11 - 13 November 2025 | Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Dr Jimmy Smith

Dr Jimmy Smith, Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Presentation: Science-fiction or science-fact? Research for sustainable livestock agri-food systems

Jimmy W. Smith, a Guyanese and Canadian citizen, is Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). ILRI is a CGIAR research centre, working towards a food secure world. Jimmy Smith is CGIAR’s Senior Director of Livestock-Based Systems. ILRI’s work focuses on livestock research for sustainable development. Before joining ILRI, Smith led the livestock portfolio at the World Bank. Working at corporate level, he anchored the bank’s investments on sustainable livestock development and mitigating the threat of zoonoses with pandemic potential. Prior to his tenure at the World Bank, Smith held senior positions at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Earlier, Smith worked at ILRI and its predecessor, the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA), where he served as the institute’s regional representative for West Africa and later as director of its global program on crop-livestock systems. Before his decade of work at ILCA/ILRI, Smith held senior positions in the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI-Trinidad) and the Livestock Development Company (LIDCO-Guyana). Jimmy Smith is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, USA, where he completed MSc and PhD degrees in animal sciences. He is widely published, with more than 100 publications, including papers in refereed journals, book chapters, policy papers and edited proceedings.

Plenary presentation: Wednesday 2 November

Science-fiction or science-fact? Research for sustainable livestock agri-food systems

In the face of increasingly polarized discourse about the place of livestock in sustainable food systems, this presentation will unpack factors behind this dissonance, which tends to coarsen livestock debates and prevent livestock solutions from arising. While livestock discussions must not shy from uncomfortable truths, they should avoid the binary worlds of absolutes. The great diversity of livestock production, processing and consumption patterns across the world underpin many of today’s apparently conflicting views of the sector. Science-based evidence spanning livestock and the environment, human health and broader livelihood dimensions will be explored to highlight this diversity and how it leads to such conflicting perspectives. A more nuanced understanding of the different roles livestock play in development is essential if future food systems are to meet the immense challenges of the food, nutritional, health and livelihood needs of the world’s growing population, especially those in LMICs, where such growth is fastest. Addressing these challenges requires considerable new science—and science connected through new alliances—to deliver practical, equitable and enduring solutions. Examples of science-based solutions for more sustainable animal agriculture in LMICs—addressing production efficiencies, environmental protection, healthy and nutritional diets and equitable and inclusive growth—will illustrate the big opportunities livestock systems present to help bring about a positive transformation of the world’s food systems.


11 – 13 November 2025 
Brisbane, Australia

Contact: qaaficomms@uq.edu.au

TropAg event organisers and affiliates acknowledge the Traditional Owners and their custodianship of the lands on which we meet. We pay our respects to their Ancestors and their descendants, who continue cultural and spiritual connections to Country. We recognise their valuable contributions to Australian and global society.

©2020 TropAg. All rights reserved | Website Terms of Use | Site map