CRP 3.7 News

Community-based sheep improvement – research helps breed strong rural communities in Ethiopia

Menz sheep breeding cooperative members review ram quality. In Menz, a community-based sheep breeding project involves farmers in setting breeding objectives.

Ethiopia is known for having the largest livestock population of Africa. Across the country, millions of cattle, donkeys, camels, chickens, sheep and goats live and work alongside people. The relationships between people and animals are long-standing, close and deeply embedded in culture and traditions.

Animals are power for transport and ploughing, they are food and nutrition, their skins and wool can be turned into useful products, their dung fertilizes fields and fuels cooking fires, and their sale pays for education and other necessities.

Yet millions of rural people remain locked in poverty. They work long hours to feed themselves, they battle harsh natural environments, often far from roads, clinics and markets and they and their animals lead far less productive lives than their urban cousins.

The picture is not all bleak. Public services and infrastructure are fast expanding, markets are growing, fueled by urban and export demands for food, and agricultural growth and transformation is a driving goal of government.

Communities are also taking power into their own hands, transforming local resources into assets that benefit them all. Animals are often at the heart of this transformation.

In one corner of Menz, the community has taken to improved sheep breeding to help tarnsform their lives.

Read the full post on the CGIAR Development Dialogues blog

Filed under: Animal Breeding, CRP37, East Africa, Ethiopia, Genetics, ICARDA, Indigenous breeds, Sheep, Small Ruminants

Egyptian fish retailers use role-playing to boost their confidence and get their rights

Women fish retailers in Egypt are often forced to pay unofficial fees for their roadside market stalls. An interactive theatre project has helped boost the confidence and ability of these women to lobby their local government for retail licenses to protect their safety and rights as workers.

Read the full story

Read a related brief

Watch a video:


The project is part of the Improving Employment and Income through Development of Egypt’s Aquaculture Sector project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

More updates from the Egypt value chain

Filed under: Africa, Aquaculture, CRP37, Egypt, Fish, Gender, Middle East, North Africa, Value Chains, Women, WorldFish

Update on Livestock and Fish smallholder pigs value chain activities in Vietnam

On 25 and 26 September, ILRI staff and national partners met to review and plan activities to transform the smallholder pig value chain in Vietnam.

The group were updated on the overall progress of the program; they reviewed and updated earlier work on impact pathways and they discussed ways to intensify collaboration and partnership. Most time was spent on a rapid diagnosis of drivers and challenges to pig value chain development and planning interventions for the coming years. The diagnosis and planning was organized around the technology priorities of the program – animal health (and food safety), genetics and breeding, and animal feeding. Additional attention was given to cross-cutting work on value chain development, scaling activities, gender, and environment.

Lucy Lapar, ILRI value chain leader gave an update of progress so far in the value chain development program:


See group photo

More information on Livestock and Fish program events and workshops

Filed under: CGIAR, CRP37, Pigs, Value Chains, Vietnam

Integrating gender equality concerns into the Livestock and Fish program

Rhiannon Pyburn and Katrine Danielsen, gender specialists from KIT at the recent ‘feeding innovation’ workshop in Vietnam

A team from the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) has been commissioned to support the program integrate gender in its technical flagships and value chains.

The team – Anouka van Eerdewijk, Katrine Danielsen and Rhiannon Pyburn -startedin July and have since een interactibg with staff across the program.

The starting point is the existing gender strategy that combines strategic and integrated gender research, and identifies gender accommodative and gender transformative approaches.

The challenge now is considered to be to further integrate gender into the programming and implementation of the program. This concerns specifically the integration of gender in the technical flagships and the country-level value chains. This calls for technical support in both the identification and prioritization of research needs, as well as practical and applied coaching and support in research implementation. The coaching and support in research implementation are meant to also build the capacity of existing and new staff in appreciating gender, identifying gender issues in the technical work and undertaking gender research. The integration of gender in the technical flagships will be complementary with the strategic gender research mostly undertaken by the gender team.

The KIT support takes the form of a ‘trajectory on gender integration’ that combines support to the identification and conceptualization of priority research for development (R4D), tailor-made coaching of its implementation, and knowledge building and documentation.

