As in previous years, USAID has provided $US 107,800 to promote linkages between the livestock and fish research program and United States universities.
The program’s management team selected two projects to receive funding in 2015:
1. Exploring spin-off technologies from second generation biofuel research investments for up-grading ligno-cellulosic matter for feed
The project is led by Michael Blϋmmel (ILRI) working with Farzaneh Teymouri (Michigan Biotechnology Institute).
It aims to utilize spin-offs the multi-billion dollar investment into second generation bio-fuel technologies to upgrade ligno-cellulosic biomass for animal feeding. Specific objectives are:
- Conduct an in depth review of process steps in second generation biofuel technologies potentially useful for animal feeding namely
- Optimization of collection and transportation high volume –low density biomass
- Pre-treatments to make ligno-cellulosic biomass more accessible to enzymatic hydrolysis
- Identify steps that (while having no impact on ethanol production) could jeopardize use of treated ligno-cellulosic biomass in the production of animal source foods
- Test one second generation biofuel technology already identified as potentially useful under laboratory conditions
- Collect, prioritize and synthesize material for the preparation of a larger scale proposal to upgrade ligno-cellulosic biomass for animal feeding.
2.Use of Point of Care technology to enhance disease diagnosis in the smallholder pig value chain in Uganda
The project is led by Michel Dione (ILRI) working with Thomas Graham (Veterinarians Without Borders), Corrie Brown (University of Georgia) and local collaborators Michael Apamaku (Uganda National Agricultural Research Organization), Charles Masembe (Makerere University) and Rose Ademun (Uganda National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Centre).
The project will pilot and validate animal health and disease diagnostic tools that are easy to perform and inexpensive to better determine the burden of disease along the pig value chain in Uganda and provide sustainable mechanisms for continuing surveillance and enhancing animal and human health. It will work with inexpensive and robust cell-phone based technologies for ELISA interpretation and parasite identification that have been developed by Veterinarians Without Borders and the University of Georgia. They have used fluorescent polarization assays for Brucella diagnostic work in Iganga and have available assays for tuberculosis and classical swine fever which are inexpensive ($1/test) rapid (minutes/test) systems that are easily applied at the community level using battery operated devices and uploaded through a cell phone or WiFi based system.