CRP 3.7 News

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

Living from milk: Dairy innovation platform experiences from Tanzania

Multi-stakeholder innovation platforms are one of the most important mechanisms employed in the Livestock and Fish program to build alliances and engagement with different research and development partners. They are also important as potential ways to build momentum to test and apply promising technologies and interventions at scale.

In recent years the Program in Tanzania – focused on dairy development – has been linking up with different local and national stakeholders. One of the most promising partnerships has been with the Tanga Dairy Platform.

To learn from the platform’s experiences, the International Livestock Research Institute recently produced three photo films telling stories from platform stakeholders.

The 5-minute film below tells the story of the platform and how it is helping dairy farmers improve their milk production and sales:

Watch 2 related films:

View more videos on innovation systems and platforms

Read a series of innovation platform practice briefs


Filed under: Africa, CRP37, Dairying, East Africa, Film and Video, ILRI, Innovation Systems, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Value Chains

Update on Ethiopia small ruminant value chain development program

On 13 and 14 June, partners in the Ethiopia sheep and goats value chain development projects met to develop a strategy and implementation plan for the coming years.

Barbara Rischkowsky, ICARDA value chain leader gave an update of progress so far in the value chain development program:


See also a presentation by Annet Mulema on gender in the Ethiopia small ruminant value chain

More information on Livestock and Fish program events and workshops

Filed under: Africa, CRP37, East Africa, Ethiopia, Goats, ICARDA, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

Is aquaculture pro-poor? Some answers from Bangladesh

Woman showing fish caught from her pond in Khulna, Bangladesh (image: WorldFish)

The Livestock and Fish research program works on meat, milk and fish by and for the poor. One of its target countries is Bangladesh where program partner WorldFish leads work contributing to the CGIAR Research Programs on Aquatic Agricultural Systems and Livestock and Fish.

A new article by Kazi Ali Toufique from the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and Ben Belton, a WorldFish scientist, provides proof of the long suspected link between aquaculture and poverty reduction.

By analyzing changes in fish consumption in Bangladesh between 2000 and 2010, the report proves conclusively that growth in aquaculture has led to greater fish consumption among the poorest consumers in Bangladesh.

While it had previously been considered that the benefits of the growth in aquaculture were derived mainly from increased employment, the study demonstrates a stronger link to the health benefits of eating more fish.

Read a WorldFish news announcement

Download the full article in World Development

Read a blogpost by WorldFish director general Stephen Hall

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

Egypt aquaculture value chain development: Past trends, current status and likely future directions

As part of the initial value chain development process supported by the Livestock and Fish research program, each of the target value chains carried out a ‘situation analysis’ to assess the conditions within which the target value chains in the selected country operates. It aims to set broader national contexts for rapid and in-depth value chain assessments and analysis at sites or small geographical scales through the subsequent research activities.

The situation analysis report for Egypt provides a situational analysis of the aquaculture value chain conducted in 2013/2014. It deals with the conditions within which the farmed fish value chain operates in Egypt and the general trends that exist in the environment.

Download the report

See other situation analysis reports


Filed under: Africa, Aquaculture, CRP37, Egypt, Fish, Livestock-Fish, North Africa, Value Chains, WorldFish

Burkina Faso strategic implementation planning workshop collects stakeholder inputs

Small ruminants are a key source of food and nutritional security to the people of Burkina Faso. They are also an important source of economic growth in a country that faces a growing gap between demand and supply of goat and sheep meat. These and other promising opportunities to reinforce smallholder farming in Burkina Faso motivated the decision by the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program to select the country as a focus for its research on small ruminants.

Discussion on research priorities in Burkina Faso was initiated at a stakeholder workshop in December 2013. A draft business case was presented that provided the rationale for work on this value chain.

Program activities have yet to take off in the ‘pays des hommes intègres’ but justice was done to recent work as the program now has a fleshed out set of activities for the next three to nine years – thanks to the Strategic Implementation plan (SIP) workshop.

Participants of the Burkina Faso small ruminants value chain strategy and implementation planning workshop, 14-15 July 2014On 14-15 July 2014, several Burkina Faso partners who had attended the December stakeholder consultation and a number of scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) hammered out the programmatic and operational elements of a strategy and implementation plan for the coming years.

