Livestock and Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security

From ilri40 ilriwikis

ILRI@40 Addis: Livestock and Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security

Reported by: Liya Dejene

DAY ONE: 6 November 2014 at the Sheraton Hotel

Roundtable I: Livestock – sustainable food and nutritional security

Moderator: Joyce Cacho, Principal, Adinura Advisory, LLC


  • H.E. Gebregziabher Gebreyohannes: State Minister, Livestock Resources Development Sector, Ethiopia Ministry of Agriculture·
  • Unesu Ushewokunze-Obatolu: Principal Director, Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services, Zimbabwe Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development
  • Lucy Lapar: Senior Scientist, Integrated Science Team, ILRI-Vietnam
  • Amanuel Kassie: Program Manager, Pastoralist Unit, CARE Ethiopia

Watch video here [Youtube]

Key points forwarded:

  • Livestock production and processing are highly vulnerable to economic risk; governments need to provide extensive support for farmers to market successfully.
  • Governments need to increase investment in extension and organize services that are effective and low-cost; this requires well-trained extension workers, cooperating with the private sector, and more focus on marketing rather than just production, for example: using contract out grower systems.
  • We need to look at organizational arrangements that give farmers better access to inputs and secure markets.
  • Ethiopia: Better financial services and access to credit in pastoralist areas are highly recommended.
  • The success rate of normal AI technology is about 10% while the synchronized based AI is 62%, since this was encouraging, the technology was brought to Amhara and Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' (SNNP) regions of Ethiopia.
  • Zimbabwe: There are enough productions of Poultry and crop products but there is insufficient market for them.
  • There are organizational arrangements that benefit farmers to participate in the value chain system by having access to good quality inputs and markets despite output prices in Vietnam.
  • Scale-up case study/pilot research technology by investing in demonstration sites/events.
  • 70–80% of the agricultural production in Africa comes from smallholder farmers. And of that 70–80%, 60–70% are coming from women.

DAY TWO: 7 November 2014 at the ILRI Addis campus

Round-up of discussions on Livestock and Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security from Day One

Livestock and Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security: Prospects to 2054!

Four alternative scenarios for change

  1. Technological based agro-industrialization
  2. Sustainable intensification of small-scale agriculture: Can smallholders produce enough food for growing population?
  3. Radical departures: we've seen rapid technical change but what is the potential for social change?
  4. Business as usual [attach PowerPoint]

Questions addressed regarding the four scenarios:

  1. How and where will the greatest gains be made in food and nutritional security?
  2. Which interventions are likely to have the greatest potential?
  3. What are the opportunities for innovative research?
  4. What are the commentaries with other key issues?

Technology based agro-industrialization

Greatest gains

  • Small scale agriculture, e.g., improved breeds that are adapted to changing climate, agroecological conditions

Interventions with greatest potential

  • Forage production technology - drought
  • Vaccine development and storage
  • Minimizing drug resistance by producing different drugs
  • Waste management
  • Post-harvest technology - chopping
  • Dissemination pathways for technology
  • Feed processing and storage
  • Selection of important traits

Opportunities for innovative research

  • Development of single delivery vaccine, e.g., single delivery drug which are meant to reduce drug resistance
  • Feed processing
  • Selection of important traits e.g., resistance, tolerance, quality of output
  • Focusing on quality
  • Value chain
  • Inclusiveness of technologies in terms of gender
  • Development of different varieties of animal feed and pastures

4. Complementarities with other key issues

  • Technology development should marry with socio-economic development
  • Capacity building
  • Strategic and critical partnerships
  • Enabling policies
  • Strategic and innovative
  • Human population growth represents higher demand for food
  • Increase in livestock population represents greater pressure on land
  • Limited land available for agricultural production
  • Land fragmentation
  • Many areas already degraded
  • Climate change
  • African governments agree to enable smallholder farms to continue providing a large proportion of the food required by the population

Sustainable intensification of small-scale agriculture

  • Human population growth represents higher demand for food
  • Increase in livestock population represents greater pressure on land
  • Limited land available for agricultural production
  • Land fragmentation
  • Many areas already degraded
  • Climate change
  • African governments agree to enable smallholder farms to continue providing a large proportion of the food required by the population

