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

Friday, December 23, 2011

ILRI develops training manuals towards improving quality of pig production and marketing in Northeast India

Pig production in Nagaland #1
A farmer feeds her pigs in Nagaland, India. ILRI has produced training manuals to help small-scale pig farmers,  veterinary practitioners and pork traders in Northeast India improve farm productivity and product quality (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

Small-scale pig production and marketing play important roles in contributing to the livelihoods of poor tribal populations that live in Northeast India.

A 2008 study by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) characterized the pig sub-sector in Nagaland, Northeast India and found that the region is home to over a quarter of India's total pig population. Here, 80-90% of tribal communities keep 2-3 pigs, mostly under traditional production systems.

However, the traditional methods of pig production are constrained by lack of management inputs like quality feeds and preventive animal health services. This often leads to low productivity and poor quality of pork products.

Towards improving the quality of pig production and marketing, ILRI's Asia Office and Capacity Strengthening Unit joined hands with national research partners in India to develop three training manuals on smallholders' pig management, veterinary first aid for pigs, and hygienic pork production and marketing.

The manuals are aimed at enhancing the capacity of pig producers, veterinary practitioners and pork traders, respectively, to transform subsistence pig production into small-scale commercial farming that satisfies growing consumer demand for quality and safety.

"It is expected that the implementation of training programs based on these manuals will help to improve productivity and provision of animal health care, and build knowledge and awareness on hygienic pork selling which in turn will improve profitability and livelihoods of smallholder pig producers and pork traders," said Dr Purvi Mehta Bhatt, Head of ILRI's Capacity Strengthening Unit. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ILRI project uses innovation systems approach to strengthen capacity for community-based animal health systems in Ethiopia

Cattle being watered at the Ghibe River in southwestern Ethiopia
Cattle being watered at the Ghibe River in southwestern Ethiopia. An ILRI-led project has helped strengthen the capacity of local communities to use innovation system approaches towards better access to animal health services (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).


A collaborative project led by scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has strengthened the capacity of local communities in Ethiopia’s Ghibe Valley to use innovation systems approaches to improve access to animal health systems.

The Ghibe Valley in southwestern Ethiopia is a fertile region whose rich soils and abundant water resources suggest high agricultural production potential.

However, the region is seriously affected by the deadly trypanosomosis (animal sleeping sickness), a wasting cattle disease which affects the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who depend on livestock for milk, meat and draught power.

In order to enhance the community’s access to animal disease control services, the project tested a collaborative trypanosomosis control model in three woredas (administrative units managed by local government).

The project, which was led by ILRI’s Innovation in Livestock Systems research team, used two action research approaches – asset-based community development and innovation systems – to derive lessons on how to sustainably improve livestock health service delivery and how to translate improved livestock health into increased productivity and incomes.

Thirteen trypanosomosis co-operatives were formed to link private veterinary drug suppliers to the remote communities to ensure sustainable supply of trypanocides to farmers and reduce dependence on the central government system.

The rural communities have been communicating their needs directly to the private drug suppliers in the capital city Addis Ababa and supply mechanisms have been established.

The project produced a guideline in the local Amharic language for collaborative trypanosomosis control for use by community animal health workers in various districts and regions affected by the disease.

The project also shared maps based on the tse tse fly habitat and trypanosomosis risk modelling of Ghibe Valley with the district and regional authorities for their use in targeting disease-control investments in high-risk and “hot spot” areas.

Other regions which face trypanosomosis challenge have been informed of the utility of such information and analysis for directing investments for effective trypanosomosis control.

These interventions have resulted in significant changes in land use and land cover, increased cultivation of staple crops and healthier, more productive cattle.

The four-year project, which ended in August 2011, was funded by the Comart Foundation.

For more information, please contact Dr Ranjitha Puskur (r.puskur @ cgiar.org) who leads ILRI's Innovation in Livestock Systems research team.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Smallholder dairy farmers in India can benefit from modern milk supply chains

Helping Asia's dairy farmers
Transporting milk in India. Smallholder dairy farmers in India can benefit from traceability and improved food safety provided by modern milk supply chains (photo credit: ILRI).


Resource-poor, smallholder dairy farmers in India stand to gain from entry into emerging modern milk supply chains despite the predominance of traditional milk marketing in the country, according to a study published in the 14 November 2011 online edition of the journal Agricultural Economics Research Review.

The study also noted that issues of traceability and food safety will strengthen the growing modern milk supply chains in India. In addition, facilities for milk collection and transport and a quality-based pricing system for raw milk will be important factors to consider in scaling up of the supply chains.

The lead author of the journal article is Dr Anjani Kumar, principal scientist (agricultural economics) at the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research in New Delhi and former scientist at the Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

The co-authors are Dr Steve Staal, Director of ILRI's Market Opportunities theme and interim Deputy Director General – Research, and Dr Dhiraj Singh, scientific officer in ILRI's Asia office in New Delhi.

Read the abstract

Citation
Kumar A, Staal SJ and Singh DK. 2011. Smallholder dairy farmers’ access to modern milk marketing chains in India. Agricultural Economics Research Review 24(2):243-253.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tool improves understanding of dynamics of regional trade in agricultural inputs

Mozambique
Mozambican women threshing sorghum. A new tool for tracking trade in agricultural inputs in eastern and southern Africa will lead to better understanding of trade dynamics in the region (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

Agricultural policymakers and other practitioners in eastern and southern Africa will be able to better understand the dynamics of intra-regional trade in seeds, pesticides and herbicides through a new tool that has been developed to track the volume and value of trade in agricultural inputs in the region.

The tool was developed by the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) for Eastern and Central Africa – which is hosted by the Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) – in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and several national and regional partners. It was presented at a workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya on 16 November 2011.

"There is optimism that continued interaction with the parties involved will help us to further understand the elements of trade and agricultural inputs in the region to continue to improve agricultural productivity and production, and sustainable food security," the workshop organizers said.

