On dyeing baby chicks pink and other knowledge worth sharing: 300 experts meet in Addis Ababa to share Africa’s local knowledge

Learning day opening session - participants discussing

Two participants share experiences in the 'AgKnowledge Africa' Share Fair that is taking place this week at the Addis Ababa campus of the International Livestock Research Institute (photo credit: ILRI/Habtamu)  

Over 300 agricultural experts, including researchers, farmers, extension workers, scientists, rural development agents and government representatives from across Africa and other parts of the world are meeting this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to exchange ideas about how Africa’s local knowledge and information can be tapped and applied to drive Africa’s agricultural development.

Meeting at an ‘AgKnowledge Africa’ Share Fair, which began on 18 October 2010 at the Addis Ababa campus of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), these experts are sharing their experiences in using local African knowledge and related approaches and tools to raise the profile and productivity of African agriculture.

‘Africa and its people have a lot of undocumented knowledge, information and data that could be used to help drive the continent’s development,’ said Nadia Manning-Thomas, a knowledge sharing specialist. Manning-Thomas works with a program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research called ‘Information and Communication Technologies—Knowledge Management. This project (known by a mouthful of an acronym: the CGIAR ICT-KM) and ILRI are two of the organizers of this week’s Addis Share Fair.

‘Our aim in this Fair,’ says Manning-Thomas, ‘is to help Africa’s innovators find and use ways they can apply African knowledge—whether from local communities or regional organizations or research institutions—to drive agricultural growth’.

This week’s Fair (18–21 October 2010) is making use of traditional African ways of sharing knowledge, from traditional story-telling, to Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, to Kenyan barazas (Swahili for gatherings held to raise awareness and to share collective wisdom) to marketplace discussions. The first of its kind in Africa, this event has attracted participants from Europe and Asia as well as the continent.

‘This is an opportunity for ILRI and other researchers to join the conversation taking place among development experts in Africa,’ said Peter Ballantyne, head of ILRI’s knowledge management and information services and a main organizer of the Fair. ‘It’s also an opportunity for all the participants to create new partnerships and to get new ideas. We’re giving people a variety of “spaces” in which to talk that are great opportunities for us at ILRI to “listen” to ideas and innovations in local knowledge, especially among partners driving agricultural development in Africa.’

The Fair’s participants are also reviewing how mobile phones, internet-based tools and other new ways of sharing information are being used to spread knowledge across the continent. A ‘social reporting team’ evolving at ILRI is broadcasting the Share Fair’s proceedings using a variety of tools and platforms, including a daily news sheet, video, radio (podcasting) and blogging.

The Fair started on 18 October 2010 with a ‘learning and training day’ before the official opening on 19 October, made by Bruce Scott, head of ILRI’s partnerships and communications programs, representing ILRI’s director general, Carlos Seré. The topics being debated by the 300 participants include agriculture, water, climate change, land and livestock.

More than 10 organizations—including the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, and the Pastoralist Forum Ethiopia—have erected exhibits illustrating particular ways of sharing knowledge.

Among the Fair’s more exciting exhibits is one about Shujaaz FM, a cutting edge comic set in Kenya targeting the half of Kenyans under the age of 18. Although this new multimedia initiative leads with a comic book, it also is pulling together all the existing communications technologies, including a daily radio show, a website, and downloadable comics for mobile phones (sms), computer television, newspapers, etc. The aim of the comic is both to entertain the young and to help them put money into their pockets, and thus help them build livelihoods. Among the first stories in the series is a cracking tale on how to dye baby chickens pink (and why) and another on how to grow kale (the popular Kenyan dish made with sukuma wiki) in sacks in slums.

Want to know more?
Listen to an IRIN radio podcast for more about Shujaaz FM.
Read an earlier story on the AgKnowledge Africa Share Fair on the ILRI News blog.

And follow the Share Fair proceedings daily via our:
Blogs: http://tinyurl.com/sfaddisblog
Photos: http://tinyurl.com/sfaddisphotos
Tweets: http://tinyurl.com/sfaddistweets

ILRI to host ‘AgKnowledge Africa’ share fair in October

 

Join the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and many partners in Addis Ababa in October 2010 to share and showcase the ways agricultural and rural knowledge in and of Africa is created, shared, communicated, and put to use.

