News and updates on research on livestock value chains by the International Livestock Research Institute and partners

Friday, September 08, 2006

New information resource showcases ILRI's smallholder dairy research for development

ILRI's Markets Theme has launched a new information resource titled White Gold: Investing in Dairy for Development. This resource – a combined brochure and multimedia CD-ROM – is the first in ILRI’s Briefing for Development publication series.

It highlights the problems, opportunities and risks that smallholder dairy operators face and showcases the relevance of ILRI’s research in the area of smallholder dairying.

By combining the brochure, CD and hyperlinks to relevant websites, a wide range of information in various media is made accessible in one product.

This resource is useful for senior policymakers and development partners interested in policy interventions that will encourage the appropriate evolution of traditional dairy markets.

Download the brochure

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

New report on role of research in pro-poor dairy policy shift in Kenya

"A remarkable story of evidence-based policy making"

Read all about how the Smallholder Dairy Project (SDP) influenced the process of pro-poor dairy policy change in Kenya in this new working paper titled Informal traders lock horns with the formal milk industry: the role of research in pro-poor policy shift in Kenya.

A team from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and ILRI released the report.

SDP was jointly implemented by the Kenya Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and ILRI from 1997 to 2005.

Download the report.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

ILRI-IFPRI research team discusses efforts to control avian influenza threat in developing countries

Researchers from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) convened a consultation in Nairobi from 14 to 16 June 2006 to explore how research can support efforts to control the highly contagious avian influenza, with special emphasis on the needs of developing countries and the poor. The consultation is a response to requests from donors on priorities for targeting their research investments for Asia and Africa.

The consultation had four main objectives:
  • To share the experiences of those in the front-line of avian influenza outbreaks to provide a realistic, objective, and up-to-date backdrop for the consultation.
  • To identify and prioritize immediate service needs that research can provide in support of preparedness and emergency responses.
  • To identify and prioritize medium- and long-term research needs.
  • To develop an action plan and decide how to put it in place, including the possibility of forming an inter-institutional task force.
Following the consultation, ILRI proposes to undertake a rapid appraisal study to review experiences of avian influenza outbreaks to date, synthesize lessons learned regarding the dynamics of the disease and the impacts of its control in developing countries, and identify strategies for enhancing control that also protect the livelihoods of the poor.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Stakeholders discuss results of research on Uganda smallholder dairying

Results from a 2001–2005 indepth study of smallholder dairy farming in Uganda were presented and discussed at two stakeholder workshops held on 25–26 April 2006 in Kampala, Uganda.

The main aim of the study was to improve the contribution of smallholder dairying to the sustainable livelihoods of resource-poor farmers in Uganda through a better understanding of dairy production systems.

The presentations given at the workshops, including main results, discussions and recommendations are available at the project website.

Selected stakeholder reactions to the project's results

Some development organizations promote the intensification of dairy farming irrespective of circumstances, but it is not always appropriate. 'Send a cow' initiatives are not always good. So this study is very useful to make people understand these issues. Peter Lusembo, Mukono ARDC

Based on this study, we should be cautious to not always promote one specific type of dairy farming. We need to build scenarios that incorporate market, resources and recommend specific feeding systems, based on individual circumstances. The economists should present more results for different conditions. David Balikowa, Dairy Development Authority

Farmers normally do what is right for them so we should be careful about what to do. We need to help them to adapt to their challenges under changing conditions. So recommendations of anything new should build on a better understanding of why farmers choose that system. Rilla Norslund, ASPS, DANIDA

Zero-grazing may be profitable but should not be encouraged everywhere—for NGOs dealing with this, they need to go back and reconsider their strategies. We should find ways to encourage manure use, what incentives should be given? Organic farming promoted may be? If different farms have different challenges, we can use this LP model to give customized advice to the farmers, through the informed extension officers. Cyprian Ebong, NAARI, NARO

We need to simplify these findings to disseminate the information to a wide range of stakeholders, showing positive and negative aspects. Extension agents, NGOs and communities should be informed as they are the ones who need the information. Peter Lusembo

Friday, February 17, 2006

CEOs of East African dairy boards endorse harmonized milk training curricula for informal traders

Chief executives of dairy boards in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda met in Nairobi in February 2006 to endorse harmonized regional generic training guides and curricula that were developed for training of informal milk traders in the eastern and central Africa region.

The training guides are based on common minimum standards needed for hygienic handling of milk and dairy products. The documents form the basis of a certification and licensing scheme for the region's small-scale traders that will enable them to sell their milk freely across borders.

ILRI and ECAPAPA -- the agricultural policy analysis programme of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) -- facilitated a meeting of the chief executives of dairy regulatory authorities of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda from 8 to 10 February 2006 at the Hotel Intercontinental, Nairobi.

The meeting marked the start of the “action” phase of the project on Rationalisation and harmonisation of dairy policies, regulations and standards in eastern Africa, following an earlier dialogue phase among dairy stakeholders and the dairy boards in the four countries over the past year that was also facilitated by ILRI and ECAPAPA.

Also present were the project’s national resource persons, who were nominated by their respective national dairy boards, and regional resource persons Amos Omore and Tezira Lore of ILRI and Lusato Kurwijila of Sokoine University of Agriculture.

Participants discussed harmonised regional generic dairy training guides and curricula that had been developed in the initial phase of the current ECAPAPA/ILRI project. The documents were based on defined minimum competencies for hygienic milk handling along the informal milk market chain, following lessons from past projects by ILRI and collaborators in Kenya (e.g. the Smallholder Dairy Project). The documents were endorsed as a basis for certification and licensing of small-scale milk traders in the region, thus allowing the traders to sell their milk freely across borders.

The chief executives in Tanzania and Uganda also undertook to pilot a new institutional approach involving Business Development Services (BDS) to ensure sustainable delivery of the training services that will be a pre-requisite for certification.

Nick Hooton of the ILRI-ODI project on Process and partnership for pro-poor policy change facilitated a session on learning of lessons on the process of pro-poor policy and institutional change in the dairy sub-sectors in the region, including the role of processes such as this one.

Electronic copies of these manuals may be downloaded from ILRI's repository of research outputs.