Read more on the ReSAKSS blog.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Traditional fermentation holds the key to microbial safety of milk in Ethiopia, ILRI study finds

Dairy farming in Ethiopia
An Ethiopian smallholder dairy farmer with the day's milk.  An ILRI study reports that traditional fermentation of milk in Ethiopia can significantly reduce the risk of staphylococcal food poisoning (photo credit: ILRI).

The safety of milk and dairy products in Ethiopia can be significantly improved through participatory risk assessment approaches to traditional methods of food production, reports a study published in the 4 November 2011 issue of the International Journal of Food Microbiology.

The study was carried out to assess the risk of staphylococcal poisoning through traditionally fermented milk in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that can cause mastitis (udder infection) in dairy cows. It can also cause food poisoning through production of an enterotoxin.

Traditional souring of milk is carried out by leaving raw milk in a gourd to ferment spontaneously for 1-2 days through the action of the naturally occurring milk microflora. The organic acids produced during fermentation inhibit the growth of spoilage micro-organisms, thereby prolonging the storage life of the milk.

The study, which is part of research by the BMZ- funded Safe Food, Fair Food project, found that home-made traditionally fermented milk in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia reduced the risk of food poisoning by Staphylococcus aureus by 93.7%.

The research was collaboratively undertaken by scientists from the Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Addis Ababa University.

Principal author Dr Kohei Makita is a veterinary epidemiologist on joint appointment with ILRI and the Rakuno Gakuen University in Japan while co-author Dr Delia Grace is a veterinary epidemiologist and leader of ILRI's research team on animal health, food safety and zoonoses.

Read the abstract.

Citation
Makita K, Dessisa F, Teklu A, Zewde G and Grace D. Risk assessment of staphylococcal poisoning due to consumption of informally-marketed milk and home-made yoghurt in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. International Journal of Food Microbiology (2011), doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.10.028

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Training program on microbial risk assessment in Vietnam strengthens national food safety policies

Selling pork at a 'wet' market in Vietnam. A new training course on microbial risk assessment is helping to reduce public health risks and improve the management of food and water safety in Vietnam (photo credit: ILRI).

A collaborative training course on microbial risk assessment in Vietnam has provided policymakers with scientific evidence for decision-making towards better management of health risks in food and water.

Environmental health risk assessment in general and microbial risk assessment in particular are still at a very early stage of development in Vietnam.

With its rapid urbanization, industrialization, agricultural development and population growth, Vietnam faces increasing risks from microbial hazards contaminating its water and food supply.

In early 2010, the Swiss-based National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South piloted a project that developed a training curriculum in microbial risk assessment as part of national interventions aimed at better managing food- and water-borne health risks in Vietnam.

The project was led by the Hanoi School of Public Health in partnership with the National Institute of Nutrition, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the Preventive Medicine Centre of Ha Nam Province and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.

Experts from the Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) provided the team with technical support to ensure the quality of the curriculum which covers water, sanitation and food safety.

The collaborative process of developing the training course helped the concerned groups in Vietnam to work together, culminating, in January 2011, with a final training workshop attended by representatives from universities, research institutions and government ministries to discuss areas of future collaboration in research and capacity strengthening in risk assessment.

The course has led to the setting up of a local network on health risk assessment, enhanced the quality of training at the Hanoi School of Public Health, and developed a book-length manual of microbial risk assessment guidelines for food safety.

The development of the training course and its policy impact in tackling issues of water, sanitation, and food safety in Vietnam are described in these NCCR North-South Outcome Highlights, available in English and Vietnamese.

You may also be interested in:
Ecohealth approaches can improve food safety management in Vietnam

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dairy farmers in India gain more money from safer milk

Urban dairy in Hyderabad, India
A study of dairy farms in three states of India has found that farmers who adopt milk safety practices receive higher prices from sale of better quality milk.

The study was carried out in the states of Bihar, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to highlight the status of compliance with food safety measures in the Indian dairy sector at farm level and investigate the relationship between safety compliance and producer price of milk.

The findings are published in the November 2011 online edition of the Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing.

India is currently the world’s largest producer of milk and Bihar, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are among India’s largest milk-producing states, accounting for 5.5%, 8.9% and 18%, respectively, of national milk production.

The lead author of the article is Dr Anjani Kumar, principal scientist (agricultural economics) at the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research in New Delhi and former scientist at the Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The co-authors are Dr Iain Wright, ILRI's regional representative for Asia and Dr Dhiraj Singh, scientific officer in ILRI's Asia office in New Delhi.

Compliance with milk safety measures at dairy farm level was low and smallholder dairy farmers were found to be less likely to adopt safer milk handling practices than farmers with larger herd sizes.

The study recommends that supporting policies and technologies be put in place to spur the uptake of safer milk handling practices by dairy farmers, particularly smallholder producers who dominate the dairy sector in India.

Policy support by the government is also need to cushion smallholder farmers from the costs of compliance with food safety standards thereby ensuring that they remain competitive in dairy production and marketing.

Read the abstract of the article.

Citation
Kumar A, Wright IA and Singh DK. 2011. Adoption of food safety practices in milk production: implications for dairy farmers in India. Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing 23(4): 330-344.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Taking stock: ILRI meeting reflects on the past, charts the next steps for livestock research for development

LiveSTOCK Exchange Logo
On 9 and 10 November 2011, the Board of Trustees of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) hosted a two-day 'liveSTOCK Exchange’ at ILRI's Addis Ababa campus to discuss and reflect on livestock research for development over the past decade and chart the way forward based on lessons learned.

The event synthesized sector and ILRI learning to help frame future directions for livestock research for development. The liveSTOCK Exchange also marked the leadership and contributions of Dr Carlos Seré who served as the Director General of ILRI from 2002 to 2011.

