Value chain development and how it could be best linked to technology development was one of the ‘hot’ issues debated at the recent ILRI-hosted livestock fish Mega Program stakeholder meeting.
To help focus the conversations, colleagues from ICARDA and the WorldFish Center illustrated real-life value chain development and how they interface with the envisaged technology development component.
Barbara Rischkowsky gave an example of a sheep-meat value chain in Ethiopia. In this example, the approach would likely target the ‘best bet’ technologies that would raise productivity and help make this value chain work. Besides the emphasis on technological solutions, a huge amount of effort would also need be given to the delivery of services and the ‘delivery’ of partnerships. The example illustrates how this type of approach generates questions and demands for knowledge on breeding strategies, forage and feeding options, and forage seed delivery.
Malcolm Beveridge reported from recent discussions in Uganda where his organization and the government investigated aquaculture value chains in some detail. His presentation identified three main chains – ‘seed’, ‘feed’, and ‘fish.’ During the visit they determined the scope of the aquaculture value chains, did a value chain analysis, and identified and did a preliminary prioritization of high priority technological interventions.
Examination of the ‘seed’ value chain revealed concrete demands for genetically improved fish. This technological effort would probably require a 5-10 year effort, to begin to have improved fish ready for the market. The ‘feed’ value chain revealed the need for (costly, often risky) feed extrusion technologies that could increase the productivity of aquaculture. The main issue in this case is that the technology works, but can it be made to work in this specific market context?