Earlier this year the Ethiopia team led by ICARDA set out plans for the program to transform sheep and goat value chains in the country.
Since July, the team has engaged with national partners and stakeholders to identify research sites and partners. And today, the first of two planned training workshops on tools for the rapid assessment of sheep and goat value chains was held in Addis Ababa. A four-day event, some 25 researchers from four of the selected sites are zooming in on different value chain components to identify and test checklists for full application later in the year.
In her opening presentation, Barbara Rischkowsky (ICARDA) explained the process so far. She first explained the five-step site selection process:
- Step 1: Geographical targeting – identification of eligible regions/districts using GIS
- Step 2: Stakeholder consultation at national level (ground-truthing of Step 1, defining soft selection criteria and identifying sites)
- Step 3: Regional stakeholder consultation to refine site selection and prepare site visits
- Step 4: Site visits applying agreed minimum checklist to validate selected sites
- Step 5: Mobilization and start of activities in selected sites
The team has deliberately taken its time on this process, combining spatial data with soft or ‘fuzzy’ criteria to tap into all forms of expertise.
Spatial criteria used were: the representativeness of the site; its growth and market opportunity; the pro-poor potential; and the existence of supply constraints (indicating scope for improvement).
The partners and stakeholders added several ‘fuzzy’ soft criteria, including: Synergy with on-going research; match to government priorities; potential for success – implementation and impact; existing links with research and extension system; regional representation; and the availability of secondary data. They also fixed on some ‘killer’ criteria that sites needed to meet: The likelihood of success; market potential; well known supply areas for sheep or goat meat; number of sheep and goats per household; and the importance of sheep and goats to household livelihoods.
Fourteen potential sites emerged from the initial analysis; the number was reduced to seven through a final set of criteria:
- Target value chains: 2 goat and 4 sheep value chains
- Target production systems: 2 lowland and 4 highland sites
- Partner research and development projects to ensure initial funding of activities
- Priorities of the government to ensure interest and investment of research and extension system
- Cover well known sheep and goat breeds with high market potential
- Ease of implementation and probability of quick success
- Balanced regional representation
The table below shows the final list of sites and partners. Following the current training, research teams will spread out across the sites to undertake rapid value chain assessment as a way to identify promising ‘best bet’ interventions and set the ground for the planned baseline surveys in early 2013.
|Selected sites||Region||District||Partner project||Research Center|
|Goat Value Chains|
|Sazba (Amhara)Felegehiwot (Tigray)||BecaHub Goat Project||SekotaTARI|
|Negelle Borena||Oromia||Dillo (Borana)||Bore|
|Goat and Sheep Value Chain|
|Sheep Value Chains|
|Menz||Amhara||Molale and Mehal Meda||GIZ||Debre Berhan|