CRP 3.7 News

Training on field postmortem examination and sample collection to control small ruminant respiratory and reproductive diseases in Ethiopia

Veterinarians, laboratory technicians and assistant veterinarians from Ethiopia who were trained on field postmortem examination and sample collection in small ruminants

Veterinarians, laboratory technicians and assistant veterinarians from Ethiopia who were trained on field postmortem examination and sample collection in small ruminants (photo credit: ILRI/Hiwot Desta).

Studies in 2015 and 2016 identified respiratory and reproductive diseases as key constraints in small ruminant production in Ethiopia. One of the aims of the livestock health flagship of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock is to develop herd health packages which combine disease prevention and control with improved husbandry to reduce the occurrence and impact of these diseases.

However, little is still understood on which pathogens contribute how much to production losses and contribute to risk of exposure to zoonotic diseases. Therefore, an important part of the research is to conduct systematic postmortem examination combined with laboratory investigations based on histopathology, serology, bacteriology and molecular analysis to confirm and take more targeted measures for the identified diseases and potentially inform research on vaccines and diagnostic tools.

To this end, on 6–8 February 2017, scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Ethiopia’s National Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Center (NAHDIC) organized a training course for 16 veterinarians, laboratory technicians and assistant veterinarians working in government research centers and agricultural offices. The trainees also conduct field work in study sites of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock.

The training took place at the facilities of NAHDIC in Sebeta and had theoretical and practical sessions covering three main areas:

  • Field postmortem examination in small ruminants
  • Field postmortem examination of aborted and stillbirth lambs/kids
  • Collection, transport and storage of diagnostic specimens in the field

The trainees learned how to

  • ensure biosafety during sample collection and transportation;
  • perform postmortem examination in the field and collect samples from different organs;
  • perform a field postmortem examination on a small ruminant’s aborted/stillborn foetus, examine the placenta and collect appropriate samples;
  • identify pathological lesions of major small ruminant respiratory and reproductive diseases during postmortem examination;
  • collect, preserve, store and transport biological and pathological specimens; and
  • systematically document data and report the findings.

In a practical session where trainees worked in groups of four, they practised basic clinical examination, starting with history taking, restraining of the animal and general physical examination, through to clinical examination and sample collection in live animals.

After demonstrations by Ulrika Koenig (small ruminant specialist at SLU) and Nathnael Teshager (pathologist at NAHDIC), the groups examined individual organs and learned how to differentiate between normal and abnormal organs.

They found various abnormalities in the postmortem examinations, including liver fluke, lungworm, pneumonic lung, rumen fluke and white spots on liver. The trainers guided the trainees in collecting samples for histopathological, microbiological and molecular analysis. Finally, each group presented a brief report on the findings of the postmortem examination and related these to the antemortem examination findings.

The trainees are now well equipped to apply the acquired skills in the field as they carry out interventions to tackle respiratory and reproductive diseases of small ruminants. This is an important contribution towards improved understanding of the underlying causes of poor productivity in small ruminants in Ethiopia.

This activity marked the launch of active involvement by SLU in small ruminant respiratory and reproductive disease control in Ethiopia. The team looks forward to supporting field work soon.

The training was funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-funded Small Ruminant Value Chain Transformation (SmaRT) project.

Story by Hiwot Desta, Biruk Alemu, Gezahegn Alemayehu, Ulrika König and Barbara Wieland


Filed under: Africa, AHH, Animal Diseases, Animal Health, Capacity Development, Capacity Strengthening, CGIAR, East Africa, Ethiopia, Goats, ILRI, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Sheep, SLU, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

Improving the health of small ruminants in Ethiopia

In late 2016, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish produced several synthesis products, including a series of briefs on its animal health work carried out between 2012 and 2016. This brief reviews interventions and tools to improve small ruminant health in Ethiopia.

Small ruminants contribute significantly to the livelihoods and food security of smallholders in Ethiopia. However, small ruminant productivity is very low and the contribution of disease to the problem is poorly understood. Thus, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, with national research institutions, tested several approaches and interventions to overcome the challenges facing small ruminant producers in Ethiopia.

Key messages from this work include:

  • Involving gender in animal health research is important to understand the real extent of challenges faced by small ruminant producers.
  • Capacity development and collaboration with scientists from the national agricultural research system (NARS) and extension providers helps target farmers facing animal disease challenges.
  • Coordinated collaboration between laboratory and field research is crucial to the detection and identification of animal disease, control and prevention as it improves the delivery of quality and safe vaccines and other veterinary products to smallholder farmers.

Download the brief:

Gemeda, B., Desta, D., Roesel, K., Okoth, E., Secchini, F., Liljander, A. and Wieland, B. 2016. Interventions and tools to improve small ruminant health in Ethiopia. Livestock and Fish Brief 25. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.


Filed under: A4NH, Africa, AHH, Animal Diseases, Animal Health, ASSP, CGIAR, East Africa, Ethiopia, Goats, ICARDA, ILRI, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Research, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

Assessing use of the Mazzican to transport and improve milk quality in Tanzania

Plastic milk containers commonly used in milk handling and transportation of raw milk by traditional farmers and milk traders contribute to the poor bacteriological quality of milk commonly observed in smallholder dairy value chains in Tanzania.

These plastic containers are often not made from food grade plastic material or designed for milk handling but they are commonly used because they are more affordable than recommended metal containers.

This report presents results of field testing a new and affordable food grade plastic container (the “Mazzican“) to assess acceptability and validate its efficacy to improve the bacteriological quality of milk when it is used for handling and transportation of raw milk by agro-pastoralists and smallholder farmers.