File:Report Sustainable Intensification in smallholder farms.pptx

Radical Departures

Vision: Healthy and sustainable food systems in which people participate in inputs, production, knowledge, storage, processing, marketing, utilization Social, technical, and business dimensions Underlying drivers

  • Population growth, urbanization, aging population in some places, large youth populations in Africa
  • Rapid economic growth in Africa: 6-7% annual GDP growth
  • Rapid urbanization
  • Main growth markets in low and lower-middle income countries; much more trade within Africa and with Asia

Social change

  • Better access to information, rapid communication of innovation, networking and crowd sourcing: Better predictions and real-time response
  • Rapid improvements in energy, transportation, water, and sanitation infrastructure
  • Small holders organized into cooperatives to achieve economies of scale; problems of governance
  • Cost of environmental services built into prices; probably has to be enforced by government
  • Main impediment could be governance – with poor governance slowing down change in some countries


  • More precise bio-technical interventions – smaller scale product development/niche products for different environments (bio-engineering; genetic manipulation)
  • Highly intensive landless/small-scale livestock production systems with high value in Africa; intensification and specialization (milk, chickens, pigs/ specialized feeds including new processes for breaking-down complex carbohydrates)
  • More diverse systems for storage and processing with locally adapted and niche products
  • Less high-value production from larger land units – beef, goats and sheep
  • Easier networking and transportation
  • New livestock species including insects, rodents, and fish
  • Rapid diagnostics, analysis tools – long-distance analysis (agricultural version of tele-medicine)


  • “Markets” (including taxes) for externalities built into input costs and prices – environmental services; e-markets
  • Higher labor costs (as in Asia)
  • A few larger firms – strong interest from multinationals
  • But opportunities and rapidly growing number of smaller and innovative firms with diverse goals (social goals as well as profit maximization)
  • Much more value addition beyond the farm –storage, processing, marketing, and utilization
  • Risk management critical – much more volatility; innovative insurance tools; livestock production better at adapting than crops

File:Food and nutrition security radical departures.pptx

Business as Usual

Recognizing there will be a change. And the change could go two ways: Larger number of smallholder few number of animals. Or Few/no number of smallholder and large number of animals. The net effect will be the number of animals will increase.

  • The changes could be:

Increased population of livestock better animals, better adapted feed, better vaccines, better vaccines, better health care solutions Business as usual can contribute by

  • if we continue business as usual could

delivery of knowledge to build capacity filling gaps education for women to reduce population and increase their capacity scaling up speeding up technology ( things that work ( minimizing wastage (more efficient usage and minimize greenhouse gas emission) changing food preferences- substitute food Capacity and partnership building - we cannot do this on our own. Partnership is the key to sustainability If we continue the way we are going we will never achieve food security… but there are options to allow as (within business as usual) Partnership

  • CG taking more research on higher level -- work on those activities
  • More collaboration with other institutes -- Why is ILRI doing what the institute next door is doing?
  • We have to realize our limitation -- we don’t have to do everything - we can collaborate; allow others to do it better than us.
  • We could do the development. Our partners should lead the scaling outs

ILRI work on those activities that national institutions don’t have capacity It’s never going to be sustainable if an international organization is leading it A lot more continuity and sustainability will be there in working ‘business as usual’ we make incremental steps along the way .we start from where we are to move forward; we make adjustments on the way!!!

  • Continuity and sustainability until it’s taken up is what is required
  • Project approach in development works is not a good approach

Other questions and comments raised by the participants:

  • Do we need to reposition ourselves by the food system, in terms of how it is produced but also how it is processed and delivered in order to get food security?
  • Are we just pushing animals to their limit in biological potential?
  • Intensification also needs to be sustainable
  • Dissemination of technologies (not only research organizations but also private sectors)
  • Are livestock really helping us?
  • What do we do about food waste?
  • Are there political solutions for inequality, including considerations of gender?

Summary of discussions

Reporting back to plenary