The event will be a ‘fair’ that brings together the diverse knowledge of the continent and the multiple innovative ways it is created, shared, communicated, and applied.

The heart of the fair is a series of thematic ‘learning pathways’ in a process of mapping, sharing and connecting people and activities. These pathways will showcase how African ‘talents’ are creating, sharing and using rural knowledge – at the grassroots, in research and policy, and through intermediaries. The pathways will focus on agriculture and climate change, land, livestock, and water.

The Share Fair also comprises learning sessions, self-organized focus groups on specific issues and topics (indigenous knowledge, mobiles, GIS, value chains, telecenters, and radio), a special session on rural knowledge in Ethiopia, and an ideas and products marketplace.

Find out how to participate: www.sharefair.net

The event brings together the multiple expertise and networks of international organizations like the CGIAR, CTA, FAO, IFAD, and IKM Emergent; the sessions are organized by a range of public, private, NGO, and research initiatives and organizations from Africa and beyond.

It will be held on the campus of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Addis Ababa.

ILRI workshop trains staff in social media for research communication

Research communications and Local Content workshops

A workshop on ‘Africa Learning and Exchange on Local Content, Social Media and Agricultural/Rural Knowledge Sharing’ opened on the Nairobi campus of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) last week.

From Monday through Wednesday, 5–7 July, the focus of the workshop was on ‘Research Communication’ and participants, who included ILRI staff and communication practitioners from research and non-profit organizations from Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, were trained on use of social media tools in research communications. Participants also shared their experiences of using these tools.

The research communication workshop taught participants how to recover and disseminate research, identify and counter bias in search tools and use social media/web 2.0 tools and skills and approaches. Participants gained hands-on experience in working with wikis, creating blogs and adding content, using social bookmarking tools, such as Delicious, and using feeds to organize information from different web resources.

Participants also identified the challenges and opportunities offered by social media tools in Africa. They used a participatory wiki to document and share the workshop proceedings and edited and produced short video clips highlighting their views of the workshop.

Evelyn Katingi, a research coordinator with ILRI, said the workshop helped her ‘appreciate the value of social media tools in better organizing my work.’ She added ‘I look forward to using these tools in my work and in training others how to use them.’

A second part of the workshop, held 8–9 July, focused on sharing experiences of using modern online communication, social media and digital tools in gathering and sharing local African content. Participants included community radio hosts and managers, social workers and trainers who also explored how digital and online output from their organizations in Africa can be combined and promoted externally. The participants developed a shared understanding of how these tools and approaches can best be adapted to the African context to promote knowledge sharing.

Output from this week-long workshop, which was organized by ILRI and a Dutch-funded initiative, Emergent Issues in Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) and International Development, known as the IKM Emergent Research Programme, will inform preparation for an AgKnowledge Africa ShareFair that will take place at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa in October 2010.

Livestock goods and bads: Filmed highlights of ILRI’s 2010 Annual Program Meeting

At the 2010 Annual Program Meeting (APM) of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), held in April in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, several hundred participants debated and discussed the challenges facing the global livestock industry. ILRI and its partners are investigating ways to promote smallholder participation in livestock markets, more sustainable ways for livestock keepers to use natural resources, and ways to improve livestock pathways out of poverty.

Some of the presentations made during the meeting on the theme of 'Livestock: the Good, the Bad and the Gaps' were captured on film. We share three of those below.

The first film is a presentation by ILRI agricultural systems analyst Mario Herrero on the important place of livestock for smallholder farmers in developing economies. Herrero highlights the many benefits livestock bring to the rural poor and argues that the rapidly expanding sector will need to be better managed and to reduce the environmental risks it poses if it is to continue to be productive. Herrero argues for an integrated assessment of the effects of the global livestock industry on various agro-ecosystems important to the poor.

In the second film, ILRI veterinary and food safety researcher Delia Grace discusses the human health risks associated with livestock keeping. Grace notes that zoonotic diseases (those transmitted between animals and people) and emerging infectious diseases (such as bird flu) are two of the well-known risks associated with livestock. But she says that animals provide a means of regulating diseases because they can serve as sentinels that lets communities and public health officials know of disease outbreaks before the diseases can affect humans. She makes the case for more research to address the many common misconceptions that exist about livestock and human health.