This workshop, which follows similar workshops in Ethiopia and Tanzania, helped everyone review what the program is all about and what preliminary activities have taken place in Burkina Faso, such as tentative site selection, initial scoping studies, etc.

The first morning, participants share their insights and recommendations on:

  • Soft criteria for the selection of action sites – a particularly interesting discussion which emphasized the importance of collection markets, the presence of partners, the development potential and availability of inputs for that potential to become a reality;
  • The vision of the small ruminants value chain by 2023 and a set of objectives that would enthuse local organizations to work together towards that agenda;
  • Some idea of the development and research outcomes that a program like Livestock and Fish should seek;
  • and an idea of the strategic partners who should absolutely be involved in such an initiative.

From the afternoon of the first day until the end of the second day, ILRI scientists further developed and integrated the stakeholder inputs into the template of the Strategy and Implementation Plan (or ‘SIP’) which will guide program activities in the value chain for the next nine years.

In a country where small ruminants play a strategic role in local consumption patterns, the Livestock and Fish Program hopes to make a significant dent into transforming the value chain and providing more animal source food for the poor, and hopefully by or with them at the same time.

Read notes and presentations from the meeting

Read the report from the December 2013 stakeholder workshop: Rapport de l’atelier sur le Programme de Développement des Chaines de Valeur des Petits Ruminants au Burkina Faso, 16 et 17 Décembre 2013 à Ouagadougou

Article by Ewen Le Borgne and Evelyn Katingi

Filed under: Burkina Faso, CRP37, Goats, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains, West Africa

Bangladesh aquaculture value chain development: Trends, status and likely future directions

As part of the initial value chain development process supported by the Livestock and Fish research program, each of the target value chains carried out a ‘situation analysis’ to assess the conditions within which the target value chains in the selected country operates. It aims to set broader national contexts for rapid and in-depth value chain assessments and analysis at sites or small geographical scales through the subsequent research activities.

Fresh water prawn in BangladeshThe Bangladesh situational analysis that provides an assessment of past trends, current status, and likely future directions for the aquaculture value chain in Bangladesh has just been published.

The report is focused on: (i) the production and production systems of fish and shrimp; (ii) the consumption and expenditure of households; (iii) the value addition and marketing system; (iv) the export and import of fish; (v) inputs and services such as fish health, fish genetics, feeds, knowledge systems, access to credit, etc. (vi) food safety related to fish; (vii) the competitiveness of the fisheries sector; (viii) value chain governance; (ix) externalities; (x) aquaculture development strategies and activities; (xi) the research and development partnership; and (xii) a review of the opportunities for pro-poor fish value-chain development.

Past trends, current status, and likely future directions of the aquaculture value chain

There are approximately 795 native species of fish and shrimp in the freshwater and marine waters of Bangladesh and 12 exotic species that have been introduced.

The GIFT strain of tilapia (Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia) was developed through collaborative research initiated by WorldFish during the 1990s. GIFT was developed to enhance production traits of tilapia, a commercially important fish species. Presently, more than 95% of tilapia hatcheries and farms of Bangladesh are growing the GIFT strain, and farmers are reportedly satisfied with the strain, but there are concerns about whether the strain has been adequately maintained.

Household fish consumption and expenditure: Historically the Bangladeshi people have a strong preference for fish, which forms an important part of their customs and culture. Almost all households consumed fish at least once a week. Fish is the most important animal food source in Bangladesh, accounting for more than 60% of the total intake.

Gender issues: Pond aquaculture is an appropriate entry point for empowerment of women; it offers opportunities, particularly for middle-class household women’s movements outside the homestead, while for poor women, social restriction working outside has not been followed due to economic imperatives.

Production and feed: The most important cost factor in aquaculture is the cost of feed.

Fish health and disease control; Prevention against fish disease is becoming an increasingly important issue, and disease induced mortality is a serious issue for the fish seed industry. However, diseases are not a major constraint to improving fish production in Bangladesh at present; poor quality of fingerlings due to poor brood selection and inbreeding are a major issue. Cost-effective methods to accurately and quickly detect fish-borne diseases are now available to farmers.

