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National livestock sector policies and planning under a changing global economy

1 week ago

The livestock sector may have a key role to play in many low-and middle-income countries (LMICs): providing options for employment, poverty reduction and economic growth, while supplying animal proteins that are particularly important for improving the diets of nutritionally vulnerable segments of the population. The potential benefits of the sector must however be harnessed within the context of a rapidly changing global economy. Global trends, such as population and income growth, globalization, urbanization and climate change, all have bearings on the local dynamics of livestock value chains that policy planning for the sector will need to consider.

Read the working paper here.

The production and demand of livestock derived foods (LDFs) could change substantially in the future in many LMICs following major changes in global economic and climate conditions. A recent report assesses a standard global model’s projections of livestock production and the demand for LDFs in Ethiopia, Niger, Rwanda, Cambodia, Nepal and Burkina Faso in 2050.

To pursue these opportunities within the contexts of long-term food security and resource sustainability; however, national policies steering agricultural exports and food prices, as well as those affecting land use and livestock feed markets may need more careful design and implementation. The need also emerges for improved harmonization around common goals, of national policies that affect livestock, including those that originate outside of the sector. For example, export trade of livestock is projected to remain important in countries such as Ethiopia. However, under high global economic growth, boosts in overseas demand for beef could adversely impact the availability of the product more locally. There may be a need for policy adjustments to deal directly with potential impacts on nutrition and health within local populations. Increased production to meet demand under such a scenario also exacerbates pressures on agricultural or other land and may call for concerted planning for livestock expansion within strategies and programs for land use and environmental management.

The report recommends that the relevant stakeholders should be engaged early on in discussions regarding the management of the anticipated changes to livestock value chains. Given the variability of the countries included in the study, the assessments of national statistics and global model projections and reviews of national livestock policies lead to varied conclusions about which livestock sub-sectors will drive change, the major anticipated transitions and how these can be better captured within the national planning for the sector. The paper provides some initial pointers on the direction in which livestock sector planning in the study countries may need to evolve. A quick assessment of needed interventions identifies scope for increased agricultural productivity and animal feed development, particularly under global climate change. Other areas for attention are managing environmental impacts and the potential emergence of zoonotic diseases (that are infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites that spread between animals and humans).

The report also emphasizes that model projections are not predictions for how the demand, supply or trade of LDF and related measures will evolve, but plausible outcomes based on data and current knowledge about key interactions of countries’ livestock sectors. However, the analyses are a good focal point around which to engage national stakeholders on discussions about how LDF demand and supply could transition in the different countries and the readiness of existing and planned policy or programs to accommodate these changes.

Read more:

The project was carried out under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems (LSIL) which is managed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the University of Florida.

Milk and money in Malawi: Reconnaissance visit to learn about the business challenges of smallholder dairy farming

1 week 5 days ago

This is an excerpt from an article originally posted on the Food & Business Knowledge Platform. Read the full article here.

Researchers from OSMARE1 – a GCP-4 research partnership funded by NWO and implemented by a global consortium from 2018-2020 – are studying the factors that detract from or contribute to resilient business models of smallholder farmers in East and Southern Africa. During a visit to a dairy farm, milk bulking group (MBG) and processing plant in Malawi in 2018, Francis Jiva and Rob Lubberink were introduced to some of the challenges in dairy production, from farm to fridge, and set out to better understand the context in which OSMARE research will take place over the next 3 years.

Background

OSMARE draws on the agribusiness models supported by Vuna – a 3-year Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) programme, funded by UK-Aid and implemented by Adam Smith International in 5 countries in East and Southern Africa.

Vuna piloted a CSA-dairy project, working in 10 districts in Malawi, which sought to support dairy farming by addressing impacts of Climate Change. The Vuna project trained farmers on CSA practices and techniques and introduced technologies that address the issues of adaptation to and mitigation of climate change impacts, while addressing the dairy farmer’s business. OSMARE also considers if this intervention has strengthened the business of dairy farmers.

A smallholder dairy farmer part of the CSA Dairy project ran by Vuna in 2017-2018 milks his cow in the afternoon and prepares to take the milk to the milk bulking group.

Challenges for the dairy farmer

Hygiene and Quality

OSMARE met with Sarah2, a dairy farmer in Linthipe, one hour’s drive south of Lilongwe, Malawi. As a smallholder, she has 2 dairy cows that produce on average between 10-20 litres per cow per day and she grows legume seed – a typical combination of farming value chains in the region. But, as is the case with several other smallholder farmers, she faces challenges: maximising profit while maintaining milk quality, continuing milk sales through formal markets not informal side-selling, managing a household and adapting to the changing climate as she requires good quality feed for her cows.

