Small ruminants are a key source of food and nutritional security to the people of Burkina Faso. They are also an important source of economic growth in a country that faces a growing gap between demand and supply of goat and sheep meat. These and other promising opportunities to reinforce smallholder farming in Burkina Faso motivated the decision by the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program to select the country as a focus for its research on small ruminants.
Discussion on research priorities in Burkina Faso was initiated at a stakeholder workshop in December 2013. A draft business case was presented that provided the rationale for work on this value chain.
Program activities have yet to take off in the ‘pays des hommes intègres’ but justice was done to recent work as the program now has a fleshed out set of activities for the next three to nine years – thanks to the Strategic Implementation plan (SIP) workshop.
On 14-15 July 2014, several Burkina Faso partners who had attended the December stakeholder consultation and a number of scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) hammered out the programmatic and operational elements of a strategy and implementation plan for the coming years.
This workshop, which follows similar workshops in Ethiopia and Tanzania, helped everyone review what the program is all about and what preliminary activities have taken place in Burkina Faso, such as tentative site selection, initial scoping studies, etc.
The first morning, participants share their insights and recommendations on:
- Soft criteria for the selection of action sites – a particularly interesting discussion which emphasized the importance of collection markets, the presence of partners, the development potential and availability of inputs for that potential to become a reality;
- The vision of the small ruminants value chain by 2023 and a set of objectives that would enthuse local organizations to work together towards that agenda;
- Some idea of the development and research outcomes that a program like Livestock and Fish should seek;
- and an idea of the strategic partners who should absolutely be involved in such an initiative.
From the afternoon of the first day until the end of the second day, ILRI scientists further developed and integrated the stakeholder inputs into the template of the Strategy and Implementation Plan (or ‘SIP’) which will guide program activities in the value chain for the next nine years.
In a country where small ruminants play a strategic role in local consumption patterns, the Livestock and Fish Program hopes to make a significant dent into transforming the value chain and providing more animal source food for the poor, and hopefully by or with them at the same time.
Read the report from the December 2013 stakeholder workshop: Rapport de l’atelier sur le Programme de Développement des Chaines de Valeur des Petits Ruminants au Burkina Faso, 16 et 17 Décembre 2013 à Ouagadougou
Article by Ewen Le Borgne and Evelyn Katingi