This week Tom Randolph, Director of the CGIAR ‘Livestock-Fish’ Research Program announced that the Program “officially started on January 1st 2012, so we are off and running.”
He drew attention to some recent developments:
Phuket stakeholder consultation: We held a final consultation with stakeholders at the FAO Agenda of Action for a Sustainable Livestock Sector Development meeting in Phuket, Thailand on 2 December 2011. The purpose of the consultation was to share our evolving implementation plan, especially how we plan to address the environmental issues. The feedback was very positive and constructive.
Funding: The overall CRP3.7 budget for 2012 is $29.7 million, of which $10.3 million is expected to come from the CGIAR Fund and the remainder from our traditional restricted funded projects.
Planning: Our primary challenge right now is to complete the planning process that we started in September. This should give us a sense of what activities and outputs can be achieved. It will also: (1) define deliverables to be agreed by each Center; (2) allow the Component teams to begin implementing their work plans; and (3) allow the value chain coordinators to step up their engagement with partners in each country and help organize the activities across the Components happening in their value chains.
Management: The interim Program Planning and Management Committee (PPMC) met before and after initial planning meeting of CRP3.7 research leaders in September 2011; the minutes from those meetings will be in the Program repository. The PPMC will be meeting face-to-face 3 times a year, with the first meeting planned for 22 March 2012, just before the ILRI Board of Trustees meet. Terms of reference for the PPMC as well as the Program’s Science and Partnership Advisory Committee (SPAC).
Project updates (most current Program activities build upon existing projects in the partner Centers)
- The WorldFish Center has approval for an SDC (Switzerland) project to support its aquaculture value chain work in Egypt.
- The leader of the Program’s Gender and Equity Component, Jemimah Njuki, has begun working closely with Jacqueline Ashby, Gender and Research Advisor to the Consortium Office, to develop our CRP Gender Strategy.
- Component 2.2/2.3 on value chain assessment and innovation plans to meet the week of March 5th in Nairobi. It will take advantage of the need to develop a suite of rapid assessment tools for a major development-oriented project in Ethiopia (LIVES) to jump-start its tool development activities.
- IFAD approved an IFAD-EC-funded project on smallholder pig value chains in Uganda in December 2011.
- In December 2011, Irish Aid approved a major project designed explicitly to implement CRP3.7 activities in the Tanzania dairy value chain; and IFAD approved a smaller project on dairy feed systems in Tanzania and India (MilkIT). We will be integrating the activities under both projects as much as possible.
- With IFAD, we are developing a concept note to start up CRP3.7 activities on small ruminant value chains in Mali and Ethiopia.
- ACIAR has approved a small 6-month project on feed and fodder value chains in Ethiopia.
- BMZ approved a second phase of the ILRI-led ‘Safe Food, Fair Food’ project. The project is under CRP4.3, but is explicitly focused on improving food safety in several CRP3.7 target value chains—not only for livestock in several countries, but also for fish in Uganda; we hope that this will serve as a model for how synergies can be created across our Centers and across CRPs.
So our grand adventure has begun. I look forward to working with everyone as we try to meet the expectations we have raised! – Tom Randolph
Tom: Great start good luck, An advise from an old hand: seek co-financing. This will multiply leverage of funding. You have already started by a CN with IFAD in Mali and Ethiopia, but these are significant but comparatively small steps. Many agencies are developing their own poverty reduction and rural development plans and consider Livestock & Fish as an instrument for achieving their goals. Partnership through co-financing and other collaborative instruments could help ILRI and the various agencies. For example, EU has decided to pitch into poverty reduction through agricultural development. Noting the fact that EC has huge resources, twinning or collaborative co-financing would be an excellent opportunity. PS: my news: I am Leading an EU Pre-formulation Agriculture Sector Assessment in Jordan for the purpose of finding opportunities that lead to poverty reduction.The task is from now to end of April You may want to look for the results when they are posted officially by EU!! around May.
Good advice! The beauty of having a focus on a few selected value chains is that we can start overlapping complementary activities, which makes it attractive for co-financing. And yes, our first steps will tend to be smaller convential research projects, but these are meant to generate the body of evidence and proof-of-concept to attract the larger development investments as co-financing for continued research. It will be a matter of getting some momentum going. For now, the challenge is getting to an integrated work plan across the Centers involved as we adjust to life without core funding. Thanks for the encouragement!
Good luck with work in Jordan, and will be looking forward to the result!