The trajectory has been designed in two phases, Phase A in 2014 and Phase B in 2015. Phase A concerns support to identifying key entry-points for gender integration in the five L&F flagships and in selected value chains. The first step is the participation of KIT advisors in a series of exploration meetings and selected planning meetings with scientists. On the basis of these meetings option papers will be developed by the KIT team that outline the entry points for gender integration in the flagships and in four country-level value chains. The option papers will provide the basis for supporting program staff in preparing research proposals for integrating gender in their research areas.

Phase B concerns support to the implementation of gender integration into the flagships and value chains through the proposals elaborated and funded in Phase A. The entire trajectory builds on and deepens currently ongoing initiatives to integrate gender in the program and is aligned with the CGIAR-wide gender working group and the gender scientists.

Filed under: CGIAR, Gender, Women

Evaluating value chain interventions: A review of recent evidence

Value chain interventions are rarely evaluated as rigorously as interventions in agricultural production or health. This is due to various reasons, including the intrinsic complexity of value chain interventions, intricate contextual support factors, presence of multilevel system actors, constant adaption to market and nonmarket forces and the cost associated with conducting an evaluation.

This ILRI discussion paper discusses a range of approaches and benchmarks that can guide future design of value chain impact evaluations.

Twenty studies were reviewed to understand the status and direction of value chain impact evaluations. A majority of the studies focus on evaluating the impact of only a few interventions, at several levels within the value chains. Few impact evaluations are based on well-constructed, well-conceived comparison groups. Most relied on the use of propensity score matching to construct counterfactual groups and estimate treatment effects. Instrumental variables and difference-in-difference approaches are the common empirical approaches used for mitigating selection bias due to unobservables.

More meaningful value chain impact evaluations should be prioritized from the beginning of any project and a significant amount of rigor should be maintained; targeting a good balance of using model-based and theory-based approaches.

Download the report

Filed under: ILRI, Impact Assessment, LGI, Value Chains

Uganda smallholder pigs project launches household nutrition and dietary surveys

Participants of enumerators for the household nutrition survey training
Participants of the enumerators training for the Smallholder Pig Value Chain Development project household nutrition survey (photo credit: ILRI/Brian Kawuma).

The Smallholder Pig Value Chain Development project, which is implemented by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and other partners in Uganda, will conduct household consumer nutrition and dietary surveys from September to November 2014 targeting 1000 households in five districts of Kampala, Masaka, Kamuli, Hoima and Lira.

The survey aims at assessing household food demand and nutritional security with considerations for intra-household resource and food allocation for children, men and women. It will focus on the demand, availability, actual access to and control over adequate food, especially animal-source foods by household members to assess whether some members may be at higher nutrition risk than others. The baseline information collected from this survey will enable identification of nutrition related best-bet practices for testing in subsequent years.

To support this work, 37 enumerators were trained from 8-12 September by staff from ILRI-Uganda office and Makerere University on the use of food demand and intra-household dietary assessment tools.

This activity is partly funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish as part of its strategy to ‘promote increased level and equity in animal source food consumption within poor households’.

Filed under: Article, CRP37, East Africa, Nutrition, Pigs, Uganda

Livestock and Fish external evaluation update 4 – Writing up and reporting

Field work has concluded for the Livestock and Fish CRP Commissioned External Evaluation on its Value Chain approach.

The Evaluation Team wrapped-up field work in Nairobi on Monday, 15 September with a workshop for program staff during which they presented some of their observations. The Nairobi workshop marked the end of a month of field work in four different L&F Value Chain countries, including Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Egypt.

Over the coming weeks, the Evaluation Team will be working on production of the Draft Evaluation Report. The draft report will be submitted to the Evaluation Manager on Wednesday, 15 October and will then be immediately forwarded for comment to CRP stakeholders, including the Evaluation Reference Group, the CRP Management, SPAC and the ILRI IMC. The draft report will also be posted to the L&F website and responses will be invited from all other stakeholders.

The deadline to receive responses from all groups is Sunday, 26 October.

