CRP 3.7 News

Livestock and Fish external evaluation update 3 – CCEE field visit schedule

The Livestock and Fish CRP Commissioned External Evaluation (CCEE) team has finalized the dates for their field work in each of the targeted value chains. The finalized schedule has now been agreed upon by all stakeholders and available in the below table.

Location Time frame Activity Person in charge Kenya 11-15 Aug present and revise inception report; key informant interviews; meetings with evaluation support team Doyle Baker – lead evaluator Ethiopia 16-23 Aug start up meeting; review small ruminants value chain Doyle Baker, Ander Speedy – support evaluator Uganda 23-30 Aug review smallholder pigs value chain Doyle Baker, Ander Speedy Tanzania 31 Aug – 6 Sept review smallholder dairy value chain Doyle Baker, Ander Speedy Egypt 6-12 Sept review consumption and nutrition of the small medium-scale aquaculture value chain Doyle Baker, John Hambrey – support evaluator

You can learn more about the CGIAR Research Programs (CRP) CEE on the Livestock and Fish external evaluation page or follow my blog posts on the Livestock and Fish website.

Filed under: Impact Assessment

Livestock and Fish Program supports dairy value chain collaboration challenges in Kampala

On 8 May 2014 the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program supported the Global Knowledge Initiative’s (GKI) dairy value chain collaboration colloquium in Kampala.

The Collaboration Colloquium brought together participants representing research, business, development organizations, and government to share knowledge, build skills, and explore opportunities for partnership. These activities were aimed at addressing challenges offered by seven individuals or “Challengers” working in the dairy value chain: Clayton Arinanye of the Uganda Crane Creameries Cooperative Union; Fred Kabi of Makerere University; James Lwerimba of World Wide Sires; Billy Butamanya of the Uganda Cooperative Alliance; Henry Njakoi of Heifer International; Tom Sillayo of Faida Market Link (Faida MaLi); and Mayasa Simba of the Tanzania Dairy Board.

The event featured four facilitated steps designed to reveal possible pathways to partnership: (1) identifying shared goals; (2) mapping key aspects of the challenge; (3) identifying resources for strategic action; and (4) testing and strengthening ideas.

Milking a cow in Tanzania

The Livestock and Fish Program sponsored three Tanzania dairy value chain partners who participated as challengers in the event:

  1. Mayasa Simba, acting registrar, Tanzania Dairy Board
  2. Henry Njakoi, country director, Heifer International, Tanzania
  3. Tom Sillayo, general manager, Faida Market Link (Faida MaLi)

Challenges like poor access to veterinary care, inadequate knowledge of breeding practices, and insufficient market access make it difficult for farmers, processors, and other stakeholders to capture the full benefits of dairy production in East Africa.

Overcoming these multi-faceted challenges requires integrated solutions that maximize the expertise and engagement of stakeholders all along the dairy value chain. The Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) designed the Dairy Value Chain Collaboration Colloquium to spur the creation of such solutions.

The Tanzania dairy value chain partners were able to refine the challenges they are addressing in Tanzania dairy, increase the networks for solving common problems and access to seed money USD 20,000, a challenge prize organized by GKI, that would be available to crystallize action for concepts around the challenges that win.

More details are in the colloquium report:

Filed under: CRP37, Dairying, East Africa, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Value Chains

Livestock and Fish program and GIZ meet to explore partnership

Locating randomly selected householdsTo enable its research achieve more impact at scale, the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program has put great effort in working together with global, regional and local partners. On 12 June 2014, Tom Randolph and Michael Peters, program director and program representative from CIAT respectively, met with  German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) representatives to explore such partnership possibilities.

The meeting held at GIZ offices in Germany aimed to create some action partnerships between the program and the German agency. GIZ is an implementing organization and such a partnership would contribute to the program’s aim of translating research into use and achieving impact at scale. The CGIAR program on the other hand offers a great opportunity for GIZ to apply scientifically developed intervention packages to its work. The Livestock and Fish program aims to move beyond the ongoing case-by-case cooperation with GIZ and look for more strategic, long-term partnership potentials.

Presentations by Tom Randolph and Michel Bernhardt, Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development (GIZ-BEAF) structured the meeting discussion.

In his presentation, Randolph gave an overview of the program’s structure and outlined some of the reasons for partnering with GIZ:

  • To tap into broad expertise and long experience related to livestock and aquaculture value chain development;
  • Would allow the program to draw from GIZ successful strategies to validate and scale out in the program’s target value chains;
  • To use GIZ projects as a mechanism for scaling out Livestock and Fish program research products;
  • To create synergies with GIZ infrastructure and networks where geographical focus overlaps.

Michel Bernhardt, provided a review of GIZ and outlined potential areas of cooperation:

  • GIZ as “uptaker“ and implementer of CGIAR innovations (scale!);
  • Joint research and studies of CGIAR and GIZ;
  • Joint program of research and development between CGIAR and GIZ (research in development, monitoring and evaluation, evidence-based development cooperation).

Bernhardt also reviewed some potential country-specific collaboration areas such as sustainable agriculture development, biodiversity, natural resource management and climate change in the program’s value chain countries including Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Nicaragua.

From the meeting, it was noted that there was a clear interest from both sides to engage stronger mutual partnerships. The development of more joint research projects in aquaculture/water management in Egypt and Bangladesh, livestock/eco-efficient agriculture in Nicaragua were some of the potential areas that both organizations would be keen on working on together.

