ILCA: Research and information for Africa
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CTA. 1988. ILCA: Research and information for Africa. Spore 15. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44868
The International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) is one of 13 centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It is one of two centres dedicated to livestock research; the other is the International...
The International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) is one of 13 centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It is one of two centres dedicated to livestock research; the other is the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (ILRAD) in Nairobi. ILCA's goal is to increase sustainable livestock production in sub-Saharan Africa and its main target groups are smallholders and agropastoralists in the semi-arid, subhumid, humid and highland zones. The Centre's work is organized in six major research areas or thrusts: cattle milk and meat; small ruminant meat and milk; animal traction; animal feed resources trypanotolerance; and livestock policy and resource use. African national programmes have been closely involved in the development of the research programmes for each thrust, and will participate in them through collaborative projects and networks. The research is backed by training and information services to national programme staff. Two major networks are already operating under the animal feed resource thrust: the Pasture Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (PANESA) and the African Research Network on Agricultural Byproducts (ARNAB). PANESA includes multilocational pasture and forage germplasm screening trials in East and Southern Africa and is involved in developing feeding packages. The network is dual-purpose, providing a means of exchanging information and experience and acting as a coordinating body for collaborative research. The focus of ARNAB is the use of agricultural by-products, such as straws and stovers, as animal feed. A major objective of the network is to develop standardized methods for feed evaluation both in the laboratory and in feeding trials, in order to improve the comparability of results from different situations. Under ILCA's new strategy the former Small Ruminant and Camel Group network will now focus on sheep and goats only. The network is being developed into a collaborative research network under the small ruminant meat and milk thrust. The livestock policy and resource use thrust also has an existing information network the African Livestock Policy Analysis Network. Other networks are planned, including one to study the role of credil in livestock development. The African Trypanotolerant Livestock Network, coordinated jointly by ILCA and ILRAD, was established to study the complex interactions that influence trypanosomiasis and its effects on livestock performance. Two other major networks are planned: one on animal traction and one to study dairy production in West Africa. A recurrent theme in all ol ILCA's research efforts, and in the networks, is the need to share information. To help meet this need, ILCA has established an information centre unique in Africa, which includes a comprehensive library on livestock and related topics, a collection of nonconventional literature microfiched in African countries, and a variety of computerbased current awareness services. The library holds more than 15,000 books and some 1300 general and scientific periodicals. The microfiche collection comprises more than 25,000 documents, ranging from university theses to unpublished national programme reports, many of them selected and microfiched national programme reports, many of them selected and microfiched by ILCA in the 24 African countries covered so far. The entire library collection, including the microfiche collection, is now computerized allowing on-line searches. Several computer-based reference and current awareness services are available to African national programmes, including: - On-line literature searches of ILCA's in-house data base AGRIS, AGRICOLA and CAB International, parts of which are available on CD-ROM (see Spore 9) at ILCA; - Selective dissemination of information based on the AGRIS and CAB International data base; - Current titles, in which the contents pages of periodicals received in the library are copied and grouped into five categories (animal nutrition, animal science, agronomy and soil science, agricultural economics and rural sociology, and animal health and veterinary medicine) and sent to agricultural libraries throughout sub-Saharan Africa; - Document delivery, providing users with microfiche copies and photocopies; and - Specialized bibliographies prepared by ILCA's documentation staff. These information services backstop the research by ILCA and its African partners, providing researchers with the solid base of current information necessary for effective research. For more details, contact: Director General ILCA PO Box 5689 Addis Ababa ETHIOPIA