As a brief aside to the Agenda of Action 2nd Multi-stakeholder Platform Meeting hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Phuket, Thailand – Jimmy Smith, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Director General, and Tom Randolph, CGIAR Research Program (CRP) 3.7 director hosted a consultative seminar to discuss the program which is due to get underway in under a month from today.
The seminar provided an opportunity for 50 key-stakeholders who had helped to shape the program to be updated on the progress of planning, with Tom Randolph’s presentation focusing on the core concept of CRP3.7, in addition to the draft work plan and the strategies for addressing environmental concerns amongst other things.
Participants were also provided a chance to voice any questions or concerns in a feedback session facilitated by Keith Sones, with additional support during the session in regards to aquaculture dimensions and links to CRP4 (Agriculture for enhanced nutrition and health) provided by Nguyen Nguyen of the WorldFish Center and Delia Grace of ILRI respectively.
The presentation was well received and generated a number of thoughtful and constructive questions and comments. The consensus was quite positive and generally endorsed the CRP3.7 approach.
Addressing environmental concerns
- Caution was advised in oversimplifying the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) approach – the value of the detail in the LCA could be lost and could miss key issues;
- CRP3.7 aligns well with the Agenda of Action, particularly in terms of promoting improved efficiency of resource use and better waste management.
The general CRP3.7 approach
- Ensuring keeping to the pro-poor agenda may be difficult when dealing with livestock and fish products;
- There may also be a potential contradiction in promoting higher income for poor producers versus affordability for poor consumers;
- What mechanisms will the approach use for enhancing uptake by the poor?
- Should poultry be considered as a target value chain?
- The importance of learning from past and existing successes and failures – no need to re-invent the wheel;
- Pragmatic approach advised that recognizes role of entrepreneurial middlemen as engine of development, with view of system as complex mix of governance, structure, etc.;
- Recognizing that pro-poor value chains may not be competitive or effective in providing affordable animal-source foods in all contexts. Similarly, value chains are incredibly dynamic, so one-size-fits-all solutions will not work and emphasis will be needed on developing innovation capacities;
- Need to ensure that research using the value chain approach is not vulnerable to being supply driven, while still recognizing and building appropriately on the strengths of past research efforts.
We extend our thanks to FAO for allowing the program to consult with it’s key stakeholders during its Global Agenda of Action Meeting.