LIVES – Commodity Value Chain Development Inception Workshop and Project Launch
January 21-24, 2013, EIAR HQ, Addis Ababa

1st day - January 21, 2013
Some questions were raised to the presenters:

1st question: We need to know roles and responsibilities of the different organization involved in LIVES, what is the role of CIDA , ILRI, IWM, EIAR?
  • In terms of roles and responsibilities, ILRI will lead the livestock value chains, IWMI lead the irrigated value chain,EIAR to bring tested technolgy interventions and MoA to bring development actors. At this stage we have a general idea but all the details roles and responsibilities will be defined by steering committee

2nd question: Could you please elaborate the experience and lessons learnt from IPMS that can serve as in input for LIVES?
  • There are lots of experience that we could take from IPMS, recently we came up with synthesis report in Amharic on beef, dairy , gender role in value chain, vegetables and fruits commodity value chain development. And these are some of lessons we plan to scale out in LIVES project.

3rd question: In this project there are so many partners involved does that compromise the impact?
  • We have lots of partners, we will have joint planning and accountability. and I see it is not an easy job but will not be a problem to show the potential at ground. We will harmonize our difference in a participatory manner.

4th question: The export market for livestock is controlled by external partners. Can LIVES bring change in this respect?
  • We don’t deal with external issues, what we can deliver is to our internal issues, we need to have a consistent manner to computing with value chains.

5th question: CIDA is interested in gender equality, this project should make sure women and men are presented and participated equally. There was a big emphasis on livestock part we need to see the fruit and vegetable part as well?
  • About the gender, let me give you a quote...the reason why gender issue becomes important for our study. Because of the experience in livestock and irrigated value chains, the recent FAO study make statement, it says, by engaging women in livestock an you can easily double agricultural productivity.
  • Our visions is to ensure the rational gender mainstreams. We have developed many output about gender in agriculture

5th question: How is the general framework of value chain aligned with LIVES project? what are the new ways incorporated from lesson learned from IPMS?
  • I think this is very appropriate in our M&E learning framework. One new thing in LIVES is we are dealing with much longer value chain than what we did in IPMS, in every vision there is one development outcome. We develop the vision in participatory approach, and increase income for smallholder farmers.

6th question: Private sectors are not presented either in the meeting or in steering committees. Why?
  • We would like to continue our engagement with private sectors, including association. We need to listen their issues and trying to understand and develop common vision to the project.

7th question: This question forwarded to Getnets's (EIAR) presentation
In your presentation you said you have technologies, those technologies should be tested and scaled up , in this regard how do you see the opportunities that you will get from LIVES?
  • The livestock development growth result is not shown easily and quickly, to show this we have shortage of skilled human power. Having the technology alone doesn't mean anything unless it brings impact on farmers life and productivity.
  • I see a good opportunity to have projects like LIVES b/c I hope LIVES have a very good capacity in terms of technologies, experience and skilled human power. If we work together I believe that this will fill the gap we have and it will build the capacity of our experts, on multiplying technologies

2nd Day Morning- group work on livestock by regions
Afternoon- LIVES project launching workshop

Question at the launching workshop

What is the one thing you like about LIVES? and What is confusing?
Things you like about LIVES
  • We appreciate the strong emphasis on value chain and how the project tires to integrate business with enterprise and money comes in to the development
  • The potential that irrigation can bring to agriculture
  • We like the project's goal that is set and its determination to move forward to achieve those and elevate poverty

What is confusing in LIVES?
  • Impact assessment, how do you monitor the impact?
  • LIVES seems to address lots of things. Will it be manageable? how do you manage all this?
  • It is difficult to check whether the technology is adopted or not b/c the project has only 4 years life. How will you know?
  • The implementation plan; are you checking with other program to make sure that your are not replicating? we know how much money you have but don't know how much money the framer makes.
  • The role of different partners are not clearly stated.
  • Pastoral system were embedded in IPMS but don’t see this on LIVES, how does this aligning with government GTP plan?
  • How did you come up with selection of fruits and vegetable among other high value crops?
  • LIVES, is it going to be action leading to research or the other way?

3rd day - January 23, 2013
The group work by the four regions (Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, and Tigray) was compiled and presented to the plenary on day 3.