People participating in the meeting included: Wolfgang Kasten (GIZ BEAF), Klaus Michel (GIZ BEAF), Carola von Morstein (GIZ Livestock), Kathrin Steinberg (GIZ Fisheries) and Kai Wiegler (GIZ Fisheries).


Filed under: CRP37, Partnership

Forages project wins 2014 CGIAR-US university linkages proposal through Livestock and Fish program

Sustainable intensification of crop-livestock systems through improved forages’ is this year’s CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish and US university linkages winning proposal. The proposal was submitted by Birthe Paul and Rolf Sommer, scientists from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and supported by Claudio Stockle of Washington State University. Other CGIAR collaborators are An Notenbaert and Brigitte Maass, CIAT scientists and Ben Lukuyu and Alan Duncan, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) scientists.

The proposals submitted were reviewed by four research leaders drawn from the Livestock and Fish Program partner centres, ILRI, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), WorldFish and CIAT. The winning proposal ranked highest on the following weighted criteria; contribution to program priorities, potential to leverage new funding, engagement wof multiple centres, promotion of cross-centre and cross-CGIAR Research Program collaboration, value for money, leverage of new expertise and potential for strategic partnerships.

According to the proposal, ‘Tropical forage technologies have been promoted in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for sustainable intensification of crop-livestock systems. However, there are few studies from sub-Saharan Africa quantifying impacts on natural resource management. The main deliverable is a quantitative review of productivity and environmental impacts of improved forage technologies in sub-Saharan Africa and their uptake which will set the scene for the subsequent analysis.

‘The core of the proposed activities is cooperation with Claudio Stöckle, Professor at Washington State University and creator of CropSyst. The collaboration will calibrate CropSyst for selected forages, support ongoing work on adding inter-cropping to the functionalities of CropSyst and apply it in case studies in the region. Impacts of baseline and improved livestock diets will also be modeled with the CSIRO hosted ruminant model. The main deliverable for this activity is a set of case studies on environmental impacts of forages currently tested on-farm in Tanzania.

CropSyst is a widely-used cropping system model to simulate the growth and yield of crops in response to soil and climatic conditions under a range of environmental effects including soil C dynamics, N2O emissions, N leaching, soil erosion and soil water dynamics. It is well calibrated for many food crops, but less so for fodder crops.

Filed under: CIAT, Crop-Livestock, CRP37, Feeds, Forages, Partnership, Research, Southern Africa, Tanzania

Livestock and Fish call for proposals: Strengthening cross-CRP collaboration

The Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program is making a call for proposals to encourage collaboration with other CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs). The call targets CRP researchers with innovative ideas for strategic activities that would create synergies contributing to the outputs and outcomes of the Livestock and Fish Program and other CRPs.

The purpose of this call is to promote cross-CRP collaboration through initiatives identified at researcher level that clearly contribute to priorities of the Livestock and Fish Program and the collaborating CRP and demonstrate the types of synergies that can be achieved by working together.

The proposal call with application details can be downloaded from HERE. Proposals are due on 31 July and decisions will be circulated by August 30th.

Filed under: CRP37, Partnership

A meeting of minds – Livestock and Fish program kicks off collaboration with SNV

Following the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, staff from SNV’s global Dairy and Extensive Livestock Commodity Teams met in Nairobi on 27 May 2014 with scientists from ILRI and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

The meeting aimed to help the various partners map interests and expertise as a basis for further collaboration.

The meeting focused around collaboration in dairying and around extensive livestock systems:

  • Climate smart dairy
  • Feed and fodder for dairy
  • Building knowledge and skills within the diary sector
  • Milk quality
  • Production, productivity and processing in smallholder dairy
Extensive Livestock
  • Extensive livestock production systems
  • Extensive livestock marketing systems
  • Extensive livestock and climate change
  • Access to business development services for extensive livestock

The team agreed to work on the following areas:

  • Share available studies and data
  • Work together to prepare research proposals
  • Collaboration on existing initiatives
  • Organize collaboration sets around signature issues
  • Conduct new research and carry out documentation together
  • Work to make research evidence applicable in field contexts
  • Strengthen gender and youth equity practice and research

In a similar vein, on 5 June, the teams from SNV, ILRI and CIAT held a second round of meeting to explore collaboration in value chain development and gender in agriculture. Agreement was made for working groups to:

  • Establish individual connections among all the delegates
  • Initiate ongoing dialogue between parties in order to deepen gender understanding and possibilities
  • Map out work that is going on and identify overlapping interests in value chain development
  • Identify specific areas on which to commence joint work
  • Work together to prepare research proposals

Stuart Worsley, head of development partnership, Livestock and Fish program and Jurjen Draaijer, from SNV have been tasked to take this work forward.

Download the meeting report: A Meeting of Minds: Report from discussions between SNV and the Livestock and Fish research program, Nairobi, 27 May 2014

Filed under: CIAT, CRP37, Dairying, ILRI, Partnership, Value Chains

Livestock and Fish 2013 report highlights progress

The Livestock and Fish program’s second annual ‘performance monitoring report‘ provides insights into its progress, results and challenges in the past year.

In 2011, the program proposed a new model to enhance the relevance, urgency and impact of its research. The approach is designed to bring together collective capacity with CGIAR and other partners to develop and deliver appropriate integrated solutions for the pro-poor transformation of selected value chains. This is a new way of working for CGIAR centers that requires reorienting capacity, mobilizing new resources and establishing new types of partnerships and capacity to engage effectively in the selected value chains.

