CRP 3.7 News

ILRI’s experience with the Crop and Goat Project in Tanzania from a gender perspective

This paper synthesises ILRI’s experience with the Crop and Goat Project (CGP) in Tanzania from a gender perspective.

Some findings were identified which are worthwhile pursuing in future similar projects. For example, access to and control over assets and the products and proceeds gained from them increased the independence of male and female household members as they can now make decisions with little dependence on resources of others.

The project has also been able to positively improve some of the key domains of gender empowerment, i.e. asset ownership, decisions-making ability and authority, independence, improved sense of worth, willingness and ability to question one’s status and capacity to negotiate relationships and change labour patterns.

Furthermore, the use of gender analysis in design, implementation and evaluation stages helped in providing an
understanding of the complexity of gender relations and labour organization and how they shape household strategies and power dynamics, and subsequently the differential impact of the project on different members of a household.

Finally, the various project activities have helped to clarify the need for new participatory approaches, i.e.
empowerment framework and pathway, to define a multi-level empowerment conceptual framework including a
carefully determined targeting strategy (like working with women’s and special interest groups and youth, but also
ensuring the engagement with men and boys), set empowerment goals, translate the framework and goals into a
pathway, identify indicators of change, and assess success of projects in enhancing change, all in a participatory fashion.

Download the paper

More outputs from this project

Filed under: Africa, Crop-Livestock, CRP37, Dairying, Gender, Goats, ILRI, LGI, Livestock, Research, Small Ruminants, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Value Chains, Women

Dairy hubs in Tanzania: Ensuring smallholder farmers participate in the value chain

A cow is milked in Tanga, Tanzania.

Faustina Akyoo, a small-scale dairy farmer in Tanga, Tanzania (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

Smallholder farmers in Tanzania are straining to keep up with a fast-moving dairy industry to avoid being marginalized by changes in competition patterns, consumer preferences and markets requirements. In 2014, Roselynne Muchichu completed a master’s thesis looking at the ‘sustainability of dairy development in Tanzania: adoption of a participatory market chain approach system.’ It looked at factors that would facilitate or impede adoption of the dairy hub model by farmers, input providers and milk traders and recommended interventions to ensure increased participation by small-scale actors in the dairy value chain.

The Tanzania government, in partnership with the Irish government-funded ‘MoreMilkIT’ dairy development program, is aiming to implement dairy market hubs in the country to increase milk production to meet an increasing demand. The program brings together Sokoine University of Agriculture, Faida Mali, Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI), Heifer International, Tanzania Dairy Board, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and other partners.

By targeting rural producers who predominantly sell milk to rural consumers and commercial rural producers who sell milk to urban consumers, the project will set up dairy hubs in Kilosa, Mvomero, Handeni and Lushoto districts to improve informal markets and market actors’ capacity to upgrade value chains contributing to higher quality and safer dairy products for consumers.

Muchichu’s study evaluated factors influencing adoption of the dairy hub model by assessing patterns of its use by dairy chain actors in Tanzania. Ninety-six participants (65 input providers and 31 traders) from the three districts took part in the study, which analysed the adoption, construct measures, attitudes and opinions of respondents.

She found that market dynamics are key in influencing adoption of dairy hubs. Value chain actors are more likely to favour dairy hubs if these help resolve problems of access to markets, address storage and transport challenges and increase access to credit for producers. Traders are motivated by incentives such as sales volume, payment guarantee and business networks, while incentives such as sales volume, payment guarantee and improved access to larger markets were found to attract input providers to the program, though there is uncertainty on whether perceived access to larger markets will sustain their participation in the hubs, considering increased profits may not be realized immediately.

Her findings indicate that the participation of smallholder farmers in markets can contribute to higher output and income growth, which in turn can enhance food security, poverty reduction efforts and overall economic development. Business development approaches should be aimed at all value chain actors, including smallholder farmers so they are able to tackle market factors to strengthen the links in the value chain.

She also recommends that engagement approaches likely to influence high participation of smallholders, input providers and the private sector be used to increase ownership in the program and ensure its sustainability. The study also calls for collective action towards liberalizing output and input markets, access to services, market information and new technologies.

The success of the country’s dairy sector, she says, also depends on how well challenges such as poor infrastructure, overlapping government and private sector roles, land tenure and use, agricultural extension and innovation are addressed to ensure smallholders benefit.

Download her thesis.

Related articles

Tanzania Dairy Development Forum improves dairy management by widely sharing information

Building a dairy innovation platform: Lessons from Tanzania

Dairy Development Forum established to further more inclusive dairy development in Tanzania

Filed under: Cattle, CRP37, Dairying, East Africa, ILRI, Integrated Sciences, LGI, Livestock, Markets, Report, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Value Chains

Workshop explores the future of fish in Bangladesh

Aquaculture projects in Khulna, Bangladesh. Photo by Mike Lusmore/Duckrabbit, 2012.

Aquaculture projects in Khulna, Bangladesh. Photo by Mike Lusmore/Duckrabbit, 2012.

Fish is a staple food and key source of nutrition and income for the people of Bangladesh, whose population will reach more than 185 million by 2030.

This growing demand for fish will place unique stresses on Bangladesh’s ‘fish food system’, which covers three distinct sources – inland fisheries, aquaculture and marine capture fisheries.

To develop future scenarios of the country’s fish food system, a two-day workshop (31 January – 1 February 2015) organized by the Department of Fisheries Bangladesh and WorldFish brought together experts across diverse fields including fisheries, aquaculture, nutrition, gender and trade.

“The Future of Fish in Bangladesh” workshop explored how the supply, demand and trade of fish may change over the next 10 to 20 years based on observed trends and drivers of change, such as sea level rise and population growth.

The scenarios developed by participants will contribute to the analysis of future supply and demand for fish products, and the role of fish in food and nutrition security in Bangladesh.

This analysis will be undertaken through two key WorldFish projects that facilitated the event.

Part of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, the ‘Aquaculture and the poor: improving fish production, consumption and nutrition linkages’ project aims to secure the supplies of, and access to, farmed fish for vulnerable consumers – particularly women and children.

Funded by GIZ, the project will generate gendered fish consumption patterns and communicate to key stakeholders the technological, institutional and policy innovations that support the sustainable and equitable development of fish value chains.

