Sustainable intensification of crop-livestock systems to improve food security and farm income diversification in the Ethiopian highlands
Project Design Workshop
30 January - 2 February 2012, Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Presentations: USAid priorities and alignment tactics (Rob Bertram, Cullen Hughes, Stanley Wood)

This workshop provides an opportunity for a broad group of important stakeholders to both learn about the project plans and to share their views on expectations from and opportunities for synergies with the project (days 1 and 2) and for the core project team to finalize the project details (days 3 and 4).

Presentation Rob Bertram:

  • In 2008, with the food price crisis woke people up to a number of issues: more nutrients, taking livestock into account etc.;
  • Demand is growing but productivity has been increasing linearly;
  • A lot of good things happened (in Africa) e.g. CAADP but the rice crisis became a market crisis in West Africa. Wheat price problems globally had an impact on Ethiopian farmers;
  • Subsequently, more focus back on food security and agriculture, which hadn't been the case in the past 25 years.
  • Feed the Future goals:
    • Accelerate inclusive agriculture sector growth
    • Reduce child under-nutrition
    • Involve women
    • Integrate climate change and environment
  • Extreme poverty is particularly important in West Africa, Ethiopian highlands and Eastern/Southern Africa - paradoxically that's where the main agricultural production center are.
  • Three main research themes:
    • Advancing the productivity frontier;
    • Transforming key prod systems;
    • Improving nutrition and food safety;
  • Major long term goals: climate-resilient cereals, advanced tech solutions for animal and plant diseases, legume productivity for improved nutrition and household incomes;
  • Application of advanced research;
  • Sustainable intensification of key production systems.
  • What about SI?
    • SI requires component technologies
    • Where: specific focal agroecologies
    • How? Reduce risks (water productivity, nutrient use efficiency, reduce greenhouse gases etc.)
    • The challenge: Diversification, integrating livestock and mechanisation into conservation agriculture, improve water productivity to reduce risk and enhance investment.
  • The bigger picture: Alignment with CAADP, coordination with other donors, alignment with USAid mission, need for focused targets / metrics, impact imperative: what can we do now? An R&D model (coordination, alignment, integration with impact) that is adaptable and scaleable.
  • We can go beyond tradeoffs - we can think about how things 'could be' rather than how they currently are.

Presentation by Cullen Hughes:

  • Feed the Future is not just USAid but also the US Government (USDA), Peace Corps etc., Department of Defence.
  • Partners and implementers are various;
  • Among objectives, access to markets and improving productivity;
  • Intermediate results cover a.o. improving performance of agriculture, livelihood transition opportunities increased, private sector competitiveness, resistance to shocks and disasters, nutrition.
  • 3 Ethiopias: productive Ethiopia, pastoral Ethiopia, hungry Ethiopia.
  • 3 primary components in the strategy: agricultural growth (linking productive Ethiopia to market opportunities), sustainable livelihoods (linking vulnerable populations with productive Ethiopia), policy development and learning + cross-cutting climate change governance, nutrition.
  • Policy and investment priority frameworks:
    1. Agricultural Growth Programme;
    2. Sustainable land management programme (SLMP);
    3. Productive Safety Net program (PSNP);
    4. Householdd asset building program (HABP);
  • Use of push and pull: push model to build assets for chronically vulnerable HHs to graduate into value chains - use of pulls for ??
  • Integrating nutrition: Growth-led food security, linking the vulnerable, policy and capacity enabler.

Presentation by Stan Woods:

  • Last year, Dublin-based meeting about CGIAR being in a position to do a lot more about CAADP and to commit research in direct response to CAAdP agenda.
  • 5 action items:
    • Develop MoU further to get it signed in Q1.
    • Mapping needs expressed in the agric plans of the CAADP to the research efforts of CGIAR - 'let's extract demands for tech, practices, science; let's look at research and investment plans and use agri-ecological zones to come together'.
    • Process led by FARA to articulate the African science agenda, leading to a synthetic overview and to act as common platform to implement the MoU;
    • A set of CAADP-related regional workshops looking at productivity;
    • A road map to fit it all together with milestones etc.
  • Stan is currently coming from Accra where a steering group agreed foresight analysis scenarios.
  • There are 3 concept notes in circulation: mapping, putting together AgScience agendas, CAADP productivity workshops. By 18 Feb these CNs will be submitted to seek funding.
  • The USAid mission is aligning with government's position in CAADP but it's not so clear that CGIAR is doing so too. This project is a manifestation of that idea and linking research/development on the ground to raise productivity.

Reactions from participants:
  • Link between agricultural research and nutrition - we are struggling with this. In some cases we have improved productivity but worsened nutrition issues. --> (R. Bertram) This is most daunting. We try to emphasise and increase the provision of nutrition, high-quality food. The other aspect is the focus on gender. What can be done to improve the place of women to contribute to this? But we need to understand womens' specific conditions of living. (C. Hughes) That is a central issue but for us it's still a learning process to find out how to deal with it. (Suzanne) Potable water interventions (hygiene, sanitation) have also an impact on this e.g. through multiple uses of water.