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A food system integration story: Fish with roots, tubers and bananas

1 day 12 hours ago

What do catfish and bananas have in common? No, this is not a riddle or the start of a bad joke. Some farmers know the answer: Bananas and catfish are a win-win when grown together in the same farming system. In fact, banana residues are a nutritious feed to enhance the growth of the catfish.

It’s not a very well-known fact, however, that planting crops like roots, tubers and bananas in the same farming system as fish is a recipe for success for smallholder farmers. New research shows that in combination they provide a complementary integrated agriculture-aquaculture (IAA) system which can add diversity to diets, provide increased economic opportunity while being good for the environment. The findings have also been published in the journal article here.

The benefits of integrating rice, livestock, or poultry with fish are well documented but there is little research on the advantages of combining fish with roots, tubers and bananas, said Lauren Pincus, a value chain scientist with WorldFish who worked on the study.

“We are looking into the food value chains for combinations that reduce the climate impacts of farming. Aquaculture integrated with roots, tubers and banana production is definitely a topic that needs further exploration,” she said.  

IAA systems are environmentally beneficial due to their emphasis on recycling nutrients from crop residues and water through the system. They are positioned as particularly appropriate for small-scale, resource-poor farmers and suitable for areas with limited availability of agricultural land.

Researchers from the CGIAR Research Programs on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH) and on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) teamed up to investigate what is currently known about IAA systems that comprise both fish and other aquatic animals, and RTB crops. Despite the potential benefits, the review of the literature found just nine...

Making sense of the market: Assessing the participatory market chain approach to aquaculture value chain development in Nepal and Bangladesh

6 days 23 hours ago

The participatory market chain approach (PMCA) is a methodology for improving the performance of poorly-coordinated value chains. This study uses a mixed methods approach to assess the effectiveness of PMCA for promoting aquaculture value chain development in Bangladesh and Nepal. The study consists of a quantitative structured survey and two story-based qualitative methods, Most Significant Change analysis, and SenseMaker® research software. Quantitative results show that in both countries the PMCA intervention significantly increased the quantity of fish produced, consumed and sold by participating households, leading to an approximate doubling of yields and income from fish. Qualitative findings indicate that PMCA fostered better access to markets for inputs and end products among market chain actors of all types, and improved their coordination and collective decision making, thereby somewhat rebalancing the dynamics of trade relationships to empower small producers.

How can young African agripreneurs survive COVID-19 and the climate crisis?

1 week 3 days ago

This blog was originally published on the Swedish International Agriculture Network Initiative (SIANI) website. SIANI supports and promotes multisector dialogue and action on sustainable agriculture for food security, improving nutrition and hunger eradication.

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting agricultural value chains in Africa by threatening food, nutrition and security, as well as the livelihoods of farming communities. In addition, climate-related catastrophes, such as floods and the desert locusts, have contributed to the challenges faced by the most vulnerable populations, especially the rural youth.

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), 2SCALE, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), AgriProFocus, the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN), SIANI and Practical Action held an online discussion followed by a webinar to explore and discuss how young people working in agribusiness are coping with the effects of the pandemic in the context of a changing climate. The insights from this collaboration highlight struggles, coping innovations and policy response options.

Webinar: Youth in Agribusiness - Coping with COVID-19 in the context of a Changing Climate from SIANI on Vimeo.

Whilst development partners and governments have been encouraging the youth to embrace agriculture as a source of income, it is worth noting that young rural people, especially young women, are among the most vulnerable groups and are at high risk of disproportionately suffering the pandemic and its aftermath. The youth already face higher rates of unemployment and underemployment, and are overrepresented in the informal economy where they are 40% more likely to be in casual work arrangements than those above 35 years old. Most earn their income on a daily or weekly basis and have little or no access to health insurance or social security.

At the same time, it is increasingly observed that some of the policy responses and measures put in place by governments to halt the spread of the virus are exacerbating the existing challenges that rural youth face in engaging in agriculture and agribusiness. For example, several formal and informal businesses, which employ many young people have been forced to close or downscale significantly as a result of lockdowns and movement restrictions at national and local levels.