The USAID-funded Enhanced Costal Fisheries (ECOFISHBD) project, part of the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems, will improve the resilience and governance of estuarine ecosystems and the livelihoods of communities that depend on Hilsa fisheries – the largest single species contributor to fisheries production in Bangladesh.

Increasing the availability and affordability of animal source foods, including fish, for poor consumers in the developing world is a core focus the Livestock and Fish program. This is particularly important for the people of Bangladesh, of whom more than 30% live below the poverty line.


Filed under: Aquaculture, Asia, Bangladesh, CGIAR, CRP13, CRP37, Fish, Research, South Asia, Value Chains, WorldFish

Livestock and Fish Independent External Evaluation holds inception meeting in Kenya

The CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish evaluation teamThe Livestock and Fish program’s external evaluation, managed by the Independent Evaluation Arrangement (IEA), kicked off with an inception meeting in Kenya from 1-7 February. The evaluation team is composed of experts with a broad range of experience. The team is led by Brian Perry, a veterinarian and epidemiologist and includes: an expert on livestock policy (Anni Mc Leod), animal genetics and organizational development (Ed Rege), social, institutional and policy aspects of livestock development (John Morton), fish genetics and aquaculture (Rex Dunham), animal nutrition (Peter Udén) and governance and management (Felix von Sury).

The evaluation team was joined by Rachel Bedouin, head of IEA and Sophie Zimm, IEA evaluation analyst, which began with an internal meeting outside of Nairobi to discuss the inception report and together develop the approach and methodology of the evaluation. Afterwards they spent three days at the ILRI campus, where they met with ILRI senior management as well as Livestock and Fish program management unit and research leaders. The meetings at ILRI provided an opportunity for getting a better overview of the program, and assisted in refining the scope and methods to address the specific aspects of the CGIAR Research Program.

The team is scheduled to finalize the inception report by mid-March, to be followed by the inquiry phase (scheduled to be completed by end of August), which will include field visits, documentation review, interviews and a survey of Livestock and Fish researchers. The evaluation will review the overall portfolio of the program in addition to selected case studies and in-depth analysis of important aspects of the program.

For more information on the evaluation visit: Independent Evaluation Arrangement or contact Sophie Zimm (sophie.zimm(at)

 Article contributed by Keith Child and Sophie Zimm

You can learn more about the Livestock and Fish program Independent External Evaluation(IEA) on the Livestock and Fish Independent External Evaluation page or follow my blog posts on the Livestock and Fish website.

Filed under: CGIAR, CRP37, Impact Assessment, LGI

Developing a monitoring and evaluation process for the Livestock and Fish program

A Theory of Change (ToC) training workshop was held on 9-12 February 2015 in Nairobi. The workshop aimed to ensure a common understanding of theories of change and how they can be used for planning, critical reflection and accountability in the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program. It also aimed to develop change pathways for projects in the smallholder dairy value chain in Tanzania and the small ruminants value chain in Ethiopia.

The workshop was attended by the Livestock and Fish program team members working on the technology flagships (Animal Health, Genetics, and Feeds and Forages) and the Systems Analysis for Sustainable Innovations flagship.

Tom Randolph, Livestock and Fish program director, said that the workshop would be useful in helping the program develop a Monitoring and Evaluation system that says how we should be evaluated, how we deliver our development outcomes and get a coherent monitoring and evaluation system. He stressed the importance of capturing program learning and using this to systematically challenge and improve the program’s work. It is important for us to test our research in order to identify the best practices, Randolph added.

The first day of the workshop was focused on the conceptual overview of what ToC is, and how it differs from and complements existing planning systems, as well as monitoring and evaluation processes. Days 2 and 3 focused primarily on the application of the concepts to develop the first four stages of the theory of change process for pilot countries (Tanzania and Uganda).

The Theory of Change process for planning and accountability

Day 4 was for the pilot teams to further refine their Theory of Change plans and set up a protocol to set dedicated baselines for future monitoring and critical reflection.

Participant feedback about the workshop included:

  • “understanding the difference between outputs and changes for real people and perhaps thinking critically about our role in contributing to changes for people”
  • “Putting emphasis on continual self questioning and reflection and moving away from focus on activities”
  • “great facilitation – lively workshop”

Plans going forward

The next steps will be preparation for piloting the Ethiopia and Tanzania value chains and to implement a pilot process for the Animal Health, Genetics, Feeds and Forages and the System for Sustainable Intervention flagships.

With contributions from Isabel Vogel and Maureen O’Flynn, workshop facilitators

Filed under: CRP37, Impact Assessment, Targeting, Value Chains

How the Livestock and Fish program selects project sites in its focus countries

Site Selection in Bihar, India

Catherine Pfeifer (right) with stakeholders during a CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish site selection process in Bihar, India (photo credit: ILRI).

The CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, which is led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), has been implementing improved site selection procedures to better determine, and focus, its activities for impact in the next 10 years. In 2014, two sites were selected in each of the three value chain countries: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and India.

We spoke to Catherine Pfeifer, a spatial analyst in ILRI’s Livestock Systems and Environment Program, about the approaches used.

According to Pfeifer, the approach of selecting project sites is very effective because it brings together ‘the right constellation of partners’ demands and willingness to contribute.’ It also ensures that ‘we go to the right locations and that stakeholders are enthusiastic about the start of project activities.’ It also helps in targeting the dissemination of research outcomes, she said.

The procedure, which is applied in the same way in all the 9 value chains in the program’s target countries, generally follows three steps (see how Ethiopia did it; and Vietnam).

In step one, the ILRI geographic information system (GIS) team looks at the data and evaluates where livestock keepers and livestock consumers are and maps out their status in terms of poorer, less poor, more livestock and less livestock. This information differentiates domains, from which the domains containing poor households with livestock are selected to meet the Livestock and Fish program’s objective of ‘more meat, milk and fish by and for the poor’.

Step two involves organizing stakeholder workshops where the different stakeholders identify other variables to consider in selecting the sites. They define their areas of concern for a more holistic starting point. This stage captures, through a participatory process, information that the global data sets may not be capable of mapping. This step also aid in ‘buying in’ stakeholder involvement and forging partnerships. Issues such as the level of social capital are also identified at this stage.