The past year was one of continuing consolidation and an evolving appreciation of the challenges in implementing such an approach. The larger share of the program devoted to technology development that supports sustainable livestock and aquaculture intensification demonstrated good progress. A key achievement was to secure major new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to lead an initiative on East Coast fever vaccine development.

The part of the program responsible for engagement in the selected value chains gained momentum with increased activity in four of the nine target value chains. Two value chains (aquaculture in Uganda and small ruminants in Mali) were not feasible and the program re-directed this effort towards aquaculture in Bangladesh and small ruminants in Burkina Faso. Work advanced in the remaining three value chains at a modest level of activity while adequate bilateral funding is sought.

The program faced three main challenges in 2013. The first has been to manage adaptively the under-resourced, yet overly ambitious plan of work described in the program proposal.

A second challenge has been to develop the appropriate internal capacity and modalities to implement the value chain approach proposed by the program.

The final major challenge—shared across CGIAR—is developing the appropriate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and performance management frameworks.

Two major achievements

The report highlights two achievements by the Feed and Forages team. Both are significant in that they represent a new generation of increasingly sophisticated ‘smart’ research outputs that address multiple objectives. Both are intended to increase the supply and quality of feed resources that will translate into more productive and profitable livestock systems and more highly nutritious animal-source food on the plate of the poor. One also works to reduce the competition between food and feed for agricultural resources, the other reduces the potential trade-off between livestock production and climate change.

The first key breakthrough in 2013 was a proof-of-concept that we can breed a tropical pasture grass that can significantly suppress greenhouse-gas emissions by increasing N use efficiency, reducing N2O emissions and increasing carbon accumulation. CIAT scientists were able to include level of Biological Nitrification Inhibition (BNI) as a breeding objective for Brachiaria humidicola hybrids recently developed, and demonstrate that effects from BNI from B. humidicola pastures can be measured in a succeeding maize crop which suggests the greenhouse-gas benefits.

The second achievement was publication of a special issue of the journal Field Crops Research (September 2013) devoted to dual purpose maize marked two major milestones. First, it established a technology of maize breeding for improved feed quality that does not compromise the food production value of the plant. Second, it provided evidence of the demand it can address and ways to promote its uptake. By improving whole plant utilization, cultivars selected for the combined traits of grain production and stover quality reduce competition between maize grown for food versus that used primarily for animal feed.

The report also reports on progress of the program’s support to research on the principal technology drivers of productivity and intensification in livestock and aquaculture systems: animal health, genetics and (animal) nutrition. It gives insights into progress in the country-based value chain transformation projects and updates on the program’s gender research, environmental research as well as the partnerships to achieve impact at scale.

Download the report

Filed under: Animal Feeding, CGIAR, CRP37, Feeds, Livestock-Fish, Report

Aquculture – Minimizing environmental impacts, encouraging sustainable growth

The world’s appetite for fish is steadily growing. Finfish and shellfish currently make up one-sixth of the animal protein people consume globally.

As the global wild fish catch peaked in the 1990s, aquaculture—or fish farming—has grown rapidly to meet world fish demand, more than doubling production between 2000 and 2012.

New research shows that aquaculture production will need to more than double again between now and 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population.

The question is: Can aquaculture grow sustainably?

The World Resources Institute (WRI), WorldFish, the World Bank, INRA, and Kasetsart University explore this question in a new paper on improving the productivity and environmental performance of aquaculture. The authors examine aquaculture’s environmental footprint today and explores various scenarios of aquaculture growth to 2050. It suggests strategies to lessen aquaculture’s environmental impacts while also ensuring that fish farming provides employment and nutritious food to millions more people.

It is the latest installment of the 2013–2014 World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future that profiles a menu of solutions to help feed more than 9 billion people by 2050 in a manner that advances economic development and reduces pressure on the environment.

Download the full report:

WorldFish press release: Farmed fish production must more than double by 2050, new analysis finds

WRI blog post: Sustainable fish farming: 5 Strategies to get aquaculture growth right

Filed under: Aquaculture, CRP37, Environment, Fish, Targeting, WorldFish

Webinar – improving the productivity and environmental performance of aquaculture

On World Environment Day (June 5), the World Resources Institute (WRI), WorldFish, the World Bank, INRA, and Kasetsart University will release the newest installment of the 2013–14 World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future, “Improving Productivity and Environmental Performance of Aquaculture.”

This working paper examines the implications of doubling aquaculture production between now and 2050, and offers recommendations to ensure that aquaculture growth contributes to a sustainable food future.

On 5 June, the World Resources Institute hosts a presentation and discussion in Washington DC with three of the paper’s authors, Richard Waite (WRI), Michael Phillips (WorldFish), and Randall Brummett (World Bank).

WHEN: Thursday, June 5 from 10:00–11:30 AM (EDT)

The discussion will include:
• The challenge of sustainably feeding more than 9 billion people by 2050
• Trends in fisheries and aquaculture, with a focus on aquaculture’s growth potential
• Results from a new life cycle assessment by WorldFish and Kasetsart University that estimates environmental impacts of aquaculture in 2050 under several growth scenarios
• Case studies of improvements in aquaculture productivity and environmental performance from around the world
• Recommendations to accelerate further gains in productivity and environmental performance of aquaculture

Sign up for the webinar

The global food challenge explained in 18 graphics

Background information and link to the working paper (it is embargoed to 5 June)

Filed under: Aquaculture, CRP37, Environment, Targeting, WorldFish

Pig value chains assessment results shared with Uganda local leaders and farmers

The Uganda Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development (SPVCD) project held three feedback workshops in November 2013 to train facilitators and to disseminate results of the value chain assessment conducted in three districts (Kamuli, Masaka and Mukono). The aim of the assessment was to characterize the pig production and marketing systems, identify constraints and opportunities faced by different actors of the value chain, select potential interventions for pilot testing and identify key elements and variables to consider for benchmarking surveys.

