Enhancing Livelihoods of Poor Livestock Keepers through Increased Use of Fodder: Project Outputs

Enhancing innovation in livestock value chains through networks: Lessons from fodder innovation case studies in developing countries

Enhancing innovation in livestock value chains through networks: Lessons from fodder innovation case studies in developing countries Ayele, S.; Duncan, A.J.; Larbi, A.; Truong Tan Khanh Fodder scarcity is a perennial problem for many smallholder farmers in developing countries. This paper discusses how fodder technologies and knowledge have been introduced and integrated in diverse livestock production systems in Ethiopia, Syria and Vietnam. A synthesis of lessons learnt shows that fodder innovation is triggered and diffused by actors interacting and learning in networks, and on farms. Fodder innovation, being only one element of livestock value chains, is sustainably enhanced when linked to other innovations and market-oriented activities that optimize productivity gains. Yet innovating smallholder farmers face systemic constraints to access markets, and need to organize in groups to exploit opportunities. The paper concludes that rather than treating innovation systems and value chain approaches to agricultural development as separate tools, the integration of their complementary features enhances smallholders’ innovation and market success.

Enhancing innovation in livestock value chains through networks: Lessons from fodder innovation case studies in developing countries

Enhancing innovation in livestock value chains through networks: Lessons from fodder innovation case studies in developing countries Ayele, S.; Duncan, A.J.; Larbi, A.; Truong Tan Khanh Fodder scarcity is a perennial problem for many smallholder farmers in developing countries. This paper discusses how fodder technologies and knowledge have been introduced and integrated in diverse livestock production systems in Ethiopia, Syria and Vietnam. A synthesis of lessons learnt shows that fodder innovation is triggered and diffused by actors interacting and learning in networks, and on farms. Fodder innovation, being only one element of livestock value chains, is sustainably enhanced when linked to other innovations and market-oriented activities that optimize productivity gains. Yet innovating smallholder farmers face systemic constraints to access markets, and need to organize in groups to exploit opportunities. The paper concludes that rather than treating innovation systems and value chain approaches to agricultural development as separate tools, the integration of their complementary features enhances smallholders’ innovation and market success.

Feed a key issue to manage livestock systems in transition

Feed a key issue to manage livestock systems in transition ILRI After a session of the the November 2010 Fodder Adoption Project (FAP) workshop in Laos, we recorded 'notes' of three world cafe hosts who collated cross-project lessons (from Ethiopia, Syria, and Vietnam) on three issues: Innovation approaches, feed assessment, and scaling out. Here Michael Blümmel of ILRI, reports back on the discussions about feed assessment in the project. He emphasized that feed is a key issue in determining livestock productivity and the overall economics of livestock system; it also concerns how much we are affecting the environment through, for example, greenhouse gas emissions. So feed is very much at the interface of the positive and negative effects of livestock. A key message from the workshop discussions is that we need to look at feed resources in a much wider context, in relation to systems, in relation to markets and in relation to improving value chains. He considers this a promising outcome as previously people focused on more limited technical entry points. Some other key issues: - The need to better understand feed gaps and demand. Are we looking to satisfy current needs, subsistence needs, or are we looking forward to the so called livestock revolution where farmers have to produce more, with fewer animals, for fast growing markets for animal products - Better defining what we mean by a feed gap? Is it defined in terms of how a farmer can produce more, or at a country level? - Are we focusing too much on the positive side of feeds ... and neglecting trade-off effects... land, water. We need to do much more in terms of balancing positive and negative effects. In conclusion, the group seems to agree that we should focus on livestock systems in 'transition' - trying to move people out of poverty (by increasing their productivity, increasing their production for markets) and believing that once they move out of agriculture, we are essentially looking at new livestock systems in the future. A video recorded after a session at the FAP Symposium on Feed in Smallholder Systems Luang Prabang, Laos, 18-19 November 2010.

Feed a key issue to manage livestock systems in transition

Feed a key issue to manage livestock systems in transition ILRI After a session of the the November 2010 Fodder Adoption Project (FAP) workshop in Laos, we recorded 'notes' of three world cafe hosts who collated cross-project lessons (from Ethiopia, Syria, and Vietnam) on three issues: Innovation approaches, feed assessment, and scaling out. Here Michael Blümmel of ILRI, reports back on the discussions about feed assessment in the project. He emphasized that feed is a key issue in determining livestock productivity and the overall economics of livestock system; it also concerns how much we are affecting the environment through, for example, greenhouse gas emissions. So feed is very much at the interface of the positive and negative effects of livestock. A key message from the workshop discussions is that we need to look at feed resources in a much wider context, in relation to systems, in relation to markets and in relation to improving value chains. He considers this a promising outcome as previously people focused on more limited technical entry points. Some other key issues: - The need to better understand feed gaps and demand. Are we looking to satisfy current needs, subsistence needs, or are we looking forward to the so called livestock revolution where farmers have to produce more, with fewer animals, for fast growing markets for animal products - Better defining what we mean by a feed gap? Is it defined in terms of how a farmer can produce more, or at a country level? - Are we focusing too much on the positive side of feeds ... and neglecting trade-off effects... land, water. We need to do much more in terms of balancing positive and negative effects. In conclusion, the group seems to agree that we should focus on livestock systems in 'transition' - trying to move people out of poverty (by increasing their productivity, increasing their production for markets) and believing that once they move out of agriculture, we are essentially looking at new livestock systems in the future. A video recorded after a session at the FAP Symposium on Feed in Smallholder Systems Luang Prabang, Laos, 18-19 November 2010.

Innovation approaches—Collective learning from the Fodder Adoption Project

Innovation approaches—Collective learning from the Fodder Adoption Project ILRI After a session of the the November 2010 Fodder Adoption Project (FAP) workshop in Laos, we recorded 'notes' of three world cafe hosts who collated cross-project lessons (from Ethiopia, Syria, and Vietnam) on three issues: Innovation approaches, feed assessment, and scaling out. Here Ranjitha Puskur of ILRI reports on the lessons on innovation approaches that have been tried in the project. The collective learning by the group revealed that the countries practiced diverse approaches and processes; however these approaches seem to work well when there is a good balance between technologies and the process, there are good market opportunities, and the approach is 'hybridized' with the value chains approach. She points out that these approaches are quite complex and facilitation intensive, who brokers this facilitation is a key factor that influences the outcomes. For stakeholder platforms of the kind supported in the project to be effective, it is clear that the actors who need to be involved need to clearly see their role, the incentives, and benefits they will get and so develop commitment to the process. Two missing aspects are: 1) how to reach out to policymakers at various levels that would enable scaling up and out of the project outputs, and 2) how to target communities and households so the benefits of these processes are captured locally, and not by the elite. She raised one other significant issue: monitoring and evaluation. We talk of 'innovation capacity building' as something we do in such projects, but what do we mean by this, and how do we capture the unintended benefits of projects that employ such innovation approaches? Do we really know enough about such approaches overall? There seems to be a big agenda here for further research and learning. A video recorded after a session at the FAP Symposium on Feed in Smallholder Systems Luang Prabang, Laos, 18-19 November 2010.