Value chains Value chains Respective post owners and feed distributors Tue, 27 Nov 2018 14:34:38 +0000 Feed Informer De-risking agricultural value chains using climate-smart agriculture CGIAR Climate Blog urn:uuid:386129fa-1d34-05af-3bfd-8c72f0e5e822 Wed, 03 Jul 2019 00:00:00 +0000 <p>In April 2019, professionals from the soft commodity sectors who represent diverse value chains across the African continent came together for the <a href="">Sustainable Agriculture Summit</a> in Nairobi, Kenya. The gathering served as an opportunity to learn from best practices, technologies, partnerships and real-life implementation of sustainable agriculture practices.</p> <p>As part of the summit, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), in collaboration with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (<a href="">CIAT</a>), the World Agroforestry Centre (<a href="">ICRAF</a>) and the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (<a href="">CSAYN</a>) Kenya chapter, hosted a workshop on the role of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in de-risking agricultural value chains. Twenty-five participants mapped their value chains while identifying key risk factors and developing business pitches for CSA interventions that would de-risk their respective value chains.<o:p></o:p></p> <p>“CSA as a de-risk strategy is based on three major concepts: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, improving resilience to climate-related shocks, and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions where possible” explained Christine Lamanna, Climate Decision Scientist at ICRAF, and co-facilitator of the workshop. “But the question is, can such an approach also make business sense?”</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/resize/images/c%26s-640x431.png" style="color: rgb(65, 106, 48); font-size: 18px; width: 640px; height: 431px;" width="640" height="431" /></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-size:10.5pt; font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:black">Value chains, risks, and CSA options identified for the sorghum (L) and cassava (R) value chains. <a href="">Photo</a>: C. Lamanna (ICRAF)</span></em></p> <p style="font-family: "Open Sans", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">Overall, climate change risks<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif;">—p</span>articularly from droughts, unpredictable rainfall and flooding<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif;">—</span><span style="font-family: inherit;">were found to affect production in all commodities, with the production stage being the most affected. “For us, flooding is the biggest risk for horticultural farmers at the Kenyan coastal area” said Benson Mwendia, a farmer from Kilifi County, Kenya, and founder of the CSA Excellence Center.</span></p> <p style="font-family: "Open Sans", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></p> <p style="font-family: "Open Sans", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">To offset these risks, climate-smart interventions such as provision of clean, certified, drought tolerant seeds, water harvesting and irrigation, changing harvesting times, use of cover crops and regular soil checks were identified as remedies.</p> <h4>Beyond production risks</h4> <p>However, risks are not only found in the production stage. “Most of the agricultural losses and waste happen during post-harvest” noted Philip Simiyu, a graduate student at the <a href="">University of Nairobi</a>. Kenya loses 5 million bags of maize yearly to poor post-harvest handling through inadequate storage facilities and poor preservation techniques. With traditional drying techniques, changing weather patterns result in prolonged drying times and upraised aflatoxins. The situation is further worsened by long transportation periods from farms to markets. CSA options to mitigate post-harvest losses such as drying grains using solar dryers, use of appropriate preservation facilities, changing harvesting times and use of better storage bags could de-risk this stage of the value chain.<o:p></o:p></p> <p>Evidently, the potential of CSA to mitigate risks in value chains is high, so why aren’t farmers and agribusiness professionals implementing them? A key barrier to adoption of CSA was found to be access to finance. Luckily, there are a growing number of innovative financing mechanisms, such as<a href=""> Financial Access</a>, which lends exclusively to CSA and agribusiness farmers. Insurance is another option to reduce the financial risks faced by farmers. “Insurance for agriculture isn’t just limited to weather index-based insurance anymore. New products are being developed that cover the entire value chain, including risks to labor” said Wairimu Muthike of<a href=""> ACRE Africa</a>.<o:p></o:p></p> <p>There was agreement on CSA’s potential for risk mitigation as well as its business sense: “… we need to bring the private sector to farmers to bridge the gap and engage the government in support of local farmers incentives” concluded Kenneth Monjero, Lead Scientist with Kenya’s Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (<a href="">KALRO</a>).