Innovative youth rising

However, all is not lost: Many young people are implementing innovative ideas to address the current food availability crisis using various digital platforms, as highlighted in an online discussion hosted on the Climate and Agriculture Network for Africa (CANA) platform from May 20, 2020. Some of the interesting insights that came out from these discussions include:

“I have seen some interesting innovations with an example of youth activities in the suburb where I stay, who told me his story of how he has lost his job and to survive he has acquired an old bicycle and loads it with fruits and vegetables. He uses a loudspeaker to call out to whoever needs the items he has as he rides through the neighborhood,” commented Stella Naggujja, (CANA) in the online discussion.

During the webinar held on June 18, 2020,  Ian Mutwiri of Homerange Poultry shared how his team has developed online manuals on poultry farming, which are freely available online, and how his team is using social media platforms, such as Youtube and Facebook, to conduct training sessions targeting the youth. Antony Malovi (CSAYN) has developed a solar drier using locally available materials given that he could not import any as a result of COVID-19 lockdown.

Marzia Pafumi, Youth Engagement Specialist (FAO)argued that youth agripreneurs responded to COVID-19 very fast, trying to adapt their business models and thinking outside the box to find new opportunities. She mentioned that as a result of the pandemic, there has been an accelerated move to online marketing and sales, such as orders on social media, home delivery and an increase in mobile payments. Agripreneurs also started to work more with adding value to primary products. Many of them started to use locally sourced agricultural inputs.

Mr Jacob Ochieng (Practical Action) highlighted the unprecedented impact COVID-19 is having on the economy worldwide. Practical Action is supporting agribusinesses and youth so they can remain safe by providing access and distributing information on the best practices about stopping the spread of the virus. Ochieng also underscored the importance of keeping essential agricultural services running. He mentioned that marketing and networking for agripreneurs is not possible during a lock-down, but digital platforms and social media that will help to coordinate are key when people can not physically meet to negotiate, transact or receive training. In conclusion, he mentioned that innovations and the combined learnings about climate change and COVID-19 should be utilized in activities related to resilience for youth in agribusiness.

Read the full blog on the SIANI website.

Key indicators for monitoring food system disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: Insights from Bangladesh towards effective response

2 weeks 3 days ago

In the context of developing countries, early evidence suggests that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food production systems is complex, heterogenous, and dynamic. As such, robust monitoring of the impact of the health crisis and containment measures across agricultural value chains will likely prove vitally important. With Bangladesh as a case study, we discuss the building blocks of a comprehensive monitoring system for prioritizing and designing interventions that respond to food system disruptions from COVID-19 and preemptively avoid further cascading negative effects. We also highlight the need for parallel research that identifies pathways for enhancing information flow, analysis, and action to improve the efficiency and reliability of input and output value chains. In aggregate, this preliminary work highlights the building blocks of resilient food systems to external shocks such as COVID-19 pandemic in the context of developing nations. In doing so, we call attention to the importance of ‘infection safe’ agricultural input and output distribution logistics, extended social safety nets, adequate credit facilities, and innovative labor management tools alongside, appropriate farm mechanization. In addition, digital extension services, circular nutrient flows, enhanced storage facilities, as well as innovative and robust marketing mechanisms are required. These should be considered in parallel with effective international trade management policies and institutions as crucial supportive measures.

ACIAR Rice-Fish Systems Symposium Proceedings

4 weeks 2 days ago

The ACIAR Myanmar Rice-Fish project is aligned with the research program FISH CRP, led by WorldFish and partners. The main objectives in this program are (1) to optimise fish production systems to produce healthy, nutritious food products, (2) reduce inefficiencies in value chains and optimise resource use, and (3) to address barriers that impede the inclusion of fish in the diets of mothers, infants, and young children. Organising an international symposium on Rice-Fish Systems (RFS) fits within the overall objective to spread technologies with the support of public and private sector stakeholders in order to improve governance and natural resource management.The objectives for the symposium are (1) to share knowledge and experiences around the diversity of existing rice-fish systems overall, in Myanmar, and in countries in the region, (2) to present the current status of Myanmar’s policies related to rice-fish systems and to provide an evidence base for policy changes, and (3) to inform decision- and policy makers about the potential benefits of shifting towards integrated fish-agri-food systems.