Feed competition and impacts on ecosystem health; A comprehensive analysis released by WorldFish and Conservation International (CI) has investigated the environmental impact of the world’s major aquaculture production systems and species. It concludes that the demand for aquaculture products will continue to grow over the next two decades as a key source of animal protein for growing urban populations, and that the industry needs to meet this demand with improved efficiencies and reduced environmental impacts.

Download the report

See other situation analysis reports


Filed under: Aquaculture, Asia, Bangladesh, CRP37, Fish, South Asia, Value Chains, WorldFish

Update on “Maziwa Zaidi” — Tanzania dairy value chain development program

On 25 and 26 June, partners in the Tanzania dairy value chain development projects met to develop a strategy and implementation plan for the coming years.

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



See also a presentation by Annet Mulema on gender in the Ethiopia small ruminant value chain

More information on Livestock and Fish program events and workshops

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

Uganda smallholder pig value chain actors form association

ILRI staff in discussions with farmers, Kamuli district, Uganda‘Pig farmers in Uganda have decided to form a mutually-aided association for better marketing of their products and as a forum for sharing ideas.

‘A steering committee chaired by former executive director of Uganda Investment Authority, Maggie Kigozi, was elected by farmers during a pig farmers’ training, which took place from July 11 to 12, to kick-start the eventual formation of the Uganda Pig Farmers Association (UPFA).

The training, second to be held this year after one held in February, was organized by the Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Ltd (PPM). Christopher Mulindwa, PPM production manager noted that Uganda was a long way from exporting pig products because current production cannot even satisfy the local market.

Marketing issues in the Ugandan smallholder pig value chains are some of the constraints identified by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) pig projects operating in Uganda. The Livestock and Fish team in Uganda supports the formation of the association which they have noted as one of the ways for improving pig production in Uganda. The Uganda team has been taking part in the trainings organized by PPM as resource persons and also conducting training sessions on various topics.

Working with partners such as PPM contributes to key elements of the Livestock and Fish approach of working along the entire value chain with producers, input providers, traders, processors and consumers. ILRI has been providing technical support and information to PPM, a private company in Uganda, that would make it more effective.

Danilo Pezo, coordinator of the Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development (SPVCD) project gave the opening remark for the two-day training, emphasizing on the constraints and opportunities in the pig sector found through ILRI’s work in Uganda and Kristina Roesel, coordinator of the Safe Food Fair Food project conducted a training session on pig zoonoses.

Read the whole article by Stephen Kafeero in the Daily Monitor: Pig farmers to form association, 30 Jul 2014.

Watch a video on the pig farmers training: Improving piggery: Pig farmers considering exportation of pork


Filed under: CRP37, East Africa, Pigs, Uganda, Value Chains

Moving forward on competitive beef and dairy in Nicaragua

The Central America team of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish started out this year with the launch of the project ‘Competitive beef and dairy through sustainable intensification and specialized market access in Nicaragua‘, with the objective of improving the competitiveness and income of small and medium cattle farmers in Nicaragua through the implementation of good farm management practices and the creation and strengthening of sustainable beef and dairy value chains.

Livestock and Fish press conference to present the competitive beef and dairy through sustainable intensification and specialized market access project

Rein Van der Hoek being interviewed by journalists (photo credit: CIAT/Shadi Azadegan).

To begin the project’s implementation, a press conference was organized to introduce the project to local media and partners, as well as a project launch event in the municipality of Matiguás, the selected project implementation site located in the department of Matagalpa. Meetings and events were conducted with partners to synergize interventions and optimize joint resource use.

Local technicians were recruited to aid in the various steps involved in this process, undergoing a training period on various themes, emphasizing gender, with the objective of developing an inclusive approach to women and youth, while understanding the main gender-based constraints and roles present in farm families.

Through a joint effort between collaborating partners, a questionnaire was developed based on information provided by local implementation partner Nicacentro, a dairy farmer cooperative based in Matiguás. The themes covered in the questionnaire include carbon monitoring elements such as land use, silvopastoral interventions, and forest use. Additionally, an initial analysis of greenhouse gas emissions related to feed rations, and milk and meat value chains were included, and the questionnaire was adapted to include gender-disaggregated data.