In the third film, Narayan Hedge, of India's BAIF Development Research Foundation, highlights the important role livestock play in providing a livelihood for nearly 700 million people in India. He makes an appeal for better livestock technologies, better infrastructure, and more efficient management of the industry so that more smallholder farmers can use livestock to escape poverty.

Making ILRI research outputs more accessible with social media

In an open session at the recent IAALD Congress, colleagues on the CGIAR ICT-KM blog recently concluded that “Social media can play an important role in enhancing information management for agriculture and rural development.”

By ‘social media’, we mean web communication tools like blogs, wikis, facebook, and all kinds of photo, video and presentation-sharing spaces where people publish and interact.

At the same Congress, ILRI’s Peter Ballantyne was interviewed on what ILRI is doing in this area (quite a lot!):

[blip.tv ?posts_id=3605377&dest=-1]

In the video interview, Peter is shown discussing a poster prepared for a meeting of the ILRI Board of Trustees (see or download the poster on slideshare). His presentation on social media to ILRI colleagues is also published on slideshare.

Publishing posters and presentations online is part of ILRI’s efforts to make a much wider range of research outputs more openly accessible across the Internet. Another example is the recent ILRI annual program meeting where all the scientific posters and presentations were shared online.

Beyond these social, interactive tools, a key part of this commitment to more accessible outputs has been to establish a complete ‘repository’ of the various kinds of outputs produced by ILRI staff and projects. At ILRI, this tool is called ‘Mahider‘. It is both a way to capture and index all that ILRI produces and a tool for their full text publishing and promotion.

Recognizing that our own repository is not enough to reach all potential audiences for our research, we also publish our books and reports full text on Google as part of a CGIAR-wide project (see http://books.cgiar.org).

More:

News, videos and blog posts from the IAALD 2010 Congress

Outputs by ILRI staff and projects concerning information and knowledge management

A woman in science: Jean Hanson

Jean  HansonJean Hanson leads the Forage Diversity team at the Ethiopia campus of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Having worked in the fields of genebank management and conservation of forage genetic diversity for over 35 years, later this year she will ‘go on to the second phase’ of her career, as she puts it, when she retires from ILRI. ‘I want to concentrate on sharing the knowledge I gained throughout my career,’ she says. ‘I plan to work on building capacity and training students in my fields and working and learning from them, too.’ Early on, Hanson knew she was not going to follow the traditional path of women of her day. She did not feel like becoming a teacher or a nurse. ‘I was brought up in an age where women were not scientists. But raised on a farm, I was always interested in science,’ she says. ‘When I was 16, I thought women should have the same right to choose their career as men did, and I knew I was interested in science, so I went to university and first studied agriculture.’

After obtaining a PhD in seed physiology, she started a post-doctoral assignment with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, working with curating the maize genebank, in Mexico. She then worked in Indonesia for 5 years with the British Cooperation (DFiD) as a seed physiologist, establishing a legume genebank with a national research institute. Later, Hanson worked in Rome with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, among other organizations. Then, in 1986, she applied for and got a short-term contract with ILRI’s predecessor, the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA), based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and stayed for…25 years.

Azage Tegegne, an animal scientist colleague of hers, remembers her from those days. ‘In 1986, I was working around Zwai, where Jean had substantial research activities. I was looking at feed, she was working on forages. We then started a very good and long-lasting working relationship,’ he says. ‘She also became a very good friend of mine. I have never known a more hard-working, dedicated person. She also goes the extra mile to make people feel good,’ he adds. ‘And she is very loyal and committed to her work and this institute. If plants need watering at 5 a.m., she is there, always taking responsibility.’

Jean Hanson has been leading ILRI’s project on forage genetic resources since 1989. She was Interim Director of Institutional Planning from 1996 to 2001 before taking up the position of Senior Advisor on matters relating to strategies, technologies and operational procedures for conserving and managing plant genetic resources ex situ on a joint appointment with IPGRI (now known as Bioversity International) and ILRI from 2002–2004. ‘In the field of genetic resources, she is an expert,’ says Alexandra Jorge, Coordinator of the Global Public Goods Project for Bioversity International, who has been working with Jean for the past 7 years. ‘She is well known and respected at the international level and scientists really take her comments into consideration.’