Site Selection in Burkina Faso

Stakeholders ranking sites during a site selection process in Burkina Faso for the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish (photo credit: ILRI/Catherine Pfeifer).

All the potential sites are then ranked. In Burkina Faso, for example, the stakeholders were given a matrix of potential sites, the criteria they had defined themselves and a park of a hundred sweets. The group was asked to decide where to put the sweets and to, in the process, negotiate. The entries with the highest number of sweets were considered more important.

‘Numbers will never be able to tell as much as a stories. The more you zoom in on maps, the more data becomes irrelevant and stories become important’

However, stakeholders also have their own dynamics that affect their choices or rankings. To address this, step three involves groundtruthing. This is a cross-checking step where the site selection team goes into the fields to select the three to five most promising sites depending on how many they need in a country. During these visits, they talk to individuals in the community and collect data to make the selection context and environment specific.

‘In the face of all these, a concern arises on how much weight to give stakeholders, how to involve them and the need for science and diversity in carrying out assessment and it is a thin line,’ admits Pfeifer. ‘To address these concerns, Pfeifer says researchers need to ‘balance between the qualitative and quantitative data they obtain’.

The qualitative data gives context to the quantitative data because, by themselves, ‘numbers will never tell as much as stories.When you scale down in maps at the global scale, the more you zoom in the more data becomes irrelevant and stories become important.’

Pfeifer further mentions that although this site selection procedure may appear to ignore the science, it embraces diversity and creates room for wider stakeholder involvement. For example in India, the program ended up with two sites in the same agro-ecological zone in neighbouring districts, but with very different livestock value chains.

Related stories

Filed under: Africa, Asia, Burkina Faso, CRP37, ILRI, India, Integrated Sciences, Interview, LSE, Research, Systems Analysis, Targeting, Value Chains, West Africa

Livestock and Fish project to upgrade fish feed production practices in Bangladesh

Woman feeding fish in Khulna, Bangladesh

Feed production is an important part of the aquaculture value chain as the quality directly impacts the productivity and profitability of a fish farm.

To improve feed quality in Bangladesh, a new project funded by Katalyst and implemented by WorldFish commenced on 1 October 2014.

The project aims to upgrade the feed production practices of more than 20 major fish feed producers in Bangladesh in order to improve commercial feed quality.

Part of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, the Market development for quality feed production in Bangladesh project will also promote the use of smaller, farmer-operated ‘semi-auto’ feed mills, which will improve access to feeds in areas not well served by major manufacturers.

In collaboration with international private sector service providers, the project will provide training on feed formulation and machine operation to feed mill staff and owners of ‘semi-auto’ feed mills to both improve quality and reduce costs.

Strengthening aquaculture feed manufacturing will contribute to a greater supply of affordable farmed fish for the country’s poor consumers.

Fish is an important part of a healthy diet and contains essential fatty acids and micronutrients that are vital for growth and brain development in children.

Increased availability of affordable fish could help to reduce micronutrient deficiencies, which affect approximately 20 million people across Bangladesh.

The project is led by WorldFish

Filed under: Animal Feeding, Aquaculture, Asia, Bangladesh, CRP37, Feeds, Fish, Project, Research, South Asia, Value Chains, WorldFish

Are you game for (Theories of) Change in an unpredictable world ?

People are not generally open to change and ideas that contradict what they already believe. Under certain conditions, they actively avoid such information while at the same time seeking information that bolsters their original beliefs.

Research organizations and the people that work for them are not immune from this. Many who spent their careers in research or international development resist the idea that their efforts may be ineffective or even counterproductive. Cognitive dissonance theory predicts that, based on levels of commitment to current beliefs, evidence to the contrary will be rejected and even discussion (for learning) is discouraged.

In a world of rapid change (such as we have in our Livestock and Fish program) where value chains actors interact in complex and unpredictable ways, “traditional” monitoring approaches that are heavy and slow, infrequent and top-down are simply inadequate. Real-time monitoring and quick (learning) feedback loops, faster cycles of data collection and analysis, allow for quick assessment of positive and negative effects of interventions and help immediate course-correction to ensure that research is more responsive to the needs of smallholder farmers and their constituencies.

Exploring Theories of Change, the interfaces of capacity development with change processes, social psychology to understand research (uptake) and development practices, and studying ways to overcome them will have little benefit if the broader research and development field is not predisposed to carefully listen to evaluation findings.

Research organizations may unwittingly be complicit in undermining national and local capacity development, creating attitudes or expectations that actually weaken well-intended work for development, replacing local resourcefulness and self-reliance with attitudes that view the benefits of externally-directed programs as an entitlement that hinders national (public, private sector) ownership and new initiatives. Failure to recognize how on-the-ground implementation change processes and dynamics fosters such attitudes may help explain why many of the improvements attributed to externally-funded programs persistently lack sustainability. Why have many “modern” research (for development) programs, in general, left their partners/clients inert, dis-empowered, and uncommitted to act independently on the challenges they face?

Finding ways to create space for meaningful dialogue on this is a most significant challenge.

A “new” research for development paradigm has supplanted a long-functioning, traditional system of addressing farmer community needs. While those pre-existing systems may or may not have been efficient or equitable, they rarely left communities inert, unwilling to take action, and dependent on others. This may not be the result of a lack of capacity of communities to manage new technologies or systems, but rather an unwillingness to accept responsibility for them.

The amount of guidance and support farmer communities receive from researchers and development partners is often inversely related to the even short term sustainability of an initiative. This has profound implications for development practice: sustained development happens when external development agents intervene less and when national systems are built, and local participation and ownership is encouraged. Unfortunately, failure to empirically ground these concepts in the social psychological field of attitude change and behaviour have led to widely divergent interpretations of their meaning and more importantly, to their ineffective implementation in the field.

To emphasize this point, “community participation” was claimed to be a key, albeit diversely understood element within each of the development processes leading too often to deleterious outcomes. If extensive external intervention does undermine sustainability, there are issues with the nature of these interventions that a better understanding of social psychology could help address.

Let me give you some space to reflect about what I just said….