How does the COVID-19 crisis affect Colombia’s livestock systems?

1 month ago

Read the working paperCOVID-19 and the bovine livestock sector in Colombia: Current and potential developments, impacts and mitigation options 

(Spanish version)

By now, everybody is aware of the sweeping negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on many sectors of the economy. The beef and dairy (B&D) industry have not been spared. It has not been possible to accurately measure the magnitude of these impacts, whether positive or negative.

A recently published working paper by researchers from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT addresses this challenge comprehensively, assessing current and potential impacts of the crisis on the B&D value chain in Colombia.

The ongoing crisis will likely cause significant changes in our food systems, which includes a greater response to new demands from consumers, who will be increasingly concerned with where their food comes from, its quality, sustainability and the well-being of animals. Once the crisis eases, more investments will be made to improve value chains, so they are better equipped to respond to new demands.

A cattle farmer in Patía, Cauca, in the southwestern region of Colombia, where 200 producers have benefited from the work carried out by CIAT's tropical fodder team, the University of Cauca and the Government of Cauca. Photo: (CIAT)

Not all bad news for the beef value chain

This study focuses not only on primary production, but on the entire value chain, including direct and indirect actors, and of course, consumers. It also provides specific concepts on the impacts at each link in the chain. It also addresses positive trends, some of which may help producers and input providers to cope with the crisis and even strengthen areas that demanded attention before the current situation.

Also addressed in this paper are trends in beef and dairy consumption during and after the pandemic, their possible substitutes, and opportunities to advance the safety and sustainability of bovine livestock production. Trends in consumer behavior, such as how they purchase these products, and how their preferences will be oriented towards better food security, traceability, animal welfare and sustainability, were also examined. An analysis was conducted on variations in prices both nationally and globally.

The dollar exchange rate's behavior, an external factor, but directly associated with the pandemic crisis, is addressed in this document. This is due largely to its impact on the trade balance of bovine products and agricultural inputs such as seeds, vaccines, concentrates, supplements, machinery, and others. The study suggests that, once the crisis is over, there could be an opportunity for Colombia to open new export markets for B&D products.

Bovine livestock value chains are made of many links, the impacts of which were reviewed in detail, especially in the supply of inputs, labor, access to credit, technical assistance and vaccination cycles. Transportation and processing of both meat and milk in the main producing regions were other links examined by the authors. However, crosscutting aspects, such as agricultural research, platforms, and communication across levels are subject to analysis, and how virtuality and digitization will play a key role.

Inclusion gains rolled back

Livestock activity is not exempt from disruptions in the dynamics of gender, youth and minorities in the rural sector. Advances made towards more inclusion and gender equality in livestock farming are in jeopardy. For instance, gender is a structurally fragile issue, with historical labor divisions based mainly on gender identity. The emerging presence of armed actors in rural areas of the country is putting gains made towards gender equality at risk.

The working paper draws attention to rural education, stressing the need to promote better connectivity across the country. It would seem that authorities are accelerating rural connectivity plans and emergency alternatives to continue providing some degree of equality to the always-urgent need for better access to education in rural areas.

Sustainability could have greater attention

Before the pandemic, sustainable intensification was one of the most critical debates in the livestock sector in the country and globally, responding to the need to meet the growing demand for food sustainably. The crisis has affected the continuity of these efforts. Still, sustainability will be an even greater priority when this pandemic is over, requiring mitigation strategies to avoid further setbacks.

A matrix summarizes the main impacts of the crisis in the short (during the crisis), medium and long term, and proposes mitigation options for each impact by sector. While much remains to be investigated, adopting rapid mitigation actions could prevent further losses, even when combined with the risk of increasing threats, such as the challenges posed by climate change.

Although this study focuses on Colombia, using mainly local sources, the results, impacts and possible mitigation strategies are relevant to other countries with similar practices and current state of the livestock sector; and, more importantly, the mitigation strategies that could be applied. Now is the time to act.