A Finalized Evaluation Report is expected by Saturday, 01 November. The finalized report will be made available to all stakeholders, including the CRP Management who must respond in writing to each recommendation made in the report.

The response to the recommendations from the CRP Management are to be presented in an Action Matrix by Friday, 14 November.

At this stage, the Action Matrix is merely a draft, and will be scrutinized by the Evaluation Reference Group. The Action Matrix is not finalized until it is confirmed by ILRI management, which is expected to happen sometime toward the end of November.

Key Dates:
15 October 2014 — Draft Evaluation Report is submitted to EM by the Lead Evaluator
26 October 2014 – Deadline to receive all written responses to draft
31 October 2014 – The Finalized Evaluation Report is submitted to the EM, who immediately forwards it to the CRP Director, PPMC, ERG, ECB, SPAC, IEA and posts it to the L&F Wiki; the IEA will also post it to their website;
14 November 2014 – The draft Action Matrix is received by the ERG
21 November 2014 – Deadline for the ERG response to the draft Action Matrix
Approximately 28 November 2014 – ILRI institutional management committee endorses the Action Matrix or ask for revisions

Learn more about the CGIAR Research Programs (CRP) CEE on the Livestock and Fish external evaluation page or follow my blog posts on the Livestock and Fish website.

Filed under: CRP37, ILRI, Impact Assessment

Refocusing livestock agricultural research for development to address food and nutritional security challenges

This week, Livestock and Fish program director Tom Randolph was part of a panel at the ILRI@40
Tropentag 2014 session on ‘Livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives.’

Randolph highlighted the focus of ILRI’s – and ILCA and ILRAD before it – research to benefit poor livestock-keeping households for poverty reduction. He cited examples of achievements addressing each of the livestock-based pathways out of poverty: protecting the assets of the poor, increasing productivity, and improving access to markets.

He explained how the wider context has been changing with events like the food price crisis of 2007 and trends in demand for animal source foods that is expanding the focus from livestock production activities of the poor to also address ensuring adequate access of the poor to affordable animal source foods.

This increased emphasis on food security is leading ILRI to adopt a value chain perspective and consider how livestock agri-food systems can be designed to supply animal source foods to the poor – a challenge that implies the need for new research capacities and development partnerships.

A first expression of this shifting focus is the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish which seeks to concentrate ILRI’s research efforts for pro-poor transformation of selected value chains across the developing world.

See his presentation:


This week, ILRI staff are participating in the Tropentag 2014 International Conference in Prague (17-19 September 2014). There is also a dedicated ‘ILRI@40’ side event on ‘Livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives.’  See all the posters and presentations.

Filed under: CGIAR, CRP37, Food Security, ILRI, ILRI40, Livestock, Livestock-Fish, Nutrition

New multi-stakeholder platform addresses constraints in Uganda’s pig value chains

A group session to brainstorm solutions to pig value chain constraints

A group session at a Uganda pig value chain multi-stakeholder platform meeting in Masaka (photo credit SNV/Joseph Semujju).

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation recently launched a first-ever pig value chain multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) in Uganda.

Started in August 2014, the multi-stakeholder platform is one of the strategies that will be used by the Smallholder Pig Value Chain Development (SPVCD) project to improve the effectiveness of pig value chains in Uganda. The pig value chain multi-stakeholder platform is an innovation platforms (IP) that will provide a mechanism to enhance communication and innovation capacity among Uganda pig sector actors by improving their interactions and coordination. It will also facilitate learning and contribute to production and use of knowledge. In this case, the MSP is geared at harnessing the collective actions of pig sector actors to address major constraints in the pig sector in the country.

The formation of the platform follows a successful pig value chain impact pathway workshop held in June 2013, which identified the roles of different pig sector actors and proposed setting up of multi actor networks to foster actor interaction across the private and public sectors.