Uganda Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development (SPVCD) project feedback workshops in November 2013

Participants from VEDCO preparing the materials in Lusoga language to be used in feedback sessions in Kamuli

As a preliminary step, 16 project partner institutions facilitators from the local governments of Kamuli, Mukono and Masaka and the Voluntary Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO), as well as four local consultants involved in the collection of value chain assessment data were briefed on the key results of the assessment and trained on how to deliver information to farmers. Materials were prepared in the local languages (Luganda for Masaka and Mukono, and Lusoga for Kamuli) for the feedback sessions with farmers.

After the training workshop, the project team conducted feedback sessions in Masaka and Mukono to present the results of the assessment with particular emphasis on the constraints and opportunities that can be exploited as a means of households poverty alleviation in rural and peri-urban communities. In both districts participants were representatives of the local government, National Agriculture Advisory Service (NAADS), farmer organizations and NGOs working with smallholder pig producers. Thirty two participants (22 male, 10 female), attended in Masaka and 37 participants (25 male, 12 female) in Mukono. The feedback sessions in Kamuli will be held in June 2014.

The facilitators then conducted village-level feedback sessions in 15 villages in Masaka and 12 villages in Mukono. These activities were coordinated by the district veterinary officers (Drs. Lawrence Mayega and David Kiryabwire, for Masaka and Mukono, respectively). A total of 1015 farmers (762 female, 253 male) participated in the feedback sessions in Masaka, and 810 (560 female, 250 male) in Mukono.

Uganda Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development (SPVCD) project feedback workshops in November 2013

Participants in the value chain assessment feedback workshop for local authorities and partners in Mukono district

The feedback sessions generated positive comments from participants:

‘This is one of the few projects operating in Mukono that has reported to stakeholders on the results of the studies conducted in the district. The information provided is very valuable, because we learnt about the constraints and opportunities in the pig sector of the district that will help us in the local government to plan activities in favor of the smallholder pig farmers operating in peri-urban and rural settings in Mukono district. We look forward to continuing joint efforts with ILRI for improving the pig value chains in our district’ said Fred Muluku, district production officer of Mukono.

‘After the district authorities and ILRI conducted the focus group discussions, we realized the need to move from an association to a cooperative, and now we have more than 100 farmer members, and the cooperative has been formalized. We are convinced that working together as a group we can learn better practices for producing pigs at small scale, but also empowers ourselves to get better prices in the market, have access to quality inputs, and even to credit. Also, is in our plans to develop facilities for proper slaughtering of pigs. We need the assistance and guidance of the ILRI team, the district veterinary officer, NAADS and other institutions in Masaka to find ways of improving pig production in our communities. The results presented in the feedback workshop has opened our eyes on what we need to improve in our farms’ said Samuel Ssekyondwa, secretary of the recently formed Kabonera-Kyanamukaka Pig Farmers Cooperative.

More news from the Uganda value chain

Article authored by Brian Kawuma and Danilo Pezo (ILRI)

Filed under: CRP37, East Africa, Pigs, Project, Uganda

Livestock and Fish external evaluation update 2 – planning the CCEE

Since my first update on the implementation of our first CRP Commissioned External Evaluation (CCEE), we have made significant progress towards implementation.

First, the CCEE budget enjoyed an unexpected boost from $US 75,000 to $US 100,000.  The increase in funding is necessary given the scope of the evaluation (four value chains) and the nature of the evaluation questions. The funding increase is also regarded by the program as an investment in the upcoming Independent External Evaluation (IEE) that is scheduled for 2015.

Second, the Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) vetted a short list of 6 CVs for the position of lead evaluator.  We have now identified Doyle Baker as our preferred candidate and we hope to confirm his role in the very near future.  Doyle was formerly with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and has enjoyed a celebrated career.  For those who are interested, Doyle’s CV can be downloaded from the Livestock and Fish wiki .

Doyle and I have been discussing tentative dates for the CCEE. Over the next few weeks we hope to firm up the dates below and will make a formal announcement of the CCEE timeframe.

Location Time frame Activity Kenya 23-31 Jul present and revise inception report; key informant interviews; meetings with evaluation support team Ethiopia 31-9 Aug startup meeting; review small ruminants value chain Uganda 9-16 Aug review smallholder pigs value chain Tanzania 16-23 Aug review smallholder dairy value chain Egypt 9-14 Aug review consumption and nutrition of the small medium-scale aquaculture value chain Egypt 25-28 Aug review small medium-scale aquaculture value chain 29 Aug-3 Sept finalize draft report; present and discuss report

You can learn more about the CCEE on the Livestock and Fish external evaluation page or follow my blo posts on the Livestock and Fish website.