Download the report:

Kurwijila, L.R., Mboya, N., Laizer, M. and Omore, A. 2016. The efficacy of the Mazzican for milking, transportation and improving bacteriological quality of milk in the smallholder dairy value chain in Tanzania. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.

More information:

Demonstrating the Mazzican [in Tanzania]

‘Mazzican’ introduced to Pakistan from East Africa to improve milk quality for smallholders


Filed under: Africa, Animal Products, Cattle, Dairying, East Africa, Food Safety, ILRI, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, PIL, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Value Chains

Pig diseases in Uganda: Impacts on pig production, human health and nutrition

In late 2016, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish produced several synthesis products, including a series of briefs on its animal health work carried out between 2012 and 2016. This brief reviews interventions and tools to address pig diseases in Uganda.

Pig keeping is an increasingly important livelihood strategy for rural households in Uganda. Most pigs are kept by smallholder households—managed by women—under extensive systems. The pig value chain was included in the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish due to the growth potential and competitiveness of small-scale pig production in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the last five years, scientists have significantly enhanced their understanding of the composition, structure and workings of the Uganda pig sector.

This brief brings together some of the most compelling evidence and best practices in animal and human health control from research by the Livestock and Fish program in collaboration with the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH).

Key messages from this work include:

  • High burden diseases, such as African swine fever (ASF), hinder the development of pig production, as do the low capacities of value chain actors and stakeholders in this area and the lack of incentives for them to adopt and implement disease control measures.
  • Given the high socio-economic impact of ASF on pig systems in Uganda, vaccine development and pen-side diagnostic tools are urgently needed to control the disease.
  • Advanced and field research are both needed to address these issues as part of efforts to transform and sustain the smallholder pig value chain in Uganda.

Download the brief:

Dione, M., Steinaa, L., Okoth, E., Roesel, K. and Wieland, B. 2016. Pig diseases in Uganda: Impacts on pig production, human health and nutrition. Livestock and Fish Brief 24. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.


Filed under: A4NH, Africa, Agri-Health, AHH, Animal Diseases, Animal Health, ASF, CGIAR, East Africa, ILRI, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Pigs, PIL, Research, Uganda, Value Chains

Dairy production systems and the adoption of genetic and breeding technologies in Tanzania, Kenya, India and Nicaragua

This paper characterizes dairy production systems in India, Tanzania, Kenya and Nicaragua, and describes the genetic and breeding technologies that hold promise for the advancement of global development goals.

In all the countries, a large number of smallholder farmers operating mixed crop–livestock production systems play a significant role in dairy production. In Tanzania, Kenya and Nicaragua, milk is predominantly produced by cattle of genotypes that differ both across countries and among production systems within the same country. In India, buffaloes contribute to a larger proportion of the national milk than cattle.

Information on productivity per animal and on optimal genotypes to utilize within the smallholder production systems of all the countries is however limited. Crossbreeding and artificial insemination were identified as the most widely utilized breeding and reproductive technologies. Only in Kenya is there a national organization conducting livestock recording and monitoring productivity, however, the proportion of the dairy cattle population enrolled in the recording system is small (<2.5 percent). In all the countries, enhanced and adequately planned use of breeding and reproductive technologies, complemented with the relevant infrastructure, is needed to sustainably increase dairy productivity. The capacities of actors in the dairy value chain need to be developed in order to properly implement and manage improvements.

View the open access article:

Ojango, J.M.K., Wasike, C.B., Enahoro, D.K. and Okeyo, A.M. 2016. Dairy production systems and the adoption of genetic and breeding technologies in Tanzania, Kenya, India and Nicaragua. Animal Genetic Resources 59:81-95. https://doi.org/10.1017/S2078633616000096


Filed under: Animal Breeding, Cattle, Central America, CGIAR, Dairying, East Africa, Genetics, ILRI, India, Indigenous breeds, Kenya, LiveGene, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Nicaragua, Research, South Asia, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Value Chains

Desho grass (Pennisetum pedicellatum), a feed resource for mid and high altitude regions of Ethiopia

A farmer cares for his desho grass

In June 2016, Bimrew Asmare graduated from Jimma University, Ethiopia with a PhD in Animal Nutrition. He investigated the agronomic, utilization, nutritive and feeding value of desho grass (Pennisetum pedicellatum) in North-western and Southern Ethiopia.

The study comprised of a field survey, agronomic trials, laboratory and animal evaluation of desho grass. A total of 240 households were involved in the field survey conducted to assess the status of desho grass production and utilization.

Agronomic studies were conducted in mid and highland altitudes using vegetative root splits in randomized complete block designs to determine the effects of altitude and harvesting dates (90, 120 and 150 days after planting) on morphology, dry matter (DM) yield and chemical composition of desho grass.

Feeding and digestibility trials were conducted using 25 Washera yearling rams with mean body weight of 19.4+1.89 kg in randomized complete block designs to evaluate the feeding value of desho grass as a basal diet. Agronomic results revealed that desho grass performs well in mid and high altitude areas and is a potential livestock feed resource during early stages (90 to 120 days after planting).

The daily DM intake and mean daily body gain of experimental sheep showed significant improvement (P<0.05) with increased level of inclusion of desho grass into the basal ration. The results of the feeding trial indicated that desho grass hay can substitute natural pasture hay at 50-100% in small ruminant basal rations.

Desho grass is multipurpose (feed, soil conservation, income generation) and is appropriate for smallholder farming systems of Ethiopia.