In October 2011, Dr Seré took up the position of Chief Development Strategist leading the Office of Strategy and Knowledge Management at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) headquarters in Rome.

As part of the debate, sharing and reflection, scientists from ILRI's Market Opportunities theme prepared four issue briefs that document the lessons learned from past research projects by the Research Theme as well as the challenges, outcomes, impact evidence, and future prospects for livestock research towards improving market opportunities for smallholder livestock producers. You may access the issue briefs from the links below:


Also check out this presentation, Livestock market opportunities for the poor, that formed the framework for discussion and debate.
Livestock market opportunities for the poor
View more presentations from ILRI
To read more about the liveSTOCK Exchange, please visit http://clippings.ilri.org/tag/livestockx/ and http://livestockexchange.wikispaces.com.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

New Agriculturist magazine features ILRI-led Safe Food, Fair Food project


The November 2011 issue of the bimonthly online magazine, New Agriculturist, features the Safe food, fair food project which aims to improve the safety of livestock products in sub-Saharan Arrica by adapting risk-based approaches, successfully used for food safety in developed countries, to suit domestic informal livestock markets in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The project is led by scientists from the Market Opportunities research theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and is implemented in eight countries (Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, the Republic of South Africa and Tanzania) in collaboration with universities and national research institutes.

In addition to research studies on participatory risk analysis, the project has held national workshops to engage policymakers to raise awareness about the potential food safety hazards that exist along the entire value chain.

In September 2011, the project held its final synthesis workshop to deliberate on the results of national impact assessment studies and develop a project synthesis book which will facilitate dissemination of the research findings to wider audiences.

To find out more, please visit the project web page.

Friday, October 28, 2011

International conference to discuss strategies to boost agricultural productivity and food security in Africa

Working in the maize field in Malawi
A Malawian farmer tends to her maize crop. Farmer organizations will be among participants at an international conference on improving agricultural productivity for achieving food security in Africa. The conference takes place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 1-3 November 2011 (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

Farmers, researchers, policymakers, academics and development partners are among some of the participants who will gather at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 1-3 November 2011 for an international conference under the theme, Increasing agricultural productivity and enhancing food security in Africa: New challenges and opportunities.

The conference is organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in conjunction with the African Union Commission, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and will feature plenary and parallel sessions, discussions of conference papers, and moderated panel discussions of specific issues.

Scientists from the Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are scheduled to present two papers during the parallel session on 'Appropriate capacities, investments, institutions and policies for supporting agriculture'.

Ayele Gelan will present a paper titled, Integrating livestock in the CAADP framework: policy analysis using a dynamic computable general equilibrium model for Ethiopia and Francis Wanyoike will present on Pro-poor livestock development: analysis of performance of projects and lessons.

To find out more about the conference, please visit http://addis2011.ifpri.info

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Participatory risk analysis: a new method for managing food safety in developing countries

A Vietnamese pork seller in a traditional 'wet' market: Participatory risk assessment can help to manage risk in food value chains in developing countries (photo credit: ILRI).

Food safety is a major concern in many developing countries where the informal ('traditional') sector dominates production and sale of food products and there are generally high levels of unsafe food.

Risk analysis – comprising risk assessment, risk management and risk communication – has emerged as a novel approach to assessing and managing risks in food value chains within developing-country contexts.

As opposed to the more 'traditional' approach of food safety management that focuses on food-borne hazards, participatory risk analysis focuses instead on risk, that is, the likelihood of occurrence of a hazard and the economic consequences, and how best that risk can be mitigated to provide consumers with assurance of food safety and quality.

At the recently concluded seventh international conference of the Asian Society of Agricultural Economists held on 13-15 October 2011 in Hanoi, Vietnam, the subject of participatory risk assessment featured during a parallel session, Food safety policy in developing country context: examples from case studies in livestock value chains, organized by agricultural economist Dr Lucy Lapar of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

The parallel session featured three presentations by scientists from ILRI's Market Opportunities theme on participatory risk assessment studies of the pork value chain in Nagaland, India; the dairy supply chain in Assam, India and the pork value chain in peri-urban Hanoi, Vietnam.

While each of the three studies had different objectives, they all used the common framework of participatory risk assessment to examine the risks to human health in livestock product value chains.

Risk-based food safety policies and regulations; increased consumer awareness on risk-mitigating practices (for example, boiling of raw milk before drinking it); and training and certification of informal sector pork and milk sellers are among the recommendations drawn from the studies. The Nagaland study also recommended the assessment of the economic impact of pork-borne disease on people and the pork sector.


You may also be interested in:
Risk assessment in the pork meat chain in Nagaland, India (Poster)

Innovative and participatory risk-based approaches to assess milk-safety in developing countries: a case study in North East India (Conference paper)

Participatory risk assessment of pork in Ha Noi and Ha Tay, Vietnam (Research Brief)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tom Randolph to lead CGIAR research program on livestock and fish

Thomas Randolph, Agricultural Economist
The Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is pleased to congratulate Dr Tom Randolph on being named the Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, a recently approved initiative of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The ILRI Director General, Dr Jimmy Smith, made the announcement on Thursday 13 October 2011.

ILRI leads this CGIAR research program which will be collaboratively undertaken with the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the WorldFish Center as the core CGIAR partners. Various other strategic and value chain partners will play key roles in the implementation of the program.

Dr Randolph was instrumental in the collaborative process of developing the proposal for the research program. Prior to this appointment, he headed ILRI's research team on smallholder competitiveness in changing markets under the Market Opportunities theme.

He holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University. His research interests at ILRI previously included animal and human health issues and impact assessment. Before joining ILRI in 1998, he conducted policy research at the Africa Rice Centre in West Africa.