Filed under: CRP37, Impact Assessment

Tanzania Dairy Development Forum partners trained in communications approaches and tools

Communications and knowledge sharing skills development training for the Livestock and Fish Tanzania dairy value chain

Left to right: Amos Omore (ILRI), Deo Mlay, Katarina Mungure, Mayasa Simba and Edgar Twine (ILRI) at the communications and knowledge sharing skills development training for the Livestock and Fish Tanzania dairy value chain (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

In May, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) hosted a training workshop in Nairobi for communications staff working for the Tanzania Dairy Development Forum (DDF).

Here, Katarina Mungure of the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) reflects on the event.

The aim of the training was to build and strengthen the communications skills of some of the partners of the Dairy Development Forum. The partners included Deo Mlay and Mayasa Simba of the Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB), and Katarina Mungure of the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV).

DDF was initiated by the Livestock and Fish Tanzania dairy value chain to promote a more inclusive dairy development in Tanzania. The members of this forum have a shared goal of increasing milk production known as ‘Maziwa Zaidi’ Swahili translation of ‘more milk’. The forum is coordinated by the Tanzania Dairy Board and consists of an advisory committee and stakeholder organizations. It is envisaged that DDF will promote;

  • A more inclusive orientation in public and private investments in the dairy sector
  • Professionalization and best practices in the dairy sector
  • Information and knowledge sharing including, convening as an innovation platform to address systemic bottlenecks and co-create solutions in the dairy sector at national and milk-shed levels

The three-day training session provided room for the trainers and trainees to share experiences of the communications tools that are used by each organization to reach out to their audiences. It also equipped participants with adequate knowledge in creating and managing social media and web pages such as, wiki’s and you tube, skills in effective event organization and documentation together with network and platform facilitation.

Furthermore, participants went through an exhaustive brainstorming session which helped to provide a clear sketch of the desired communication strategy for the DDF as follows;

  • The audience categories i.e. value chain actors, consumers and government and non-governmental institutions
  • The existing communication tools and platforms within DDF e.g. emails, websites, physical mailing, meetings and workshops
  • The types of information needed to be communicated to each audience (goals of communicating to them) e.g. information on the support system for dairy production and information on dairy production for value chain actors
  • The additional desired communication tools and techniques that would be ideal for the forum but are not yet used by the coordinating body e.g.  policy briefs, effective event organisations, networks and platforms facilitation

At the end of the three-day training, participants were satisfied with the wealth of knowledge that was shared and acquired during the training. Apart from advancing my communication skills, I also learned a lot of tips and tricks in network facilitation.

The training was organized by the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program with inputs from ILRI’s Knowledge Management and Information Services  and Capacity Development units.


Filed under: CapDev, CRP37, Dairying, ILRI, ILRIComms, Knowledge & Information, Southern Africa, Tanzania

PhD scholarship opportunities in the Tanzania dairy value chain

Two International Livestock Research Institute – German Academic Exchange Service (ILRI-DAAD) PhD scholarships are available within the ILRI research project on ‘adapting dairy market hubs for pro-poor smallholder value chains in Tanzania.’

1. Graduate fellowship project title: Development of an on-farm dairy sustainability assessment tool
The position: The fellow will be part of ILRI’s Maziwa Zaidi project team in Tanzania, working on smallholder dairy systems and based at the ILRI office in Dar-es-Salaam or Morogoro. S/he will report to the project’s Agricultural Economist. The position will also involve close collaboration with the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program team as well as the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) project based in Mbeya (Tanzania). Read more

2. Graduate fellowship project title: Monitoring and evaluating household welfare effects of dairy management hubs
The position: The fellow will be part of ILRI’s Tanzania dairy value chain project team affiliated to the Livestock and Fish program. The position will be based at ILRI’s office in Morogoro, Tanzania and report to the project’s Agricultural Economist. Read more

The MoreMIlkiT project aims to achieve inclusive growth and reduced poverty and vulnerability among people with dairy-dependent livelihoods in selected rural areas in Tanzania. Rural poor are expected to secure more income through enhanced access to demand-led dairy market business services and viable organizational options.

 View project brochure: More milk in Tanzania (MoreMilkiT): Adapting dairy market hubs for pro-poor smallholder value chains in Tanzania (a ‘Maziwa Zaidi’ project)

Filed under: Capacity Development, CapDev, Cattle, CRP37, Dairying, ILRI, Scholarships, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Value Chains

Consolidation of ICARDA’s presence in Ethiopia creates more opportunities for the Livestock and Fish program

Teklat Tegegn, farmer, with his goats‘Ethiopia is a strategic partner of ICARDA. The Center’s scientists work alongside their Ethiopian counterparts on a wide range of research for development initiatives – including the development and distribution of high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat varieties, and the promotion of integrated crop-livestock production systems.

‘Given this strategic importance, agreements were signed with two important Ethiopian partners – the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI) and the Ethiopia Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR).’

The livestock and fish program is working hand in hand with partners to implement the Ethiopia sheep and goat value chain and this development is another great opportunity to enhance and grow the partnership opportunities along the entire farm to fork approach. ICARDA is one of the four partners in the Livestock and Fish program and leads the work on the sheep and goat value chain development  in Ethiopia.

More on ICARDA work in the livestock and fish program

Read the full new article


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

Livestock and Fish team assesses aquaculture opportunities in Bangladesh

In 2013, the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program added Bangladesh as its second aquaculture value chain after Egypt. Fish is the most important food after rice in Bangladesh, in addition Bangladesh is the world’s fifth largest aquaculture producer.