Outputs from the study include:

  1. Asmare, B. 2016. Evaluation of the agronomic, utilization, nutritive and feeding value of desho grass (Pennisetum pedicellatum). PhD thesis in Animal Nutrition. Jimma Ethiopia: Jimma University. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/77741
  2. Asmare, B., Demeke, S., Tolemariam, T., Tegegne, F., Wamatu, J., Rischkowsky, B. 2016. Determinants of the utilization of desho grass (Pennisetum pedicellatum) by farmers in Ethiopia. Tropical Grasslands 4(2):112–121. https://dx.doi.org/10.17138/TGFT(4)112-121
  3. Asmare, B., Demeke, S., Tolemariam, T., Tegegne, F., Wamatu, J. and Rischkowsky, B. 2016. Evaluation of desho grass (Pennisetum pedicellatum) hay as a basal diet for growing local sheep in Ethiopia. Tropical Animal Health and Production 48(4): 801-806. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-016-1031-8.

 This research was partially sponsored by the Livestock and Fish research program.

Story by Jane Wamatu (ICARDA)


Filed under: Africa, Animal Feeding, East Africa, Ethiopia, Feeds, Forages, ICARDA, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

Systematic review of vectors and vector-borne diseases in small ruminants in Ethiopia

This systematic literature review provides a comprehensive summary on major vectors and vector-borne diseases in small ruminants in Ethiopia.

For most of the vector-borne diseases, the summary was limited to narrative synthesis due to lack of sufficient data. Meta-analysis was computed for trypanosomosis and dermatophilosis while, meta-regression and sensitivity analysis was done only for trypanososmosis due to lack of sufficient report on dermatophilosis.

Owing emphasis to their vector role, ticks and flies were summarized narratively at genera/species level. In line with, 43 peer-reviewed articles passed the inclusion criteria out of 106 initially identified research reports. Data on 7 vector-borne diseases were extracted at species and region level from each source. Accordingly, the pooled prevalence estimate of trypanosomosis was 3.7% with 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.8, 4.9), while that of dermatophilosis was 3.1% (95% CI: 1.6, 6.0). The in-between study variance noted for trypanosomosis was statistically significant (p < 0.05).

Among the three covariates considered for meta-regression, only one (species) fitted the final model significantly (p < 0.05) and explained 65.44% of the between studies variance (R2). The prevalence in sheep (5.5%) increased nearly by 34% compared to goats (2.9%). The parasitic presence in blood was documented for babesiosis (3.7% in goats); and anaplasmosis (3.9% in sheep). Serological evidence was retrieved for bluetongue ranging from 34.1% to 46.67% in sheep, and coxiellosis was 10.4% in goats. There was also molecular evidence on the presence of theileriosis in sheep (93%, n = 160) and goats (1.9%, n = 265).

Regarding vectors of veterinary importance, 14 species of ticks in five genera, four species of Glossina and 4 genera of biting flies were reported. Despite the evidence on presence of various vectors including ticks, flies, mosquitoes and midges, research report on vector-borne diseases in Ethiopia are surprisingly rare. Especially considering the ongoing climate change, which is likely to affect distribution of vectors, better evidence on the current situation is urgently needed in order to prevent spread or to model future distribution scenarios.

View the article details:

Asmare, K., Abayneh, T., Sibhat, B., Shiferaw, D., Szonyi, B., Krontveit, R.I., Skjerve, E. and Wieland, B. 2017. Major vectors and vector-borne diseases in small ruminants in Ethiopia: A systematic review. Acta Tropica. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2017.02.015

The activity was funded through the Livestock and Fish CRP and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-funded SmaRT Ethiopia Project – Improving the Performance of Pro-Poor Sheep and Goat Value Chains for Enhanced Livelihoods, Food and Nutrition Security in Ethiopia.


Filed under: AHH, Animal Diseases, Animal Health, CGIAR, East Africa, Ethiopia, Goats, ILRI, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Research, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

Integrated sheep improvement technologies showcased in Doyogena, Ethiopia

Feeds and nutrition, community-based sheep breeding and reproduction technologies were the focus of the November 2016 field day in Doyogena, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia. Hosted by the Areka Agricultural Research Center, the event brought farmers and others together from the Doyogena, Ancha Sedicho and Hewora kebeles where sheep farming is the mainstay of livestock production.

Community-based breeding programs (CBBP) were introduced to Doyogena farmers in 2013 and, since then, 487 farmers have joined up. Improved feeding and nutrition strategies for ram fattening have introduced and tested by more than 150 CBBP members who undertook two fattening cycles in 2015 and 2016. More recently, reproduction technologies including artificial insemination (AI) and estrus synchronization have been introduced to farmers. The projects are coordinated by ICARDA Scientists, Aynalem Haile, Jane Wamatu and Rekik Mourad together with Areka researchers led by Deribe Gemiyo, Addisu Jimma and Kifle Tawle.

The field day got under way with welcoming remarks from Tsegaye Bekele, Areka Center Director who noted that the 2016 field day agenda reflected the latest efforts of the research center in addressing livestock problems at grass root levels with collaboration of various local and international organizations. “This year’s program is filled with vital information for all livestock producers,” he said.

The field day attracted more than 200 farmers as well as Agricultural Bureau officers, national researchers, development workers, extension workers, and government administration officers. The day consisted of tours of research and demonstration plots, accompanied by animated discussion among livestock officers and farmers.

Participants visited farmers’ fields where they saw demonstrations of different faba bean varieties bred for their dual purpose, food-feed traits as well as fodder oats and vetch varieties. Discussions included utilization of faba bean hay as livestock feed as it is a commonly grown food crop in the area. Deribe Gemiyo explained that the aim of forage legume production is to boost the forage base for integration with sheep breed improvement. This session showed the power of an integrated approach employing multi-disciplinary efforts of animal nutritionists, crop breeders and agronomists to achieve multi-dimensional crop improvement.