Congratulations, Tom!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tackling bird flu in Egypt: ILRI and FAO develop manual for practitioners in community-based animal health outreach


The Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR) project in Egypt was implemented by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to support efforts by the Government of Egypt to detect and respond to the threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

This United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded project conducted a number of training courses in HPAI participatory disease surveillance, later elaborated to be community-based animal health outreach (CAHO), for 108 veterinarians (making 54 teams) in 15 governorates.

It also developed a training manual to serve as a reference guide for veterinarians during and after CAHO training. Although the manual focuses on HPAI, the methods can be easily adapted and applied to address other livestock diseases.

The manual will also be translated into Arabic to further adapt it for use in the Egyptian context.

Download the manual

You may also be interested in reading
Featured publication: Manual for participatory disease surveillance practitioners

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Study explores market opportunities for value-added beef products in East Africa

Selling meat in a Kenyan butchery. Improving the quality and safety of beef sold by small-scale traders in East Africa will enable them take advantage of emerging niche markets and increase their incomes. (Photo: ILRI)

According to a May 2011 report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), annual meat consumption per person will more than double in sub-Saharan Africa from 2000 to 2050, leading to a doubling of total meat consumption by 2050.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that between 1997-99 and 2030, annual meat consumption in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) will increase from 9.4 to 13.4 kg per person.

Growth in human population, increasing incomes and changing consumer tastes are among the main drivers of this rise in demand for high-quality meat products in much of the developing world, a trend that is expected to continue.

In eastern Africa, the growing demand for high-quality meat products presents a ripe opportunity for livestock producers to take advantage of the emerging markets for value-added meat products. However, several institutional barriers, such as unfavourable policies and poorly enforced regulations, limit the extent to which small-scale meat producers and market agents in the region can benefit from these opportunities.

To address this and other related issues, a collaborative project, Exploiting market opportunities for value-added dairy and meat products in the Eastern and Central Africa region, was carried out in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania in 2006 and in Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan in 2010 to characterize value chains for conventional and niche markets for dairy and meat products.

The project aimed at enhancing the capacity of small- and medium-scale enterprises in the East Africa region to effectively meet consumer demand for safe, high-quality dairy and meat products that meet national regulatory requirements.

The study examined consumers' perspectives on meat quality and safety and found that high-income consumers prefer to buy meat from upper-end markets like priority stores and supermarkets. They associate well packaged meat, clean premises and veterinary stamped-products with good quality and safety, and are indeed willing to pay a premium for these attributes. On the other hand, low-income consumers mostly purchase their meat products from local butcheries.

Roast beef

Selling of roast beef is an increasing trend motivated by rising consumer demand for ready-to eat roast beef. For example, in Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan, the roast meat (nyama choma) sold in butcheries and bars is a growing preference by both the indigenous and foreign consumers. In Uganda, vending of roadside roast beef known as muchomo is a growing trend on highway spots outside the capital city, Kampala.

The different ways in which the beef is roasted, dressed and sold varies by country. However, some consumers still question the safety and quality of beef as it goes through the processes of roasting, dressing and selling. However, if sellers can provide assurance of quality and safety then there will be demand from the high-income consumers.

Therefore, to increase the sales of value-added products, sellers of roast beef should adhere to national regulations for quality and safety and respond to consumer preferences. The growing trend of niche markets running along the spectrum of high, medium and low income consumers should also be explored as an opportunity for increasing sales through product value addition.

Regulators and policy perspectives

With regard to the policy and regulatory environment, the study identified a need for greater harmonization of regulations among countries in the eastern Africa region in order to enhance effective service provision to the beef sector.

The study proposes that a comprehensive beef policy for the region be drawn up to guide the implementation and enforcement of regulations aimed at ensuring the quality and safety of beef products, particularly those sold by small-scale traders.

For more information about this study, please contact Dr Amos Omore of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) (a.omore @ cgiar.org).

Story adapted from a brochure, Quality and safety of small-scale beef products in East and Central Africa, produced by the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Study examines quality and safety of East Africa's milk and dairy products

Training and certification schemes for small-scale sellers of milk and dairy products in Eastern Africa can lead to better milk quality and help traders benefit from the growing demand for value-added dairy products. (Photo: ILRI)
Most sub-Saharan countries, including those in Eastern and Central Africa, are net importers of dairy products, with most of these products being imported from Europe and South Africa. In South Sudan, nearly all value-added dairy products are imported. At the same time, there is a growing demand for high-quality dairy products by the growing population and the tourist market.

The unmet demand is providing opportunities for value addition. However, significant technical and institutional barriers continue to limit the exploitation of these benefits by small-scale producers and small- and medium-scale enterprises engaged in value addition activities.

A study characterizing value chains for both conventional and niche markets for dairy and meat products was carried out in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania in 2006 and in Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan in 2010.

The main objective of the project, Exploiting market opportunities for value-added dairy and meat products in the Eastern and Central Africa region, was to enhance the capacity of small- and medium-scale enterprises to meet demand for quality and safety of the various value chain actors and regulatory requirements.

Major concerns and opportunities for value addition are presented here to stimulate action by producers, processors and traders on key issues regarding the quality and safety of milk and dairy products produced and marketed by small and medium enterprises in the eastern Africa region.

Consumer perceptions 

The issue of milk quality evokes different perceptions and reactions among different categories of consumers. Over 80% of the milk is sold raw (unpasteurized). Colour, smell, thickness, perceived fat content and cleanliness of the milk handlers, milk vessels and premises from where milk is sold are some of the most important criteria used by those purchasing raw milk.

Adulteration of milk, often judged by observations on thickness and physical appearance, is a major food safety concern to consumers, counter-balanced only by personal judgment and mutual trust between buyer and seller. Most adults consume fresh milk in the form of tea or makyato (Ethiopia) while children drink fresh milk directly after boiling.

The quality of packaging, presence of quality certification mark, expiry date and reliability of supplier are very important considerations to consumers who buy value-added dairy products such as pasteurized milk, yoghurt, fermented (sour) milk, cheese and butter.