Following the workshop, ILRI constituted a multi-institutional task force to map out a process for initiating multi-stakeholder platforms in the country and in the region. The task force, which comprised representatives from ILRI, Kampala Capital City Authority, SNV Netherlands, Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns, Uganda Pig Organisation, Agro Empowerment Centre and the district veterinary officers of Kamuli, Mukono and Masaka districts, identified pig producers, farm input suppliers, feed suppliers, pig traders, pork butchers, roasters and processors as well as extension service providers, research, training and policy institutions and development institutions (NGOs, international and financial organizations) as key players in the Uganda pig sector.

SNV Netherlands will facilitate the pig value chain platform in addressing pressing constraints on the pig sector, developing and strengthening business linkages between actors in the pig sector and enhancing the visibility of the pig industry in the country.

A first meeting of the new platform was held on 19 August 2014 in Kamuli District in eastern Uganda and was attended by 46 stakeholders including farmers, input suppliers, extension service providers, pork roasters and pig traders. Participants at the meeting prioritized constraints in the pig value chain. Pig feeds and feeding, diseases and lack of water for their animals were identified as the highest priority constraints.

Participants of the regional multi-stakeholder platform meeting
Participants of the regional multi-stakeholder platform meeting in Kamuli District, Uganda (photo credit: ILRI/Brian Kawuma).

To address these challenges in the short-term, participants said they would adopt improved feeding practices that are already in place in their respective sub counties. They also scheduled learning visits to farms of model farmers to encourage peer-learning and knowledge-sharing activities.

Similar regional stakeholder meetings were held in Mukono (21 August 2014) and Masaka (26 August 2014) districts attracting the participation of 60 pig value chain actors in Masaka and 40 in Mukono. Among the key constraints to which the participants in both districts collectively agreed to find solutions to were access to quality feeds, reliable markets, decline in pig genetic quality and disease burden.

The first set of meetings aimed to identify priority constraints and develop intervening action plans. Progress in implementing these will be evaluated in the second set of meetings in November 2014.

A national multi-stakeholder platform meeting in Kampala on 2 September 2014 reviewed the constraints prioritized at the regional level meetings described above and appointed a nine-member interim committee, headed by Emma Naluyima– a former director of the Uganda Investment Authority, will coordinate activities towards achieving the platforms’ resolutions which includes the creation of a harmonized pig feed policy under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries, advocating for certifying and regulating the production and marketing  of pig feeds, and eventually the exemption of value added tax on pig feeds and their ingredients.

It is anticipated that bringing together different actors of the pig value chain for sharing experiences, knowledge, skills, ideas and resources will contribute to economic gains through improved productivity and services in the pig value chain for the benefit of all actors.

See a recent presentation on the platform

Filed under: Article, CRP37, East Africa, ILRI, Innovation Systems, LGI, Livestock, Partnership, Pigs, Uganda, Value Chains

Update on India smallholder dairy value chain development program

On 27 and 28 August, ILRI staff working in the India smallholder dairy value chain development project met to develop a strategy and implementation plan for the coming years.

Vamsidhar Reddy, ILRI value chain leader gave an update of progress so far in the value chain development program:


He also gave an overview of the recent situation analysis report on dairy development in Assam and Bihar states.

See also the report from the stakeholder consultation also held in August

More information on Livestock and Fish program events and workshops

Filed under: Asia, Cattle, CRP37, Dairying, ILRI, India, South Asia, Value Chains

Participatory research for development to upgrade smallholder pig value chains in Uganda

Little has been documented about how smallholder pig value chains operate in Uganda, except that pork production and consumption have exploded over the past three decades and 70% of the pigs are in the hands of smallholder farmers, many of them women.

Who are the actors in the current system? What are input and output channels? Who benefits and who bears economic health risks? Which problems do the various actors face, how do they deal with them and can these problems provide opportunities?

This poster (for Tropentag 2014 conference) introduces the Livestock and Fish program’s work to improve the livelihoods of smallholder pig value chain actors in Uganda by showcasing how existing livestock value chains can be upgraded for the benefit of all actors in the system, especially the many poor.

This week, ILRI staff are participating in the Tropentag 2014 International Conference in Prague (17-19 September 2014). There is also a dedicated ‘ILRI@40’ side event on ‘Livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives.’  See all the posters.