Examining the variety adaptation trials.

Examining the forage crop variety adaptation trials.

Farmers and other attendees were particularly concerned about pure seed production and sustainable forage seed supply system. Areka ARC is currently undertaking varietal verification with farmers to identify options acceptable to farmers and for ultimate multiplication and distribution to scale.

Farmers were encouraged to organize themselves into groups or cooperatives and start selling forage seeds to other localities. In an effort to improve forage legume seed supply and sustainable production, Areka ARC and CBBP members agreed a memorandum to produce and multiply forage seed. Currently, farmers are receiving training on utilization of forage legumes, use of alternative feed resources and sheep fattening strategies.

The Doyogena sheep flock is productive and produces many young. However, nutrition limitations lead to reproductive wastage (abortion, weak birth, still birth and pre-weaning stunt growth and mortality) and poor growth rates of lambs. In view of this, ICARDA recently introduced AI and estrus synchronization reproductive technologies to shorten lambing intervals, adjust times of lambing to periods of feed availability and reduce reproductive wastage. An additional benefit is the possibility to increase the numbers of lambs with similar ages and sizes within batches so as to facilitate ram selection for genetic improvement and market opportunities for lambs of similar ages.

AI technology for sheep, the first in Ethiopia, is being pioneered in two sheep breeding cooperatives in Ancha Sadicho and Hawora Arara. The increasing tendency towards market-oriented sheep farming by Doyogena farmers has increased the interests of farmers to reap benefits from multiple births and thus to try out these new technologies.

Ewes and lambs born through AI

Ewes and lambs born through AI

Zonal Livestock and Fisheries Department heads in attendance emphasized the importance that these reproductive technologies be scaled out. Desta Gabriel, from the Regional Bureau of Livestock and Fishery promised to provide ultrasound machines that can be used for sheep pregnancy diagnosis for some zones of the region. This was in response to concerns raised by the Head of the Livestock and Fishery office for Wolaita zone who highlighted the difficulty of pregnancy diagnosis in livestock. Scanning identifies pregnant and non-pregnant females after completion of the mating season. It offers i) an opportunity for re-mating; ii) culling of non-fertile females; and iii) timely planning of conditions for birth.

At the end of the day, general discussions between farmers and livestock officers were held and chaired by the Southern Agricultural Research Institute Director General, Nigussie Dana. The main challenge raised was how to scale up the reproductive technologies in view of the shortage of trained personnel. This calls for concerted efforts by Ministry of Agriculture and research. So far core teams of national technical staff (veterinarians and animal production specialists) have been trained by ICARDA on machine use, interpretation of ultrasound images, and data valorization in Ethiopia.

In his closing remarks, the Nigussie acknowledged all stakeholders who contributed to the success of livestock interventions in the region. He particularly recognized the consistent commitment of ICARDA in improving sheep production in the region over the past five years.                                           

Story by Jane Wamatu, ICARDA with contributions from Deribe Gemiyo, Addisu Jimma and Kifle Tawle from the Areka ARC.

The activity was funded through the Livestock and Fish CRP and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-funded SmaRT Ethiopia Project – Improving the Performance of Pro-Poor Sheep and Goat Value Chains for Enhanced Livelihoods, Food and Nutrition Security in Ethiopia.


Filed under: Africa, Animal Breeding, Animal Feeding, Capacity Development, East Africa, Ethiopia, ICARDA, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Research, Scaling, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

Assessing the environmental impacts of livestock and fish production

In late 2016, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish produced several synthesis products, including a series of briefs on ex-ante environment impact assessment work carried out between 2012 and 2016.

This brief introduces the justification for this work and the different streams of work to develop and test tools to assess the environmental impacts of livestock and fish production in developing countries.

While livestock production has for some time been linked to deforestation, land degradation, biodiversity loss and water scarcity, more recent studies, and particularly the publication of the 2006 FAO report ‘Livestock’s long shadow’ indicate that livestock is also a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As demand for livestock products continues to grow, driven by rising population and dietary shifts, there is an urgent need to develop strategies to reduce the environmental footprints and GHG emission intensity from livestock. The first step in this process is to develop tools to estimate potential impacts of such strategies.

The situation is slightly different for fish as there is less knowledge on the magnitude of the environmental impact of these systems. Until recently, the main aquaculture-related threats were considered to be genetic contamination or displacement of wild stocks due to farmed fish escapes, the transfer of disease from farmed to wild stocks, eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems caused by fish farm discharges, pressure on wild fisheries for fish meal and the destruction of wetlands or coastal ecosystems due to aquaculture development. However, recent studies have recognized the wider environmental footprint of aquaculture, including GHG emissions, which needs to be ascertained and its impact mitigated as production expands.

One way of reducing impacts is to cut consumption of livestock and aquaculture products. However, these sectors make a valuable welfare contributions in many economies. Reduced consumption could threaten the livelihoods of vulnerable producers and value chain actors as well as the nutrition security of large populations in the developing world. Another option is improve the resource-use efficiency of livestock and aquaculture practices which is believed would result in rapid environmental gains.

Tackling this requires that we have reliable tools to estimate and model potential impacts of improved livestock and fish practices along value chains (see a review of assessments).

In recent years, the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program developed and tested tools to estimate the environmental impacts of livestock value chains under the CLEANED project –  mainly with dairy value chains in Tanzania and Nicaragua. In Egypt and Bangladesh, WorldFish partnered with the Stockholm Resilience Centre to carry out life cycle analysis (LCA) of pond-based tilapia systems and carp polyculture systems.