More than 50% of consumers interviewed considered the quality of packaging to be an important measure of the quality and safety of products they bought and would be willing to pay more for well-packaged milk. This is not surprising as most of them were already purchasing considerably more expensive but better packaged imported dairy products.

Between the milk producers and consumers, various market intermediaries including informal milk traders, vendors, hawkers and formal dairy chain actors such as co-operative societies and processors play various roles in transforming milk into value-added products.

All processors consider milk producers as their primary clients. The primary concern of the informal traders is the quantity of milk supplied to them which can vary a lot by season, especially where traditional pastoralists are the major suppliers. Adulteration with water is a common problem especially in the dry season.

Milk quality

The main concern of the organized sector in all the six countries is the quality and hygienic level of milk handling. The use of plastic vessels for carrying milk is a major source of contamination as they are often poorly designed, not made of food-grade material and difficult to clean.

Most processors use lactometers to exclude heavily adulterated milk with a common lactometer reading cut-off point of 26. Seasonal fluctuation in the quantity, quality and prices of raw milk is yet another area of concern for processors.

Large hotels and supermarkets often demand quality and safety for value added products that are properly and attractively packaged and are endorsed by quality control bodies such as national bureaus of standards. Some high-end supermarkets demand packaged products to have bar codes for ease of sales and stock control.

Very few small- and medium-scale enterprises meet these demands for quality and safety. In some cases, there were poorly designed or inappropriately, inadequately, or erroneously labelled containers and wrappings of butter and cheese.

These shortcomings have tended to degrade the quality and safety perception of such products by potential buyers or, more importantly, acted as barriers to accessing high-end supermarket shelves in some of the major cities of the six countries.

All countries have food standards bodies and regulations that prescribe hygienic and food safety standards for milk and dairy products. Nevertheless, informal trade in raw milk is predominant in all countries and compliance by small- and medium-scale enterprises is still low.

High fees for quality testing and certification; lack of quality control facilities; the high cost of packaging materials; high cost of appropriate milk handling equipment such as milk cans and milk coolers; and lack of appropriate knowledge and skills were cited as major barriers.

Actions to address some of these constraints could include training and offering group concessions in quality certification schemes.

For more information about this study, please contact Dr Amos Omore of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) (a.omore @ cgiar.org).

Story adapted from a brochure, Quality and safety of value added milk and dairy products, produced by the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA).

You may also be interested in these earlier blog posts on Livestock Markets Digest

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

ILRI-led food safety project holds forum to synthesize research findings

Pork and beef sellers in Xipamanine Market, Maputo, Mozambique. The ILRI-led Safe Food, Fair Food project is adapting risk-based approaches to improve the safety of informally sold livestock products in sub-Saharan Africa. (Photo: ILRI/Mann).

The Safe Food, Fair Food project begins its final synthesis meeting today 13 September 2011 at the Addis Ababa campus of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), bringing together 25 MSc and PhD students from 11 different countries to present their research findings and draft/completed theses.

The BMZ-funded project is working to improve the management of food safety in general and the safety of livestock products in particular by adapting risk-based approaches to informal markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

The three-year project, which is scheduled to end in December 2011, is being implemented in eight countries (Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, the Republic of South Africa and Tanzania) in collaboration with universities and national research institutes.

During the two-day meeting, country coordinators will share information on feedback to communities and synthesize the results of the national impact assessment studies. In addition, a writeshop will be held to collaboratively develop a project synthesis book to facilitate dissemination of the research findings to wider audiences. Plans for individual publications and future research activities will also be discussed.

The meeting’s activities will be facilitated by graduate fellow Kristina Roesel and veterinary epidemiologist Kohei Makita, both of whom are working with ILRI's Market Opportunities theme.

For more information, please visit the project website.

Friday, September 09, 2011

International congress to discuss impact of zoonotic diseases in developing countries

Maasai father and son tend to their cattle in their paddock in Kitengela
A Maasai father and his son tend to their cattle herd. Addressing the impact of zoonotic diseases on humans, animals and the environment will benefit smallholder livestock keepers in developing countries. (Photo: ILRI/Mann).

Regional and international experts on public health and infectious diseases will meet at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 15-17 September 2011 for the first international congress on pathogens at the human-animal interface (ICOPHAI) to deliberate on the impact of infectious diseases and explore the limitations and needs of developing countries.

The congress will have a keynote speaker on One Health with a focus on zoonoses (animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans) as well as plenary speakers in the following eight thematic areas:

  • Emerging zoonoses and wildlife interface 
  • Drug discovery and antimicrobial resistance 
  • Respiratory diseases and global impact 
  • Parasitic zoonoses and environment 
  • Enteric food and waterborne infections 
  • Genomics and molecular epidemiology 
  • Immunology and vaccine development 
  • Policy, capacity building and other significant issues

Participants are expected to include academicians, government and industry research scientists, policymakers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

The conference is organized by a consortium of regional and international academic and research organizations comprising:

  • Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Chiang Mai University, Thailand
  • Federal University of Paranà, Brazil
  • Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • International Livestock Research Institute 
  • Kenya Medical Research Institute
  • National Semi-Arid Institute, Brazil
  • Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
  • University of Gondar, Ethiopia
  • University of Nairobi, Kenya

The Market Opportunities Theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) will be represented at the meeting by Dr Delia Grace, veterinary epidemiologist and leader of ILRI's research team on animal health, food safety and zoonoses, and Dr Kohei Makita, veterinary epidemiologist on joint appointment at ILRI and Rakuno Gakuen University in Japan.

Dr Makita is scheduled to present a paper on "Use of participatory methods in food safety risk analysis of informally marketed livestock products in sub-Saharan Africa: Advantages and challenges".

