Cash from the Gates Foundation to help efforts to create a hybrid with the milk production of European breeds and the heat tolerance of African cows
Bill Gates is pumping money into British research to improve livestock health and yield. This will enable cows to make more milk for longer. The studies being funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will help to create cows with the genes for the bumper milk production of a northern European heifer but also an African cow’s ability to survive in the blistering sun.
In the tropics several livestock diseases still do not have vaccines, even though they are often comparatively easy to develop. These do not also have the same investment in centuries of scientific selective breeding as in the West. A typical British cow makes 30 litres of milk a day, while the typical African one makes two.
Joined with separate contributions from the Department for International Development, the funding will go towards a consortium called Galvmed that conducts vaccine research. Mr Gates is to reaffirm a commitment to a research institute based at Edinburgh University that analyses livestock genetics.
Hear the American billionaire:“The impact per dollar we spend is super-high in this area. You can have a cow that is four times as productive with the same survivability. We could justify this just on the economic impacts or the health impacts; we get both.”