Results of the assessments carried out in Egypt, Nicaragua and Tanzania show that there are clearly identifiable win–win scenarios where immediate benefits, such as increased productivity, incomes and ecosystem services, such as soil fertility, water availability and biodiversity, can incentivize farmers to adopt improved practices and technologies, while reducing environmental impacts.

Download a brief on this work

The brief was produced as part of a synthesis activity of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish. It focuses on ex-ante environment impact assessment work carried out between 2012 and 2016 and supported by the Program and other investors.

All the briefs in this series are:

  • Notenbaert, A.M.O., Dickson, M., Hoek, R. van der. and Henriksson, P. 2016. Assessing the environmental impacts of livestock and fish production. Livestock and Fish brief 16. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78478
  • Notenbaert, A.M.O., Lannerstad, M., Barron, J., Paul, B., Ran, Y., Morris, J., Fraval, S., Mugatha, S. and Herrero, M. 2016. Using the CLEANED approach to assess the environmental impacts of livestock production. Livestock and Fish brief 17. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78476
  • Pfeifer, C., Morris, J. and Lannerstad, M. 2016. The CLEANED R simulation tool to assess the environmental impacts of livestock production. Livestock and Fish brief 18. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/784764
  • Birnholz, C., Paul B. and Notenbaert A.M.O. 2016. The CLEANED Excel tool to assess the environmental impacts of livestock production. Livestock and Fish brief 19. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78472
  • Hoek, R. van der., Birnholz, C. and Notenbaert A.M.O. 2016. Using the CLEANED approach to assess environmental impacts in the dual-purpose cattle value chain in Nicaragua. Livestock and Fish brief 20. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78473
  • Notenbaert, A.M.O., Morris, J., Pfeifer, C., Paul, B., Birnholz, C., Fraval, S., Lannerstad, M., Herrero, M. and Omore, A.O. 2016. Using the CLEANED approach to assess environmental impacts in the dairy value chain in Tanga, Tanzania. Livestock and Fish brief 21. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78475
  • Henriksson, P. and Dickson, M. 2016. Using the life cycle assessment approach to assess the environmental impacts of fish production. Livestock and Fish brief 22. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78471
  • Dickson, M. and Henriksson, P. 2016. A life cycle assessment of the environmental impacts in the Egyptian aquaculture value chain. Livestock and Fish brief 23. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78478

 


Filed under: Africa, Aquaculture, Central America, Dairying, Egypt, Environment, Fish, ILRI, Impact Assessment, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Nicaragua, North Africa, Research, SLS, Southern Africa, Systems Analysis, Tanzania, Targeting, Value Chains, WorldFish

Using the life cycle assessment approach to assess the environmental impacts of fish production in Egypt

In late 2016, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish produced several synthesis products, including a series of briefs on ex-ante environment impact assessment work carried out between 2012 and 2016.

One of the approaches used (in Egypt) was life cycle assessment (LCA). The program has produced two briefs from this experience – the first introducing LCA; the second reporting from an application of the approach in the Egyptian aquaculture value chain.

LCA dates back to the 1970s and was built around the need for a framework that could quantify the environmental impacts of different production chains and aggregate these towards a unit of reference (functional unit). Today the tool is supported by its own ISO standard (ISO 14044 2006), a number of different software packages (e.g. SimaPro and openLCA) and databases (e.g. ecoinvent), and numerous detailed guidelines.

LCA has already extensively been used for livestock, aquaculture and a range of other food commodities. Its strength in these analyses has been its ability to highlight the most environmentally relevant processes throughout value chains and eventual trade-off among different environmental impacts.

Download a brief introducing the LCA approach

  • Henriksson, P. and Dickson, M. 2016. Using the life cycle assessment approach to assess the environmental impacts of fish production. Livestock and Fish brief 22. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78471

Download a brief reporting on the application of the LCA approach in the Egyptian aquaculture value chain

  • Dickson, M. and Henriksson, P. 2016. A life cycle assessment of the environmental impacts in the Egyptian aquaculture value chain. Livestock and Fish brief 23. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78478

The briefs were produced as part of a synthesis activity of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish. It focuses on ex-ante environment impact assessment work carried out between 2012 and 2016 and supported by the Program and other investors.

 


Filed under: Aquaculture, Egypt, Fish, FISH-CRP, Impact Assessment, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, North Africa, Research, Systems Analysis, Targeting, WorldFish

Using the CLEANED approach to assess the environmental impacts of livestock production

In late 2016, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish produced several synthesis products, including a series of briefs on ex-ante environment impact assessment work carried out between 2012 and 2016.

One of the approaches was to develop the CLEANED (Comprehensive Livestock Environmental Assessment for Improved Nutrition, a Secured Environment and Sustainable Development along Livestock and Fish Value Chains) tool to help users  explore and assess the multiple environmental impacts of intensifying livestock value chains in developing countries.

  • CLEANED assessments are envisioned to be rapid, ex-ante assessments that quantify potential environmental impacts of planned livestock development interventions at multiple spatial scales.
  • CLEANED assessments have a particular focus on developing countries. They use a participatory approach to ensure relevant assessments based on often fragmented data on agro-ecological landscapes and production systems.
  • CLEANED assessments can support stakeholders choose interventions that manage both production opportunities and environmental co-benefits.

The two assessment tools are currently designed for ‘livestock enterprises’. They were initially developed with data from East Africa and for dairy applications (with testing in Tanzania). They have also been tested for dual-purpose cattle systems in Nicaragua and, partially, for smallholder pigs in Uganda.