Filed under: CRP37, East Africa, ILRI, ILRI40, LGI, Livestock, Livestock-Fish, Pigs, Uganda, Value Chains

Ugandan pig disease researcher, Joyce Akol, receives bioinformatics training

Joyce Akol
Joyce Akol, a molecular biology MSc student with Makerere University and ILRI (photo credit: ILRI).

Joyce Akol, a molecular biology MSc student with Makerere University and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), recently participated in a two-week training organized by the Biosciences east and central Africa-ILRI (BecA-ILRI) Hub.

Akol, who works with the Smallholder Pig Value Chain Development (SPVCD) project in Uganda under the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, was trained in advanced bioinformatics in Nairobi from 18-29 Aug 2014. The training aims at strengthening the capacity of researchers in national research systems of BecA-ILRI Hub target countries and is offered through a collaboration between the BecA-ILRI Hub and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

The BecA-ILRI Hub – SLU partnership makes available genomic protocols, computational hardware and bioinformatics software to support research projects, led by researchers in national agricultural systems of eastern and central Africa, that aim to address previously intractable problems constraining Africa’s agricultural and food security development.

The SPVCD project is committed to building capacity of Ugandan researchers engaged in pig value chains research. Akol is the first student attached to the project to receive this training.

About Joyce Akol

With a background in laboratory technology, Joyce has garnered skills to investigate molecular epidemiology of viruses mainly affecting pigs in Uganda. Her Masters’ dissertation aims at understanding the molecular epidemiology of African swine fever virus (ASFV) in Uganda. She is working under Michel Dione at ILRI and with Charles Masembe from Makerere University.

Prior to this award, Akol was supported by the SPVCD project for a three-months training at ILRI-Nairobi to analyze whole blood samples for presence of ASFV using real-time PCR. She has also worked with the Ugandan National Crop Resources Research Institute as a research assistant in a project to combat cassava brown streak virus using marker-assisted technology and inbreeding in resistant varieties and farmer preferred varieties of cassava.

Filed under: Animal Diseases, Article, ASF, BecA, Capacity Development, CRP37, East Africa, ILRIComms, Livestock-Fish, Pigs, Research, Uganda, Value Chains, Women

External evaluators assess smallholder pig value chain projects in Uganda

Doyle Baker (with cap) shares a moment with Mr. & Mrs Luswata at their pig farm, and Eve Luvumu (NAADS)
Doyle Baker (with cap), an external evaluator commissioned by the Livestock and Fish Program, with Eve Luvumu and farmers in Uganda (photo credit: ILRI/Brian Kawuma).

An external evaluation team recently assessed the Smallholder Pig Value Chain Project activities in Uganda. The evaluation sought to review the effectiveness of the program in developing, supporting and implementing the value chain approach at its research for development (R4D) sites and to assess the relevance and efficiency of the program’s value chain approach with a focus on quality of science.

During the week-long (23-30 Aug 2014) exercise, evaluators Doyle Baker and Andrew Speedy, who were commissioned by the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, held meetings with the Smallholder Pig Value Chain Development (SPVCD) project team at the ILRI-Uganda office and with local partners and stakeholders.

The evaluators visited and interacted with staff from Makerere University, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), the National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI), Irish Embassy, the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Association for strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA). They also visited the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO), the Agency for Inter-Regional Development (AFID), BRAC, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Heifer International and the District Veterinary Officers in Kamuli, Masaka and Mukono. Also, some private sector companies and initiatives such as Fresh Cuts, Pig Production & Marketing in Uganda Ltd., Wambizzi Cooperative Ltd and FarmGain Africa were visited.

Plenary session to discuss partners and stakeholders viewpoints on the value chain process and some proposed recommendations

A plenary session to discuss partners and stakeholders viewpoints on the value chain process (photo credit: ILRI/Brian Kawuma).

As part of their field work, the evaluation team, accompanied by the ILRI Uganda team travelled to Masaka, in central Uganda where they met with local government authorities, project partners and representatives of the newly-formed pig producer cooperatives. In one of the meetings, the Chief Administrative Officer, Hood Sseremba revealed that the district executive had leased two acres of land to start a centralized pig slaughterhouse as part of the local government’s commitment towards boosting the pig industry.