Data collection was completed by the second week of July 2014, providing results based on which 60 farms will be identified for carbon and greenhouse gas-related monitoring. As part of the project’s research component, a methodology has been developed for monitoring and quantifying carbon accumulation for different land uses and greenhouse gas emissions, emphasizing methane and nitrous oxide.

Promoting the project’s capacity building component, the requirements for farmer capacity development have been analyzed, and farmers are being selected to participate in the 20 farmer field schools which are being established on norms for sustainable livestock production.

Through the strategic combination of research, capacity-building, and market incentive components, the project aims for the sustainable intensification and climate change adaptation of smallholder farms, while introducing a business opportunity in specialized markets through a certification process with internationally recognized standards, ultimately leading to the expected project impacts of poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, and capacity building within the target group.

Filed under: Cattle, Central America, CIAT, CRP37, Dairying, Livestock, Nicaragua

Livestock and Fish external evaluation update 3 – CCEE field visit schedule

The Livestock and Fish CRP Commissioned External Evaluation (CCEE) team has finalized the dates for their field work in each of the targeted value chains. The finalized schedule has now been agreed upon by all stakeholders and available in the below table.

Location Time frame Activity Person in charge Kenya 11-15 Aug present and revise inception report; key informant interviews; meetings with evaluation support team Doyle Baker – lead evaluator Ethiopia 16-23 Aug start up meeting; review small ruminants value chain Doyle Baker, Ander Speedy – support evaluator Uganda 23-30 Aug review smallholder pigs value chain Doyle Baker, Ander Speedy Tanzania 31 Aug – 6 Sept review smallholder dairy value chain Doyle Baker, Ander Speedy Egypt 6-12 Sept review consumption and nutrition of the small medium-scale aquaculture value chain Doyle Baker, John Hambrey – support evaluator

You can 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: Impact Assessment

Livestock and Fish Program supports dairy value chain collaboration challenges in Kampala

On 8 May 2014 the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program supported the Global Knowledge Initiative’s (GKI) dairy value chain collaboration colloquium in Kampala.

The Collaboration Colloquium brought together participants representing research, business, development organizations, and government to share knowledge, build skills, and explore opportunities for partnership. These activities were aimed at addressing challenges offered by seven individuals or “Challengers” working in the dairy value chain: Clayton Arinanye of the Uganda Crane Creameries Cooperative Union; Fred Kabi of Makerere University; James Lwerimba of World Wide Sires; Billy Butamanya of the Uganda Cooperative Alliance; Henry Njakoi of Heifer International; Tom Sillayo of Faida Market Link (Faida MaLi); and Mayasa Simba of the Tanzania Dairy Board.

The event featured four facilitated steps designed to reveal possible pathways to partnership: (1) identifying shared goals; (2) mapping key aspects of the challenge; (3) identifying resources for strategic action; and (4) testing and strengthening ideas.

Milking a cow in Tanzania

The Livestock and Fish Program sponsored three Tanzania dairy value chain partners who participated as challengers in the event:

  1. Mayasa Simba, acting registrar, Tanzania Dairy Board
  2. Henry Njakoi, country director, Heifer International, Tanzania
  3. Tom Sillayo, general manager, Faida Market Link (Faida MaLi)

Challenges like poor access to veterinary care, inadequate knowledge of breeding practices, and insufficient market access make it difficult for farmers, processors, and other stakeholders to capture the full benefits of dairy production in East Africa.

Overcoming these multi-faceted challenges requires integrated solutions that maximize the expertise and engagement of stakeholders all along the dairy value chain. The Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) designed the Dairy Value Chain Collaboration Colloquium to spur the creation of such solutions.

The Tanzania dairy value chain partners were able to refine the challenges they are addressing in Tanzania dairy, increase the networks for solving common problems and access to seed money USD 20,000, a challenge prize organized by GKI, that would be available to crystallize action for concepts around the challenges that win.

