The annual conference of Ethiopian Society of Animal Production (ESAP) was held for the 21st time at the headquarters of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) from August 28-30 The theme was ‘Livestock and Economic growth: Value chains as pathways for development’. The event was the first of its kind to be officially addressed by the very first Ethiopian Livestock state minster, Gebregizabhier Gebreyohannes, a senior livestock researcher for the past 25 years.
Some 350 participants, new and old society members and invited guests attended the three-day event. Topics covered included: approaches and experiences of different projects and programs on livestock value chain development in Ethiopia, an update on the county’s livestock master plan (process spearheaded by ILRI), the livestock investment plan in the Ethiopian Climate Resilient Green Economy, and the contributions of livestock market information systems.
The livestock value chain development concept and approaches aim to stimulate the contribution of the livestock sector in the economic growth and development of the country at large and gender equitable wealth creation at smallholder level. The Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains (LIVES) project was well-represented with its focus, approach and implementation modalities discussed and debate. During a brown bag lunch on day one, value chain concepts, gender mainstreaming strategies and knowledge management approaches of the project were presented. Dirk Hoekstra reported on the LIVES dairy value chain development strategy that distinguishes between fluid milk and butter channels.
This year’s ESAP conference created a platform to discuss current trends of research, development and policy in the livestock sector, within a value chain framework. Research outputs from the national research system and universities on different components of the livestock value chain (feeds, breeds, inputs, processing and marketing), as well as small ruminant value chain work of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish were discussed.
As a mark of appreciation for the support rendered to the ESAP conference and looking forward to strong future partnership in the development of the livestock sector in Ethiopia, the ESAP executive committee presented LIVES with a certificate of acknowledgement.