Download a brief introducing the CLEANED approach

  • Notenbaert, A.M.O., Lannerstad, M., Barron, J., Paul, B., Ran, Y., Morris, J., Fraval, S., Mugatha, S. and Herrero, M. 2016. Using the CLEANED approach to assess the environmental impacts of livestock production. Livestock and Fish brief 17. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78476

Download briefs on the CLEANED tools

  • Pfeifer, C., Morris, J. and Lannerstad, M. 2016. The CLEANED R simulation tool to assess the environmental impacts of livestock production. Livestock and Fish brief 18. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/784764
  • Birnholz, C., Paul B. and Notenbaert A.M.O. 2016. The CLEANED Excel tool to assess the environmental impacts of livestock production. Livestock and Fish brief 19. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78472

Download briefs reporting on uses of the CLEANED tools in Tanzania and Nicaragua

  • Hoek, R. van der., Birnholz, C. and Notenbaert A.M.O. 2016. Using the CLEANED approach to assess environmental impacts in the dual-purpose cattle value chain in Nicaragua. Livestock and Fish brief 20. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78473
  • Notenbaert, A.M.O., Morris, J., Pfeifer, C., Paul, B., Birnholz, C., Fraval, S., Lannerstad, M., Herrero, M. and Omore, A.O. 2016. Using the CLEANED approach to assess environmental impacts in the dairy value chain in Tanga, Tanzania. Livestock and Fish brief 21. Nairobi: ILRI. http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78475

The briefs were produced as part of a synthesis activity of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish. It focuses on ex-ante environment impact assessment work carried out between 2012 and 2016 and supported by the Program and other investors.

 


Filed under: Cattle, CIAT, Dairying, ILRI, Impact Assessment, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Nicaragua, Research, SLS, Systems Analysis, Tanzania, Targeting, Value Chains

Gender-based constraints and opportunities to women’s participation in small ruminant value chains in Ethiopia

Using the Community Capitals Framework, this article explores the factors enhancing or constraining women’s access to, and control over, the resources required to participate in, and benefit from, small ruminant value chain activities.

This is associated with the relationship of women and men to stocks of capitals: social, financial, human, natural, political, cultural, and physical, and how the relationship between various capitals is managed.

Our data were collected using semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions in six woredas (districts) in different parts of Ethiopia. Our findings show that men and women are constrained by similar capitals, but women are more constrained by lower levels of the seven capitals.

The sheep value chain has more opportunities for women. It is important to strengthen women’s access to, and management of, all these capitals to become more effective managers of small ruminants. This demands behavioral change and working to challenge gender norms.

Download the article:

Mulema, A.A., Farnworth, C.R. and Colverson, K.E. 2017. Gender-based constraints and opportunities to women’s participation in the small ruminant value chain in Ethiopia: A community capitals analysis. Community Development 48: 1-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15575330.2016.1267785

 


Filed under: Africa, East Africa, Ethiopia, Gender, Goats, ILRI, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, PVL, Research, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains, Women

Integrated delivery systems of improved livestock and fish genetics

In late 2016, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish produced several synthesis products, including a series of briefs on livestock genetics work carried out between 2012 and 2016.

The starting point for this brief is that weak public and private sector service delivery constrains translation of genetic improvements into productivity gains for smallholder farmers in developing countries. It introduces integrated delivery systems as mechanisms to enhance farmer access and uptake of improved livestock and fish genetics.

Download the brief:

Bruno, J., Rekik, M., Mekkawy, W., Ouma, R. and Mwai, O. 2016. Integrated delivery systems of improved livestock and fish genetics. Livestock and Fish Brief 15. Nairobi: ILRI.

 


Filed under: Animal Breeding, Fish, Genetics, ICARDA, ILRI, LiveGene, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-CRP, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Research, Value Chains, WorldFish

Novel tools to inform animal breeding programs

In late 2016, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish produced several synthesis products, including a series of briefs on livestock genetics work carried out between 2012 and 2016.

The design of a livestock breeding program largely depends on adequate infrastructure—ranging from efficient collection of phenotypes, development of models, data analysis, program implementation to buy-in from the public and farmers. This key infrastructure is usually lacking in developing countries.

Using novel tools that circumvent these constraints offers many opportunities to developing countries. However, this requires a range of scientific expertise not readily available, underlining the importance of collaboration between advanced universities and research institutes.

This brief outlines how a circle of innovation approach can be used to put these novel tools into use in developing countries.

Download the brief:

Mrode, R., Han Jianlin, Mwacharo, J. and Koning, D. Jan de. 2016. Novel tools to inform animal breeding programs. Livestock and Fish Brief 14. Nairobi: ILRI.

 


Filed under: Animal Breeding, Genetics, ICARDA, ILRI, LiveGene, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Research, Value Chains

Using a value chain approach to focus animal genetic interventions

In late 2016, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish produced several synthesis products, including a series of briefs on livestock genetics work carried out between 2012 and 2016.

Genetic interventions in livestock populations are generally long term, resulting in changes in the characteristics of the production unit, the animal. In the process, trade-offs between breeding for production and resource-use efficiency, fertility, resilience and the environmental impact of the target livestock or fish species are important in order to improve performance while taking into account genotype by environment interactions.

Information generated by analyzing product value chains helps identify intervention nodes to achieve improved productivity under specific environments. With the livelihoods of livestock-keeping communities at the core, income and equity issues cannot be ignored. Interventions also need to take into account the constraints faced by livestock keepers given their existing asset base.

Using a value chain analysis framework, the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program piloted integrated genetic interventions to catalyse the transformation of milk, meat and fish production in selected developing countries. This brief presents some outcomes and lessons from applying a value chain approach to dairy production in three East African countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and fish production in Egypt.