As a dairy farmer selling to the formal market, her first challenge is hygiene and passing the MBG’s test for additives, adulteration and bacteria particles per millilitre. She explains that when selling to the formal market (the MBG), tests are performed on the milk at the bulking station. If she gets a positive result on all the tests, the milk is accepted, and she would receive payment. Additionally, she is able to receive a premium for the milk if it reaches a high quality. However, if the result indicates adulteration (i.e. a high quantity of water) or additives (i.e. baking soda) or if she fails the alcohol test (i.e. as a result of microbes in the milking container), the milk is rejected.

Sarah milks in the morning and evening and she normally combines the milk from the previous evening with the fresh morning milk. While it may affect the quality, she has little choice:

  • she wants to produce a large quantity of milk, in the shortest time, with little harm to the cow. To do this, she undertakes 2 milking sessions;
  • the MBG closes at a certain time of the day which means she can only take the milk to the MBG after the morning’s session. As some of the farmers travel some distance by foot or bicycle to the MBG, the milk is often exposed to the sun. If they travel too long after the milking process, this could result in compromising milk quality and further losses.

For Sarah, having introduced simple practices of washing hands, cleaning the cow’s udder, being aware of the cleanliness of the cow’s environment and using sanitised buckets or jugs, were key to hedge against some of the risk-factors compromising milk quality. The simple act of washing hands could be the difference between profit and loss.

But this might not always be the case. Hygiene seems to be a bigger factor when selling to the MBG, than it is when selling at the local market. Based on anecdotal evidence, when a buyer is in need of milk and has little money, they will buy directly from the nearest dairy farmer, in quantities they can afford and in containers they have available.

An employee at the Milk Bulking Group administers an alcohol test: milk brought by the farmer is drawn from the container into the silver filter, mixed with alcohol and poured on a petri dish.

Continue reading the article here.

Footnotes

1. OSMARE (Understanding and Scaling Organisational Structures for Smallholder Resilience) is a 3-year research project funded by NWO and research is undertaken by Wageningen University, Vuna, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Zimbabwe Super Seeds and CCAFS.

2. Name of smallholder farmer changed for privacy.

The future of social forestry in Indonesia

1 month 3 weeks ago

In Kalibiru, a national park to the west of Yogyakarta in Indonesia, tourists scale precarious-looking ladders up timber trees to take photos of themselves on wooden platforms overlooking lakes and lush forest. Yet this place wasn’t always quite so photogenic. Two decades ago, the state-owned production forest was severely degraded due to forest encroachment and illegal logging. Then, in 2001, […]

The post The future of social forestry in Indonesia appeared first on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.

Livestock value chain strengthening essential for improving production and food security in Niger, say scientists

2 months 3 weeks ago

Can Niger claim its rightful place on the food production charts? A group of scientists working with smallholder crop-livestock farmers believe strong market linkages may be the missing ingredient. Researchers from ICRISAT, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) met with a stakeholder group on 12 March to […]

The post Livestock value chain strengthening essential for improving production and food security in Niger, say scientists appeared first on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals.

What’s good for business is good for forests in Indonesia

2 months 3 weeks ago

Scientists in Indonesia are demonstrating how better business opportunities for local communities can help foster and reinforce sustainable forest management. As the world marks International Day of Forests on March 21, the benefits of reforestation and forest restoration are rightly lauded. In success stories of the past, local communities have often been cast as the […]

The post What’s good for business is good for forests in Indonesia appeared first on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.

What’s good for business is good for forests in Indonesia

2 months 3 weeks ago

Scientists in Indonesia are demonstrating how better business opportunities for local communities can help foster and reinforce sustainable forest management. As the world marks International Day of Forests on March 21, the benefits of reforestation and forest restoration are rightly lauded. In success stories of the past, local communities have often been cast as the […]

The post What’s good for business is good for forests in Indonesia appeared first on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.

Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) Aquaculture Compact

3 months ago

The Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program, funded by the African Development Bank, is a knowledge- and innovation-based response to the need to scale up proven technologies across Africa. The aim is to boost productivity and make Africa self-sufficient in key commodities. The program is being implemented in 22 countries. It focuses on nine priority commodity agricultural value chains (maize, wheat, rice, sorghum/millet, cassava, high-iron bean, orange flesh sweet potato, aquaculture and small livestock) with the support of enablers.