‘I am a hard core genetic resources scientist,’ confirms Jean Hanson. ‘When I started, it was pure science, all about technical things. These days, since the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994, issues such as access and benefit sharing or the ownership of genetic resources make it more political.’

If Jean is a renowned scientist whose work is recognized and appreciated by the international scientific community, she is also very well liked and colleagues unanimously comment on it. ‘If I have issues I want to discuss, I go to her for advice. She is always there, never says no and finds a way to have time to give,’ says Jorge.

‘Even in times of difficulties, she seems to handle everything so calmly,’ adds Janice Proud, coordinator of a Napier grass project of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA). ‘She sets high standards and I learned how to run a project thanks to her experience. I trust her judgment because she is good at dealing with the details as well as being able to see the big picture.’

Yeshi W/Mariam, research assistant and seed technologist, who has worked with Hanson for 18 years, confides, ‘We will miss her a lot. We are like a family here in the forage diversity team.’ According to Yeshi, ‘Gender is an important issue for Jean. Thanks to her, I am now taking a day leave per week to go back to university and study to obtain my BSc in biology. She is very encouraging because improving your career matters to her. But it is the freedom she gives me in my work that I appreciate most.’

Gender is indeed an important issue to Jean and she is involved in mentoring through the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development program to enhance the careers of women crop scientists in East Africa. ‘I believe women in science are capable and important. That’s why I agreed to be a mentor,’ she says. ‘You learn skills about how to be a better mentor. We learn from one another and provide support to the generation that will replace us.’  

Coming from that next generation is Esther Gacheru, research fellow and infosystems specialist. ‘She is inspiring people,’ says Gacheru. ‘Working with Jean has been a great start for me; she lets me do what I want to do and at the same time oversees my work to help me learn and progress. I don’t know if I will have that “space” or that type of work relationship later in life.’

About life and work, we will let the last words be from Jean Hanson herself. ‘If you are determined, anything is possible. Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Persevere. And you will end up where you want to be.’

As is said here in Ethiopia, where Jean has spent most of her life as a scientist, Yiqnash (‘May everything turn out to be good for you’), Jean Hanson!

Le bon, la brute et le Ouverture de la Reunion Annuelle de l'ILRI

Ce jeudi 15 avril, en dépit d’une pluie torrentielle, du retard subséquent et de quelques fuites dans la tente prévue pour rassembler participants et orateurs, la réunion annuelle de l’Institut International de Recherche sur l’Elevage (ILRI) a démarré à Addis Abeba dans la bonne humeur.

En effet, Dirk Hoekstra, responsable du projet IPMS et facilitateur de la réunion a annoncé son anniversaire, et sa joie à le célébrer en présence de ses collègues…

Alan Duncan, chercheur et responsable de l’organisation de l’événement, a ensuite souhaité la bienvenue aux participants puis a rappelé “nous sommes tous ensemble aujourd’hui pour mieux sentir et pourquoi pas apprendre la culture ILRI. Ceci devrait permettre à chacun de comprendre la position de l’Institut concernant les aspects positifs mais aussi négatifs liés à l’élevage.”

Pour rappel, le thème de la réunion annuelle 2010 est “Elevage: le bon, la brute et le…”, et un prix sera attribué à celui ou celle qui complètera le mieux l’expression laissée incomplète.

Après avoir introduit le programme des trois jours à venir, Alan Duncan a laissé la place au Directeur Général de l’ILRI, Carlos Seré. “La réunion annuelle devrait permettre à tous d’établir des connexions” a t-il indiqué “mais aussi à envisager comment l’ILRI va s’intégrer dans la nouvelle structure du Groupe Consultatif.”

Après une présentation des lignes stratégiques de l’ILRI et des prochains défis à relever, Carlos Seré a laissé le duo de facilitateurs, Nadia Manning-Thomas et Julius Nyangaga, entrainer la foule vers un petit buna bien serré, sous la pluie toujours, mais prête à échanger et discuter sous les parapluies…

Livestock goods and bads: Background and evidence

On Thursday 15 April, ILRI staff, Board members and partners gather in Addis Ababa for the first day of the annual program meeting. The first major plenary session mobilizes a range of speakers on different dimensions of the ‘goods and bads’ issue. The presentations are online:

See a short video interview with IFPRI’s David Spielman in livestock research priorities.