Comments forwarded for the Oromia presentation
  • How are you going to increase milk production from 1.5lit/ day to 3.5lit/day?
  • What can we do to improve local poultry? The experience so far is only in exotic poultry.
  • Lets emphasize on developing/ improving bee colony and bee forage, then increased honey production will come in.
  • When we think of increasing beef and meat; we need to be clear of the system we are focusing on. If we focus on beef production, we might run out of raw materials (Cows, lamb...)
  • How can we reduce mortality of our young beef animals?
  • In an animal traction based farming system, how can we produces beef animals? How can we liberate our beef animals?
  • Focusing on carcass yield is good, but also we need to focus on total supply of our animals
  • Is it feasible to try AI for small ruminants?
  • While we put down our regional visions, we need to put down what we want to achieve and also how we want to achieve it ( what we are going to do to achieve it)

Comments forwarded for the SNNPR presentation
  • Your vision on each of the livestock commodities doesn't say much about gender. What do you think about gender?
  • There is ambition to increase feed production. Good, the other aspect should be how to increase utilization of water
  • The source of our supply of fattening animals needs to be considered when we plan about beef development.
  • You should consider the quality of meat as well.
  • On your presentation, We didn't hear about poultry meat production it focused only on eggs. why is this?
  • On your presentation, the poultry sub sector, seems to be very much driven by farmers...we need to create space for private sector including women in the value chains

Comment forwarded for the Amhara region presentation
  • I would like to say something about the visions, increasing beef and others...if you see the planned increment in some cases, it is very small, it seems under estimated. If we look at the government GTP most of these commodities are planned to be developed by soo much, which is overambitious. I am not saying lets be overambitious as the GTP, but we need to revise our vision and make it somehow reasonable

Comments forwarded for the Tigray region presentation
  • All the presentations (this goes to presentations of other groups as well) are not gender sensitive, we have to see the value chains where women and men can contribute
  • There are commodities traditionally dominated by men and women sometimes by both. So, when we select commodities we have to look at it by this perspective
  • Have some concern about the vision, most concentrated on beef , but we have to focus about the other value chains as well
  • If you talk about genetics improvement, think about artificial insemination too

Overall comments for the presentations
  • Issues of environmental concern as a result of intensification needs to be taken into account
  • One of the activities to achieve the regional visions and sub visions needs to be demand creation and promotion on particular intervention
  • Not a lot was said on food safety, food quality and processing issues. This needs to be addressed and though of.
  • Lack of knowledge and skill is raised as one of the major issues to be tackled. Are the regions considering to see EMDTI as an opportunity to explore and bring to their regions?
After the plenary presentations on livestock, presentations on experiences from EIAR, IWMI and IPMS on irrigated agriculture were made.Few of the comments and questions forwarded for the three presentations are;
  • Shortage of appropriate fertilizer for irrigated crop is one of the gaps identified. This could be an area for LIVES to intervene in
  • Melkassa has mandate only to produce seeds, not to multiply and distribute in large quantities. Why aren't private seed suppliers encouraged to multiply seeds and disseminate?
  • What efforts is Melkassa research ding to develop resistance varieties of vegetable and fruit seeds, for those disease prone varieties?
  • What are the types of irrigation schemes?
  • Do we have data on amount of land used for irrigated vegetables, fruits and fodder?
  • How do we manage upstream water users?
  • Will Meklassa be a stakeholder with LIVES to implement the activities, or are we expected to go through the same bureaucracies we experienced in IPMS?
  • In Amhara, we do not have water users' rights and regulations. How do we establish that?

Few points on general issues to consider in Irrigated agriculture development:
  • Organizational issues
  • Food safety and food cycle (eg. pests, heavy metals)
  • Genetic material availability and quality - what should be the role of MoA in regulating this?
  • Possibilities of contract farming?
  • Possibilities of value addition on fruits
  • threats for the smallholder producers eg. Large avocado concentrate processing plant in Ziway. What is its threat?
  • How do we take the sorting, packaging and sorting of fruits and vegetables a step further?
  • what do we do with the seed system?
Then followed regional group work on which the group discussed on their regional potentials, opportunities and constraints in irrigated fruits, vegetables and fodder.

