LIVES is implemented by ILRI, IWMI, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Regional Agricultural Research Institutes, Regional Bureaus of Agriculture and Regional Livestock Health and Development Agencies. It is supported by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
Hybrid vegetables reduce environmental pollution as high productivity reduces expansion of irrigated land and thus reduces the aggravation of soil salinity, especially in the rift valley areas. In addition, these hybrid varieties are more resistant to disease and pest as compared to the conventional ones (open pollinated varieties) and thus help reduce the amount of fungicides and pesticides applied. Use of hybrid varieties of vegetables has become common in East Shoa zone of Oromia region.
A modest, unlikely vehicle for smallholder farmers in Sidamma, Ethiopia to make ends meet is the pineapple, which was introduced here about 50 years ago. Pineapples should do well here, where the warm climate and soils suit the plant. Although pineapples can fruit throughout the year, in Sidama, the peak harvests are from April to May and October to November.
Most of the vegetables in Ethiopia are transported and stored at room temperature resulting in high post-harvest losses and poor prices for traders. The use of mobile phones is, however, easing vegetable marketing problems in the country.
Maize is a major food crop in the lowlands and mid-highlands of Ethiopia, but its stover is hardly utilized efficiently as animal feed, particularly in rain-fed maize production systems. Irrigated maize production offers an opportunity for fodder production which rain-fed maize farming does not.
Nurhussien Aligoshu’s first experience in dairying was in 2006 when a local organization offered him money to purchase a crossbred dairy cow. Nurhussien was able to expand his crossbred dairy herd from 1 to more than 15 cows in just 8 years. His daily milk sales fluctuate between 30 and 70 litres per day depending on demand. Over the same period, Nurhussien’s monthly income from the sale of milk grew from barely 500 Birr to 15,000 Birr.
Oestrous Synchronization and Mass Artificial Insemination (OSMAI) in cattle has now been fully taken-up by Regional Livestock Resource Development and Promotion Agency and its zonal and district offices in Ethiopia. The current support of LIVES project on OSMAI in cattle is limited to generating scientific evidence that can help fine-tune the approach and efficiency of the technology under different framing conditions. The project is also focusing on genetic improvement of sheep through hormone assisted estrus synchronization. The first round of OSMAI on sheep was undertaken at Debre Birhan Sheep breeding and Multiplication center.