While in Masaka, the evaluators visited Kamuzinda Farm, a demonstration farm that is piloting, with ILRI, several feed technologies for pigs particularly on the use of sweet potato vines and roots silage as well as diets formulated using local feed resources that is expected to help solve the feed shortage problem during the dry seasons.

The group also met with leaders of the Kabonera-Kyanamukaaka Pig Farmers Cooperative Society and visited two smallholder pig farms owned by Bruno Settuba and Agnes Luswata, both members of the society, which are using improved technologies on pig production and feeding.

Group meeting with Kabonera-Kyanamukaaka Cooperative Executives

Group meeting with Kabonera-Kyanamukaaka Cooperative leaders (photo credit: ILRI/Danilo Pezo).

The leaders of this cooperative were grateful for the project’s interventions in improving pig production and feeding but highlighted challenges they are still facing in finding reliable markets and affordable quality feed.

On the last day of the mission, the evaluators met with ILRI partners, pig sector stakeholders and with the ILRI-Uganda team to deliver preliminary feedback about their findings. Group brainstorming sessions were used to discuss possible solutions to the challenges in the pig value chain in Uganda and to document the stakeholder recommendations for the ILRI program managers.

 Participants at the L&F meeting between the Evaluators and the partners / stakeholders
Participants at the meeting between the evaluators and Smallholder Pig Value Chain Project partners (photo credit: ILRI/Brian Kawuma).

About the smallholder pig value chain

The smallholder pig value chain in Uganda is one of nine value chains of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, which aim at improving the performance of small-scale livestock and fish value chains in order to make meat, milk and fish more available and affordable to poor consumers. The smallholder pig value chain activities are currently being implemented in the central region districts of Masaka and Mukono and Kamuli under a EC-IFAD funded project entitled ‘Catalysing the emerging smallholder pig value chains in Uganda to increase rural incomes and assets’.

Plans are underway for further expansion of the project to Lira and Hoima districts in the northern and western regions through an Irish Aid-funded ‘more pork by and for the poor’ project. This project work closely with the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health through the GIZ funded  Safe Food, Fair Food Project.

Filed under: Animal Breeding, Animal Diseases, Animal Feeding, Article, CapDev, CRP37, CRP4, East Africa, Food Safety, Impact Assessment, Partnership, Pigs, Research, Uganda, Value Chains

Nicaragua’s dual-purpose cattle value chain: Strategy and implementation planning workshop

On August 5 and 6, 2014, the Livestock and Fish team conducted a Livestock and Fish Strategy and Implementation Planning Workshop for the Dual-Purpose Cattle Value Chain (DPVC) in Managua, Nicaragua. The purpose of this workshop was to generate an exchange with local partners to track ongoing efforts in the value chain development work in Nicaragua, as well as planning upcoming research and implementation work from 2015 onward. Participants included local universities, farmer and women’s groups, cooperatives, private sector, and research and development partners.

The Strategy and Implementation Planning Workshop was an important event to inform local partners of the Program’s evolution into Flagships, generating a vision of the Livestock and Fish future work plan under each of the Flagships within the country’s specific context, and developing a preliminary logical framework based on salient future initiatives planned for the 2016-2023 period.

See an update on current activities in the country (in Spanish):



Animal Health for Productivity

The overall goal established for the Animal Health for Productivity Flagship is to increase volumes of quality milk delivered by farmers and cooperatives in order to produce safe foods and improve farmer income. Upcoming activities include the development of a database with a baseline study and situation analysis of the milk quality issues being faced in the region, as well as generating knowledge on innovative animal health management and developing monitoring tools to aid in decision making.

Furthermore, the Animal Health flagship will contribute to development outcomes by identifying and prioritizing intervention themes, needs at farm level, and research gaps related to animal health management and milk safety. Another area of focus lies in the strengthening of farmer and organization capacities to implement animal health interventions and innovations which contribute to improving milk quality and safety.