For more information, please visit the ICOPHAI 2011 website.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bird flu fear in Asia: IFPRI and ILRI offer research-based disease control options for developing countries

Hen and her chicks
Amid fears of resurgence of avian influenza in parts of Asia, researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute and the International Livestock Research Institute are helping governments in developing countries to make informed decisions on how to control the spread of the disease and minimize its economic impact on the poor. (Photo: IFPRI)


The H5N1 form of avian influenza that has recently swept through Asia and into parts of Europe and Africa poses an extraordinary challenge for the international community.

And now the United Nations has warned of an imminent resurgence of avian influenza in parts of Asia, following the detection of a mutant strain of avian influenza in China and Vietnam. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has urged "heightened readiness and surveillance against a possible major resurgence of the H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza".

While a strong global response is necessary to control the spread of this disease, efforts in developing countries have shown that conventional approaches to disease control and prevention may not always work in the case of avian influenza.

There is considerable uncertainty throughout the developing world about the disease’s spread mechanisms, as well as the timing, extent, and severity of potential outbreaks.

This gap in knowledge, however, does not change the fact that developing countries are faced with critical decisions about how to defend against and recover from a potential outbreak of avian influenza.

Researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are spearheading a new research program to study the patterns and determinants of the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the economic impacts of an HPAI outbreak on different populations, and cost-effective HPAI control and prevention strategies.

The goal of the project, which is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID),  is to help governments in developing countries make more informed decisions about how to control the spread of HPAI and how to minimize the impact on different populations, particularly the poor, of both the disease and the measures taken to control an outbreak so as to ensure optimal compliance.

The project is implemented in Ethiopia,Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya and Nigeria.

For more information and to download the project publications, please visit the project web page.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fighting famine in the Horn of Africa: What role for research on livestock market access?

Arid lands
Arid lands in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa: What role can agricultural research play in finding lasting solutions to the problem of drought and famine in the region? (Photo: ILRI)


The current drought in the Horn of Africa is the worst ever in 60 years and some 13 million people have been affected by the attendant food shortage.

Amid several calls for governments and policymakers to come up with long-term interventions to this recurring problem, a team of experts within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) will meet at the Nairobi headquarters of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on Thursday 1 September 2011 with a few selected development partners to discuss how agricultural research by the CGIAR can provide long-term solutions towards mitigating the effects of drought  and  improving and sustaining agricultural livelihoods in the drylands.

The topics to be addressed include:

  • Promising options and innovations to help farmers become more resilient and food-secure in the face of weather and other shocks;
  • The role of infrastructure and access to viable, functioning livestock markets in food security and prices;
  • Whether drought-tolerant crops and large-scale irrigation are the answer;
  • Whether pastoralism is a driver of drought-induced food insecurity or a buffer against it; and
  • Policies that are needed, and at what levels, to ensure that recommendations and innovations for drought-prone areas are put in place in those areas that need them most.

Among the panelists are Lloyd Le Page, Chief Executive Officer of the CGIAR Consortium; Mark Gordon, Co-Chair of the UN Somalia Food Cluster, World Food Programme; and Namanga Ngongi, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

The briefing is open to the press and the public and will be held from 1030hours to 1200hours. Please visit the CGIAR website for details and to RSVP.

For more information on this topic, and for the live video and chat link during the briefing, please visit the Horn of Africa page on the CGIAR website.

You may also follow @CGIAR on Twitter (hash tag #Ag4HoA).

ILRI project offers viable solutions to rising pork prices in Vietnam

Smallholder pig production in northern Viet Nam
Farmer Ma Thi Puong feeds her pigs on her farm near the northern town of Meo Vac, Vietnam: Policies that address supply constraints faced by both small and large pig farmers in Vietnam can help in long-term solutions to the rising prices of pork and live pigs. (Photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

Rising consumer demand for pork, high cost of animal feed and ineffcient value chains have led to skyrocketing prices of pork and live pigs in Vietnam. Within the first half of 2011 alone, the cost of pork and live pigs doubled in the principal urban markets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

As policymakers seek long-term solutions towards boosting domestic supply of pork to meet the sustained consumer demand, research findings by scientists from the Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) can help in pointing the way to viable solutions to the current food price crisis.

Findings from a three-year (2007-2010) Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)-funded ILRI-led collaborative project, Improving competitiveness of smallholder pig producers in an adjusting Vietnam market, suggest that both small-scale and large-scale pig producers should be targeted in a strategy for expanding domestic pork supply in Vietnam, considering that prices are likely to remain high in the long run on account of pork being a key ingredient in the Vietnamese diet.

These and other findings are highlighted in an article by Nguyen Do Anh Tuan of Vietnam's Centre for Agricultural Policy and Lucy Lapar of ILRI published in the 22-28 August 2011 issue of the Vietnam Investment Review, Vietnam's leading weekly international business newspaper.

Previous interventions by the Vietnam government have tended to ignore small-scale farmers, focusing instead on developing large-scale farms to address supply constraints such as rising feed prices, losses from diseases and inefficiencies in pork value chain.

However, research findings based on a pig sector model for Vietnam suggest that large-scale pig farms will make a minimal contribution to supply in both the short- and long- term. Indeed, the majority small-scale farms were found to be better able to adapt to volatile prices in feed markets, hence creating efficiencies in these systems.

Therefore, focusing on large-scale farms and ignoring the majority of small-scale farms and their constraints will not result in long-term efficiency gains, the study concluded.

"The focus should be on addressing causes of constraints to productivity growth, such as disease outbreaks, rising feed prices, efficient system for replacement of breeding stocks and improving pork value chain performance," the article's authors suggest.

"Policies that will provide incentives to generate new technological breakthroughs and appropriate institutions to support these would likely to be more effective options," the authors add.

The project collaborators were the Centre for Agricultural Policy - Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agricultural and Rural Development (CAP-IPSARD), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Oxfam Hong Kong and the University of Queensland.