This blog originally appeared on the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and CIAT (Spanish) website. 

Read more:

Does the smallholder farmer have access to quality inputs?

1 month 2 weeks ago

With the onset of kharif (monsoon) in the southern states of India, the majority of farmers have started procurement of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. Amidst COVID-19 induced disruptions in input production and distribution, the state governments are making efforts to ensure timely distribution of inputs to farmers. Based on recent field survey […]

The post Does the smallholder farmer have access to quality inputs? appeared first on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals.

Does the smallholder farmer have access to quality inputs?

1 month 2 weeks ago

With the onset of kharif (monsoon) in the southern states of India, the majority of farmers have started procurement of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. Amidst COVID-19 induced disruptions in input production and distribution, the state governments are making efforts to ensure timely distribution of inputs to farmers. Based on recent field survey […]

The post Does the smallholder farmer have access to quality inputs? appeared first on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals.

Government and research bodies expand seeds support to over 10,000 Nigerian smallholders to shield agriculture from COVID-19

1 month 2 weeks ago

Farmers in 13 states of Nigeria will receive improved seeds of sorghum, pearl millet, cowpea and rice as a part of an initiative to cushion the pandemic’s impact on food...

The post Government and research bodies expand seeds support to over 10,000 Nigerian smallholders to shield agriculture from COVID-19 appeared first on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals.

Government and research bodies expand seeds support to over 10,000 Nigerian smallholders to shield agriculture from COVID-19

1 month 2 weeks ago

Farmers in 13 states of Nigeria will receive improved seeds of sorghum, pearl millet, cowpea and rice as a part of an initiative to cushion the pandemic’s impact on food...

The post Government and research bodies expand seeds support to over 10,000 Nigerian smallholders to shield agriculture from COVID-19 appeared first on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals.

Strengthening the capacity of agriculture in Rwanda to adapt to a variable and changing climate

1 month 2 weeks ago

Driven in large part by its agriculture sector, Rwanda’s recent economic growth has doubled per capita GDP between 2007 and 2018, and greatly reduced poverty and child mortality. Along with its fragile natural environment and the highest population density in sub-Saharan Africa, the risk imposed by a variable and changing climate works against efforts to improve Rwanda’s agricultural economy and the livelihoods of its 2.1 million smallholder farm households.

Climate services that help farmers and other decision-makers de-risk agricultural livelihoods and value chains—one of the four priority action areas identified by the Transforming Food Systems Under a Changing Climate initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in a flagship report due out June 25th—is the focus of recent efforts in Rwanda supported by the US and UK governments, and coordinated by CCAFS through the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) Rwanda office.

US and UK invest in Rwanda’s climate service capacity

The "Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture” project was launched on World Meteorological Day in March 2016, to develop climate services for farmers and institutional decision makers across the country’s agriculture sector, and to strengthen the capacity of the national meteorological service, Meteo Rwanda, to provide information that enables them to anticipate and manage climate-related risks. This initiative, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by CCAFS, is a partnership of CIAT, Meteo Rwanda, Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB), International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), University of Reading and World Agroforestry Centre.

Then in 2018, the Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) programme, funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and managed by the Met Office (the UK’s national meteorological service), launched a project in Rwanda designed to enhance and scale up the co-production of climate services for improved climate risk management and to deliver an impact-based early warning system. This partnership between CIAT, the Met Office, IRI and Meteo Rwanda aims to enhance and scale up the co-production of climate services and impact-based early warning for improved climate-risk management in Rwanda.

The synergies between these complementary efforts are preparing a legacy of effective climate services and climate risk management. For example, the USAID initiative developed processes to bring climate services to farmers, while the WISER initiative developed mechanisms to bring farmers’ feedback back to the service providers. The USAID project has a strong focus on making climate services work for the country’s farmers, but recognized a gap in the use of climate services by local government for agricultural planning—a gap that the WISER project was able to target. The complementary efforts supported Meteo Rwanda to develop a range of information products—high-resolution historical data and analyses, improved downscaled seasonal forecasts, impact-based early warnings—that the agriculture sector needs to understand, anticipate and manage risks.

