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On-site financial costs of soil erosion by runoff from the Mizewa catchment of the Blue Nile basin – A glimpse at NBDC science

Nile Basin Development Challenge: Project News -

This study was conducted in Mizewa watershed which is located in Blue Nile Basin (BNB) to estimate on-site financial cost of erosion in terms of yield reduction taking maize as representative crop. For this purpose, discharge measurement and runoff sampling was made during the rainy season of 2011 at the outlet of three sub watersheds within Mizewa catchment; lower Mizewa (MZ0), Upper Mizewa (MZ1) and Gindenewur (GN0).

The samples were filtered to separate the sediment which was subsampled for determination of suspended sediment concentration (SSC), sediment fixed NO3 -, NH4 + and available phosphorous (P) contents. The filtered water was used to assess dissolved nitrate and dissolved phosphate. The on-site financial cost of erosion was estimated based on productivity change approach (PCA) focusing on available NP losses.

The result revealed that the SSC and its NP content varied in space and time, in which higher and lower SSC occurred towards the beginning and end of the rainy season, respectively. The mean seasonal discharge was found to be 2.12±0.75, 1.49±0.52 and 0.57±0.20 m3/ sec at MZ0, MZ1 and GN0 stations in that order while the corresponding sediment concentration was 510±370 mg/l, 230±190 mg/l and 370±220 mg/l. This led to the total suspended sediment loss (SSL) of 4 ton/ha/year, 2 ton/ha/year and 3 ton/ha/year from the respective subwatersheds. The on-site financial cost due to N and P lost associated with SSL was estimated to be USD 200/ha, USD 186/ha and USD 227/ha from MZ0, MZ1 and GN0 watersheds, respectively.

The study revealed that the economic impacts of soil erosion which is variable based on the characteristics of land resources and management practices are immense and deserve due attention. The result may help in sensitizing both farmers and decision-makers about the risk of soil erosion and in targeting management practices to overcome the challenges.

Read the paper

See the full proceedings of the NBDC Science meeting

This paper was first presented at the Nile Basin Development Challenge Science meeting. The NBDC Science meeting was held on 9 and 10 July 2013 at the ILRI-Ethiopia campus, with the objectives to exchange experiences and research results across NBDC scientists involved in the NBDC projects and to discuss challenges and possible solutions.


Next-generation ‘cows of the future’

PA Clippings -

‘The Beautiful Horned, by Jean Dubuffet, 1954.

‘A White House climate initiative has boosted a quixotic search for the “cow of the future”, a next-generation creature whose greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by anti-methane pills, burp scanners and gas backpacks.

‘Carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is the primary man-made gas warming the planet, but methane is far more potent and the US’s biggest source of it is its 88m cattle, which produce more than landfill sites, natural gas leaks or hydraulic fracturing.

‘The Obama administration’s launch last month of a plan to curb methane emissions has given fresh relevance to climate-friendly technologies for cattle that range from dietary supplements and DNA gut tests to strap-on gas tanks.

‘Juan Tricarico, director of the Cow of the Future project at the Innovation Center for US Dairy, an Illinois research institute, said the initiative had boosted his quest to create the “star athlete” of the bovine world. . . .

Based on his research priorities, the dairy cow of the future will be the unstressed inhabitant of spacious accommodation, munching on anti-methane gourmet grains that are processed by an efficient, best-in-species digestive system.

“We want it to be more productive, we want it to be healthier, we want it to be a problem-free cow,” said Mr Tricarico . . . .’

Read the whole article by Barney Jopson in the Financial Times: Scientists seek climate-friendly cow of the future, 8 Apr 2014.


Filed under: Article, Cattle, Dairying, Genetics, ILRIComms, North America, PA, USA Tagged: Financial Times

Next-generation ‘cows of the future’

Clippings -

‘The Beautiful Horned, by Jean Dubuffet, 1954.

‘A White House climate initiative has boosted a quixotic search for the “cow of the future”, a next-generation creature whose greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by anti-methane pills, burp scanners and gas backpacks.

‘Carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is the primary man-made gas warming the planet, but methane is far more potent and the US’s biggest source of it is its 88m cattle, which produce more than landfill sites, natural gas leaks or hydraulic fracturing.

‘The Obama administration’s launch last month of a plan to curb methane emissions has given fresh relevance to climate-friendly technologies for cattle that range from dietary supplements and DNA gut tests to strap-on gas tanks.

‘Juan Tricarico, director of the Cow of the Future project at the Innovation Center for US Dairy, an Illinois research institute, said the initiative had boosted his quest to create the “star athlete” of the bovine world. . . .

Based on his research priorities, the dairy cow of the future will be the unstressed inhabitant of spacious accommodation, munching on anti-methane gourmet grains that are processed by an efficient, best-in-species digestive system.