A Livestock and Fish program team comprising Stuart Worsley, Jens Peter Tang Dalsgaard and Froukje Kruijssens recently visiting the country to review ways to integrate work across the livestock and fish and aquatic agricultural systems (AAS) research programs.

Here, Stuart Worsley shares some lessons and highlights:

Local auction at a fish market in Arong Ghata, BangladeshBig issues relate to fish seed and feed quality and availability
The smallholder aquaculture sector in Bangladesh is a poly-culture story. Smallholder pond systems typically produce a combination of fish, shrimp and prawn types in an intelligent husbandry practice that uses a range of species to exploit different ecological niches in ponds. The species mix varies in response to changing water and salinity levels as farmers adapt to Bangladesh’s annual inundation. Moreover, this smallholder “gher” system species mix responds well to two sets of household needs, namely that of cash and food.

The aquaculture value chain is a “fish and shrimp” chain whose respective species leverage the presence of others. The logic would appear to be that shrimp and prawn farming is the economic attraction that draws producers into intensive commercial production, and that this has paved the way for more intensive commercial carp production for local markets. In addition, Mola and other small indigenous species are seen as very important by small farmers and poor consumers alike.

In addition, the aquaculture value chain is made up of hundreds of thousands smallholder producers. A lot of the development of the industry has been unplanned and emergent in response to growing market demand.

Food safety
Driven by the high cost of ice required for an effective cold chain, fish traders are spraying or injecting formaldehyde on and into fish. This practice has become widespread and occurs not only in Bangladesh, and is not restricted to fish. It is apparently used on other agricultural commodities such vegetables. Consumers are now avoiding formalin treated fish, and use the presence of flies around a fish as an indicator that the fish is not treated with formalin.

Team meeting
We held a meeting with key stakeholders working on aquaculture in Bangladesh to present the Livestock and Fish program and engaged in questions around alignment. The sentiment was that the program was highly complementary to AAS work, and added important value chain dimensions beyond the production focus.

Field visits
Sales of fish and shrimps at fish market in Arong Ghata, BangladeshThe team traveled to Khulna district and city in the south west of the country. This is where most WorldFish work in the country occurs and the team were taken around a night fish market, a local morning fish auction centre at Arong Ghata, a carp hatchery, a farmer producer group and the main Khulna auction centre at Fal Tita.

Local auction: Here the team observed morning sales of fish and shrimps being sold by auction in a small local fish market. Producers sold their fish to traders through an auctioneer in quantities that ranged from 1kg to 20kg. Buyers were buying and aggregating and taking these to other markets or shops in other local settlements. In an interview with Mustafa, a 35 year old trader, who had bought 1,600kg of fish, we learned that he had started this trade with 60kg a day when he was 21 years old. His business has grown because it is profitable. He buys and sells every day.

The hatchery: The team visited a commercial hatchery run by a family group. The co-owner and manager, Shahbuddin walked through his process. This was the largest of three hatcheries in the district. A large pond of approximately 4 hectares supports some €50,000 worth of breeding carp. The brood stock of this came from an initiative stimulated by the USAID funded and WorldFish implemented Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) project. The project works with hatcheries to increase the genetic quality of brood stock in a process that replaces existing, poorer quality brood stock. Shahbuddin has invested €150,000 to build the hatchery and buy brood. He secured a loan from a Bangladesh Government agricultural development fund, which under the terms of this fund means that he has to pay no interest for the first 8 years and has ploughed back profit into the business. He started the business having observed a market paucity of good fry.

Farmer group – Kharnia, Dumuria Upazila, Khulna District: The team met representatives of a group of 25 farmers. Most of the conversation was centered around the experiences of Abu Hanif and his wife Munila. They own and farm 3633m2 of land, some of which Hanif inherited from his father, and some of which he purchased. Hanif’s father had only cultivated rice and after having seen the experience of other farmers in the area, Hanif decided to practice aquaculture when he was 21 years old, and now operates an integrated fish, rice and vegetable system, i.e. a ‘gher’.

Fresh water prawn in BangladeshThe ponds contained mixed species of salt water shrimp and fresh water prawn, various carp sub species, mullet, mola and other small indigenous species. The balance between salt and fresh water species reflected adaptability by the farming system to cope with sudden changes in salinity from inundation. The AAS program has engaged with this indigenous knowledge to offer support in the form of farmer group formation for the purposes of technology transfer and livelihood improvements.

Hanif says that the majority of his income comes from aquaculture. Of this, 30% comes from salt water shrimps, 50% from fresh water prawn, and 20% from fish. Typical gher production is approximately 400kg of fish and 300kg of shrimp/prawn.

The group described themselves as a forum whereby they could share experiences about what they are doing. An example was provided for when a viral disease hit one pond, the other group members were able to react immediately to prevent spread. The group also make block orders with suppliers, and organise a common rice buyers to come on specified dates, whereupon they can all harvest and sell. They said that after the project closes, they will continue to work as a group.

WorldFish, a program partner centre, will be leading the Bangladesh activities and has been conducting research in the area through the AAS CGIAR Research Program. This story was contributed by Stuart Worsley.

Filed under: Aquaculture, Bangladesh, CRP37, Partnership, WorldFish

Performance of indigenous sheep breeds managed under community-based breeding programs in Ethiopia

Animal breeding is typically a state-supported activity implemented by large national breeding programs with central data processing, estimation of ‘breeding values’ with complex statistical methods and central decisions about the use of male breeding animals.

