Synthesis meeting

From quickfeeds ilriwikis

Quick Feeds Synthesis Meeting

3-4 Sept 2012

Venue: ILRI Campus Infocentre Breakout Room


Getachew Legesse Jane Wamatu Adugna Tolera Alan Duncan Aynalem Haile Barbara Rischowski Amare Haileslassie Peter Thorne Peter Ballantyne - ILRI KMIS Werner Stur - consultant


Dawit Abate – Team Leader Sultan Osman Teklu Wagi Sisay Belete


Mesay Yami - Team Leader Teklemedhin Teklehaimanot Tarekegu Itana Eshetu Lemma


Gemeda Duguma – Team Leader Temesgen Jembere Kifle Degefa Worku Temesgen

Meeting objectives

  • Report back on field work
  • Explore implications of results for sustainable intensification at the system level
  • Think about what we take from this project that could feed into the bigger Africa RISING project?

Tentative programme

Day 1

Project teams work with resource persons (including Werner Stur) to finalize presentations.

Day 2

Time Topic Responsible
Preparing the ground
08:30 Registration Tiruwork Melaku
09:00 Welcome and reminder of project outline
File:Quick Feeds synthesis presentation.pptx
Alan Duncan
09:15 Ice breaker

Participants did a round of introductions and shared 1) their favorite tool used in the project and, 2) the most promising feed intervention they observed. The results:

Best tool:
8 x TechFit
6 x VCA

Best intervention:
4 x Forages
3 x Crop residues
3 x Crop residues mixed with concentrates
3 x Annual forage crops
2 x Legume residues
2 x Cost-effective feed ration formulation
Feed conservation
Concentrate feed
Urea treatment
Use of TechFit
Use of FEAST
Peter Ballantyne
09:30 Livelihood stratification study

Peter Thorne/Amare Haileslassie
10:15 Coffee
Reporting on field research
10:30 Sinana results highlights - VCA, FEAST, Techfit

Dawit Abate and team
11:15 Kulumsa results highlights - VCA, FEAST, Techfit

Mesay Yami and team
12:00 Horro results highlights - VCA, FEAST, Techfit

Gemeda Duguma and team
12:45 Lunch
13:45 World Café discussions of three topics (20 min/round):

Results: What were the key constraints? What interventions were suggested to address these constraints? What would be the implications for other parts of the crop-livestock system?

Notes by Alan:
- Feed shortage – overall and seasonal
- Marketing – fragmented, lack of info, mistrust, seasonality
- Health – parasites etc
- Breeding – AI, lack of selection in sheep systems
- Input delivery – availability, cost, quality
- Credit – non-functional, too much bureaucracy
- Knowledge gaps – e.g. lack of awareness of profitiability of market oriented livestock production

Comments – this is a fairly standard list that would emerge from most projects. But, the interest is in the detail which will hopefully come through in the field reports

Among interventions that came through strongly from field reports were:
- Smallholder sheep fattening – including necessary feed, breed and health interventions
- Crop residue utilization – improved efficiency of utlilization. Chopper was rejected as a promising intervention on grounds of cost but can work with groups since costs are spread
- Organization of farmers to improve marketing
- Training on – AI, feed formulation, marketing, animal husbandary
- Improved breeding, AI, selective breeding
- Provision of infrastructure e.g. for AI, motorbikes, liquid N etc

General comment: need for animal traction limits interest high value feeds

Implications for other system components
- Crop residues are key interface. CR are in short supply – improved arable agronomic practices would have spin off benefits for livestock. E.g. if we double grain yields we also double availability of CR.
* Multi-purpose crops/trees are needed
* Trade off between feed/soil fertility
* Potential to exclude livestock from areas to allow soil fertility benefits
* Need to think about manure management
- Forestry/NRM
* Many groups spoke of need to reduce numbers of livestock and thus increase productivity. But sometimes livestock numbers per hh are already at the lower limit required to sustain sufficient draught power
* Tree/livestock interactions are important
* Tradition of tree clearance in Ethiopia needs to be countered. Need to increase tree cover on farm and think more about agro-forestry

Tools: How useful were the 4 tools? How can we make them better?

