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Forage seed supply in Ethiopia—Some thoughts on current status and how it might evolve
 

Forage seed supply in Ethiopia—Some thoughts on current status and how it might evolve

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Presented by Alan Duncan, Jean Hanson, David Spielman and Ranjitha Puskur at the National Forage Seed Workshop, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Addis Ababa, 12-14 May 2011.

Presented by Alan Duncan, Jean Hanson, David Spielman and Ranjitha Puskur at the National Forage Seed Workshop, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Addis Ababa, 12-14 May 2011.

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    Forage seed supply in Ethiopia—Some thoughts on current status and how it might evolve Forage seed supply in Ethiopia—Some thoughts on current status and how it might evolve Presentation Transcript

    • Forage seed supply in Ethiopia – some thoughts on current status and how it might evolve
      Alan Duncan+, Jean Hanson+, David Spielman* and Ranjitha Puskur+
      +International Livestock Research Institute
      *International Food Policy Research Institute
    • Background
      Feed supply is a persistent bottleneck to increasing livestock productivity in Ethiopia
    • Indicative prices for different fodder types (ETB/kg) in various woredas.
      Prices are adjusted for inflation figures published on www.indexmundi.com
    • Changing diets ̶ a new agriculture of high value products and non-traditional exports
      Meat
      Horticulture
      Cereals
      Developing country exports
      Developing country consumption
      As livestock production intensifies, more need for high quality feed
      Smallholders face competition for feed from fattening enterprises. E.g. Noug cake
      Better breeds demand better feeds
      World Development Report 2008
    • Feed supply patterns are changing
      Kahsay Berhe (2004) study in Yarer Mountain area
      • Cultivated land has doubled at the expense of pasture in 30 years
      • Switch in source of nutrition for livestock from grazing to CR
    • Dietary composition of livestock – Bangladesh and Ethiopia
    • Feed scarcity is an issue
      Absolute scarcity of biomass
      Shortage of protein to improve utilization of poor quality feeds
      Planted fodder is a possible solution
    • Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana)
      Expect from 10 to 25 tonnes dry matter per hectare. Crude protein content is around 13% in young grass
    • Fodder adoption
      Fodder has a low adoption rate in Ethiopia because...
      Dominance of arable production
      Small landholdings
      Free grazing culture – minimal confinement
      Knowledge intensive nature of planted fodder
      Lack of forage seed
    • Reaction to low uptake ...
      Reaction is to “push” planted fodder through research and extension system
    • This has had limited long-term success because....
      Sustainable seed delivery mechanisms were not developed
      Seed system is largely focused on major cereals like maize, wheat, and teff
      High quality forage not connected to markets for livestock products
      Forages are knowledge intensive and require lots of technical input to succeed
    • An alternative is to foster small-scale entrepreneurs to develop forage seed businesses
      This is also challenging because entry into seed production is risky
    • Fodder seed production is risky
      Feed is an intermediate commodity
      • Forage seed sector also suffers from being a further intermediate in the livestock value chain
    • Distortion of market by high prices paid for seed by NGO’s – unfair competition?
    • Other risk factors
      Limited land available for seed production at any significant scale
      Most forages are OPV’s and therefore replicable on farm (although this has not limited forage seed entrepreneurs in other countries such as India)
      • Entrepreneurs face constraints such as
      • access to credit
      • access to land
      • limited business skills or experience
      • lack of basic/certified seed
    • The way forward ... Research needs
      A 6 point manifesto
    • Point 1: Supply and demand study
      Assess supply and demand for improved forages
      This would support targeting of hot spot areas (high intensification, market orientation and supportive institutions) for interventions
      Need to consider trade-offs with existing uses of land, labour and capital and matching forage species to niche.
    • Point 2: Forage seed demand assessment
      Assess the extent and stability of demand for forage seed
      Willingness to pay among farmers?
      Indicative net margins for potential entrants?
    • Point 3: Identify institutional models
      Identify different context-specific institutional models for forage seed supply and agribusiness development
      This will include looking at case studies from other countries (India, Thailand ...).
      Match these models with farmer needs.
      Work with relevant actors to stimulate implementation of such models
    • Point 4: Apply innovation systems approaches
      Explore ways to link actors with relevant sources of knowledge e.g. through forage seed working group
      Assess alternative knowledge sharing methods to raise awareness of benefits (economic, soil, water) of forages
      Assess enabling environment and needs for policy development to support forage seed supply and agribusiness
    • Point 5: Capacity development
      Farmers – practical training on forage and forage seed production management
      Extension workers (Government and NGO sectors) – knowledge to understand how forages fit systems (benefits of forages, targeting species to niches, sources of seeds), technical knowledge on forage and forage seed production management to support farmers
      Policy makers – working with policy makers to develop policies to support small scale and farmer forage seed production and marketing
    • Point 6: Knowledge sharing
      Share information on cost benefits of forages and forage seed production more widely
      Share market information on forage seed demand and supply to link growers and traders
      Translate information about benefits, forage management, seed supply into local languages (already started with fact sheets but more is needed)