The last decade has seen the rise of behavioral economics and a growing interest in using it, together with behavioural psychology, to understand how behaviour influences change (or not) in day-to-day life and work of people, as well as the functions of value chains. Yet research innovation (for developmental change) has, in my opinion, not really caught up with these developments and understandings of what motivates individuals and organizations, and how to harness that motivation. There is a need to get more granular in our understanding of how to provide a stimulus for change in different parts of the value chain, for different types of staff, and for diverse kinds of technological innovations, from incremental to radical.

This week I am attending a workshop organized by our CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish to refine frameworks and tools for a new Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system based on the program’s Theory of Change and Impact Pathways, aiming to ensure common understanding of theories, to discuss how they can be used for planning, critical reflection and accountability; and to develop change pathways for the pilot value chains in which it will be tested.

That was a mouthful of jargon, isn’t? Let me try to make some sense out of it for you.

Strengthening capacities of collaborators and partner institutions is crucial to CGIAR’s mission. In the Strategic Results Framework (SRF), and the CGIAR Capacity Development Framework, capacity strengthening is recognized as a key strategic pillar along with research to increase its impact of research and adoption of innovation.

Currently, CGIAR centres and the CGIAR Research Programs (CRP) do not have systematic ways of monitoring, tracking, and reporting capacity development – change – activities. In the absence of a systematic database for capacity strengthening activities, the assessment of CGIAR’s and any CRP’s performance with regard to its capacity development – change – objectives becomes difficult. Further, merely counting the number of people who attend (as an example) training courses may not fully capture the change process supported by CGIAR researchers at the three systems level (individual, organizational, and institutional).

To determine whether our research program is effectively contributing to developing national (research) capacity, the program must have a comprehensive system to assess whether a) CGIAR’s capacity development principles are properly integrated into value chain design/planning, b) if flagship programs and value chains do invest and implement ways that are consistent with the CGIAR capacity development approach, and c) whether concrete capacity development results are systematically captured and reported following a capacity measurement framework.

Learning about Theories of Change for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Research Uptake (IDS, 2014) is a clear imperative for us to innovate for change in the program. This argues that program staff and partners will determine the success or failure of getting research for change to the heart of development (processes and implementation). The literature of capacity development converges around a few tenets that represent challenges to Innovations in Monitoring and Evaluating Results (UNDP, 2013) and the measurement of change.

  • First, effective capacity development entails significant elements of self-directed change driven and owned by (for example) national research institutes, smallholder farmers. As a result, aspects of the work cannot always be defined before the process is begun.
  • Second, CGIAR usually supports capacity development to improve performance within a wider system, rather than as an end in itself. There is generally an underlying theory of change (stated or implicit) that presumes that capacity development activities will strengthen certain stakeholders and modify attitudes and practices, in turn changing the performance of a wider system. Consequently, appropriate data should be monitored to track each of the steps in this theory of change, capability gains, behavior changes, and performance improvements, with the emphasis placed more on the performance improvements, and the link of improved performance to higher-order results.
  • Third, capacity development involves investments in capabilities with uncertain future applications. It is difficult to predict the impacts of a stronger human resources process, better communications, or a more widespread culture of learning. These areas represent difficulties for measurement because they may produce a, value chain, partner organization that is more nimble, adaptive, or resilient in the face of change and responsive to uncertain challenges or opportunities – challenges or opportunities that may or may not arise. These adaptive capabilities are vital to the performance of individuals, organizations, and institutions, but are difficult to monitor through pre-established indicators. Staying abreast of holistic capacity development programming requires thus additional monitoring methods to complement indicator tracking.
  • Fourth, capacity development depends on the partner’s skills, incentives, commitment, resources, and opportunity costs around processes of reflection, prioritization, absorption of new skills or knowledge, and putting new priorities, skills and knowledge into practice.

The Livestock and Fish program anticipated that capacity development assistance would be provided somehow through intermediary (development) organizations. Such intermediaries can be held accountable for the quantity, quality, timeliness, and relevance of their assistance, but not for the behaviour changes of their partner/client organizations. Indicators for the performance of intermediary organizations in capacity development should focus on what they are responsible for doing within their manageable interests, as distinct from the actions of those they assist – though this can include some joint accountability for collective performance together with those they assist.

So, what frameworks can help us to identify different areas of potential changes in partner capabilities and performance over different time scales? For example, a new strategic outreach plan might affect a local organization’s efficiency quickly, but only increase influence over a longer period. It is clear that the new functions or roles any organization, network, or individual wants to take on depend critically on the space for it to do so in the broader system in which the organization operates. It is therefore critical to indicate selection to understand the wider context that affects changes in individual and institutional attitudes, practices, and behavior.

The first step is to articulate the purposes of the capacity development component of specific value chain program/projects and the Theory of Change. Here, brainstorming about potential measurements by identifying the specific capacity, behavior, and performance changes we expect to see (as well as areas where we are unsure what to expect, but want to monitor change if it occurs) needs to take place.

The second step is to select one or more core purposes of the monitoring of any Theory of Change:

  • Tracking capacity development interventions: Monitoring the inputs provided by CGIAR centers, partner organizations, and others as well as the outputs produced from the inputs. Inputs and outputs are relatively easy to measure and track. Input indicators include the activities and resources used for capacity development;
  • Tracking capacity development sub-purposes or outcomes: Monitoring changes in behavior by partner/client organizations and resulting changes in their performance over time. These changes generally take more time to achieve than inputs and outputs. Examples of outcome (or sub-purpose) topics to monitor include changes in the organization’s legitimacy in eyes of stakeholders or influence in eyes of decision-makers through perception surveys, a service delivery organization’s efficiency is improved (reaches more farmers for the same cost), percentage of organization’s proposals that are funded, level of technological research uptake;
  • Accountability of (potential) capacity service providers: Monitoring the productivity, quality, and timeliness of capacity development service providers. Service provider accountability often is measured through a mix of input indicators and triangulation. Examples might include number of people mentored, number of organizations actively participating in joint learning network, and customer satisfaction surveys of recipients of capacity development services.

It is quite common to have multiple purposes. However, it is usually not possible to monitor all of these purposes through one indicator or approach. Having clarity on the purposes behind our monitoring allows us however to interrogate the purposes of capacity development interventions in our value chain, and help prioritize in which of those areas we will require monitoring approaches.