In developing countries, centralized breeding schemes, entirely managed and controlled by governments – with minimal, if any, participation by farmers – were developed and implemented in many developing countries through a nucleus breeding unit limited to a central station. These centralized schemes were usually run by a governmental organization attempting to undertake all or part of the complex processes and breeding strategy roles (i.e. data recording, genetic evaluation, selection, delivery of genetic change, and feedback to farmers).

Although well intended, these centralized schemes failed to sustainably provide the desired genetic improvements (continuous provision of a sufficient number and quality of improved males to smallholders) and also failed to engage the participation of the end-users in the process.

Another widely-followed approach is to import improved commercial breeds in the form of live animals, semen, or embryos. These are crossbred with the indigenous and ‘less productive’ breeds to upgrade them, but in most cases, it is done without sufficient testing of the appropriateness (suitability and adaptability) of the breeds and their resulting crosses to local production systems or conditions. Where indiscriminate crossbreeding with the local populations has been practiced, genetic erosion of the adapted indigenous populations and breeds has occurred.

A third approach is community-based breeding that builds farmer participation into selection and breeding processes, from inception through to implementation.

This approach has been the basis for community-based sheep breeding programs in Ethiopia led by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), and partners from the National Agricultural Research System.

This project report provides preliminary results from these breeding programs. It evaluates progress in the implementation of community-based breeding programs (CBBPs), evaluates the growth and reproduction performance of Ethiopian sheep breeds kept under CBBPs and studies the effects of non-genetic factors on performance of sheep breeds in Ethiopia.

Download the report

Filed under: Africa, Animal Breeding, ASSP, CGIAR, CRP37, East Africa, Ethiopia, Genetics, ICARDA, ILRI, Indigenous breeds, Livestock-Fish, Report, Research, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

India smallholder dairy value chain: Trends, status and likely future directions

As part of the initial value chain development process, each of the target value chains supported by the Livestock and Fish program is carrying out a ‘situation analysis.’ The main objective is to assess the conditions within which the target value chains in the selected country operates. It aims to set broader national contexts for rapid and in-depth value chain assessments and analysis at sites or small geographical scales through the subsequent research activities.

Each assessment exercise provides an overview of past trends, current status, and likely future directions for the specific value chain.

The India smallholder dairy value chain situation analysis report was published in early 2014. It provides additional information on dairy value chains in the sates of Assam and Bihar.

It assesses the conditions within which the dairy value chains in India operate, and sets out a broader national context for the rapid and in-depth dairy value chain assessments and analysis at site or small geographical scales through subsequent research activities. It provides an overview of past trends, current status and the likely future directions in dairy value chains in India – as well as the states of Assam and Bihar, and identifies the underlying challenges and opportunities faced by different actors in the value chains.

Download the report

Filed under: Asia, ASSP, Cattle, CRP37, Dairying, ILRI, India, Report, South Asia, Value Chains

Value chain analysis of the Egyptian aquaculture feed industry

The commercial aquaculture feed industry in Egypt is growing at a rapid rate. As a result, the number of fish feed mills has increased from just 5 mills producing about 20,000 t per year in 1999, to over 60 mills with a current production estimate of 800,000–1,000,000 t/year.

This study assesses the status of the fish feed sector in Egypt, with an emphasis on: mapping and understanding fish feed value chains, describing the main actors and stakeholders within the chain, assessing value chain performance, identifying major strengths and weakness of the sector, and suggesting appropriate actions, management and development strategies.

The results shows that the value-chain of the fish feed sector in Egypt is relatively
simple with four main stakeholder groups/actors: feed ingredients/additives and raw
material suppliers; feed producers; feed marketers and traders; and fish farmers. Some of the main points from the study include:

  1. The main constraint facing the fish feed industry and fish farmers is rapidly increasing prices.
  2. An estimated 90% of Egyptian fish feeds are produced by 50 private sector fish feed mills, producing both conventionally pelleted feeds (80–85%) and extruded feeds (15–20%), most of which (85%) are formulated to contain 25% crude protein (CP). The public sector owns 9 mills, producing an estimated 10% of total commercial fish feed production.
  3. The total full-time number of jobs in fish feed manufacturing is estimated at about 4000–5000 jobs. Males represent 90% of the employees in the public sector and 96.6% in the private sector.
  4. An estimated 80% of fish feeds produced by public sector feed mills is sold through traders or retailers, compared to only 15–20% of fish feeds from private sector mills. Fish feed traders and retailers add around 3–6% to the price of fish feeds.
  5. Fish farmers stated that feed costs represent around 80% (70–95%) of the total operating costs of their farms.
  6. Farmers said they lack basic knowledge about feed and feed management as they do not receive training or quality control inspections.

The following recommendations for better management and development of the sector are proposed:

  • reduce dependency on expensive feed ingredients
  • improve capacity for production of high quality feeds
  • increase employment opportunities in the aquaculture feed sector
  • improve access to credit
  • improve access to training
  • strengthen the legal and policy environment for feed production, quality control, handling, storage and trading.

Download the report

Filed under: Africa, Animal Feeding, Aquaculture, CGIAR, CRP37, Egypt, Feeds, Fish, North Africa, Report, Value Chains, WorldFish

Livestock and Fish external evaluation update 1 – planning the CCEE

The Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program (CRP) will hold its first CRP-Commissioned External Evaluation (CCEE) this year. The program’s evaluation manager Keith Child provides a first update on the planning for this activity.