WISER was developed to target specific weather and climate challenges in East Africa, and the Rwanda project is a great example of how the programme has been able to help deliver relevant and accessible climate services. These will continue to have an impact on lives and livelihoods in Rwanda beyond the life of the project, having built capacity in the country”.

- Kate Ferguson, Met Office WISER Programme Manager
June 2020

Rwanda at the cutting edge

Rwanda is gaining a reputation as an innovator. In health, Rwanda pioneered the use of drones to deliver vital medicines and supplies to remote locations, and the use of robots to reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19 as medical staff treat patients. As the two climate service projects draw to a close in 2020 and 2021, it is clear that they have helped position Rwanda at the cutting edge of agricultural climate services:

  • Face-to-face participatory climate communication and planning processes have been implemented at an unprecedented scale. Working through the Twigire Muhinzi agricultural extension service, 112,000 farmers across all 30 districts were trained and supported to access, understand and incorporate climate information into their planning, using the Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) process.
  • Radio Listener Clubs piloted in Rwanda combine the benefits of participatory, broadcast media and mobile phone communication channels. These clubs meet weekly to listen to climate services broadcasts (accessed by roughly 40% of Rwanda’s farmers), share and record their plans to act on the information, and take turns participating in interactive call-in programs.
  • Rwanda was the first country in Africa to implement an objective seasonal forecast system based on statistical downscaling of output of an ensemble of multiple climate models. 
  • In addition to improved future climate analytics, Meteo Rwanda was supported to reconstruct about 15 years of lost climate data and generate historical records for every 4 km across Rwanda.
  • Meteo Rwanda now provides localized climate information at a national scale, through one of the most advanced suites of online climate information available for agricultural decision makers in Africa. Online “Maprooms” developed in Rwanda have since been adopted by the national meteorological services of Ethiopia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Colombia and Guatemala; and by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), the regional climate center for East Africa.
  • Sixteen cooperatives in four districts now have climate risk assessments and adaptation plans for six priority agricultural commodity value chains.
  • An ICT-based “5Q” (Five Question) monitoring tool has been introduced to efficiently and continuously capture farmers’ feedback on the services they receive. Seven thousand, five hundred (7,500) farmers trained to use the 5Q tool provide regular feedback, and plans are in place to extend it to 100,000 potential participants.
  • M.Sc. scholarships for seven Meteo Rwanda staff members, and three from RAB, have raised the capacity of these national institutions.

Rwanda’s leadership is gaining international recognition, for example through the inaugural Climate Smart Agricultural Project of the Year Award.

A joint initiative … has rebuilt 15 years of lost climate data. The program has also helped our national weather agency build an advanced online climate information system for Rwandan farmers. These results could only have been achieved with sustained partnership over many years.”

- His Excellency President Paul Kagame
Columbia University, New York, 26 September 2019

Climate services make a difference

Following investment in climate information products and training for local government, district agricultural officers have begun to use the information to improve the services they provide to farmers. For example, in the Western highlands, agronomists used climate information to match crop varieties to local conditions, providing more suitable hybrid maize seeds to 87,872 farmers. While in Bugesera District, authorities used crop water deficit calculations based on climate information to provide supplemental irrigation water, pumped from a lake into a lined reservoir, to enable 188 farmers to cope with prolonged dry spells.

Even without improved public sector resource mobilization, participation in PICSA and Radio Listeners Clubs is associated with a substantial increase in the proportion of farmers that report changing  management decisions in response to weather and climate information. Examples include changing what crops and varieties they plant, how they prepare their land and manage crops and livestock, and changing the scale of crop and livestock enterprises. Participation in PICSA is associated with a 24% increase in the value of crop production and a 30% increase in income from crops.  When PICSA was combined with Radio Listeners Club participation, the increase in crop value (47%) and resulting income (56%) was even greater.

I received training on the use of climate information in agriculture; I since then respect my seasonal calendar which allows me to know practices that I should do during dry or wet days. I now prepare myself on time and wait for the seasonal forecast for me to adjust my plans before planting. This opened my eyes and I now do farming, livestock keeping and my family is wealthy.”