Notes by Werner:

FEAST* Very useful for characterizing and understanding livestock production systems in a systems context, and identifying production and feed constraints
* It is simple and provides a good picture in a very short time
* Good structure for analysis and reporting
* It is important to think carefully about site and farmer selection for FEAST to ensure that outputs are representative
* It was suggested to streamline PRA questions to ensure that there is no repetition

TechFit* Very useful to identify potentially useful feed technologies for a particular situation
* Important to recognize that TechFit provides a shortlist of potentially useful technology options, NOT a recommendation.
* Technology options from TechFit need to be taken to farmers for discussion on potential benefits and suitability for particular situations.
* TechFit still needs improvements
* The existing list of technologies is not exhaustive. Some are very specific while others are more generic.
* A major weakness is the cost-benefit analysis in the tool. This requires expert knowledge and interpretation by an economist and an animal nutritionist to derive reasonable assumptions for input in the cost-benefit analysis.
* One suggestion was to discuss costs and potential benefits of the short-listed technologies with farmers.
* There is a need for guidelines on how to implement TechFit, and provide a description of each technology including costs and potential benefits.
* Need to revise the existing list of technology options and expand the list.
* Also need to review the pre-filter criteria and the context scores for the technologies.

* It is essential to understand the livestock value chain. The VCA helps us to clearly identify constraints and opportunities for interventions from production to market.
* VCA provides strong benefits for researchers but requires a multi-disciplinary team and takes time (5-15 days).
* It can identify how farmers can benefit more from what they produce.
* There is no use to improve production if farmers cannot market it and get a good price
* VCA may be able to identify policy constraints.
* VCA facilitates interaction with actors along the market chain with whom researchers would not normally come in contact (e.g. traders, butchers).
* VCA needs training to be able to implement
* VCA cannot be a completely structured tool as it needs to be modified according to the specific objectives and the context in which it is conducted – needs to be flexible.
* Researchers said that they will use VCA in their future work also for non-livestock research.
* One limitation may be that the tool is relatively expensive in terms of travel time and money, and cannot be fully planned and budgeted prior to implementation
* Recommended to develop guidelines / a manual for VCA including spreadsheets and reporting format.

Lessons: What lessons, including about the partnership we had in the project, have we learnt during implementation which may be useful for future projects?

Notes by PeterB:

The group discussed lessons from the design, organization, management and delivery of the project. Significant lessons include:

- partnership was considered 'excellent' ... and transparent (documents and budgets shared with all)
- the project partnered from international through national, regional, zonal, district, and farmer levels - all the way.
- the linkage between international CGIAR and national (federal/regional) partners was very positive.
- the composition and skills of the research teams is critical. People need to be dedicated and motivated (the possibility that this project might lead to a larger intervention was a strong factor). Key competencies needed in the team include: animal science, socio-economics, extension, feeds .. as well as someone with good writing skills, and good leadership skills.
- the 'local' partners are critical in the field work - DAs, woreda experts, kebele managers, farmers.
- It seems that farmer enthusiasm for the research is strongly influenced by their past experiences and trust of the research partner.
- the project provided team members with excellent wider exposure to other actors and situations; as well as new learning. This capacity building was much valued.
- the 3 resource persons were very much valued
- due to the way it was set up, the project was short, focused, intensive, and deadline-driven; also well-planned. This resulted in clear and tangible deliverables - much appreciated (but also putting pressure on the teams)
- the whole approach that put diagnosis before intervention was a strong point
- a major concern/risk is that the diagnosis creates expectations in farmers, among researchers and in their centers that interventions will follow. A potential weak point of this short diagnosis project.
- in general, the project 'did the easy part' - the diagnosis. Interventions need to follow.
- the project was not well-timed. This was the planting season for farmers, and very busy time for researchers.
15:00 Coffee/tea
15:30 Reporting back Resource persons
16:00 Final plenary discussion Alan Duncan
16:30 Close
17:00 Meeting to discuss ‘how can the outputs of the QuickFeed project be useful for the Africa Rising Project?’ by a small group