The Ethiopian Society of Animal Production (ESAP) held its 26th annual conference on 23–25 August 2018 at Bahir Dar University under the theme ‘Transforming the Ethiopian livestock sector’.
Fekadu Beyene, Ethiopia’s state minister for Agriculture and Livestock Resources (MoALR), opened the conference. ESAP’s president, Getachew Gebru, and Firew Tegegne, president of the Bahir Dar University, also addressed participants.
The conference fits the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) agenda of the agricultural sector in Ethiopia. Livestock is one of the pillars of the GTP II, and the Ethiopian livestock master plan (LMP), whose development was led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), is being used as a springboard to define the area of emphasis and the development process for the sector.
The conference featured a number of parallel and plenary sessions. Some of the key outputs from the sessions were:
- Professional associations such as ESAP can contribute to improving
the quality of education, particularly by tertiary institutions by supporting curriculum development, accreditation and professional licensing among others aspects.
- Professional societies should be engaged in setting research agendas within the national agricultural research system.
- ESAP needs to engage with the MoALR in facilitating the establishing of an independent think-tank, consisting of ESAP senior members, to provide needed technical support to the ministry.
- ESAP should play a role in supporting the alignment of newly established livestock projects using the livestock development roadmap.
- The MoALR with the support of ESAP should gauge the implementation of the LMP.
Participants also discussed the development of the Ethiopian dairy sector. They identified topics for further stakeholders dialogue, which included:
- Access to land for forage, dairy production, processing and retailing.
- Milk and dairy product quality standards and regulation enforcement.
- Enforcement of contracts for delivery and payment of products and services.
- Land zoning for dairy production.
- Government programs on artificial insemination and animal health services.
During the conference, ESAP recognized the funding organizations and core organizing committee members of the previous 25th ESAP conference that included Azage Tegegne of ILRI.
Members of international organizations, research institutes and non-governmental organizations attended the conference together with professional association presidents, private sector representatives and Amhara regional government officials.
The conference was hosted by the Amhara Regional Agriculture Research Institute, Bahir Dar University, and the Agricultural Growth Program II led project in the Amhara region. ACDI/VOCA, BENEFIT, Ethio-chicken, Wageningen University Research and the ILRI-led African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) and Africa RISING projects funded this year’s conference.
Story by Getachew Gebru and Beamlak Tesfaye