- Kabarisa Wellars, a Rwandan farmer,
2017

What’s next for climate services in Rwanda?

Despite these successes, the work is far from over. Rwanda is preparing for a 1.4–2.3 °C average temperature by 2050, coupled with increased risk from heat waves, dry spells and extreme rainfall. But as a result of USAID and DFID intervention, local systems are in place to anticipate and respond to these climate risks. Building on their increased capacity, Meteo Rwanda’s stated priorities moving forward are to fully operationalize the National Framework for Climate Services, and to explore the formation of a Rwanda Meteorological Training and Research Centre (RMTRC).

This blog is part of a series for the Transforming Food
Systems Under a Changing Climate
 initiative. It describes one of the 11 priority actions for transforming food systems outlined in the initiative's flagship report, launching 25 June 2020. We invite you to join us for an around-the-world virtual event to engage on ways to take action together.

See details and register here

  Read more:

TAAT Excites Beninese Farmers with Pro Vitamin A Cassava Varieties

1 month 2 weeks ago
A staple to about 350 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, cassava, had been declared in 2003 by African Heads of State as a poverty fighter. However, the crop is yet to prove its mettle as millions of growers in sub-Saharan Africa who depend on the crop for their livelihoods still live below the poverty line. […]

FAO publication supports achieving 2030 Agenda in Small-Scale Fisheries

1 month 3 weeks ago

The new study, Securing sustainable small-scale fisheries: Showcasing applied practices in value chains, post-harvest operations and trade, supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – specifically SDG 14.b: “provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets”.

The highly anticipated paper is the second in the series ‘Securing sustainable small-scale fisheries, and includes nine case studies that constitute a rich and diverse selection of experiences, not only with regard to their geographical setting but also in the topics covered and approaches employed.  The case studies were developed to inform and encourage policies and programs that support the development of small-scale fisheries, and chosen on the basis that they can be emulated elsewhere by small-scale fishery proponents including, but not limited to, national administrations, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, private enterprises, development agencies and intergovernmental bodies.

The study showcases applied practices and successful initiatives in support of enhancing small-scale fisheries value chains, post-harvest operations and trade, based on the recommendations contained in the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines).  The SSF Guidelines recognize the right of fishers and fish workers, acting both individually and collectively, to improve their livelihoods through value chains, post-harvest operations and trade, and recommend building capacity of individuals, strengthening organizations and empowering women; reducing post-harvest losses and adding value to small-scale fisheries production; and facilitating sustainable trade and equitable market access.

MYSAP Inland supports small-scale fish farmers and fish processors during COVID-19

1 month 3 weeks ago

In the Central Dry Zone and upper regions of Myanmar, since April 2017, the Inland component staff of the Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (MYSAP) has been working intensively with smallholder fish processors and vendors to improve fish value chains. To boost the opportunities of female micro-entrepreneurs in Kale, Shwebo and Kengtung townships, in March 2020, MYSAP Inland selected as a partner of choice the BoP Innovation Center (BoPInc). BoPInc has extensive experience in supporting women entrepreneurs as well as in the development of business models benefitting the Base of the Pyramid (BoP), low income consumers and entrepreneurs. Through their expertise, BoPInc will assist in the co-development of post-harvest fish value chain innovations with female micro-entrepreneurs working on fish processing and vending, empowering these women to solve problems they face every day. However, due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, working closely with female micro-entrepreneurs and surveying their business in the marketplace was temporarily halted.

 

Survey conducted via mobile phone    

MYSAP Inland and BoPInc kick-started their collaboration with the development of a short computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) questionnaire survey to gather data from fish value chain actors in Myanmar. The survey collected information on the level of mobile phone accessibility, digital abilities, and the overall COVID-19 understanding of fish value chain actors targeted by MYSAP Inland with innovative fish post-harvest training, and messaging. As a result, a total of 41 respondents (32 women), including village and main market fish vendors, wholesalers and fish processors, previously trained by MYSAP on value-added fish products were interviewed by mobile phone. These included key value chain stakeholders from all the MYSAP Inland targeted regions of Kale (5 people) and Shwebo (14 people) townships, in the Sagaing Region, and Pinlaung (11 participants), and Kengtung townships (11 participants), in the Shan State.