A learning approach is critical to enable adaptive management for capacity development. Monitoring and evaluation are both vital in supporting a learning approach, particularly where CGIAR and its partners can engage in joint review of jointly-defined indicators. Monitoring can track what has changed and link that back to a theory of change. Monitoring is most likely to support effective capacity development when centers, implementing partners, and client organizations collaborate on definitions of indicators and targets and joint reviews are conducted to support mutual learning and adaptation. An evaluation would be needed to gain a better understanding of how and why the theory of change worked or did not work. Evaluations can also consider unintended consequences, alternative explanations, and lessons learned in greater depth.

Follow me on twitter: @DianaBrandes 


Filed under: Capacity Development, Capacity Strengthening, CapDev, CRP37, ILRI, Opinion Piece

Sheep and goat research in Ethiopia: PhD and MSc these supported by Livestock and Fish program

The Livestock and Fish program combines a focus on value chain development in a few target countries with ‘technology’ research on animal feeding, genetics and health. In Ethiopia, this has led to support for academic research grounded in the value chain needs identified in recent years.

In 2014, four students completed their PhD and Masters research – in Ethiopia and Austria.

Read the theses online:

Filed under: ABS, Animal Breeding, East Africa, Ethiopia, Genetics, Goats, ICARDA, ILRI, Livestock, Markets, Sheep, Small Ruminants, Value Chains

Egyptian fish farmers learn best aquaculture practices

Aquaculture in Egypt employs more than 140,000 people and, as market demand grows, the industry has boomed over the last two decades and continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Through training on “best management practices” (read more), the Improving Employment and Income through Development of Egypt’s Aquaculture Sector (IEIDEAS) project aims to sustainably strengthen this growing industry by helping farmers to increase the productivity and profitability of their ponds.

Watch a video

Teaching Egyptian fish farmers the industry’s best aquaculture practices has helped increase their production and income. Strengthening the industry’s small and medium-scale farms will generate new employment opportunities and meet the country’s growing demand for fish.

The project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and aims to create 10,000 new industry jobs.


Filed under: Aquaculture, Capacity Development, Capacity Strengthening, CRP37, Egypt, Fish, North Africa, Value Chains, WorldFish

Small ruminant value chain development in Ethiopia: Situation analysis and trends

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 Ethiopia small ruminant value chain situation analysis report was published in mid 2014. It provides an overview of past trends, the current status, and likely future directions for small ruminant production in Ethiopia. Key issues and gaps in development of the value chain are also identified.

Download the report

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

Livestock and Fish Independent External Evaluation kicks off this year

In 2015, the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program will be evaluated by a team commissioned by the Independent Evaluation Arrangement (IEA) office of the CGIAR. You can learn more about the evaluation here.

As a first step, the evaluation team led by Brian Perry, a veterinary surgeon by profession and epidemiologist by specialization is planning to meet in Kenya the week of 1st February to plan and initiate the evaluation. At the beginning of the week, the evaluation panel will be off ILRI campus holding their own internal team meeting. They will arrive at ILRI on Wednesday 4th Feb at noon to meet the Livestock and Fish Program management, Flagship leaders, other program staff and the ILRI management team.

The agenda for the meetings can be found here.

The members of the team are:

  1. Brian Perry, independent evaluation team leader
  2. Anni McLeod, evaluation team member
  3. Ed Rege, evaluation team member
  4. John Morton, evaluation team member
  5. Peter Udén, evaluation team member
  6. Felix von Sury, evaluation team member
  7. Rex Dunham, evaluation team member.
  8. Rachel Sauvinet
  9. Bedouin, Head IEA, Evaluation Manager
  10. Sophie Zimm, evaluation analyst, IEA, Evaluation Assistant Manager

Filed under: CGIAR, CRP37, ILRI, Impact Assessment, LGI

Feed assessment training to boost availability of local feeds for Uganda’s pig farmers

Pigs in Uganda

Pigs in Uganda. The FEAST tool is supporting feed interventions for smallholder livestock systems (photo credit: ILRI/Danilo Pezo).

For the typical Ugandan pig producer, getting the right quantity and quality of feed in a cost effective manner remains a major challenge. Competing needs for land for housing and crop production leave very little or no land for growing animal fodder, leading to an over-reliance on purchased feeds. But these feeds are expensive.

‘I spend at least Ush 300,000 (USD 105) to buy feeds each month for my three pigs, but I haven’t made as much from the sales,’ narrates Keren Zaake a farmer from Mukono District in central Uganda.

Like Zaake, many Ugandan pig farmers rely on locally purchased feeds for the major part of their pigs’ diets. However, the quality of these commercial feeds is not standardized. The animal feed industry in Uganda is largely unregulated and the country does not have a national policy on feed manufacturing and quality. A 2013 report on the Pig Value Chain Impact Pathways showed that most feed processors in Uganda produce substandard feeds, with substandard and infected feeds common in the supply chain. In addition, these feeds are then sold at exorbitant prices to farmers. Previous research efforts have not covered much ground in relation to formulation of feeds that are appropriate for smallholder farmers’ needs.

To help in bridging the gap and to promote improved feeds for livestock in the country, a four-day training on the Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) was held in Wakiso District in Uganda from 15-18 December 2014 for non-technical feed experts and private and local government extension workers.

Facilitated by Ben Lukuyu and Joyce Maru from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the training introduced participants to the tool and included a hands-on field testing of the tool with 20 pig farmers in Matugga, Wakiso District of central Uganda. Preliminary findings from the field test revealed land shortage in this peri-urban district as the major constraint to cultivation of fodder and shed some light on the over-reliance on purchased feeds by the majority of pig farmers there.

FEAST training in Kampala, December 2014
Ben Lukuyu (standing) leads a training session during the FEAST workshop in Uganda (photo credit: ILRI/Brian Kawuma).

The data collected in the field testing exercise will be analyzed to inform possible interventions to support pig farmers’ efforts to improving the availability of locally available feed resources and the quality of their animals’ diets. These interventions are part of the Irish-Aid funded More Pork for and by the Poor Project, which is implemented by ILRI in Uganda. The project is testing and piloting best-bet options for improving the production, pork safety and household nutrition for all actors in the pig marketing chain in Uganda.