More details are in the colloquium report:

Filed under: CRP37, Dairying, East Africa, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Value Chains

Livestock and Fish program and GIZ meet to explore partnership

Locating randomly selected householdsTo enable its research achieve more impact at scale, the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program has put great effort in working together with global, regional and local partners. On 12 June 2014, Tom Randolph and Michael Peters, program director and program representative from CIAT respectively, met with  German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) representatives to explore such partnership possibilities.

The meeting held at GIZ offices in Germany aimed to create some action partnerships between the program and the German agency. GIZ is an implementing organization and such a partnership would contribute to the program’s aim of translating research into use and achieving impact at scale. The CGIAR program on the other hand offers a great opportunity for GIZ to apply scientifically developed intervention packages to its work. The Livestock and Fish program aims to move beyond the ongoing case-by-case cooperation with GIZ and look for more strategic, long-term partnership potentials.

Presentations by Tom Randolph and Michel Bernhardt, Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development (GIZ-BEAF) structured the meeting discussion.

In his presentation, Randolph gave an overview of the program’s structure and outlined some of the reasons for partnering with GIZ:

  • To tap into broad expertise and long experience related to livestock and aquaculture value chain development;
  • Would allow the program to draw from GIZ successful strategies to validate and scale out in the program’s target value chains;
  • To use GIZ projects as a mechanism for scaling out Livestock and Fish program research products;
  • To create synergies with GIZ infrastructure and networks where geographical focus overlaps.

Michel Bernhardt, provided a review of GIZ and outlined potential areas of cooperation:

  • GIZ as “uptaker“ and implementer of CGIAR innovations (scale!);
  • Joint research and studies of CGIAR and GIZ;
  • Joint program of research and development between CGIAR and GIZ (research in development, monitoring and evaluation, evidence-based development cooperation).

Bernhardt also reviewed some potential country-specific collaboration areas such as sustainable agriculture development, biodiversity, natural resource management and climate change in the program’s value chain countries including Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Nicaragua.

From the meeting, it was noted that there was a clear interest from both sides to engage stronger mutual partnerships. The development of more joint research projects in aquaculture/water management in Egypt and Bangladesh, livestock/eco-efficient agriculture in Nicaragua were some of the potential areas that both organizations would be keen on working on together.

People participating in the meeting included: Wolfgang Kasten (GIZ BEAF), Klaus Michel (GIZ BEAF), Carola von Morstein (GIZ Livestock), Kathrin Steinberg (GIZ Fisheries) and Kai Wiegler (GIZ Fisheries).


Filed under: CRP37, Partnership

Forages project wins 2014 CGIAR-US university linkages proposal through Livestock and Fish program

Sustainable intensification of crop-livestock systems through improved forages’ is this year’s CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish and US university linkages winning proposal. The proposal was submitted by Birthe Paul and Rolf Sommer, scientists from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and supported by Claudio Stockle of Washington State University. Other CGIAR collaborators are An Notenbaert and Brigitte Maass, CIAT scientists and Ben Lukuyu and Alan Duncan, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) scientists.

The proposals submitted were reviewed by four research leaders drawn from the Livestock and Fish Program partner centres, ILRI, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), WorldFish and CIAT. The winning proposal ranked highest on the following weighted criteria; contribution to program priorities, potential to leverage new funding, engagement wof multiple centres, promotion of cross-centre and cross-CGIAR Research Program collaboration, value for money, leverage of new expertise and potential for strategic partnerships.

According to the proposal, ‘Tropical forage technologies have been promoted in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for sustainable intensification of crop-livestock systems. However, there are few studies from sub-Saharan Africa quantifying impacts on natural resource management. The main deliverable is a quantitative review of productivity and environmental impacts of improved forage technologies in sub-Saharan Africa and their uptake which will set the scene for the subsequent analysis.

‘The core of the proposed activities is cooperation with Claudio Stöckle, Professor at Washington State University and creator of CropSyst. The collaboration will calibrate CropSyst for selected forages, support ongoing work on adding inter-cropping to the functionalities of CropSyst and apply it in case studies in the region. Impacts of baseline and improved livestock diets will also be modeled with the CSIRO hosted ruminant model. The main deliverable for this activity is a set of case studies on environmental impacts of forages currently tested on-farm in Tanzania.