Read the complete article from the Vietnam Investment Review

For more information, please contact Dr Lucy Lapar of ILRI (l.lapar @ cgiar.org), visit the project website or read the project publications.

You may also be interested in these past blog posts on Livestock Markets Digest

Friday, August 12, 2011

Goat value chain actors in India and Mozambique hold innovation platform meetings


Small-scale goat production and marketing are important sources of livelihood for poor livestock keepers in the arid and semi-arid regions of India and Mozambique.

The Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is leading a project in collaboration with BAIF Development Research Foundation in India and CARE International, Mozambique towards increasing incomes and food security in a sustainable manner by enhancing pro-poor small ruminant value chains in India and Mozambique.

The project Small ruminant value chains as platforms for reducing poverty and increasing food security in India and Mozambique (imGoats in short), which is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), got underway in February 2011.

It uses an innovation systems approach aimed at transforming informal subsistence-level goat production to a viable, profitable model while preserving community and national resource systems. In addition to goat keepers, project beneficiaries include small-scale traders and providers of inputs and animal health services.

Project partners in India and Mozambique recently facilitated inaugural innovation platform meetings in Inhassoro, Mozambique (May 2011) and Jhadol, Udaipur, India (July 2011). Innovation platforms offer an opportunity for the different actors in the goat value chain to gather and exchange knowledge and share experiences towards improving goat production and marketing processes for the benefit of all.

During the innovation platform meetings, participants shared the challenges and constraints they face during goat production/marketing and discussed possible solutions and priority areas for action towards addressing the constraints.

For more details about the imGoats project and to read the meeting reports, please visit http://imgoats.org or contact Dr Ranjitha Puskur of ILRI (r.puskur @ cgiar.org).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New book features case studies on Kenya’s liberalized dairy sector

Improved functioning of Kenya’s dairy marketing systems in the period following the liberalization of the sector in 1992 is a critical factor affecting the improvement of dairy production systems, two new studies report.

The studies feature in a newly published book by Springer (April 2011) titled Emerging Development of Agriculture in East Africa.

Agricultural economists from the Market Opportunities Theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Dr Isabelle Baltenweck and Dr Steve Staal, are chapter co-authors.

Dr Staal is the director of ILRI’s Market Opportunities theme which carries out research aimed at providing appropriate technical, policy and institutional options that will enable the poor, especially women and other marginalized groups, to participate more effectively in remunerative livestock markets.

The chapter, Emerging markets in the post-liberalization period: Evidence from the raw milk market in rural Kenya by Kijima, Yamano and Baltenweck examines the development of raw milk markets in western and central Kenya while the chapter, Dynamic changes in the uptake of dairy technologies in the Kenya Highlands by Baltenweck, Yamano and Staal investigates the dynamics of dairy production in the post-liberalization period.


Citations
Baltenweck I, Yamano T and Staal SJ. 2011. Dynamic changes in the uptake of dairy technologies in the Kenya Highlands.  In: Yamano T, Otsuka K and Place F (eds), Emerging development of agriculture in East Africa. Springer, Netherlands. pp. 85-97.

Kijima Y, Yamano T and Baltenweck I. 2011. Emerging markets in the post-liberalization period: Evidence from the raw milk market in Kenya. In: Yamano T, Otsuka K and Place F (eds), Emerging development of agriculture in East Africa. Springer, Netherlands. pp. 73-84.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ecohealth approaches can improve food safety management in Vietnam

Pork seller at a market in Vietnam: One Health and Ecohealth approaches can improve the management of food safety and zoonotic diseases in Vietnam. (Photo credit: ILRI).

Food safety is a major concern for the government of Vietnam. According to the World Health Organization Representative Office in Vietnam, the human costs of food-borne diseases, lost production from diseases and related market losses surpass USD 1 billion per year, an amount equivalent to 2% of Vietnam's Gross Domestic Product.

The topic of food safety management in Vietnam featured at the Second Food Safety and Zoonoses Symposium for Asia Pacific that was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 21-22 July 2011.

A presentation by Dr Hung Nguyen-Viet of the Hanoi School of Public Health, Vietnam and researchers from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) considered the challenges, costs and benefits of One Health and Ecohealth approaches to food safety in Vietnam.

Ecohealth and One Health approaches assume that human, livestock, wildlife and environmental health are integrally related.

The presentation also highlighted a number of food safety research projects by ILRI in Vietnam, including the project on ecosystem approaches to the better management of zoonotic emerging infectious diseases in Southeast Asia which is coordinated Dr Jeffrey Gilbert, a veterinary epidemiologist with ILRI’s research team on animal health, food safety and zoonoses.


Citation
Nguyen-Viet H, Grace D, Lapar ML, Unger F, McDermott J and Gilbert J. 2011. Linking research and management of food safety within One Health/Ecohealth context in Vietnam: Concepts and applications. Presentation at the 2nd Food Safety and Zoonoses Symposium for Asia Pacific, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 21-22 July 2011.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Participatory risk analysis: A promising approach to improving food safety in sub-Saharan Africa

Pork and beef sellers in Xipamanine Market, Maputo, Mozambique. Participatory risk analysis offers a new approach to managing the safety of informally produced and marketed food in sub-Saharan Africa. (Photo credit: ILRI/Mann)

Most food in sub-Saharan Africa is produced and sold in the informal sector which is an important source of income, employment and livelihood for millions of poor food producers and sellers.

However, several studies have shown that informally marketed food contains high levels of microbial hazards that pose a threat to public health.

In order to appropriately tackle this problem, approaches are needed that focus on the risk to human health and how best this risk can be assessed and managed rather than focusing solely on the presence of hazards.

For example, the common practice of boiling of milk before drinking it kills disease-causing microorganisms, thereby significantly reducing the public health risks posed by the presence of milk-borne pathogens.