The FEAST tool will be used to characterize pig production systems and local feed resources in project sites in Lira and Hoima districts. Feeds assessment is part of the entire value chain assessment exercise that the project will execute before testing and piloting its interventions in the pig value chains in the two districts.

Filed under: Africa, Animal Feeding, CRP37, East Africa, Feeds, Forages, ILRI, LGI, Livestock-Fish, Pigs, Uganda, Value Chains

Smallholder pig value chain development in Vietnam: Situation analysis and trends

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 Vietnam smallholder pigs value chain situation analysis report was published in late 2014. It provides an overview of past trends, the current status, and likely future directions of the livestock and fish sectors in Vietnam, with particular focus on the pig value chain. Pork is the dominant meat produced and consumed in the country. Key issues and gaps in development of the pig value chain are also identified.

Download the report

Filed under: Asia, CGIAR, CRP37, ILRI, Pigs, Research, Southeast Asia, Value Chains, Vietnam

Wallowing in numbers to calculate costs and profits in Vietnamese pig value chains

Vietnamese and French research partners in the REVALTER project at workThree weeks ago, I traveled to Vietnam to provide methodological support on how to calculate production costs, margins and profits in value chains as part of the REVALTER project on future prospects for livestock in Vietnam.

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has partnered with other French and Vietnamese research organizations in this project funded by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). REVALTER is also mapped to the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program, the program contributes to some of the time of the ILRI researchers involved.

Using a method similar to the one I had already used in West Africa two years ago, we spent two days discussing the accounts tables of producers, traders, processors and retailers in the pig and milk value chains of Vietnam. The objective was to come up with numbers for costs, and especially profits, which could be compared between the different actors of a value chain.

Indeed, as I explained in my preliminary presentation in the seminar we organized to showcase our results to ILRI and ICRAF colleagues and to Vietnamese researchers from the Malica consortium on markets and agriculture linkages for cities in Asia, it is very important to find a common product unit on which to compare the costs and profits of value chain actors. For example, the farmer’s profit of 1$ per kg of live pig should not be compared directly with a profit of 5$ per kg of ham sold by the retailer. There have been many steps to transform the live pig into ham, and costs involved in this value addition for the collector, slaughterer, processor, wholesaler and retailer, which help explain the large difference between farm gate and consumer prices. These differences can be particularly wide for livestock products, which usually go through some elaborate processing before reaching the family dinner table, in forms that are very unlike the live animal the products came from.

Our preliminary results show that pig value chains studied in the rural Northwestern mountainous province of Son La are actually quite lean in terms of profits accumulated along the value chain. When calculating all the costs and profits of the value chain actors per kg of final consumer product, we realized that when a butcher-retailer sold 1 kg of pork ham on Mai Son city market, she (very often a woman’s activity) kept 42% of the final retail price as profit while the farmer who raised the pig had received 29% of that same final retail price.

This can be seen as relatively equitable given that there are only three actors in this value chain (farmer, slaughterer and butcher-retailer) and that it is the butcher who has done most of the work cutting up the pig carcass into different consumer meat cuts, including the ham. Furthermore, when comparing the total costs and total profits accumulated along this pork value chain, we saw that while farmers bore 10% of all the costs involved in producing 1 kg of ham, their profit was 33% of the total profits gained by all three actors in the chain. The retailer’s share of costs (53%) was roughly the same as her share of profits along the chain (48%). It looks like the slaughterhouse is the actor losing out in this chain: it bears 37% of the costs in the chain but only gets 19% of all the profits.

And the pig value chain is even leaner in the Southern peri-urban province of Dong Nai where strong consumer demand for pork meat in Ho Chi Minh City is driving a very competitive market for pigs. Pig farmers in Dong Nai pocket 40% of the total profit gained along the chain whereas collector and city butcher-retailer share out equally the remaining 60% of profits from the sale of 1 kg of lean pork thigh meat. Furthermore, the collector and retailer’ profits amount to around 15% of their respective selling price while 27% of the farmgate price is profit for farmers to pay their family labour and their other living expenses.

So for both these cases, who said unorganized producers are being exploited by rapacious traders? The dynamic and very competitive market for pork probably helps explain the economic efficiency of these two Vietnamese pig value chains.

See here the preliminary results of this research activity comparing costs and margins of the chain actors per kg of final consumer product. This common denominator is relevant for a wider audience because we can all relate these figures to the kg of ham or steak that we find at the butcher’s. Further analysis is needed in order to compare costs and margins along the chain per kg of pig carcass.

This new common denominator will be particularly useful for pig value chain actors to identify the inefficient steps in the value chain in order to take further action in improving their chain.

Jo Cadilhon, Senior Agricultural Economist, Policy, Trade and Value Chains Program, ILRI

Filed under: CRP37, Pigs, PTVC, Southeast Asia, Value Chains, Vietnam

Characterizing actors in the dual-purpose cattle value chain in Nicaragua: A gender perspective

Women in Palacaguina, Nicaragua find livelihood opportunities in dairy processing (Photo: CIAT\Shadi Azadegan)

To better understand the roles played by rural women in the dual-purpose cattle value chain in Nicaragua, as well as the institutional context in the territory as it relates to the theme of gender, the team of Livestock and Fish recetny carried out a Characterization and Mapping of Organizations and Actors in the Dual-Purpose Cattle Value Chain in the municipalities of Camoapa and Matiguás (download report – in Spanish).

The process was developed through qualitative research methodologies such as observation, semi-structured open interviews, and focus groups, with the purpose of assessing participants’ knowledge and experiences as a fundamental element for cultural transformation seeking greater gender equity.

The study allowed the team to identify who is involved in the value chain, what kind of support they receive from local organizations, and the strengths, opportunities, and limitations faced by rural women in the value chain.

Women’s participation in the value chain

The study revealed that women in the territory are producers at small, medium, and large scale. They also participate in milk collection and processing through artisanal methods. This aspect gives way to unfavorable conditions for women, due to the limited support they can receive through development policy, credit, and technical assistance because of the informal nature of their activities.

