Recommendations from innovation platform discussions in Bihar, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh
In 2015, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched a scoping project for “Public Private Producer Partnerships (PPPPs) in small ruminant value chain development in India” with a view to build a solid understanding among goat industry stakeholders (public and private) on the profitability, competitiveness, and importance of investing in the goat sector as a mean to enhance the livelihoods of and business opportunities for poor farmers in the rural areas of Bihar, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.
Contributing to this scoping project, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) established a participatory process of constructive engagement of all relevant stakeholders in the sector through the Innovation Platform (IP) approach1. ILRI organized and facilitated two rounds of IP meetings in the three states. In these meetings more than 250 participants with different backgrounds and interests (farmers, producer organizations, private and public service providers, market agents, processors, regulatory agencies, development organizations, finance institutions, research institutes and policy makers) came together to jointly diagnose problems, identify opportunities and find ways to achieve their goals.
The first round of discussions were very broad and general in which participants identified constraints and suggested broad areas for improvement (Table 1). In the second round, discussions were more specific to help develop business cases for goat production, buck production, last mile service delivery, fodder production and small scale processing.
Sustainable intensification (SI) of agricultural production has become a predominant theme in development agendas in West Africa. But despite the availability of a wide range of technologies for adoption, uptake has been very minimal. One reason for the often-disappointing uptake of technologies could be poor targeting of households.
Researchers at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) have analysed and quantified the potential food security impact of boosting a set of sustainable intensification options in Burkina Faso to better identify which technologies would fit the characteristics of specific households.
The research activities were designed to be solution-focused to meet the needs of farmers and were implemented in Seno and Yatenga provinces in the Sahelian zone of the country. The basis of the study is that there is a great potential for smallholder farmers engaged in crop-livestock systems, to produce more in a given area of land, thereby improving productivity, food security and nutrition while preserving ecosystem services.
Making the Case: Sustainable Livestock for Development
Livestock are critical for sustainable development yet often overlooked. The world’s cows, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and other farm animals are the mainstay of livelihoods across the developing world. And the energy and nutrient-dense milk, meat and eggs these animals produce provide hundreds of millions of families in the world’s poorer countries with basic livelihoods, incomes, food and nutrition.
Gender transformative approaches
The current widespread recognition of the importance of integrating gender into development is reflected in the growing prominence of gender strategies for research and development organizations, the emergence of compelling approaches for gender integration, and the development of indicators for tracking performance.
The agricultural research, development and donor community is building on this momentum to pursue increasingly more substantive approaches to gender integration as reflected in USAID’s Feed the Future program and in many of the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs). Despite this, there is growing concern that these recent achievements need to go further if they are to integrate gender into development in ways that achieve lasting impacts on poverty and hunger. Unless development research and practice address the underlying causes of gender disparities in access to and control over agriculture and other valued resources, sustainable change is unlikely to be achieved.
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Presented by Barbara Rischkowsky (ICARDA) at the Workshop on ICARDA-ILRI Training on Tools for Benchmarking Sheep and Goat Value Chains in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, 6-9 November 2013.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.