We also asked leaders of ILRI research groups to briefly present what each is doing in terms of livestock goods and bads, and which research gaps need to be filled.

This post is part of a series associated with the ILRI Annual Program Meeting in Addis Ababa, April 2010. More postings …

IPMS project to scale up in its final year

IPMS logoThe Improving Productivity and Market Success of Ethiopian farmers (IPMS) Program held its Annual Review and Planning meeting from 12th to 14th April 2010 on the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Campus in Addis Ababa. For the occasion, Research and Development Officers (RDOs) from the 10 districts distributed among the four larger states of Ethiopia where IPMS implements its program, also called Pilot Learning Woredas (PLW), came to Addis Ababa to discuss the program of work for 2010-2011 with IPMS headquarters team members. The theme of this meeting was a focus on ‘scaling up beyond the districts we are operating in’ and consisted, among others, of training sessions, M&E reports, presentations on gender and market issues, future workplans and publications-all targeted at how IPMS can take this forward and wider. According to Ermias Sehai, the project’s knowledge management adviser, “it is the last year of the project and it is very important that we document and communicate the lessons learned during the last five years of project implementation. We continue to capture, document and share our activities and results. Key to this is getting feedback and inputs from the RDOs on activities and results from their respective PLWs.” Zooming in… One of the training sessions focused on video recording and editing so RDOs can document the work done and results achieved in their PLW. Each participant was provided with a small digital camera recorder and over the course of the Annual Planning Meeting at ILRI, they will have to practice and each day during the APM, they are expected to bring a 3 minute footage of APM or non-APM related activities on campus. Selected footage will be posted on ILRI website. Bringing information ‘home’… Another training consisted of introducing the new ILRI website and the new knowledge base, Mahider, (‘portfolio’ in Amharic). “Often RDOs cannot see the ILRI website because of internet connection problems but in Mahider they can do subscriptions (ILRI feed subscriptions) which makes access to ILRI information easier”. explained Ermias Sehai. Getting together does not happen very often as the PLWs are far away from each other and scattered all over Ethiopia so being actually face to face and sharing experiences is a precious time for all. Extending our experiences… “Over the three days meeting, we also talked about GIS use in regard to the suitability of technologies” explains Noah Kebede, GIS research officer. “Borana cattle, for instance, is a high performing cattle breed in the South of the country. So we first did an analysis of the conditions, climate, grazing lands etc., and then using GIS we checked if there were similar conditions in other parts of the country into which we could introduce this species. Initial results show that areas such as Metema, located North West of Ethiopia, could be a viable prospect due to its similarities to the southern areas.” Next, RDOS will try the same process, introducing a Tigrayan breed called ‘begaiet ‘to the Alamata PLW. Understanding conditions for interventions… “The idea”, adds Abraham Getachew, M&E officer, “is that we always look at the market accessibility then combine this accessibility with the conditions of suitability for the various commodities, whether fruits, vegetables, cattle or forages. Then you can really work on interventions.” For Kahsay Bere, IPMS research officer, “it is not only important to consider biophysical aspects such as rainfall, grazing lands, etc. but socio-economic aspects as well. If we put cattle in a place with no people, it won’t work! Social mapping is an important component in regards to the commodities we deal with.” Getting closer to impact… A key aspect of the meeting and understanding the possibility for scaling up was the discussion lead by Lemlem Aregu, IPMS gender specialist, on the strategies for integrating gender and women in market oriented agricultural value chains. She pointed out that while everyone agrees on the importance of the role and status of women, it is still a strong issue for the group to learn and discuss about, in order to find concrete and viable ways of increasing women’s access to resources. Finally, tired but happy about the outputs of the meeting, Negatu Alemayehu, Ada’a RDO, commented that “it has been good to share experiences among RDOs. We learned about our strengths and weaknesses and hopefully we can use these lessons for the future.” In a positive conclusion, Dirk Hoekstra, IPMS project manager, reminded the IPMS team that “we are an action research program, and we hope that this meeting will contribute to the impact we are looking for.”