“We want it to be more productive, we want it to be healthier, we want it to be a problem-free cow,” said Mr Tricarico . . . .’

Read the whole article by Barney Jopson in the Financial Times: Scientists seek climate-friendly cow of the future, 8 Apr 2014.


Filed under: Article, Cattle, Dairying, Genetics, ILRIComms, North America, PA, USA Tagged: Financial Times

Partnership between Livestock and Fish and Wageningen UR focus of recent roundtable meeting

CRP 3.7 News -

Livestock and Fish program and Wageningen UR roundtable meeting

Working group discussion at the roundtable meeting in Wageningen (photo: WUR/Ben Geerlings).

‘We are the same … though we are not the same’ – Livestock and Fish program director Tom Randolph kicked off a partnership roundtable discussion between CGIAR and Wageningen UR scientists, echoing the feeling of many in the room. The spirit, principles, intentions and activities of both sides (the Livestock and Fish program and Wageningen UR) are so similar that it appears almost bizarre that the partnership has not been formalized before. The roundtable (18-19 March 2014) aimed to pin cooperation on the wall and tease out the best ideas, mechanisms and road map to bring this partnership to a solid program, beyond declarations of intentions.

Wageningen UR (university and research centre, or WUR) has been cooperating with CGIAR scientists and indeed Livestock and Fish projects for a long time:

  • The CGIAR Research program on integrated systems for the Humidtropics brings together WUR, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI, which leads Livestock and Fish) and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT);
  • The Africa RISING program involves farming systems analysis from WUR in a program that brings together ILRI, CIAT and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA);
  • Most recently, the N2 Africa project was launched in Ethiopia, involving WUR, ILRI and other partners;
  • And there are many bilateral research collaborations among scientists from WUR and CGIAR.

This meeting was seen as a good opportunity to get beyond smaller collaborations to  set up an institutionally strategic partnership around livestock and fish.

On the first morning, participants briefed one another, explored partnership do’s and don’ts (building upon past cooperation) and identified current and emergent needs could be jointly addressed by both parties.  There was consensus that effort and time should not be directed to numerous meetings that might raise transaction costs and slow down the road to effective partnership. They did however recognize the need for joint sessions and conversations to facilitate mutual understanding of approaches and collaboration requirements.

Participants subsequently worked in groups on six different areas recognized to have potential mutual interest:

  • Value chain development and sustainable interventions
  • Nutrition, food safety, post harvest and food technology
  • Aquaculture systems
  • Livestock production systems and the environment
  • Animal health
  • Gender and capacity development

Working groups identified set of priority challenges that both parties felt were important to jointly address, research questions and a set of activities and modalities to flesh out the partnership through short term activities and longer term research.

In addition, a small group worked on the overall institutional partnership to establish a ‘road map’ that could bring this cooperation to the level of a formal partnership with an exciting joint program.

Marten Scholten, director of the WUR Animal Sciences department ‘gratefully accepted the invitation to become a formal partner of the Livestock and Fish program’ and took upon himself to push discussions within WUR to cement the partnership.

Read the full meeting minutes: http://livestock-fish.wikispaces.com/wageningen_roundtable_mar2014

 Story by Ewen Le Borgne


Filed under: CRP37, Partnership

Ethiopia small ruminant value chain analysis reports released

CRP 3.7 News -

In mid-2012, stakeholder discussions and planning for the Livestock and Fish small ruminant value chain development project were initiated by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and national partners.

Rapid value chain assessments were conducted in each of eight selected sites.  The preliminary reports from these assessments were reviewed at three multi-stakeholder workshops where participants validated the value chain analysis and formulated initial ‘best bet’ intervention plans for each of the sites.

The reports describe the various value chains, assess strengths and weaknesses, and list ‘best bet’ interventions for each of the sites:

  1. Analysis of goat value chains in Sekota Abergelle district, northern Ethiopia
  2. Analysis of sheep value chains in Horro district, Oromia region, Ethiopia
  3. Analysis of goat value chains in Yabello district, Borana zone, Ethiopia
  4. Analysis of sheep and goat value chains in Shinelle district, Somali Region, Ethiopia
  5. Analysis of sheep value chains in Menz Gera district, North Shewa zone, Ethiopia
  6. Analysis of goat value chains in Tanqua Abergelle district, Tigray, Ethiopia
  7. Analysis of sheep value chains in Doyogena, southern Ethiopia
  8. Analysis of sheep value chains in Atsbi Woreda, Tigray Region, Ethiopia

 

 


Filed under: Africa, CRP37, East Africa, Ethiopia, Goats, ICARDA, ILRI, Livestock, Livestock-Fish, Research, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

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