Food & Nutrition Security – The Biosecurity, Health, Trade Nexus

13-14 December 2021, Canberra


Tarni Cooper

School of Veterinary Science and Centre for Communication and Social Change, The University of Queensland, former Crawford in Queensland Postgraduate awardee, volunteer, RAID member

Tarni Cooper is a veterinarian experienced in One Health and social research with smallholder livestock farmers in Southeast Asia and East Africa. Tarni has collaborated on a range of ACIAR-funded research for development initiatives including ‘Developing a Regional ASF Socioeconomic and Livelihood Impact Assessment Framework’. She is currently contributing to the FAO-led Global Pool of Expertise on ASF. In 2013-14 Tarni was an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development (now AVP) in Kenya and in 2016, a Crawford in Queensland Postgraduate Awardee. Tarni is completing her PhD at The University of Queensland with the International Livestock Research Institute in Vietnam. Tarni is a Qld representative of the RAID network and a volunteer with the Kyeema Foundation.

African Swine Fever – beyond the numbers

Rapid-Fire Case Study


African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly fatal disease of pigs with no effective treatment or vaccine. Since it emerged in China in 2018 the disease has killed millions of pigs across 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific Region where the overwhelming majority of pig-keepers are smallholders. The impact in numbers, such as financial cost to the industry and national protein deficits is staggering but also, the lesser-reported human impacts are profound. This presentation provides an overview of pilot applications of the Socioeconomic and Livelihood Impact Assessment (SELIA) framework to ASF in the Philippines and Timor-Leste.

In Timor-Leste, university and government researchers applied spatial group model building techniques to yield insights into the dynamics of ASF impact. With a range of stakeholders, the group prioritised problems associated with ASF and then developed causal-loop diagrams to identify important relationships and identify potential leverage points for intervention. Important features included building trust between farmers and the government veterinary services, strengthening veterinary services and providing cash grants to farmers conditional on biosecurity investments.

In the Philippines, university and government researchers applied a suite of participatory tools with farmers and associated value chain actors to develop a rich understanding of the impact of ASF along value chains. While overwhelmingly negative, the livelihood impacts of ASF were not equal among value chain actors, thus suggesting the need for tailored support. Another important finding for further consideration was around the need for sensitive and safe depopulation practices to reduce the distress of affected farming communities and veterinary staff.