The Livestock and Irrigation Value chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project will, in coming months, organize regional workshops and exhibitions in Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and SNNPR to promote LIVES experiences in value chain development and encourage partners to further scale out these interventions.
This decision follows a meeting of LIVES staff and partners, from the four project implementation regions, that reviewed key project achievements, challenges, and opportunities so far, and their impact on the remainder of the project period.
The meeting reviewed progress from April to September 2015 based on project progress review presentations by LIVES regional coordinators and headquarter staff.
Azage Tegegne, the LIVES project manager, said the project needs to respond to opportunities offered by changes at the federal and regional level in Ethiopia, to raise the profile of International Livestock Research Institute’s (ILRI) and LIVES contributions to agricultural development in the country.
Some of the major achievements reported at the meeting include increased vegetable production in Jimma zone in Oromia where potato and onion yields have increased to 555 quintals/ha and 267 quintal/ha from 200 quintals/ha and 80 quintals/ha, respectively, following LIVES project interventions.
Other LIVES achievements discussed include introduction and adoption of improved forage crops and new dairy technologies, adoption of young animal fattening practices, improved feeding and housing of livestock and adoption of multi-cycle fattening practices.
The meeting was held 19-22 October 2015 in Axum, Tigray. As part of the meeting, LIVES staff visited a number of LIVES value chain development interventions in Laelay Maichew woreda and surrounding areas. They visited Fisum Gebremariam, a model small-scale farmer who is growing fruits with the support of LIVES. Fitsum has established a private nursery and provides smallholders in his area with avocado, mango and orange seedlings. He has also been trained, coached and mentored on grafting and nursery management by the LIVES project.