Extending past development gains important for One CGIAR sustainable animal productivity initiative in Tanzania

To implement its 2030 research and innovation strategy, the CGIAR is developing a series of initiatives designed to achieve a world with sustainable and resilient food, land, and water systems that deliver more diverse, healthy, safe, sufficient, and affordable diets, and ensure improved livelihoods and greater social equality, within planetary and regional environmental boundaries.

CGIAR initiatives are major, prioritized areas of investment that bring capacity from within and beyond CGIAR to bear on well-defined, major challenges.

Tanzania is one of several countries identified to be part of the proposed Sustainable Animal Productivity for Livelihoods, Nutrition and Gender Inclusion (SAPLING) initiative. Still at an early stage, this initiative aims to enable one million livestock producers – especially women and youth - in 7 countries to engage in inclusive value chains and achieve sustainable productivity gains resulting in improved livelihoods.  

On 28 July 2021, the initiative design team joined with partners and collaborators in Tanzania to review key elements of the proposed initiative, aiming to improve it by:
1.    specifying which elements and work packages are the highest priority for Tanzania
2.    identifying missing elements that must be included for it to best serve Tanzania’s situation
3.    providing feedback to strengthen the proposed approach and framework
4.    identifying the interests of key national actors in the initiative

In his opening remarks, Tanzania Livestock Research Institute managing director, Vitus Erick Komba said that this and other One CGIAR initiatives are crucial to help Tanzania achieve its national specific research agendas and he hoped that the consultation would offer valuable inputs for the proposals.

ILRI’s Isabelle Baltenweck explained that implementation under the One CGIAR means that there will be more institutional integration among the various research bodies. They will be governed under a common CGIAR board, policies and services to ensure a more unified country and regional presence.

SAPLING aims to enable one million livestock producers - 50% women and youth – in seven countries to engage in inclusive value chains and achieve sustainable productivity gains of 30–50%. The three-year project is expected to begin in 2022, leveraging the livestock sector’s huge ability to drive change for women and youth and promoting approaches for increased productivity. It seeks to fill critical productivity and value-chain competitiveness gaps in seven value chains and scale the results through approaches that motivate investment in sustainable production.

Amos Omore, ILRI representative in Tanzania illustrated what SAPLING could mean for the country. He noted that in terms of production, the projected growth in consumption over the next decade is expected to double and can be met locally. It is projected that milk production can meet the local demand, but red meat production alone cannot close the projected red meat consumption mainly due to inadequate animal feed resources. He added that investment in chicken can close the meat production gap and enable export. SAPLING, therefore, presents an opportunity to improve the livestock sector and is structured in a way that aligns its work with the Tanzania livestock research agenda.

During the workshop, stakeholders provided feedback specifying the priority interventions, value chains and work packages that can best serve the Tanzania situation.

Screenshot from the stakeholder deliberations captured on Google Jamboard

Major livestock challenges in Tanzania highlighted by participants included: low productivity despite the huge potential and need to improve food and nutrition security, low quality feeds, the market system, disease control, low genetic potential and the lack of appropriate data recording systems.

Reviewing the key elements of the proposal, participants termed it as a very timely initiative that builds on past work and aligns with current government plans and research agenda. They noted that the proposal has a strong focus on linking value chain actors, enhancing gender and youth inclusion and aiming to address innovations in combination across the cross-cutting themes but not in isolation. Areas of improvement included: providing more clarity on value addition initiatives, strengthen extension services, addressing post-harvest losses, digital tools for farmer empowerment through extension services, development of an Africa Swine fever vaccine and ensuring the sustainability of the interventions.

Priority interventions suggested included: the introduction of improved forage species, feeds, breeding programs, vaccines and their delivery to farmers. The importance of evidence-based advocacy to attract more investors for processing and value addition was also highlighted in addition to improved marketing systems, cooperatives, and enhanced promotion of animal source foods consumption. Capacity building, investment in and use of digital tools for extension and marketing across all value chains were noted as a key towards strengthening partnerships and efficiency.

Participants also offered guidance on priority value chains and locations for the initiative. The proposed focus on cattle, chickens and small ruminants was strongly supported. For the priority locations, Manyara, Dodoma, Singida, Lindi, Pwani, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam were suggested for chicken; the Lake zone, Kagera, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Tanga, Iringa, Mbeya and Jombe, for dairy; Arusha, Manyara, Kilimanjaro, Morogoro, Mtwara and Luvuma for poultry; and the southern, central and northern zones for sheep and goats.

Finally, the session ended with a set of ‘advice’ to the team from participants covering the need to build on the proven food systems and techniques to ensure local food sovereignty, priority to feeds and forage production and supply systems, building capacity, strengthening stakeholder engagement and farmer groups, disease control, value addition, and getting the market conditions right.

In his closing remarks, Angello Mwilawa, director of Research, Training and Extension in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries said that as stakeholders they were positive that the initiatives will have an impact on the country given that it adds value to the research and development activities.

If approved, the initiative is expected to run for an initial three years, beginning in 2022. For more information on the Tanzania SAPLING initiative, please contact Amos Omore  a.omore@cgiar.org.

Materials from the meeting are available online: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/114662