On January 22, 2013, the Livestock and irrigation value chains for Ethiopian smallholders (LIVES) project was officially launched in Addis Ababa in the presence of many participants coming from many different private and public institutions and organizations working to transform Ethiopian Agriculture. This five-year project is funded by the Canadian International Development Aid (CIDA) to work on market-oriented commodity value chain development in high value livestock and irrigated crops of. Iain Wright, representing the director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) indicated that LIVES is an excellent example of CGIAR centers in Addis Ababa working together with Ethiopian partners to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
Simon Langan, representing the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), co-implementer of the project, indicated the need to focus on irrigated vegetables, fruits and fodder to bring farmers into market oriented commodity production and IWMI’s commitment to contribute to this. Amy Baker, from CIDA Ethiopia noted that LIVES is an ambitious project that requires strong partnership and collaboration to improve the livelihoods of smallholders.
‘LIVES has a special opportunity to pilot and adopt new technologies and lessons in agricultural development and also to learn from IPMS experiences and find alternative ways to adopt new technologies’ said State Minister H.E. Wondirad Mandefro of the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). It was also clear from the various remarks that LIVES is in line with the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) of the government of Ethiopia; and that this collaborative project offers much potential to bring together international, national and regional partners. Solomon Assefa, director general of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) explained that the project is appropriate, relevant, timely and in line with the current Ethiopian government strategy. He also indicated that EIAR has generated many proven technologies both in the livestock and irrigated agriculture sector which have not yet reached the smallholder producers and that EIAR aims to extend these technologies by collaborating with LIVES.
Alongside the project launch, a major output of the IPMS project – “a guide book to market orientated extension services with special reference to Ethiopia” – was introduced by Berhanu Gebremedhin (the main author) and launched by the State Minister. The book is expected to promote market-oriented extension and build the capacities of development practitioners and actors to provide essential services and support to farmers.
The second part of the launch event included presentations on the project’s objectives, implementation sites, commodity development interventions, and planned action research and capacity development activities.
During the launch, project manager Azage Tegegne extended special thanks and appreciation to Dirk Hoekstra for leading the very successful IPMS project for the past seven years and his enormous contribution to the realization of the LIVES project.
Finally regional representatives from Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR and Tigray spoke of their good experiences in IPMS in the past and excitement and commitment to build strong partnerships to implement LIVES activities in their respective regions. The event was closed with a few remarks from the Canadian Ambassador to Ethiopia, David Usher, who very much looks forward to the successful implementation of this important project in Ethiopia.
Some news items from the launch
- Ethiopian Herald http://www.ethpress.gov.et/herald/index.php/herald/news/982-institutes-launch-smallholder-life-changing-project
- Addis zemen (Amharic http://www.ethpress.gov.et/addiszemen/index.php/addiszemen/national-news/1413-2013-01-24-05-08-33
- Walta quoting from ERTA http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7110:new-intervention-for-livestock-a-irrigation&catid=52:national-news&Itemid=291
- ERTA http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7110:new-intervention-for-livestock-a-irrigation&catid=52:national-news&Itemid=291
- The daily monitor- printed on January 24-25
- Modern ghana http://www.modernghana.com/news/441223/1/ethiopian-farmers-to-get-market-boost.html