Sheep and goat value chain research explained (photo credit: ILRI\Zerihun Sewunet)
A highlight of the recent Livestock and Fish review and planning meeting was the Ethiopia sheep and goat value chains exhibit. Designed to bring the ‘field’ to the meeting, some 90 people joined the structured visits to stands from different value chain actors.
The exhibit featured various actors of the value chain including farmers, stakeholders from the National Agriculture Research system, development agencies, community members and partners from the 8 research sites, feed and veterinary services input suppliers and processors including an export abattoir, a butcher and a leather goods producer and food safety researchers. Sheep and goats from the sites were also exhibited.
The marketplace was an integral part of the event, designed to bring participants from across the program in contact with the whole value chain.
As part of the exercise, participants formed groups of ‘collectors’ – each with a specific role/perspective (healers, breeders, feeders, consumers, researchers, gender transformers, capacitors and traders) – tasked to visit the marketplace, collect insights, knowledge and ideas that could help transform value chains, reporting back on the issues/constraints/challenges they found, any promising approaches/innovations and best bets they think could already be put to use, as well as any big research ideas emerging from the discussions.
‘Showcasing the entire value chain activities to the meeting venue as opposed to taking the participants to the 8 field sites enabled the participants to get a much more intensive interaction with the value chain and get plenty of information saving on time and resources that would have been involved if we took them on day’s field trip where they would probably not get the complete picture of the activities as they did’, said Tadelle Dessie, ILRI scientist.
‘The event was also very beneficial to the value chain actors as they were able to interact with each other; for instance the farmers got a chance to discuss with the abattoir owners on some of the meat inspection tests that their animal go through and also with drug dealers on some of the ways to treat their animals and vice versa.’ Dessie added.
‘The exhibit has provided very interesting points and insights that will help us sharpen our research. We plan to take feedback from the participants very seriously so as to consolidate our research agenda that will help improve the value chain research’, said Barbara Rischkowsky, ICARDA scientists.
The marketplace was conceptualized by ILRI’s Peter Ballantyne and organized by Aynalem Haile and Barbara Rischkowsky (ICARDA) and Tadelle Dessie (ILRI).