Genetics and breeding

Upcoming activities for the Genetics and Breeding Flagship include the diagnosis of interests and initiatives related to breed improvement, and the evaluation of various cattle breeds and crossbreeds under the climate conditions of the area of study, including a genotypic and phenotypic characterization of cattle breeds.

Development outcomes for these activities include the adoption of conventional and modern genome evaluation systems by farmer organizations, promoting and supporting the adequate use of breeds adapted to the ecological, processing, and market conditions of the area. The flagship’s overall goal is to promote record-keeping in farms, as well as facilitating access to appropriate genetic material for farmers.

Feeds and forages

The Feeds and Forages Flagship’s main objective is to develop superior feed and forage alternatives, responding to current and evolving demands to enhance meat and milk production while reducing ecological footprints.

The flagship seeks to articulate a national platform of cattle farming organizations for the sustainable use of forages, emphasizing the need to overcome feed shortage during the dry season and guaranteeing a permanent feed supply. Upcoming activities include further research into adaptability, yield, and profitability of forage resources in various climate zones, as well as generating enough high-quality forage biomass for sustainable agriculture.

Systems Analysis for Sustainable Innovation (SASI)

Upcoming activities for the SASI flagship include generating greater knowledge on local innovation systems, research gaps and entry points for development within the dual-purpose value chain in the areas of study. Special focus will be placed on validation of best bets and modelling, as well as topics of technological and socioeconomic innovation.

The flagship seeks to contribute towards efficient and inclusive initiatives in the region, testing alternatives to back them by local experience, and making the topics of focus available and accessible to local organizations working towards dual-purpose value chain transformation. The overall goal consists of developing and guiding a systems approach being used for pro-poor, sustainable and equitable transformation of livestock and fish value chains through the AR4D platform.

Value Chain Transformation and Scaling

The Value Chain Transformation and Scaling Flagship aims to ensure that research results are being integrated, tested, adapted, and refined to respond to the demands of the individual value chain and facilitate the transformation process through collective learning.

The flagship’s upcoming activities include the diagnosis of the design, selection, and feedback processes for better pilot proposals, and contributing to development outcomes through validated products and technologies, assessing their adoption potential, and the widespread implementation of methodologies in other value chains.

Workshop photos

Links to presentations

Outputs of the value chain project

Filed under: Animal Feeding, Cattle, Central America, CGIAR, CIAT, CRP37, Feeds, Forages, Latin America, Nicaragua, Value Chains

Capacity development: facilitating the leap from individual learning to sustainable livelihood outcomes

Capacity development supported by CGIAR can help agriculturalists in developing countries discover and develop their own expertise and confidence. But it is through capacity development interventions in, and by, whole communities and (local) organizations in these countries that most potently translate actions into meaningful reductions in poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation.

The CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish is leading a major initiative to consolidate research and development efforts for a pro-poor transformation of smallholder value chains. The idea is to help smallholders intensify and commercialize their agriculture. This multi-centre research program, which focuses on promising livestock and fish value chains in Latin America, Asia and Africa, will make its scientific research relevant by fostering the leap from individual learning to sustainable livelihood outcomes and impacts through an integrated capacity development approach paying particular attention to gender issues and women’s empowerment.

Read the full post on the CGIAR Development Dialogues blog

Filed under: Capacity Development, CapDev, CGIAR, CRP37, ILRI, Value Chains

Knowledge clearinghouse gives research methods and best practices on value chain performance

Source: Value Chains Knowledge Clearinghouse

Value chain development and assessment is at the heart of the livestock and fish research program. In the past three years, a useful collaboration has been created with the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) to develop, test and refine various tools a and approaches to our value chain work.

The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets has launched a Value Chains Knowledge Clearinghouse to provide a comprehensive and accessible repository of research methods and best practices surrounding value chain performance that can be used by all CGIAR research programs and partners.

The Clearinghouse also will help practitioners and specialists:

  • Identify key constraints and opportunities in value chains;
  • Evaluate opportunities for upgrading value chains;
  • Optimize and prioritize investment in institutional arrangements and value chain infrastructure;
  • Improve equity and reduce poverty in developing countries through improved market access, technical innovation, information, and improved efficiency to reduce marketing margins and increase farm gate prices;
  • Expand labor opportunities for women and the landless and boost the incomes of rural households;
  • Promote risk-coping mechanisms for farmers; and
  • Increase the quality of farmers’ products, thereby improving food security.