Risk analysis, therefore, presents a new approach to managing food safety and the use of participatory methodologies can improve stakeholder engagement and compliance.

Although risk analysis is now widely applied in much of the developed world and forms the basis of food safety guidelines for domestic and international trade, its use in developing countries has been limited.

This is largely because risk-based approaches to food safety have not been appropriately adapted to suit the prevailing situation in developing countries where informal markets dominate and exist alongside formal markets, and capacity to enforce compliance is low.

The collaborative Safe Food, Fair Food project is currently working to improve the management of the safety of livestock food products by adapting risk-based approaches to suit domestic informal livestock markets in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The project is led by the Market Opportunities theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The project involves several partners from eight countries in east, west and south Africa, namely, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, the Republic of South Africa and Tanzania and covers 19 participatory risk analysis topics.

Preliminary results from the proof of concept studies support the hypothesis that risk-based approaches may be useful in improving food safety in informal markets in developing countries.

The application of participatory risk analysis towards improved food safety in sub-Saharan Africa is discussed in a review paper published in the journal, Revue Africaine de Santé et de Productions Animales. The lead author of the paper, Dr Delia Grace, heads ILRI's research team on animal health, food safety and zoonoses.

Click here to read the abstract and access the review paper

For more information, visit the Safe Food, Fair Food project web page


Citation
Grace D, Makita K, Kang'ethe EK and Bonfoh B. 2010. Safe food, fair food: Participatory risk analysis for improving the safety of informally produced and marketed food in sub-Saharan Africa. Revue Africaine de Santé et de Productions Animales 8(S): 3-11.

Monday, July 11, 2011

East Africa dairy experts seek harmonized standards to promote regional trade


Dairy experts in East Africa are working towards harmonization of dairy policies and standards in a bid to promote regional trade in milk and dairy products and enhance access to markets.

In line with this objective, representatives from the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat and the East Africa Dairy Regulatory Authorities Council (EADRAC) met in Arusha, Tanzania on 6-7 July 2011 to review progress made in harmonization of regional dairy policies and standards.

EADRAC is a forum that comprises chairpersons, chief executives and key technical staff of national dairy boards and regulatory authorities from five EAC member countries, namely, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

EADRAC was formed in 2006 to work towards harmonization of dairy policies and standards in the region as well as foster the sharing of lessons among countries.

The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) have been working in partnership with EADRAC to provide the research evidence needed to inform and guide the policy actions by the dairy regulatory authorities.

The two-day meeting was organized by ASARECA, ILRI and the EAC Secretariat.

The participants discussed trends in intra-regional trade in dairy products, reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers across regional borders, and the implications of the recently revised Codex Alimentarius clause on the use of the lactoperoxidase system (LPS) in preservation of raw milk.

ILRI was represented at the meeting by two scientists from the Market Opportunities theme, veterinary epidemiologist, Dr Amos Omore and agricultural economist, Dr Ayele Gelan.

ILRI shared evidence from recent commissioned research work on the impacts of changing tariff and non-tariff barriers on regional dairy trade, and on the use of LPS in milk preservation, which the forum thought needed wider consultations including a revision of the relevant regional dairy standards before piloting of the system.

EADRAC meetings are held about annually, with the last one held in early December 2009 at ILRI's Nairobi headquarters, back-to-back with a South-South Dairy Symposium involving dairy researchers and policymakers from East Africa and Northeast India.

India is currently the world's largest milk producer and, as in East Africa, the traditional dairy sector dominates the marketing of milk.

The forum proposed a conference in June 2012 in Kampala, Uganda to bring together a wider group of regional stakeholders including, EADRAC, ASARECA, ILRI and the East Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme to review progress made and new actions required towards further harmonization of dairy policies in the region.

"EADRAC is positioning itself to be the main technical agency for addressing non-tariff barriers to trade in East Africa once it is recognized as such by the EAC Secretariat, and memorandum of understanding detailing this relationship is under consideration" said Dr Omore.

Related links 
EAC official seeks transformation of regional dairy sector (Daily Nation, 7 July 2011)

Symposium develops policy to transform traditional dairy markets in East Africa and Northeast India (Livestock Markets Digest, 15 December 2009)

CEOs of East African dairy boards endorse harmonized milk training curricula for informal traders (Livestock Markets Digest, 17 February 2006)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Persistence of high food prices in Eastern Africa: What role for policy?

High food prices in Eastern Africa and the role of policy: Dr Joseph Karugia presents at an Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology lunch seminar
The coordinator of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System for Eastern and Central Africa (ReSAKSS-ECA), Dr Joseph Karugia, today afternoon (30 June 2011) gave a presentation titled “Persistence of high food prices in Eastern Africa: What role for policy?” at a lunch seminar at the Jacaranda Hotel, Nairobi. The seminar was organized by the Kenya Chapter of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB).

Dr Karugia presented some regional perspectives to the food price situation in Eastern and Southern Africa and put forward some policy options that would best enable governments and other stakeholders to respond in a timely manner, based on evidence from research data.

Sharing research with the general public: Dr Joseph Karugia does a piece-to-camera  for the Kenya News Agency (KNA) after his OFAB seminar on high food prices in Eastern Africa and the role of policy
Earlier this week, Dr Karugia was also interviewed on the same subject on two live television shows -- The Breakfast Show by NTV and The Platform by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

Curbing rising food prices: Screen grab of Dr Joseph Karugia (right) in a live Kenya Broadcasting Corporation television interview on 28 June 2011 by journalist Kasujaa Onyonyi (left)
 
ReSAKSS-ECA is based at the Nairobi headquarters of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi under the Market Opportunities research theme.

ReSAKSS is an Africa-wide network established to provide readily available analysis, data, and tools of the highest quality to promote evidence-based decision-making on policy issues on Agriculture in Africa.

To find out more about ReSAKSS, please visit http://www.resakss.org