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.
The conventional banana marketing system in Mirab Abaya district was identified as a major challenge affecting the overall banana value chains. This story tells about the participatory processes of problem identification and introduction of potential interventions to improve banana marketing in the district. The existing scenario was understood through innovation platforms, focus group discussions with producers, discussions with executive committee members of primary marketing cooperatives and field observations.
Although Gamgofa zone is agro-ecologically very suitable for cattle fattening, smallholder cattle fatteners are not earning much from the sector. The beef value chain actors who attended livestock commodity platform meetings organized by Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project, prioritized the poorly developed cattle marketing system as the number one challenge in the zone.
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.