CropSyst is a widely-used cropping system model to simulate the growth and yield of crops in response to soil and climatic conditions under a range of environmental effects including soil C dynamics, N2O emissions, N leaching, soil erosion and soil water dynamics. It is well calibrated for many food crops, but less so for fodder crops.

Filed under: CIAT, Crop-Livestock, CRP37, Feeds, Forages, Partnership, Research, Southern Africa, Tanzania

Livestock and Fish call for proposals: Strengthening cross-CRP collaboration

The Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program is making a call for proposals to encourage collaboration with other CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs). The call targets CRP researchers with innovative ideas for strategic activities that would create synergies contributing to the outputs and outcomes of the Livestock and Fish Program and other CRPs.

The purpose of this call is to promote cross-CRP collaboration through initiatives identified at researcher level that clearly contribute to priorities of the Livestock and Fish Program and the collaborating CRP and demonstrate the types of synergies that can be achieved by working together.

The proposal call with application details can be downloaded from HERE. Proposals are due on 31 July and decisions will be circulated by August 30th.

Filed under: CRP37, Partnership

A meeting of minds – Livestock and Fish program kicks off collaboration with SNV

Following the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, staff from SNV’s global Dairy and Extensive Livestock Commodity Teams met in Nairobi on 27 May 2014 with scientists from ILRI and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

The meeting aimed to help the various partners map interests and expertise as a basis for further collaboration.

The meeting focused around collaboration in dairying and around extensive livestock systems:

  • Climate smart dairy
  • Feed and fodder for dairy
  • Building knowledge and skills within the diary sector
  • Milk quality
  • Production, productivity and processing in smallholder dairy
Extensive Livestock
  • Extensive livestock production systems
  • Extensive livestock marketing systems
  • Extensive livestock and climate change
  • Access to business development services for extensive livestock

The team agreed to work on the following areas:

  • Share available studies and data
  • Work together to prepare research proposals
  • Collaboration on existing initiatives
  • Organize collaboration sets around signature issues
  • Conduct new research and carry out documentation together
  • Work to make research evidence applicable in field contexts
  • Strengthen gender and youth equity practice and research

In a similar vein, on 5 June, the teams from SNV, ILRI and CIAT held a second round of meeting to explore collaboration in value chain development and gender in agriculture. Agreement was made for working groups to:

  • Establish individual connections among all the delegates
  • Initiate ongoing dialogue between parties in order to deepen gender understanding and possibilities
  • Map out work that is going on and identify overlapping interests in value chain development
  • Identify specific areas on which to commence joint work
  • Work together to prepare research proposals

Stuart Worsley, head of development partnership, Livestock and Fish program and Jurjen Draaijer, from SNV have been tasked to take this work forward.

Download the meeting report: A Meeting of Minds: Report from discussions between SNV and the Livestock and Fish research program, Nairobi, 27 May 2014

Filed under: CIAT, CRP37, Dairying, ILRI, Partnership, Value Chains

Livestock and Fish 2013 report highlights progress

The Livestock and Fish program’s second annual ‘performance monitoring report‘ provides insights into its progress, results and challenges in the past year.

In 2011, the program proposed a new model to enhance the relevance, urgency and impact of its research. The approach is designed to bring together collective capacity with CGIAR and other partners to develop and deliver appropriate integrated solutions for the pro-poor transformation of selected value chains. This is a new way of working for CGIAR centers that requires reorienting capacity, mobilizing new resources and establishing new types of partnerships and capacity to engage effectively in the selected value chains.

The past year was one of continuing consolidation and an evolving appreciation of the challenges in implementing such an approach. The larger share of the program devoted to technology development that supports sustainable livestock and aquaculture intensification demonstrated good progress. A key achievement was to secure major new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to lead an initiative on East Coast fever vaccine development.

The part of the program responsible for engagement in the selected value chains gained momentum with increased activity in four of the nine target value chains. Two value chains (aquaculture in Uganda and small ruminants in Mali) were not feasible and the program re-directed this effort towards aquaculture in Bangladesh and small ruminants in Burkina Faso. Work advanced in the remaining three value chains at a modest level of activity while adequate bilateral funding is sought.