The findings revealed that phone usage...

How dryland crops are helping Telangana’s tribal households meet nutritional requirements during lockdown

2 months ago

To ensure nutrition sufficiency in children, pregnant women and lactating mothers of tribal communities in Telangana, India, during times of lockdown, ready-to-eat foods containing millets, sorghum and pulses produced by ICRISAT are being provided at their doorstep. “The food products are scientifically formulated to promote dietary diversity and are produced using locally available nutritious millets […]

The post How dryland crops are helping Telangana’s tribal households meet nutritional requirements during lockdown appeared first on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals.

How dryland crops are helping Telangana’s tribal households meet nutritional requirements during lockdown

2 months ago

To ensure nutrition sufficiency in children, pregnant women and lactating mothers of tribal communities in Telangana, India, during times of lockdown, ready-to-eat foods containing millets, sorghum and pulses produced by ICRISAT are being provided at their doorstep. “The food products are scientifically formulated to promote dietary diversity and are produced using locally available nutritious millets […]

The post How dryland crops are helping Telangana’s tribal households meet nutritional requirements during lockdown appeared first on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals.

WorldFish discussed COVID-19 impacts with Nigerian aquaculture community

2 months ago

Thursday 28th May, WorldFish virtually met with several representatives from the Nigerian aquaculture community. They included representatives from Catfish and Allied Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFFAN), Tilapia and Aquaculture Developers Association of Nigeria (TADAN), Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), Nigerian Association of Fisheries Scientists (NAFS), IDIPR Cooperative Farms, fish processors, and corporate sector fish producers and traders. Several issues were brought into the discussion as compelling difficulties currently faced by the aquaculture community.

Most problems faced by fish farmers and processors appear to be centred around the current government-imposed Movement Control Order (MCO) in response to COVID-19. MCO has significantly reduced fish producers’ access to markets. Markets are not open throughout the week for fish sales and access to production inputs, such as feeds, fingerlings, and feed ingredients has also become limited. Consequently, transport costs have gone up significantly and long delays are experienced at checkpoints.

Reduced market access delays harvest resulting prolonged farming cycles. Keeping fish in ponds needs feed and other farm management inputs, requiring additional funds. Farmers are sceptical as to how long they can continue the process with no financial support, and that they will ever be able to sell their produce with profit once the lockdown is lifted. Unfortunately, no good cold-chain facilities exist in Nigerian aquaculture, which prevents possible cold storage during low demand times.


Cast net fisher, Kainji Lake, NW Nigeria. Photo by David Mills.

Due to lack of demand market price of catfish and tilapia has significantly reduced throughout the country. Job losses are experiencing along fish value chains are some farmers are already dropping off.

Many are worried that Naira will further devalue and already hiking certain grades of commercial fish feeds will become totally unaffordable to smallholders. Farmers also concern that high imported ingredient prices might result in feeds with...

Reviving the farm economy

2 months 1 week ago

The return of migrant workers to their villages offers an opportunity to give agribusiness a leg-up. For the first time in years, amidst the Covid-19 crisis, the general population in India seem to have become increasingly aware of the importance of the migrant workforce. As per the 2011 census, there were about 56 million interstate […]

The post Reviving the farm economy appeared first on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals.

Reviving the farm economy

2 months 1 week ago

The return of migrant workers to their villages offers an opportunity to give agribusiness a leg-up. For the first time in years, amidst the Covid-19 crisis, the general population in India seem to have become increasingly aware of the importance of the migrant workforce. As per the 2011 census, there were about 56 million interstate […]

The post Reviving the farm economy appeared first on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals.

Understanding partnership dynamics to facilitate innovation scaling

2 months 1 week ago
Research for development organizations like the International Potato Center (CIP), which develop science-based solutions to the challenges faced by millions of smallholders, introduce and test those innovations with communities before taking them to scale. But taking even the most promising innovation to scale can be a challenge in and of itself, which is why researchers are increasingly […]
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2 hours 12 minutes ago
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