Download the brief:

Ojango, J., Tegegne, A., Mwai, O., Rege, E., Ouma, R. and Benzie, J. 2016. Using a value chain approach to focus animal genetic interventions. Livestock and Fish Brief 13. Nairobi: ILRI

 


Filed under: Animal Breeding, Cattle, Dairying, Fish, Genetics, ILRI, LiveGene, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Research, Value Chains, WorldFish

Customizing capacity development interventions for integrating gender in small ruminant value chains in Ethiopia

Contributed by Wole Kinati (ICARDA) and Annet A. Mulema (ILRI)

Participants at the gender capacity assessment training in November 2016

Participants of the training workshop

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and The International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) have been organizing a tailor made gender capacity development intervention for the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish’s research and development partners in Ethiopia. A gender capacity development training manual covering thematic areas has been developed: 1) gender analysis for value chain development; 2) gender strategy development; 3) gender responsive organizations; and 4) monitoring and documentation. Implementation of this intervention will follow a series of four training workshops, complemented with coaching and mentoring, and experimental learning.

The gendered value chain analysis workshop was organized in response to a recognised need to strengthen the capacity of research and development partners to integrate gender in small ruminant value chain development in Ethiopia. A team of facilitators from ILRI and ICARDA who will use workshop materials prepared by Transition International (TI) was assembled. Three pre-workshop meetings were held to discuss the structure of the workshop, the activities involved, logistics and assignment of roles. This culminated into a training workshop that took place at ILRI, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The objectives of the workshop were to introduce workshop participants to:

  • Why gender analysis is important for value chain development
  • The important (conceptual and methodological) components of gendered value chain analysis (GVCA)
  • The kinds of tools and frameworks for GVCA that exist and how to select the most relevant one
  • Application or facilitation of tools and frameworks

The training workshop was conducted from November 7-10, 2016, covering, module 1 of the four- module training package.  The workshop was attended by members of the gender capacity development committee, regional gender focal persons and heads of the respective organizations. Participants were exposed to the concepts of gender and value chain analysis, gender analytical frameworks, basic tools to conduct gendered value chain analysis and approaches to achieve balanced participation among others.

The evaluation of the training sessions indicated that the training met participants’ expectations. Generally, participants appreciated the overall training contents, approaches and training materials.  The gendered value chain exercise was the most thrilling session and the feedback session was very interactive, with participants giving constructive feedback. The participants were very eager to share the knowledge and skills learned with their colleagues and to start the application of what they learned, integrating actions with their ongoing work/newly planned activities of their respective organizations.

Moreover, participants formulated their own gender capacity development goals and follow up action plans. The plans will be implemented to reinforce the skills acquired and the teams will coached in the process of doing so. The heads of institutions and regional gender focal points signed the coaching agreement in order to formalize the whole process of Gender Capacity Development.

This activity in Ethiopia is supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-funded SmaRT Ethiopia Project – Improving the Performance of Pro-Poor Sheep and Goat Value Chains for Enhanced Livelihoods, Food and Nutrition Security in Ethiopia.

Additional resources on similar work done

Blog post: Advancing the gender agenda in small ruminant value chains in Ethiopia

Feedback report: Gender capacity assessment feedback and validation report for the small ruminant value chain in Ethiopia

Brief: Gender capacity assessment and development methodology and tools: The case of Ethiopia

Blog post: Scaling-up of gender capacity assessment and development in Ethiopia

Guide: Gender capacity assessment and development guide

 


Filed under: Capacity Development, Capacity Strengthening, East Africa, Ethiopia, Gender, ICARDA, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

Delivering animal breeding programs in developing countries: Some lessons from the Livestock and Fish program

In late 2016, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish produced several synthesis products, including a series of briefs on livestock genetics work carried out between 2012 and 2016.

Implementing sustainable livestock and fish breeding programs requires careful consideration of the species in question, their specific biological constraints, the production environment and the trait preferences of farmers, as well as a careful selection and use of innovative technology. Successful breeding programs rely on livestock keepers as co-owners of breeding programs as such programs are meant for them and they benefit from their full participation.

This brief outlines how breeding programs need the support of appropriate policies and public–private partnerships (research institutes, cooperatives, agribusiness etc.) that secure access to markets and supporting services. To succeed, breeding programs, particularly those in low input systems, need significant government support.

Download the brief:

Haile, A., Komen, H., Mwai, O. and Benzie, J. 2016. Delivering animal breeding programs in developing countries: Some lessons from the Livestock and Fish program. Livestock and Fish Brief 12. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.

 


Filed under: Animal Breeding, Fish, Genetics, ICARDA, ILRI, LiveGene, Livestock, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Research, Value Chains, WorldFish

Maziwa Zaidi Program reflects on its annual progress and outlines way forward

Julius Githinji introducing the Mazzican during the seminar

ILRI’s Julius Githinji introducing the Mazzican multi-purpose milk handling equipment (photo credit: ILRI/Mercy Becon)

The Maziwa Zaidi (MZ) program held a critical reflection workshop in November 2016 to analyse progress made against expected outcomes in its Theory of Change (ToC) over the last 12 months. The Maziwa Zaidi program, a smallholder dairy value chain research for development program, aims to catalyse investments in the Tanzania smallholder dairy value chain in the medium term and in the long-term to eventually transform the entire chain as a major pathway out of food and nutritional insecurity and as a sustainable source of livelihood.

The workshop brought together partners, dairy experts from academia and research institutions, donors, local government authorities including district executive directors and district livestock officers, NGOs, and national government agencies.

Participants reviewed and updated various components of the program’s theory of change  since the –start point’  (also summarised in this presentation).

What role for innovation platforms and hubs to grow the private sector?