Rencontre avec Modibo Traore, membre du Conseil d’Administration de l’Institut International de Recherche sur l’Elevage (ILRI)

Modibo Traore Membre du Conseil d’Administration de l’ILRI depuis 2005, Modibo Traoré a d’abord débuté comme jeune vétérinaire au Mali. Il travaillait sur les maladies du bétail, notamment la trypanosomose, et est venu régulièrement en formation à l’ILCA (maintenant ILRI) à Addis Abeba, centre qui travaillait sur les mêmes problématiques. Il peut encore vous décrire le campus dans les années 80 et s’amuse d’être parmi les anciens maintenant. M. Traoré est ensuite revenu en Ethiopie en tant que porte-parole de son pays, quand il était Ministre du Développement rural de l’Agriculture. Ensuite il a dirigé le Bureau inter-africain des resources animales de l’Union africaine pendant trois ans puis a été nommé sous-directeur général chargé du Département de l’agriculture et de la protection des consommateurs de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture (FAO) en 2008. “A la FAO, mon rôle est de coordonner le travail de cinq divisions qui tâchent de répondre aux questions provenant du terrain, afin de créer les synergies nécessaires”, précise t-il. Actif au Conseil d’Administration de l’ILRI, il estime que “l’important est de nous assurer de la continuité des programmes de recherches, et de respecter les orientations initiales. Le rôle de l’ILRI est aussi d’aider à organiser la réflexion par rapport à ces orientations.” Pour Modibo Traoré en effet “au Mali notamment on voit partout des nouvelles façons de faire et nous sommes peut être une espèce en voie de disparition mais il est important d’activer une mémoire collective, de ne pas foncer tête baissée dans la nouveauté.”

Livestock: The good, the bad and the ugly

Later this month, many staff, partners and members of the board of trustees of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) will gather in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the institute’s annual program meeting. Alan Duncan, chair of the organizing committee, introduces below the theme for this meeting. ‘Livestock: the good, the bad and the ugly’.

ILRI has long promoted the virtues of livestock production for the poor. Our calendars and posters proclaim the value of ‘livestock for culture’, ‘livestock for women’, ‘livestock for food’, and so on. Yet in the wider world it seems that our voice is drowned out by a very different view of livestock: a view that sees farm animals as polluting the planet and degrading landscapes. This meeting is an opportunity for the ILRI community to consider these other perspectives and perhaps to try on some new approaches to livestock research for development.

People in the developed North have heard a lot recently about the negative impacts of livestock production. Many of these are concerns for animal welfare in so-called ‘intensive systems’, such as factory-farmed poultry, pigs and cattle. Other concerns are about the obesity, heart disease and other ailments and illnesses caused by over-consumption of fatty red meat, eggs and milk products. Still other concerns are for the global health scares provoked by livestock diseases that become human diseases (mad cow disease, bird flu) or for the economic devastation wrought by livestock diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.

Working in the developing South, we have taken it for granted that such negative views of livestock do not extend to poor livestock keepers in smallholder systems in Africa and Asia. Yet it seems that the world doesn’t appreciate such subtleties. We are surrounded by some very negative blanket opinions about livestock. As a livestock research institute, have we neglected to conduct research on the ‘bads’ of livestock production?

At this meeting, we will face some of these issues head on and review the facts around livestock goods and bads. We’ll start with some scene setting: what are the goods and bads? What are the key facts and figures? What do the experts think? We’ll go on to look at what ILRI is doing in the area of livestock goods and bads and where it should be heading. While many of the goods and bads seem clear, there are many issues that don’t fit our neat categories – we aim at this meeting to tease out some of these ‘ugly’ issues. We won’t redesign our research program at this meeting, but we will start conversations that will shape our thinking about where we are and where we need to go. — Read more about livestock goods and bads …

 

Re-assessing the fodder problem

Small-scale farmers depend largely on their animals and need to feed them well. However, several factors threaten its supply. Technology based innovations have been the mainstream solution to improve the fodder problem. But making farmers find relevant information and networks appears to be as effective for innovation. An ILRI project looks at the issue from a different point of view and discovered that the problems related to fodder availability have just as much to do with access to knowledge as with access to appropriate technology. This article in the March 2010 issue of ILEIA’s ‘Farming Matters’ magazine profiles the DFID-funded Fodder Innovation Project. Read the article… Farming Matters Magazine In this video interview, Ranjitha Puskur shares some lessons from the project: [blip.tv ?posts_id=2966873&dest=-1]