The program faced three main challenges in 2013. The first has been to manage adaptively the under-resourced, yet overly ambitious plan of work described in the program proposal.

A second challenge has been to develop the appropriate internal capacity and modalities to implement the value chain approach proposed by the program.

The final major challenge—shared across CGIAR—is developing the appropriate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and performance management frameworks.

Two major achievements

The report highlights two achievements by the Feed and Forages team. Both are significant in that they represent a new generation of increasingly sophisticated ‘smart’ research outputs that address multiple objectives. Both are intended to increase the supply and quality of feed resources that will translate into more productive and profitable livestock systems and more highly nutritious animal-source food on the plate of the poor. One also works to reduce the competition between food and feed for agricultural resources, the other reduces the potential trade-off between livestock production and climate change.

The first key breakthrough in 2013 was a proof-of-concept that we can breed a tropical pasture grass that can significantly suppress greenhouse-gas emissions by increasing N use efficiency, reducing N2O emissions and increasing carbon accumulation. CIAT scientists were able to include level of Biological Nitrification Inhibition (BNI) as a breeding objective for Brachiaria humidicola hybrids recently developed, and demonstrate that effects from BNI from B. humidicola pastures can be measured in a succeeding maize crop which suggests the greenhouse-gas benefits.

The second achievement was publication of a special issue of the journal Field Crops Research (September 2013) devoted to dual purpose maize marked two major milestones. First, it established a technology of maize breeding for improved feed quality that does not compromise the food production value of the plant. Second, it provided evidence of the demand it can address and ways to promote its uptake. By improving whole plant utilization, cultivars selected for the combined traits of grain production and stover quality reduce competition between maize grown for food versus that used primarily for animal feed.

The report also reports on progress of the program’s support to research on the principal technology drivers of productivity and intensification in livestock and aquaculture systems: animal health, genetics and (animal) nutrition. It gives insights into progress in the country-based value chain transformation projects and updates on the program’s gender research, environmental research as well as the partnerships to achieve impact at scale.

Download the report

Filed under: Animal Feeding, CGIAR, CRP37, Feeds, Livestock-Fish, Report

Aquculture – Minimizing environmental impacts, encouraging sustainable growth

The world’s appetite for fish is steadily growing. Finfish and shellfish currently make up one-sixth of the animal protein people consume globally.

As the global wild fish catch peaked in the 1990s, aquaculture—or fish farming—has grown rapidly to meet world fish demand, more than doubling production between 2000 and 2012.

New research shows that aquaculture production will need to more than double again between now and 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population.

The question is: Can aquaculture grow sustainably?

The World Resources Institute (WRI), WorldFish, the World Bank, INRA, and Kasetsart University explore this question in a new paper on improving the productivity and environmental performance of aquaculture. The authors examine aquaculture’s environmental footprint today and explores various scenarios of aquaculture growth to 2050. It suggests strategies to lessen aquaculture’s environmental impacts while also ensuring that fish farming provides employment and nutritious food to millions more people.

It is the latest installment of the 2013–2014 World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future that profiles a menu of solutions to help feed more than 9 billion people by 2050 in a manner that advances economic development and reduces pressure on the environment.

Download the full report:

WorldFish press release: Farmed fish production must more than double by 2050, new analysis finds

WRI blog post: Sustainable fish farming: 5 Strategies to get aquaculture growth right

Filed under: Aquaculture, CRP37, Environment, Fish, Targeting, WorldFish

Webinar – improving the productivity and environmental performance of aquaculture

On World Environment Day (June 5), the World Resources Institute (WRI), WorldFish, the World Bank, INRA, and Kasetsart University will release the newest installment of the 2013–14 World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future, “Improving Productivity and Environmental Performance of Aquaculture.”

This working paper examines the implications of doubling aquaculture production between now and 2050, and offers recommendations to ensure that aquaculture growth contributes to a sustainable food future.

On 5 June, the World Resources Institute hosts a presentation and discussion in Washington DC with three of the paper’s authors, Richard Waite (WRI), Michael Phillips (WorldFish), and Randall Brummett (World Bank).

