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.

Current status of dairy cow feeding in the Ethiopian Central Highlands and some recommendations for promising technologies

Current status of dairy cow feeding in the Ethiopian Central Highlands and some recommendations for promising technologies Mogus, S. This leaflet is an extract from a study commissioned by SNV Support to Business Organisation and the Access to Markets Program (BOAM) in its Milk and Milk Products Value Chain Sub-program. The study focused on the client farmers’ and members of dairy farmer cooperatives’ state of knowledge and practice of feeding dairy animals in Jimma, Addis Alem, Debre Markos, Sululta and Selale. The leaflet highlights the major on the current status of feeding practices for dairy animals and some recommendations which can be used for most of the Central Highlands of Ethiopia.

Participatory evaluation of planted forages in Ada’a, Miesso and Alamata woredas of Ethiopia

Participatory evaluation of planted forages in Ada’a, Miesso and Alamata woredas of Ethiopia Adie, A.; Duncan, A.J.; Ergano, K. The IFAD-funded Fodder Adoption Project facilitated local fodder stakeholder platforms in three pilot learning woredas (Ada’a, Mieso and Alamata) starting in May 2008. Through these stakeholder platforms different fodder options were introduced to farmers with the aim of alleviating the feed scarcity problem for enhanced market-oriented livestock production. Through focus group discussions with farmers and other stakeholders, different forage species were selected by farmers to be planted on their farms. Farmers evaluated the performance and impact of the different forages they planted in 2008 and made further choices on which to plant in following years. The results of the initial evaluation process revealed that there were preferences for certain forage species from the various options they tried in their farms. During the second year, the farmers were encouraged to plant the forage species of their preference for further fodder development. Through the activities of the stakeholder platforms successful fodder species and the processes which led to their uptake have been scaled out to new kebeles and farmers in the three woredas. As a result, the number of farmers participating in forage development increased from 44 to 84 in Ada’a, from 40 to 80 in Miesso and remained at 20 in Alamata in both 2008 and 2009 planting seasons. A participatory forage evaluation was carried out in Sept 2010 to understand and document the farmers’ perceptions of the forages they had grown.

Scaling out project outcomes requires a 'special chemistry'

Scaling out project outcomes requires a 'special chemistry' International Livestock Research Institute 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 Werner Stür, formerly with CIAT in Vietnam, reports back on the discussions about scaling out in the project. The group talked a lot about the 'starting point' of scaling out - everybody agreed that a 'success story' is needed - a technology, perhaps a process, that at a particular site has provided a benefit for farmers and people see a potential for many others to take advantage of the success... He raises the issue of where scaling out should be done, who decides this and who is responsible for the scaling out. It seems there is no fixed methodology, but some guiding principles could be identified: - Many more stakeholders and actors need to be involved. We are not talking just of a technology, it is a process that needs other actors like traders, private sector, credit, etc - Political support is needed, from government, also excitement from the NGO sector and others - Many specialized capacities are needed, eg for targeting, facilitating, bringing together the actors - There is a big role for media and communications to get get the story out and help build consensus among all the actors Finally, he drew attention to some 'special skill' and motivations that are necessary to bring the stakeholders together: "The chemistry of the key stakeholder has to fit; if that's not working it becomes very very difficult." 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.

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.

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