Another significant limitation faced by women consists in their commitment to the care economy, due to social gender norms which encase them in a reproductive and domestic role. However, many women participate in farm and commercial activities during the time they are not dedicated to family and household chores. This generates tension and work overload in regards to the use of women’s time. For this reason, it is important to implement programs designed specifically for women producers, considering their specific needs.

Gender focus of local organizations

In the analysis conducted during the study regarding the gender focus of activities promoted by the organizations active in the region, the main initiatives which stand out are education and continuous training opportunities provided to women in the territory. Another important element is the implementation of farmer exchanges as part of sharing, learning, and innovation initiatives.

Seeking to strengthen the role played by women in the value chain, local organizations are conducting development programs regarding themes such as food security and increase of income through the sustainable management of natural and financial resources. There is also a strong participation of women in training workshops focused on the management of businesses linked to the farming sector.

Finally, local organizations are involved in research initiatives and the elaboration of gender-disaggregated diagnostics, resulting in a greater involvement of women in dairy production and commercialization processes. On the other hand, it is important to mention that the gender initiatives promoted by organizations in the territories have not been focused on transforming the gender relationships which sustain the current state of inequality. This means they have promoted activities aiming to improve the quality of life and autonomy of women, but do not approach inequality directly at its roots.

Development opportunities for women in the value chain

The women interviewed during the study consider they have a strong capacity for diversification, developed through their involvement in various economic activities to generate additional income. A strong collaboration opportunity for local institutions is the artisanal dairy industry, where women have a strong presence. Although this is one of the main sectors generating added value for rural families, deficient infrastructure and limited access to technical and financial assistance restricts women’s ability to develop their potential.

Another element considered of great importance by interviewed women is organizing within cooperatives for the economic development and autonomy of women. However, this inclusion must consider women’s specific needs regarding their interests, responsibilities, and workload.

Download the report (in Spanish)

Filed under: Cattle, Central America, CIAT, CRP37, Gender, Nicaragua, Value Chains, Women

Lan Luong Dinh joins Livestock and Fish team in Vietnam

Luong Dinh LanLan Luong Dinh has joined the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) as value chain manager based in Hanoi, Vietnam. As value chain manager, Lan will lead the development and implementation of the research for development activities associated with the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program smallholder pig value chain in Vietnam, and develop and manage the national partnerships required for those activities. In addition, he will be responsible for formulating locally grounded country value chain strategies to guide research and intervention activities of the program and overseeing and coordinating the implementation of field activities associated with the program.

Lan has been engaged in agriculture and rural development, especially agriculture value chains, for more than 18 years now. He has carried out value chain analyses/researches and intervention design for a large number of value chains in Vietnam and other Asian countries.

Lan holds an MSc in agricultural economics from South Korea, BA in international trade and BSc in agriculture from Hanoi. Prior to joining ILRI, Lan worked for INGOs (Oxfam, World Vision International) and a government research institution (National Institute of Agricultural Planning and Projection).

Filed under: CRP37, ILRI, Pigs, Southeast Asia, Staff, Value Chains, Vietnam

Livestock and Fish program trials gender capacity assessments in Tanzania

ILRI’s Violet Barasa reports on recent Livestock and Fish CRP lessons from using a pilot gender capacity assessment methodology in Tanzania.

Debate on more in-depth analyses of institutional and individual capacities to deliver change and enhance development outcomes of resource-poor women and men and their families has been ongoing in different CGIAR institutes. Research institutions are prioritizing such analyses in the hope that this will help them strategize on their partnerships and ensure partners deliver on joint mandates agreed on in their Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs).

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)’s gender strategy recognizes the important role that partners play to jointly deliver outcomes. This is done by:

  1. Collaborating with partners in research to identify and work to eliminate constraints to participation of women and marginalized groups in value chain activities;
  2. Working with development partners, the private sector and other implementing organizations to increase benefits of participation especially for women.

The goal is to ensure that:

  • Smallholder farmers have reliable and consistent access to quality inputs and services in order to efficiently achieve high milk productivity;
  • Smallholder farmers have access to reliable, well-coordinated, and efficient dairy products marketing arrangements with resultant improvement in household income and livelihoods;
  • Poor consumers have improved access to quality, safe, and nutritious dairy products at affordable prices to increase per capita consumption of the dairy products

The CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish has a gender strategy that aims to “increase gender capacity within CGIAR centers, partner organizations and value chain actors to diagnose and overcome gender based constraints within value chains”. The focus is on improving incomes and employment and on stimulating local level public private partnership models and multi-stakeholder partnership initiatives.

Between  1-8 December 2014, ILRI’s staff (in collaboration with Transition International, a Dutch consultancy organization) were in Tanzania to meet partner institutions and individual colleagues in the Maziwa Zaidi dairy value chain project to pilot a gender capacity assessment methodology with seven partners.

The meetings were held with the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute, FAIDA MALI, Local Government Authorities (LGAs) including District Dairy Boards, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Heifer International, and Tanzania Dairy Board which all work with ILRI to improve milk production and expand markets for smallholder dairy farmers.

 Why Capacity Assessments?
A gender capacity assessment is important to help identify gaps within a) institutions, b) organizations and c) individuals to help address gender inequalities.
Integrating gender into the dairy value chain in TanzaniaFindings derived from any assessment should lead to the design of capacity development response strategies across the above mentioned three strata.

Six core gender capacities are identified in ILRI”s methodology as key requirements to design and implement gender responsive activities:

  1. Gender analysis and strategic planning: How much is gender analysis done and whether this inform strategic planning within organizations
  2. Gender responsive programming, budgeting and implementation: Are gender issues taken into consideration in program implementation and service delivery? Are gender issues researched? Research can be done on gender issues in value chains (strategic gender research); gender can also be mainstreamed into research.
  3. Knowledge management and gender responsive M&E: The capacity to collect and analyze sex disaggregated and gender equality data, to monitor and to report on gender responsive programming
  4. Effective partnerships and advocacy on promoting gender equality: The capacity to build coalitions, influence government and external partners, and to advocate for women’s rights
  5. Gender and leadership: The commitment and vision towards gender equality and women’s rights; women’s leadership and power to take decisions.
  6. Innovation in gender responsive approaches: Innovative and experimental approaches for impact in women’s empowerment (from accommodating to transformative), capacity to search for, absorb and share information, knowledge and resources

Capacity assessment is an analysis of desired capacities or skills against existing capacities. It generates an understanding of capacity assets and needs that can serve as input to formulate a capacity development response that addresses those capacities that could be strengthened, and optimizes existing capacities that are already strong and well founded. It can also set the baseline for continuous monitoring and evaluation of progress against relevant indicators, and help create a solid foundation for long-term planning, implementation and sustainable results.