WHEN: Thursday, June 5 from 10:00–11:30 AM (EDT)

The discussion will include:
• The challenge of sustainably feeding more than 9 billion people by 2050
• Trends in fisheries and aquaculture, with a focus on aquaculture’s growth potential
• Results from a new life cycle assessment by WorldFish and Kasetsart University that estimates environmental impacts of aquaculture in 2050 under several growth scenarios
• Case studies of improvements in aquaculture productivity and environmental performance from around the world
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Filed under: Aquaculture, CRP37, Environment, Targeting, WorldFish

Pig value chains assessment results shared with Uganda local leaders and farmers

The Uganda Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development (SPVCD) project held three feedback workshops in November 2013 to train facilitators and to disseminate results of the value chain assessment conducted in three districts (Kamuli, Masaka and Mukono). The aim of the assessment was to characterize the pig production and marketing systems, identify constraints and opportunities faced by different actors of the value chain, select potential interventions for pilot testing and identify key elements and variables to consider for benchmarking surveys.

Uganda Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development (SPVCD) project feedback workshops in November 2013

Participants from VEDCO preparing the materials in Lusoga language to be used in feedback sessions in Kamuli

As a preliminary step, 16 project partner institutions facilitators from the local governments of Kamuli, Mukono and Masaka and the Voluntary Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO), as well as four local consultants involved in the collection of value chain assessment data were briefed on the key results of the assessment and trained on how to deliver information to farmers. Materials were prepared in the local languages (Luganda for Masaka and Mukono, and Lusoga for Kamuli) for the feedback sessions with farmers.

After the training workshop, the project team conducted feedback sessions in Masaka and Mukono to present the results of the assessment with particular emphasis on the constraints and opportunities that can be exploited as a means of households poverty alleviation in rural and peri-urban communities. In both districts participants were representatives of the local government, National Agriculture Advisory Service (NAADS), farmer organizations and NGOs working with smallholder pig producers. Thirty two participants (22 male, 10 female), attended in Masaka and 37 participants (25 male, 12 female) in Mukono. The feedback sessions in Kamuli will be held in June 2014.

The facilitators then conducted village-level feedback sessions in 15 villages in Masaka and 12 villages in Mukono. These activities were coordinated by the district veterinary officers (Drs. Lawrence Mayega and David Kiryabwire, for Masaka and Mukono, respectively). A total of 1015 farmers (762 female, 253 male) participated in the feedback sessions in Masaka, and 810 (560 female, 250 male) in Mukono.

Uganda Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development (SPVCD) project feedback workshops in November 2013

Participants in the value chain assessment feedback workshop for local authorities and partners in Mukono district

The feedback sessions generated positive comments from participants:

‘This is one of the few projects operating in Mukono that has reported to stakeholders on the results of the studies conducted in the district. The information provided is very valuable, because we learnt about the constraints and opportunities in the pig sector of the district that will help us in the local government to plan activities in favor of the smallholder pig farmers operating in peri-urban and rural settings in Mukono district. We look forward to continuing joint efforts with ILRI for improving the pig value chains in our district’ said Fred Muluku, district production officer of Mukono.

‘After the district authorities and ILRI conducted the focus group discussions, we realized the need to move from an association to a cooperative, and now we have more than 100 farmer members, and the cooperative has been formalized. We are convinced that working together as a group we can learn better practices for producing pigs at small scale, but also empowers ourselves to get better prices in the market, have access to quality inputs, and even to credit. Also, is in our plans to develop facilities for proper slaughtering of pigs. We need the assistance and guidance of the ILRI team, the district veterinary officer, NAADS and other institutions in Masaka to find ways of improving pig production in our communities. The results presented in the feedback workshop has opened our eyes on what we need to improve in our farms’ said Samuel Ssekyondwa, secretary of the recently formed Kabonera-Kyanamukaka Pig Farmers Cooperative.

More news from the Uganda value chain

Article authored by Brian Kawuma and Danilo Pezo (ILRI)

Filed under: CRP37, East Africa, Pigs, Project, Uganda