From 6-9 November, the Livestock and Fish program organized training on the use of benchmarking tools for sheep and goat value chain development in Ethiopia. Nearly 30 participants took part in the training from the different value chains intervention areas in Ethiopia namely Atsbi, Abergelle, Doyogena, Horro, Menz, Yabello, and Shinelle. These value chain benchmarking tools are one of the harmonized data collection instruments that will be used at different stages in the target value chains of the program.
The training aimed to bring participants up to speed with the different aspects of the value chains, familiarize them with the benchmarking tools, adjust the tools to the small ruminant value chains context in Ethiopia, integrate gender and food safety aspects into the tools and form teams for implementation of benchmarking.
Barbara Rischkowsky, ICARDA’s focal point for the program, gave an overview of the Livestock and Fish program as well as the highlights of the sheep and goat value chain in Ethiopia.
Annet Mulema, gender specialist in the program, zoomed in on the gender dimensions asking participants to discuss:
- Why examining gender roles is important (especially in the livestock value chain);
- What strategies are used to integrate gender in their work;
- What challenges they face to integrate gender in their work.
This triggered lively responses from the participants. Annet pointed out that value chain development is key to achieving increased production and improve livelihoods of the rural poor. She further pointed out that creating and sustaining competitive markets will require gender analysis and integration of gender components in value chains.
Subsequently, Barbara Szonyi, from the Safe Food, Fair Food project introduced a risk-based approach to food safety. She emphasized a structured way of identifying, evaluating and dealing with major food safety risks and possible points of intervention.
A thorough review of the benchmarking tools for different actors (producers, traders, processors and service providers) across the different research sites was undertaken during the training. The review was followed by a one day hands on field practical testing of the producer questionnaire.
Article by Tigist Endashaw