ****** The Boma is hosted by Global Livestock Advocacy for Development (GLAD), a project of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Can one chicken make a difference to a child's health?
In 2014 a survey found that a quarter of children under 5 in Siaya County, western Kenya, were stunted. Stunting creates lifelong, chronic health issues and worse mental development. Better nutrition can help avoid stunting, but can be a struggle for families that are already lacking money, resources and access to support.
What if there was a way to empower families by improving a simple resource they already have? Such as chickens, a small but ubiquitous livestock in rural communities. But proving this is not so easy. In our new episode of The Boma, we dive into the questions and answers to see if there really is a link between poultry and children's health.
About Siaya CountyNewcastle disease is the main cause of mortality in rural chicken flocks7.5 million Kenyans in rural communities live on less than USD 2 a dayVaccinating chickens against Newcastle disease improves the growth of children in rural Kenyan communities
Drought insurance: Breaking the cycle of loss for millions of pastoralists
Droughts have always occurred in the Horn of Africa, but in the past few years they have begun happening much more frequently.
An award-winning scheme of index-based livestock insurance could provide a lifeline for millions of pastoralists whose livelihoods are affected by drought. There is no need to wait for a drought to become severe, for animals to die, or people to starve. Instead this scheme can help resilent pastoralists deal with climate shocks before they happen.
Presenters Brenda Coromina and Elliot Carleton take a look at how the insurance works, and why it is needed.
The index-based livestock insurance project at ILRI is run with the help of a variety of partners, including the World Bank, Cornell University, UC Davis, and the Kenyan government.
This episode features a clip from a video interview with Guyo Malicha Roba by The Elephant.
After 10 years in Kenya and Ethiopia, are we ready to scale up livestock insurance in the Horn of Africa?ILRI
Drought Management in Kenya Should Pivot from Crisis to Risk ManagementThe Elephant
How containing COVID-19 also hurt the world's poorest farmers
Many countries locked down in the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic, trying to protect the public from infections and illness. But a new wave of research is examining how containment measures came with costs, too. Particularly for the 1 in 12 people in the world who are also smallholder farmers, responsible for producing most of the food in low- or middle-income countries.
Brenda Coromina and Elliot Carleton hear from ILRI scientist Jim Hammond, whose team interviewed nearly 10,000 farmers across nine low-income countries. Hammond reveals the lasting effect of pandemic restrictions on these farmers, and what countries need to do in the future to shield these farmers from falling into crisis.
Read the full report here.
Sarah Nyakeri talks about vulnerability in... science?
"I’ve learned that using the simplest words doesn’t make you less of a scientist. It can actually make you a great scientist."
Sarah Nyanchera Nyakeri is an MSc fellow at the International Livestock Research Institute where she is researching the development of a better vaccine for contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP). She is also the winner of the recent ILRI CapDev challenge which seeks to find the best science communicators amongst the next generation of livestock researchers. She is also the host and producer of 'The Vulnerable Scientist' podcast which focuses on scientists' stories about their daily lives, work, and how they got to where they are.
From one podcaster to others, Elliot Carleton and Brenda Coromina talk to Sarah to find out more about her podcast, and what it unexpectedly reveals about being a scientist. This special interlude episode touches on failures, being a woman in science, role models in science, and more. Don't forget to check out Sarah's podcast afterwards!
East Coast fever: Tackling neglected livestock diseases in Africa
In the early 1900s, cattle herds across South Africa were devastated by a new livestock disease. Today, more than 100 years later, that disease is called East Coast fever, and despite scientists' best efforts to control it, the disease continues to devastate cattle and livelihoods across the dozen African countries where it is endemic.
In this episode, presenters Elliot Carleton and Brenda Coromina speak with ILRI scientist Vish Nene as they examine what makes East Coast fever such a devastating disease, and more importantly, how modern vaccines may be able to address it.
Everything is everywhere: How microbes move through a city
Little is known about how bacteria spread through different sections of a city. Now the most extensive study of its kind uncovers some critical answers of how bacteria move through Nairobi, lessons that could have implications for the wider world. After all, what is being seen in Nairobi today could easily be in New York or Paris by tomorrow morning.
Presenters Elliot Carleton and Brenda Coromina hear from ILRI scientists Dishon Muloi and Eric Fèvre as they find out how urbanisation could produce the next disease outbreak.
A new model of pathogen transmission in developing urban landscapes
Music: Flute Song by Moby courtesy of mobygratis.com