The Improving Productivity and Market Success (IPMS) project held its semi annual steering committee meeting on April 17, 2012 in Addis Ababa. Representatives from the Oromia, SNNP and Tigray bureau’s of agriculture/research; IPMS rural development officers; CIDA representatives; and IPMS headquarters staff attended. Iain Wright chaired the meeting.
The main agenda of the day was to: i) survey results of the IPMS project impact, ii) report on IPMS activities in the past six months, and iii) review proposed activities for the coming nine months (April – December 2012).
Berhanu Gebremedhin, senior economist of IPMS, presented the project impact on each commodity IPMS intervened on crosscutting issues like HIV/AIDS and gender mainstreaming. Valuable experiences and lessons learned both by smallholder farmers and IPMS researchers and development practitioners over the years were highlighted on Berhanu’s presentation. View the presentation.
One of the highlights of IPMS activities in the past six months is training and execution of mass insemination of dairy cows in the four regions. This intervention, which is an action research area for IPMS, attracted a lot of attention and commitment from the regional governments. Tigray region has moved quickly in scaling out this intervention by allocating a huge budget (20 million birr) for mass insemination. In the past two months, a rigorous mass insemination campaign was carried out, which resulted in the insemination of 12,500 cows of smallholder farmers in Tigray. Oromia, SNNP and Amhara regions are actively moving on this.
The afternoon session started with a visit to the mobile cattle crush (animal handling facility), constructed by ILRI’s physical plant unit with very close supervision from Dirk Hokestra (IPMS project manager) and Azage Tegegne (IPMS Animal scientist). The cattle crush is designed and constructed in such a way that it increases the efficiency of the service delivery by technicians and reduces stress on the animals during the process.
In the remaining nine months of IPMS, further work on capacity development in the education and extension system on issues of mass insemination and other IPMS interventions; promotion and documentation of results; and other knowledge management activities are planned.
Story by: Fanos Mekonnen