4th day- January 24, 2012

The regional groups came up with their visions, sub visions and action points to realize their visions on irrigated vegetables, fruits and fodder development in their region, and shared their output with the plenary. Very brief presentations of each regions Amahara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray.... that focused on their visions and action points were made

Challenges, Opportunities and Action points for interaction and integration of livestock and irrigated agriculture (with gender and environment taken into consideration) were discussed in buzz groups. Summary of the challenges, opportunities and action points are:

  • Different institutional and organizational culture that is closed. Eg. There is policy of integrating livestock into the national irrigation development, but we are not sure if it has cascaded down properly.
  • There is a quick expansion without control mechanism both by farmers, private companies and public sector with out proper regulatory and evaluation, which could cause conflict, soil and environmental problems
  • Gender issue is not properly represented at the higher level of the organizational set up. Like the project steering committee does not have representative from the women affairs desk.
  • Irrigation could be a threat if it is not used wisely. Eg. lakes are abused and dried, others are poisoned due to irrigation and chemicals causing threat to use fish from lakes...
  • Attitude towards shifting to fodder production instead of vegetables, shifting towards zero grazing, institutional attitude to change the organizational setup
  • Fierce competition for water, land and environment by both irrigated agriculture and livestock
  • Appropriate and adequate capacity, skill, experience and attitude
  • The value chain approach is new to many and thus risk management by actors and service providers is a challenge

  • Complementary of the two: what is left from the livestock goes to irrigated fruits and vegetables and vice versa
  • The policy and national guideline is in favour of the integration and interaction of livestock and irrigation agriculture
  • Presence of the participatory integration of watershed management policy
  • Increased focus on irrigation
  • presence of livestock agencies at all levels
  • There are enough manpower that will take the government policy and strategy into the ground
  • The project intervention sites already use mixed crop-livestock farming system, and thus integration is already familiar to them
Action Point
  • Focus on household income on designing a strategy that maximizes household income
  • Creating awareness, knowledge to integrate and understand the issue of environment and gender
  • Strengthening women association and ensuring fair representation of women and youth groups
  • Have continuous dialogue among partners and actors
  • Focus on capacity building of women at all levels
  • Carry out cost benefit analysis for the interventions proposed
  • There needs to be clear set of activities that are to be implemented by all actors

The way forward- Few points raised at the last bit of the workshop
What would IWMI's activities in the next coming few months
  • sharing of knowledge at different levels
  • Looking at available irrigation infrastructure in the LIVES project site
  • Assessing irrigation schemes that already exist
What has the baseline survey brought out in terms of action research activities?
  • issues that came out clearly from the baseline survey include
    • butter vs fluid milk- butter came out to be utilized more in rural areas
    • small ruminant vs large ruminant- in terms of gender keeping small ruminants is more friendly to keep and manage
    • Chicken vs eggs- the egg sub sector appears to come out more important
    • Irrigated agriculture- there are significant nutritional issues and interest
taking this issues into consideration, the research framework of LIVES will be put down in the coming march.
Who is leading the research work of LIVES and what does the research team look like?
Dr. Berhanu G/Medhin is the LIVES research coordinator. The major components of the research team which are our partners from the regional research institutions, the EIAR, and the bureaus of agriculture are already in place. Also, there will be two senior research and development coordinators at each of the regions, we'll have livestock scientist and research assistants at diffrent levels.
When will you have the team on the job?
In the next coming three months.
What does capacity development mean in LIVES
  • Capacity building is based on need that comes from our stakeholders and partners. We'll have training of trainers with the help of regional and national partners
  • Aim of capacity building is to plan on ways to make ourselves obsolete after providing the required institutional and technical capacity to carry out activities
  • there will be practical training followed bu by visits and tours, which also overlaps with knowledge managment
  • During the research planning workshop in march, we will plan on how the graduate fellowship issues will be governed
    • there is a plan to provide 100 full scholarship for further studies (BSc and MSc) and another 100 only for thesis research work

What are the planned knowledge management activities in the next coming months in LIVES?
The planned KM activities in LIVES include:
  • setting up knowledge centers in the LIVES districts and zones. The already exciting ones will be strengthened as well. LIVES major inputs will be assembled sets of documents from IPMS and otehrs, Video, TV, furniture and computers. The bureaus and offices are expected to provide rooms, staff and other facilities (telephone, electricity....)
  • Populating the Ethiopian Agriculture portal. The online platform is already there, but there needs to be more content in it. Contents from all partners are expected.
  • Study tours to share knowledge and experience will be organized

What are the planned activities in mainstreaming gender in all LIVES interventions ?
All planned interventions and activities will be designed and executed in a gender friendly way. As a gender specialist, i will closely work with the coordinators in mainstreaming issues of gender in all interventions
What environmental considerations will be made in LIVES?

Environmental issues related to proposed interventions will be assessed. Training will be designed on issues related to environmental health and monitoring plan will be designed.

On his final remarks, Dr. Azage, appreciated the dynamics observed over the four day workshop; the commitment of the participants to share their part and contribute. He also appreciated the efficient services from EIAR.