Our Approach:
In Tanzania, seven focus group discussions were conducted, respectively in Lushoto (3), in Dar es Salaam (3) and in Morogoro(1). These discussions were guided by an in-depth questionnaire survey instruments to stimulate dialogue and to enable data collection on:

  1. Current core gender capacities of organizations and individuals within those organizations;
  2. Key gender capacities individual staff highlighted as priority areas to address;
  3. Least developed gender capacities, and how to address the gaps.

Representatives from partner organizations were given specially-designed score sheets with ratings on each of the aforementioned six core capacities and were guided through a self-assessment on each. It was interesting to see the honesty with which they rated themselves, acknowledging a lack of capacity in many areas. One director remarked:

we thought we did integrate gender in our work but after taking us through this assessment, we realize how poorly we are faring on this. 

My own learning going through this assessment process showed that:

  1. The overall awareness of the partner organizations about gender concept still focuses on the traditional gendered division of labour and ownership notions where women do housework and men manage livestock and its returns. This outlook needs to shift as currently women are overburdened with dairy livestock process-based activities (feeding animals, milking, and cleaning etc.) but are excluded from decision making and benefits accrued from sale of milk and livestock, a situation that further leads to their marginalization.
  2. At the government, institutional level, there is a national gender strategy in place and there are gender responsive policies in the dairy livestock sector. Mainstreaming gender in all sectoral policies, programs and strategies is highlighted by this strategy.

However, respondents illuminated that these are rarely implemented. In my opinion it is vital that the government of Tanzania commits resources towards implementation of the policies on gender both at national and grassroots levels, including in dairy sector. One way of doing this could be to provide incentives including performance-based incentives to motivate staff and partners to integrate gender into their work.

Some recommendations made by partners include needs and demands for:

  • Gender analysis training, with specific tools to do gender sensitive value chain analysis, activity mapping and access and control profiles, monitoring gender related changes for all the staff members;
  • Ensuring that gender capacities are shared within the organization and do not remain the responsibility of gender specialist/s only;
  • Monitoring and evaluation of intra-household level income distribution, ownership levels of livestock, and power and decision-making processes;
  • Having job description for staff members that includes gender responsive objectives;
  • Periodic reporting on gender equality indicators.

ILRI is committed to further pilot and roll out the gender capacity assessments. In the next few months ILRI will conduct similar assessments in the Livestock and Fish Program value chains in Uganda, Nicaragua and Ethiopia.

Article contributed by Violet Barasa, Research Technician, ILRI Livelihoods, Gender and Impact program


Filed under: Capacity Strengthening, CRP37, Dairying, Gender, ILRI, LGI, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Value Chains, Women

Conference on diseases in Asian aquaculture brings together animal health experts

Three aquatic diseases, Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) of fresh and brackishwater fishes in 1980’s, White Spot Disease (WSD) of shrimp in the 1990’s and the infamous shrimp Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (AHPND) have contributed to fostering a strong, scientific network among aquatic animal health experts in the Asian region over the past 25 years.

These experts came together during the 9th Symposium on Diseases in Asian Aquaculture (DAA9) held from 24-28 November 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The conference under the leadership of Dr Chadag Mohan, Senior Scientist Aquaculture, WorldFish, was organized by the Fish Heath Section (FHS) of the Asian Fisheries Society in collaboration with Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Vietnam.

The goal of conference organizers was to minimize the impact of aquatic animal diseases and the conference agenda focused on the growing interest in emerging diseases (AHPND), diseases of fast developing aquaculture commodities like tilapia and catfish and fish immunology and vaccination.

Debnath Partho, a research scientist from WorldFish, presented some of the work being done in Bangladesh under the shrimp white spot disease session.


Phil Toye from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) also presented on how to promote better cooperation between livestock and aquatic animal health researchers.

Aquatic animal health is an emerging theme in the CGIAR Research Program for Livestock and Fish, with efforts now underway to forge a closer working relationship between livestock and fish animal science for development in the CRP.

Research is currently underway to identify aquatic animal health constraints and economic impacts of disease within tilapia value chains in Bangladesh and Egypt. Broader animal health and food safety assessments are also ongoing with other commodities in Bangladesh, including carps, catfish, tilapia, small fish, shrimp and prawn.


Filed under: ABS, Animal Diseases, Animal Health, Aquaculture, Asia, CRP37, Event, Fish, ILRI, Research, WorldFish

Collaborative research shows that stalks and stems of legume plants are an excellent source of animal fodder

‘Of the many virtues of grain legumes, one is little recognized. Visitors to the livestock fodder markets of West Africa are always surprised to see groundnut and cowpea haulms (stalks and stems of legume plants) sold at prices that exceed that of cereal grains and not infrequently even that of groundnut and cowpea seeds, particularly during periods when sheep keepers are fattening their animal for slaughter at festivities such as Tabaski.

Published in the Grain Legumes FEED, a monthly newsletter of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes the article ‘High haulm biomass and palatability for livestock feed add value to grain legumes’ authored by Michael Blummel, feeds and forages flagship leader of the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program highlights the collaborative work between the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish.

‘However, phenotyping for haulm fodder quality traits such as protein, cell-wall fractions and available nutrients does require special equipment. The good news is that such equipment in the form of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) already exists. Recent work by ICRISAT, IITA and ILRI has produced a road map for improved sharing, networking and NIRS hub generation that will increase the phenotyping capability of grain legume work substantially.

Read the whole article by Michael Blummel: High haulm biomass and palatability for livestock feed add value to grain legumes

Filed under: Animal Feeding, CIAT, CRP37, Engagement, Feeds, Forages, ILRI, Nutrition, Value Chains