The Maziwa Zaidi program’s approach targets several stakeholders at both community and national levels to facilitate learning and policy dialogue. Participants at the workshop focused on the program’s main approach in achieving this, use of multi-stakeholder processes such as innovation platforms and hubs, which are seen as fundamental in facilitating market linkages to overcome market barriers and catalyse widespread innovation.

Stakeholders agreed that the most significant short-term change towards achieving the program’s objectives has been at the national level where the Dairy Development Forum (DDF) has effectively mobilized industry stakeholders. The workshop concurred that formalizing the DDF as private sector driven forum would strengthen it further.

Other significant changes noted include increased use of innovation platforms and flexible hub approaches promoted by the program at the community level.  It was noted that development projects (such as the IFAD -funded Dairy Hub Integration project in Zanzibar, a proposed Southern Highlands Milkshed Development project as well the ongoing second phase of the East Africa Dairy Development project in southern Tanzania) have already adopted the multi-stakeholder processes promoted by Maziwa Zaidi.

The workshop analyzed and prioritized six short-term change areas in the ToC for monitoring across various levels.

Knowledge sharing, stakeholder engagement and communication repeatedly emerged as significant for the program’s success, where participants noted that this was significant in enhancing collaboration, synergy and trust among implementing partners and stakeholders.

It was also highlighted that capacity building for value chain actors and inclusion of women beyond production as group leaders and milk traders would go a long way for the program.

In conclusion, the workshop appreciated the immense contribution of continuous monitoring, evaluation and learning, and resolved to use a similar framework including theory of change approach to closely monitor program activities. Assessment of effects of program interventions on income at the household level was withheld until results from analysis of household data is available.

Though seen as critical contribution, uncertainty of stable funding for the program was also seen as having adversely affected effectiveness in program implementation and a risk for the future. One of the main factors that hindered progress at community level was identified as lack of a critical mass of value chain actors or the still nascent private sector in Tanzania.

Further details including top priorities that were identified for the Maziwa Zaidi program to consider for the next period and recommendations for adjusting the change pathway are contained in the synthesis report of the critical reflection workshop.

The Maziwa Zaidi program acknowledges support from the Irish Aid and International fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other donors that globally support the work through their contributions to the CGIAR system


Filed under: Animal Products, Dairying, East Africa, Event, ILRI, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Project, Report, Tanzania

Gender in the farmed fish value chain of Bangladesh: A review of the evidence and development approaches

Bangladesh is the world’s fifth-largest aquaculture producer, and statistics indicate that aquaculture now makes up about 56% of the country’s total fish production in terms of value. In Bangladesh, fish is the most important food after rice.

Bangladesh is considered a patriarchal society, and its predominant gender norms and attitudes reinforce women’s roles as primarily limited to domestic and care duties, which take place mainly within the confines of the homestead. This means they are unable to generate the same incomes and other benefits, and have limited incentives to invest time and resources to improve their position. To better appreciate the situation, it is important to understand the underlying social and gender norms that determine what women and men can and should do if the aim is to engage women, in particular, as more effective value chain actors.

This brief is based on a review of the relevant literature, focusing on analyzing gender relations in fish farming and value chains, i.e. the roles women and men play in diverse aquaculture production systems and other value chain nodes, their relative access to and control over resources, intra-household decision-making, and social and gender norms and attitudes.

Download the brief:

Kruijssen, F., Rajaratnam, S., Choudhury, A., McDougall, C. and Dalsgaard, J.P.T. 2016. Gender in the farmed fish value chain of Bangladesh: A review of the evidence and development approaches. Program Brief 2016-38. Penang, Malaysia: WorldFish.


Filed under: AAS, Aquaculture, Asia, Bangladesh, Fish, Gender, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Research, South Asia, Value Chains, Women, WorldFish

Value chain transformation: Taking stock of WorldFish research on value chains and markets

The goal of WorldFish’s research on markets and value chains is to increase the benefits to resource-poor people from fisheries and aquaculture value chains by researching (1) key barriers to resource-poor men, women and other marginalized groups gaining greater benefits from participation in value chains, including barriers related to the availability, affordability and quality of nutrient-rich fish for resource-poor consumers; (2) interventions to overcome those barriers; and (3) mechanisms that are most effective for scaling up of value chain interventions.

This paper documents learning across WorldFish’s value chain research efforts in Asia and Africa. It has three main objectives: (1) to take stock of WorldFish’s past and ongoing research on value chains; (2) to draw out commonalities and differences between these projects; and (3) to provide a synthesis of some learning that can guide future work.

The analysis highlights that, given the wide range of outcomes and approaches used and their inherently place-based nature, it remains difficult to draw any firm conclusions on the most effective approaches for value chain development. Although some commonalities were identified, including the potential to combine transformative approaches—which spark opportunities for locally led shifts in norms and practices towards enhancing gender and social inclusion and equality—with the scaling of technologies and innovations. Building trust and improving chain linkages and relations also seem to be building blocks for value chain transformation.

Download the report:

Kruijssen F, Audet-Belanger G, Choudhury A, Crissman C, Dalsgaard JPT, Dawson C, Dickson M, Genschick S, Islam MM, Kaminski A, Keus HJ, McDougall C, Banda LE, Muyaule C and Rajaratnam S. 2016. Value chain transformation: Taking stock of WorldFish research on value chains and markets. Penang, Malaysia: CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems. Working Paper: AAS-2016-03.


Filed under: AAS, Aquaculture, Bangladesh, CRP37, Egypt, Fish, LIVESTOCK-FISH, Middle East, North Africa, Research, South Asia, Value Chains, WorldFish

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