The ‘Improving the Productivity and Market Success of Ethiopian farmers (IPMS)’ project held its ‘Experience-Sharing workshop’ on June 2 and 3 at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Addis Ababa. After 5 years of continuous engagement in 10 Pilot Learning Woredas (PLW), it was time to take stock of the results.
Welcome addresses reminded the audience that a similar meeting took place in 2002 – where calls were made for just such a project. As John McDermott, ILRI Deputy Director General, put it “The core of the project was about taking a different approach, a more practical approach. The research was connected to development and methods were more grounded. This was not business as usual which does entails lots of practical challenges. It is hard to engage people in new ways.” He then added “There are changes happening very quickly in Ethiopia, value chains are going to change too and if you are alone you can only go fast. But together you go much further. IPMS did go far with others, with its partners on the ground and its partners from the government. It built capacity, involved women, created awareness, and most of all developed a participatory market-oriented commodity value chain approach.” Finally, John Mc Dermott thanked the project for its “extraordinary accomplishments.”
Edmond Wega, CIDA Director for Ethiopia, emphasized that a sustainable future lies in innovative practices improving agriculture. According to Wega, some IPMS interventions exceeded expectations and others did not work, but this workshop and sharing the lessons learned should benefit the whole agricultural sector. more…
Edmalen Shetaye from the Ministry of agriculture officially declared the workshop open and stressed how IPMS fitted the government’s ‘plan for accelerated and sustained development to end poverty’ which started in 2005. He hopes that IPMS experiences will also contribute to interventions now being developed, notably the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) that emphasizes the vital role of smallholders. more…
Value chain actors as engines of development?
How is it that ‘commercially oriented value chain actors can be the engine for development?’ Dirk Hoekstra, IPMS project manager: “As you move from a subsistence-oriented agriculture to a more market-oriented agricultural development, the engine for development may change. When you deal with subsistence agriculture, farmers play a role but it is often the extension services who try to lead the process. Once you move to a more market-oriented agricultural development, you have very entrepreneurial farmers, small or large enterprises who provide inputs and services and gradually they may become the engines of development. Extension services start supporting this with knowledge and capacity building etc. So in fact the role of an extension service will change overtime once people move from subsistence to semi-commercial to commercial agriculture.”
Tasting the results
During the workshop, selected IPMS-supported commodities were tasted by participants and campus workers: coffee, mango, honey, chickpea and eggs. Generally, people preferred Mango B (improved mango), it was even difficult to move them from the stall! Honey C (Bure) was the favorite. Chickpea A (local) was liked for shiro, chickpea B (improved) for kolo. Check the results!
A ‘chella house’ is to ripen bananas
Women provide up to 77% of the total labour force and time inputs required to raise livestock in Ethiopia
Find all information on Ethiopian agriculture: www.eap.gov.et
“We process organic honey and export it to Europe and America. Learning from this project will help us in developing our plant and enhance the honey process. The IPMS access into the market is very interesting.” – Abdu Mohammed, Sales Manager at Bezamar agro-industrys
“I am interested in value chain development and enhancing the capacity of the beneficiary community so that income increases accordingly.” – Dejene Minliku, ORDA (NGO)
“When I was here last, IPMS was just being created. Then I had an opportunity to come a few years later and see them starting up in the field. But it is really thrilling to see all the farmers, the interaction with the science, and there are good signs showing you what the interventions are and their effects, so I am very impressed.” – Jimmy Smith, incoming ILRI Director General
“From the research point of view, we get feedback from farmers then we can give our technologies to them, such as mango grafting, and they are easily popularized by the project. “ – Salamawit Ketema, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research
“The major challenge comes from the partners, to what extent do they absorb the lessons, the experiences, because there are a lot of capacity, staff turnover, people are moving, and all of this will affect the lessons we have drawn to be implemented on the ground.” – Nigatu Alemayehu, IPMS Research and Development Officer
Azage Tegegne, IPMS animal scientist: “We are going to share our experience on quick multiplication of desirable types of livestock for the dairy system and for the meat system, particularly beef. We have tried to bring in new technologies trying to solve all problems, but these technologies existed so we assembled farmers in Tigray and in the South, we made arrangements with them to synchronize their cows using hormones, we brought the animals into one collection site then we inseminated the cows.
Two months later, we checked for pregnancy and the results were quite impressive, this is the first time it was done on farm and we got like 90% of the cows responding to the treatment and 62% of the responding cows becoming pregnant. The whole idea is to improve the efficiency of AI delivery in a short period of time, improve the precision and using this technology, we can enhance the production of desirable types of dairy animals.” Watch an interview with Dirk Hoekstra / See the presentation by Azage
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The ‘Daily Tail’ is an occasional newsletter produced by ILRI alongside its events – Download the June 3 issue