Visit the clearinghouse

More information on the livestock and fish value chain assessment toolkit and work done in different focus countries

Updates on livestock and fish value chain development

Filed under: CGIAR, CRP2, CRP37, Value Chains

Opportunities in the global fish food system

Fish is one of the most important sources of animal protein. It represents a low cost source of high quality protein, fatty acids and micronutrients that are essential for brain development in young children and part of a healthy diet.

As the global population increases to 9 billion by 2050, the global demand for fish will also increase. The global fish food system will face considerable challenges including over-fishing, climate change and environmental problems such as pollution and ocean acidification as the need to provide more fish grows.

Read the full post on the CGIAR Development Dialogues blog

Filed under: Aquaculture, CGIAR, CRP13, CRP37, Fish, Value Chains, WorldFish

Research shows more people are drinking milk in Tanzania

ILRI scientists and partners in Tanzania speak out in today’s Tanzania Daily Times explaining that annual per capita milk consumption [in Tanzania] has increased by about 39 per cent from 28 litres to 39 litres.

“Available country statistics show that improved cattle are only 3 per cent of the total 19 million but they are growing at 6 per cent. However, milk supply stands are around 1.6 billion litres per year and one of the reasons why the milk drinking culture is returning,” he said.

Read the full article that reports on the work of the “More Milk in Tanzania” project. It is funded by Irish Aid and contributes to the program’s dairy value chain development in the country.

More program news from Tanzania

Filed under: Africa, Cattle, CRP37, Dairying, ILRI, LGI, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Value Chains

Livestock and Fish program consultant assignment: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (closing date 28 August 2014)

ILRI Communications:

The program seeks to recruit a consultant to conduct a comprehensive and analytical literature review of the understanding, production, measurement and monitoring of International Public Goods (IPGs) with its activities.

Full application details

Originally posted on ILRI jobs:

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to hire a consultant to conduct a comprehensive and analytical literature review of the understanding, production, measurement and monitoring of International Public Goods (IPGs) in a wide range of research and development undertakings.

ILRI works with partners worldwide to enhance the roles that livestock play in food security and poverty alleviation, principally in Africa and Asia. The outcomes of these research partnerships help people in developing countries keep their farm animals’ alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases.

ILRI is a not-for-profit institution with a staff of about 700 and in 2014, an operating budget of about USD83 million. A member of the CGIAR Consortium working for a food-secure future, ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia…

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Filed under: CRP37, Impact Assessment

Integrating improved feeding practices to enhance reproductive and Fattening performance in community-based sheep breeding programs in Ethiopia

Participants of the CBBP workshop

Participants of the Workshop, ILRI Campus, Addis Ababa, July, 23-24, 2014

An in-depth analysis of the Ethiopian Small Ruminant Value Chain identified “feeding” as one of the key intervention areas to mitigate under-performance of sheep and goat production and productivity in the country.

The International center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) recently invited livestock breeders, livestock nutritionists and socio-economists from partner research centers to a consultative workshop to discuss ways to modify existing feeding strategies in sheep flocks in the context of the ongoing Community-Based Sheep Breeding Program in Ethiopia.

The 2–day workshop identified scenarios on sheep fattening and ewe feeding that would inform interventions to improve lamb fattening performance and ewe reproductive performance.

Participants discuss on the CBBP workshop

The next step for the participants is to undertake on-farm fattening scenarios with sheep farmers in CBBP that will assess the economic viability of fattening lambs for peak festive seasons vis a vis fattening for the off-peak low season markets as well as ewe supplementation. Appropriate site specific feeding strategies and market linkages will be incorporated and facilitated in the interventions.

More news from Ethiopia

Story by Jane Wamatu (ICARDA-Ethiopia)

Filed under: Animal Breeding, CBPP, CRP37, East Africa, Ethiopia, Event, Feeds, Goats, ICARDA, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains