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 idiom ‘the tragedy of the commons’ was coined in the 19th century Britain. It expresses the failure of farmers to achieve the collective good of their communal grazing lands through their destructive competitive use. The tragedy is caused by overstocking and overgrazing and expressed in land degradation, feed shortage, low livestock productivity and loss of farmers’ livelihoods from livestock. The Atsbi livestock keepers in Tigray region however, acted proactively in a community-based approach to govern their communal land.
Allocating irrigable plots for fodder production has until now been unthinkable among smallholder farmers in Ethiopia. Pioneers like Tesfaye, a smallholder farmer in Tigray region, has recently adopted an uncommon irrigation farming practice – he grows Alfalfa on a plot of about 300 square-meters for his dairy cow alongside his high-value vegetable crops.
A common misconception about watermelon is that it contains mainly water and sugar. In reality, it is a nutrient-dense fruit. Watermelon is an excellent source of antioxidants such as lycopene, and also contains vitamins A and C which help prevent cell damage, neutralize and remove free radicals and help fight off different kinds of cancers. Watermelon is also rich in potassium which helps maintain blood pressure to prevent diseases such as stroke, heart disease and also decreases the size of the kidney stones. It is frequently used for body detoxification as it contains a large amounts of water and it also helps in “cleaning” our kidneys. It is a fruit that is rich in an amino acid known as L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation.
Ayele and Amarch recently started lucrative vegetable production by irrigation, making a net profit of more than a hundred thousand birr (5,000 USD) in a very short time. Their case shows that smallholder farmers can transform themselves to a more market-oriented production system, with proper extension services to build their capacities and foster market linkages.
Coffee is a major cash crop in Ethiopia’s Jimma zone. The coffee processing business provides livelihoods and contributes to the national economy. By-products – especially coffee pulp – are difficult to dispose of but may be a promising contribution to animal feeding and soil enhancement.
The LIVES project logical framework requires that we conduct rigorous impact evaluation at the end of the project life. In the past few months, many of the LIVES project team members were out in the field to collect household level baseline survey data. The surveys made use of Computer Assisted Personal Interviewer (CAPI) technology to administer the questionnaires. The actual field work took about two months. The data collected will also be used to conduct quantitative diagnostic analysis during the lifetime of the project.
In research for development projects such as Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES), we produce huge amounts of content that include case studies, opinion pieces, reports of all sorts (monthly, event, trip, annual) briefs, flyers, press releases, emails, podcasts, photos/videos, blogs, the list goes on. Blogs are proving to be one of the best mechanisms to bring out content to a wider audience, especially in the research and development environment where detailed research outputs of many pages are written and hardly read.