Sidama is one of the two targeted zones of LIVES in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPR). In this zone, three districts have been selected by LIVES for value chain interventions (Arbegona, Bensa and Bona Zuria). The major livestock and irrigated crops and commodities selected for intervention are dairy, small ruminants, poultry, fruits, vegetables and fodder.
During the inception phase of the LIVES project, regional and zonal team of SNNPR realized that zonal and district level decision makers lack a full understanding of the objectives and focus areas of the project in general and value chain approach for the development of selected commodities in particular. Therefore, the regional and zonal teams of the project organized a two day field visit (5-6 July 2013) to Dale, a former IPMS learning district, for key stakeholders at Sidama zone and the three districts. The idea was to give them a better understanding of the value chain approach within their context.
The program had two sessions: Discussion and presentations about LIVES project objectives and expected outcomes in the region in particular and the country as a whole. The group interacted with the Dale district Office of Agriculture staff who had experience on the participatory market oriented commodity value chain development approach of IPMS. The team then visited the agricultural knowledge center of Dale that was established by IPMS to demonstrate the importance of knowledge centers (KC) for value chain and capacity development process.
The team also visited farmers who are suppliers of grafted avocado seedlings and a village where oestrus synchronization and mass insemination of local dairy cows was carried out. Participants were inspired with the two day event and gained a better understanding of the objectives and the value chain approach of LIVES. They have shown their interest to cooperate in the implementation of the planned interventions and their commitment to actively get involved in the process.
Contributed by Yoseph Mekasha