</p> <h4>Read more:</h4> <ul> <li>Working paper<a href="">:</a> <a href="">Climate risk assessment for selected value chain commodities in Rwanda</a></li> <li>Project<a href="">:</a> <a href="">Developing climate-smart value chains and landscapes for increased resilient livelihoods in West Africa</a></li> </ul><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> New project launched to strengthen veterinary service delivery in Ethiopia CGIAR Research Program on Livestock urn:uuid:c5ea3f47-4715-ec33-bc9e-bd2d15d21c7e Fri, 26 Apr 2019 12:26:58 +0000 A new four-year (2019-2022) European Union-funded project known as Health of Ethiopian Animals for Rural Development (HEARD) has been launched in Ethiopia. The EUR15 million project builds upon the experience and lessons learned from other animal health projects in Ethiopia. <span class="more-link"><a href="">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></span> <p><img src="" alt="Participants of the workshop" width="640" height="343" /></p> <p><em>Participants of the HEARD project inception workshop on 29 March 2019 at ILRI Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).</em></p> <p>A new four-year (2019-2022) European Union-funded project known as Health of Ethiopian Animals for Rural Development (HEARD) has been launched in Ethiopia. The EUR15 million project builds upon the experience and lessons learned from other animal health projects in Ethiopia. It has three main objectives:</p> <ul> <li>Strengthening the quality and delivery of public and private veterinary services through the creation of an enabling and rationalizing environment. This component of the program will be implemented through three grants in Somali, Amhara, and Oromia regional states. It will be led by regional livestock bureaus/agencies with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).</li> <li>Improving technical competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitude) and incentives for veterinary service providers to enable them to deliver better and rationalized services. This component will be jointly implemented by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Ethiopian Veterinary Association.</li> <li>Improving the food safety of primary animal origin products and achieving better control of zoonotic diseases. This component will be led by the MoA and focuses on meat inspection and improved food safety along livestock value chains.</li> </ul> <p>On 29 March 2019, a HEARD project inception workshop was held at ILRI Addis campus to bring together all stakeholders in the Ethiopian veterinary service system to introduce the objectives and planned activities of HEARD, and to elicit stakeholders expectations in a one-day consultations process.</p> <p>More than 50 representatives of various institutions attended the event. These included officials from the EU, the Agriculture Transformation Agency, MoA, regional bureaus of agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the National Veterinary Institute , universities, non-governmental organizations involved in veterinary service delivery, professional associations, and the private sector.</p> <p>Azage Tegegne, deputy to the director general representative in Ethiopia, welcomed dignitaries and workshop participants. HE Gebregziabher Gebreyohannes, Ethiopia State Minister for Livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture, and Dominique Davoux of the European Union Delegation in Ethiopia also spoke at the meeting.</p> <p>The HEARD project will be implemented by ILRI and a wide range of implementing partners including the MoA, the Ethiopian Veterinarian Association, the Oromia National Regional State Bureau of Livestock and Fisheries Development, the Amhara National Regional State Livestock Resource Development and Promotion Agency and the Somali National Regional State Livestock and Pastoralists Development Bureau. The overall implementation of the project will be coordinated by the Livestock State Ministry of the MoA.</p> <p>Read more: <u><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Livestock Stakeholders Discuss 15-Million Euro HEARD Project</a></u></p> Isabelle Baltenweck: an agricultural economist passionate about making the world a better place for women and men in livestock CGIAR Research Program on Livestock urn:uuid:dac25279-36b7-aca5-46b4-9279665a367f Mon, 11 Feb 2019 06:46:23 +0000 The CGIAR Research Program on Livestock recently announced with pleasure the appointment of Dr. Isabelle Baltenweck as its new flagship leader for Livestock, Livelihoods and Agro-food Systems (LLAFS). Originally from France, Isabelle brings to the role close to 20 years of post-doctoral experience in smallholder value chains in Africa, South and South-East Asia, with a &#8230; <span class="more-link"><a href="">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></span> <p><img data-attachment-id="1102" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="5605,3741" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;11&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;ILRI&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON D810&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1549531727&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;110&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1600&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.002&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Livestock_CRP_IsabelleBaltenweck_ageconomist_edit" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-1102" src="" alt="Livestock_CRP_IsabelleBaltenweck_ageconomist_edit" srcset=" 610w, 1220w, 150w, 300w, 768w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" /></p> <p><em>The CGIAR Research Program on Livestock recently announced with pleasure the appointment of Dr. Isabelle Baltenweck as its new flagship leader for Livestock, Livelihoods and Agro-food Systems (LLAFS). Originally from France, Isabelle brings to the role close to 20 years of post-doctoral experience in </em><em>smallholder value chains in Africa, South and South-East Asia, with a focus on livestock farming. She has played a central role in the flagship </em><em>through its different iterations, first as the Livestock &amp; Fish CRP and in its current form, as the Livestock CRP. </em></p> <p><em> </em><em>On International Women and Girl’s in Science day, we celebrate Isabelle’s contributions as an agricultural economist with ILRI for 19 years, while looking ahead to her new role that she is inheriting from Dr. Steve Staal, where she will draw upon her varied areas of expertise in farm level economics, value chains, gender, livelihoods and systems approach.</em></p> <p><em>Here Isabelle shares with us her vision for the LLAFS flagship and talks about what motivates her most.</em></p> <h3><span style="color:#c24d2e;"><strong>WITH 3 YEARS LEFT ON THE CLOCK, WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU SEE FOR THE FLAGSHIP AND THE LIVESTOCK CRP AS A WHOLE?</strong></span></h3> <p>Quite a lot of work has been accomplished in the first phase of the CRP as Livestock and Fish, and now two years into the current phase, we have a real chance now to consolidate research outputs in order to generate some solid international public goods, through applying lessons learned from our cross country and cross commodity experiences.</p> <p>We are able now to formulate fewer and more focused research questions – including whether livestock can really help move farming communities onto the path towards gender equity. We are also in a position to concretely inform the debate on how and why it is important to invest in livestock value chains, for which types of benefits, and at various levels – i.e. farm, value chain and country.</p> <h3><span style="color:#c24d2e;"><strong>WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE FLAGSHIP LEADERSHIP POSITION? </strong></span></h3> <p>I believe in inter-disciplinary work, and for me this is what the Livestock CRP is all about – harnessing the expertise of different people. I enjoy working with people from different disciplines and being challenged. I also know livestock systems well, especially dairy.</p> <p>Mostly, I want to ensure is that our research answers important questions, not just the ones from donors, but especially those from the livestock communities and stakeholders that we serve.</p> <p>We need to be looking at how the research conducted in different countries are answering the CRP’s research questions, helping us to identify innovations that can have the most impact. For example, what are better ways for farmers to access the needed inputs and services – those that enable value chain actors to be more profitable and improve their livelihoods. We need to provide evidence on various options so that people–from an animal health provider, a woman livestock trader, to an extension or ministry person–can make an informed choice, taking into account trade-offs.</p> <h3><span style="color:#c24d2e;"><strong>WHAT DREW YOU TOWARDS WORKING AS AN AGRICULTURAL ECONOMIST IN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT?</strong></span></h3> <p>I believe scientists, including economists, have a responsibility to make the world a better place.</p> <p>I could have been a farmer (though I’m way too risk averse) or a development practitioner (but I spend too much time considering different options), so I ended up in research. Economics is about looking at options and trade-offs, and this approach allows us to better understand decision making and processes.</p> <h3><strong><span style="color:#c24d2e;">COULD YOU DESCRIBE SOME OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS?</span></strong></h3> <p>I would say the contribution I made to the Heifer-led <a href="">East Africa Dairy Development</a> project. ILRI was the research partner and I contributed to the design and implementation of this multi-country, multi-partner project. Being able to influence the design of the 2<sup>nd</sup> phase was a great achievement, moving it away from a “one-size-fits-all” hub model to a flexible hub approach.</p> <p>I also take great pride in seeing my various staff and students increase their capacity – capacity strengthening is a big part of what I do (not only formal training).</p> <h3><span style="color:#c24d2e;"><strong>WHAT GETS YOU UP IN THE MORNING?</strong> </span></h3> <p>It would have to be working with great colleagues, and knowing that I will learn something new (almost) every day.</p>