On August 5 and 6, 2014, the Livestock and Fish team conducted a Livestock and Fish Strategy and Implementation Planning Workshop for the Dual-Purpose Cattle Value Chain (DPVC) in Managua, Nicaragua. The purpose of this workshop was to generate an exchange with local partners to track ongoing efforts in the value chain development work in Nicaragua, as well as planning upcoming research and implementation work from 2015 onward. Participants included local universities, farmer and women’s groups, cooperatives, private sector, and research and development partners.
The Strategy and Implementation Planning Workshop was an important event to inform local partners of the Program’s evolution into Flagships, generating a vision of the Livestock and Fish future work plan under each of the Flagships within the country’s specific context, and developing a preliminary logical framework based on salient future initiatives planned for the 2016-2023 period.
Animal Health for Productivity
The overall goal established for the Animal Health for Productivity Flagship is to increase volumes of quality milk delivered by farmers and cooperatives in order to produce safe foods and improve farmer income. Upcoming activities include the development of a database with a baseline study and situation analysis of the milk quality issues being faced in the region, as well as generating knowledge on innovative animal health management and developing monitoring tools to aid in decision making.
Furthermore, the Animal Health flagship will contribute to development outcomes by identifying and prioritizing intervention themes, needs at farm level, and research gaps related to animal health management and milk safety. Another area of focus lies in the strengthening of farmer and organization capacities to implement animal health interventions and innovations which contribute to improving milk quality and safety.
Genetics and breeding
Upcoming activities for the Genetics and Breeding Flagship include the diagnosis of interests and initiatives related to breed improvement, and the evaluation of various cattle breeds and crossbreeds under the climate conditions of the area of study, including a genotypic and phenotypic characterization of cattle breeds.
Development outcomes for these activities include the adoption of conventional and modern genome evaluation systems by farmer organizations, promoting and supporting the adequate use of breeds adapted to the ecological, processing, and market conditions of the area. The flagship’s overall goal is to promote record-keeping in farms, as well as facilitating access to appropriate genetic material for farmers.
Feeds and forages
The Feeds and Forages Flagship’s main objective is to develop superior feed and forage alternatives, responding to current and evolving demands to enhance meat and milk production while reducing ecological footprints.
The flagship seeks to articulate a national platform of cattle farming organizations for the sustainable use of forages, emphasizing the need to overcome feed shortage during the dry season and guaranteeing a permanent feed supply. Upcoming activities include further research into adaptability, yield, and profitability of forage resources in various climate zones, as well as generating enough high-quality forage biomass for sustainable agriculture.
Systems Analysis for Sustainable Innovation (SASI)
Upcoming activities for the SASI flagship include generating greater knowledge on local innovation systems, research gaps and entry points for development within the dual-purpose value chain in the areas of study. Special focus will be placed on validation of best bets and modelling, as well as topics of technological and socioeconomic innovation.
The flagship seeks to contribute towards efficient and inclusive initiatives in the region, testing alternatives to back them by local experience, and making the topics of focus available and accessible to local organizations working towards dual-purpose value chain transformation. The overall goal consists of developing and guiding a systems approach being used for pro-poor, sustainable and equitable transformation of livestock and fish value chains through the AR4D platform.
Value Chain Transformation and Scaling
The Value Chain Transformation and Scaling Flagship aims to ensure that research results are being integrated, tested, adapted, and refined to respond to the demands of the individual value chain and facilitate the transformation process through collective learning.
The flagship’s upcoming activities include the diagnosis of the design, selection, and feedback processes for better pilot proposals, and contributing to development outcomes through validated products and technologies, assessing their adoption potential, and the widespread implementation of methodologies in other value chains.