To be held in the second quarter of 2014, its focus will be on the program’s value chain approach and whether it is being implemented effectively, efficiently and in a manner that contributes to the overall quality of its science outputs.

As evaluation manager Keith Child will take overall responsibility for ensuring that the CCEE is conducted in a manner consistent with the guidelines of the CGIAR Independent Evaluation Arrangement (IEA).

The table below indicates the program’s value chains targeted by the evaluation; value chain selection criteria were limited to geographic proximity (they are all located in Africa) and their level of progress. While only 4 value chains are the target of the evaluation, a broader understanding of other value chains is required for the sake of comparison and completeness (as part of a desk review).

Country Value chain Key contact Egypt Small and medium-scale aquaculture Malcolm Dickson, WorldFish Ethiopia Small ruminants Barbara Rischkowsky, ICARDA Tanzania Smallholder dairy Amos Omore, ILRI Uganda Smallholder pigs Danilo Pezo, ILRI


According to the guidelines published by the IEA, the program is required to assemble an Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) composed of a broad range of stakeholders.  The purpose of the ERG is to provide guidance to the program at key stages throughout the evaluation process.  The ERG is chaired by ILRI’s Shirley Tarawali and is composed of the following people:

ERG members Position An Notenbaert Targeting theme leader and CIAT representative Antonio Rota IFAD, senior technical adviser, livestock and farming systems Barbara Rischkowsky ICARDA representative to the program and value chain coordinator Charlie Crissman Discipline director, policy, economics and social science, WorldFish Cheikh Ly FAO, and member of the ILRI board of trustees Laté Lawson-Lartego Director, economic development at CARE Martin Webber SPAC representative with value chain expertise Shirley Tarawali ILRI, director of institutional planning and partnerships Suzanne Bertrand ILRI, deputy director general – biosciences

Progress is going well, though we are still at a very early stage in process. Currently, the ERG is reviewing the evaluation ToR (and evaluation questions) and will make a recommendation to me for the selection of the lead evaluator. I hope to be able to confirm the lead evaluator by April 25 and will publish the finalized ToR at that time. Immediately following confirmation of the lead evaluator, I will work with the him or her to recruit two additional support evaluators. The timing of the field work for the evaluation is contingent on the availability of the evaluation team.

Fortunately, I am not alone in this effort. Esther Ndungu, Livestock and Fish program assistant has been appointed my assistant, and has already compiled all relevant CRP documentation for the evaluation that will be required. I am also working with a small group of senior ILRI managers who will be guiding us on the process at critical junctions. This group is called the evaluation commissioning body, and is composed of the following people:

Name Position Tom Randolph Director, CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish Suzanne Bertrand ILRI, deputy director general – biosciences John McIntire ILRI, deputy director general – integrated sciences Shirley Tarawali ILRI, director, institutional planning and partnerships Acho Okike Livestock and Fish value chain development theme leader Pat Rainey Livestock and Fish program support coordinator


The primary audiences for the evaluation include:

  1. The program management team, who will use the evaluation to inform strategic decision making;
  2. The ILRI Institutional Management Committee and Board of Trustees, who will use the evaluation as an input to the program oversight responsibility;
  3. The Independent Evaluation Arrangement (IEA) of the CGIAR, who will use it to inform the CRP-wide Independent External Evaluation (IEE) of this CRP, which is scheduled to take place in 2015.

The final evaluation report will be posted on the Livestock and Fish and IEA websites as publicly accessible documents and so will become an international public good, potentially of interest to a much broader audience.

All key documents related to the CCEE can be downloaded here:

I will also post regular updates on this site to keep stakeholders up to date on our progress.

Keith Child, Evaluation manager, CRP-Commissioned External Evaluation (CCEE), Livestock and Fish program

Filed under: CGIAR, CRP37, Impact Assessment

Livestock and Fish planning and management committee meets in Penang

Earlier this month WorldFish hosted the 9th Program Planning and Management Committee (PPMC) meeting at their headquarters in Penang.

Committee members reviewed a number of pending matters, including:

  1. Strengthening our gender agenda: we need to strengthen our human and financial resources for implementing our gender strategy, especially for supporting the gender dimensions of technology development and adoption in our value chains. Each centre will be reallocating resources to address this, and we will be asking the gender team to review their staffing strategy.
  2. Our strategy for allocating USD3.1 million in supplementary CGIAR and bilateral funding this year: some will be disbursed directly to the four partner centres for additional activities this year, some to strategic investments in our partnerships and gaps in capacity, and some to a competitive call to support our work in value chains and across Consortium Research Programs (CRPs).
  3. Taking forward partnership ambitions with Wageningen University Research and the Swedish Agricultural University (SLU): the recent roundtable consultation with Wageningen UR was very positive, we further discussed the options for the partnership arrangements to pursue.
  4. A reflection on our program model: we have been managing the program as a federative model which recognizes that the partner centres consider the Livestock and Fish program as a mechanism for implementing their respective mandates and research agenda, and so relies heavily on the researchers across the centres to shape the agenda to meet the agreed objectives. While we consider our federative model to be working well, we challenged ourselves to continue monitoring whether we are ensuring it performs well from a results-based management and value-for-money perspective.

This was Malcolm Beveridge’s last meeting as he retires from WorldFish this month. Malcolm was instrumental in designing the program and has served on the PPMC as the aquaculture science leader since it began. We appreciate him for his valuable inputs and perspectives, and wish him the best.

Filed under: CGIAR, CRP37