National Consultation Workshop on Forages and Forage Seed Industry Development in Ethiopia
November 30th, 2015.
Lalibeal Auditorium ILRI-Addis, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Objectives
  • To get additional input from the larger audience that, at a later stage, would help develop a national forage seed and animal feed industry program in Ethiopia
  • To get buy-in from key (strategic) stakeholders mainly the government, the private sector and the donor community

Agenda


Photos

Participants List

Notes from the meeting


Introductory comments


Dr. Siboniso (Boni) Moyo
Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen. It is my privilege and honor to welcome you all to the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) campus in Addis Ababa today. We are glad that this workshop “on the national consultation on forage and forage seed industry development initiative in Ethiopia is being held on this campus” where we host a forage Genebank with over 19 000 accessions of forages from over 1,000 species. The Genebank is the world’s major collection of African grasses and tropical highland forages”. It is an ideal venue for this workshop. Thanks to the organizing committee for the choice of venue for this workshop. Full keynote speech

Dr. Getnet Assefa
Good morning and welcome everybody.
The demand for feed is increasing. On the other hand there is lack of grazing land.
Lack of supplies like seeds are very critical. Hence, identifying the major issues and treating them accordingly is very important.
To be successful – we need to identify strategic issues that are pertinent to forage development.
We need to work together; those engaged in technology development – research – development sectors – private sector will need to be involved. We have to establish a system that will be sustainable.

Past and current experiences of forage and forage seed development in Ethiopia

Q&A of Past Experiences

Question: Why the Fourth Livestock Development Project (FLDP) farmer based contractual production didn’t continue smoothly?
Answer:
  • Financial resource availability was an issue. Unless you have a very good exit strategy which will enable the program to continue, it will be very difficult for the government to run the program smoothly. Financial plan is the main reason for the failure of the project. Government can’t continue supporting the project when projects is phasing out.

Question: The policy change issues?
Answer:
  • Regarding policy changes, during 1974–1994 which was a period where the capitalist system was demoted and the regime that existed at that time had sort of socialist inclination.The policy changes, influenced the evolution of forage or feed development. Actually during this period, the issue of cooperatives was on board and farmers which constitute the majority of the population were disregarded unless they were members of the cooperatives. So, policy shift from one regime to another regime affect the performance as well.
  • The other emphasis was the need for policy support in the form of regulations, procedures and rules which were considered in the sub chapters institutional problems that existed in the forage and forage seed value chain.


Question: Why the analysis excluded the experience of Africa RISING, SNV and ILRI feed seed project and other informal sectors?
Answer:
  • I just focused on those projects which are relevant for the purpose of my presentation. In programs like SNV, ILRI feed seed project and Africa RISING, it was very difficult for me to pin point some of the systematic constrains. Actually these programs are much valued as pilot programs and many stakeholders are involved and which makes it very difficult to hunt systematic and partial weaknesses. So, I thought it was good to change these programs from the list of programs which are historically analyzed in my presentation.


Question: The 4th livestock project worked very aggressively but didn’t succeed in forage development, and why?
Answer:
  • The 4th Livestock project used to give seed for the farmers and after production, it used to buy from them. The project was working well. As soon as the project completed, nobody was able to buy seed from farmers. At that time MoA didn’t have a system in place and the private sector has not developed as a result farmers were discourage.
  • As FLDP, cooperatives was project dependent and couldn’t survive on its own , it was not linked with livestock production and the focus was only on forage production not forage use.
  • Forage trees haven’t been utilized by the farmers as feed and if they had used it they could have noticed the change in performance and developed interest in utilizing the forage.
  • Extension agents only follow up with the distribution of seeds but did not assist farmers in the utilization and value of the forage. So that farmers didn’t have enough awareness.
  • The main driver of the seed industry is not the seed sales but it is rather livestock production. For the future, we need to work on where the major incentive is, if we want the project to be sustainable. We need to integrate the livestock component as well. Without livestock support forage alone couldn’t take us further.
  • When we talk about forage we also need to consider the dairy industry, otherwise we’ll keep on facing the same types of problems that we faced in the past.
  • Government’s policy needs to support the dairy industry and the livestock sector.
  • Supporting forage seed development may not be direct – rather for dairy purpose if we consider livestock as market oriented program it will increase attention in the livestock sector.


Question: Land allocation for forage development is also given little attention.
Answer:
  • Land issue is a key problem, there is no enough attention given to land allocation for forage development.
  • Demand articulation linked with forage production was also found to be a key problem
  • Considering forage as enterprise is also one of the key drawback that we have to focus on if the forage value chain has to progress smoothly.
.


Current scenarios of forage and forage seed production and use in Ethiopia

Q&A of Current Scenarios
Question:
  • In your presentation feed share shows 37% contribution. It is obvious that crop residue is taking over. Is this for the highland area or does this include the lowland?
  • Proportion is low – practically there is no grazing area in the highland – now all area is covered with crop.
  • Crop residue contribution is growing, Nutritional value is poor – what is research doing to improve this?

Answer:
  • 37% is sedentary not including pastoralists. This is provided by the central statistics data – we need to accept this data – although we know that the recent developments on the ground might show a difference in this. We know that there is no grazing land – it is bare. Whatsoever the data indicates the reality is that the natural grazing is decreasing. Yes it is the reality that using crop residue as feed is increasing but then the quality is very low. Crop residue contribution is very low. Even if a lot of research is done to improve crop residue feed – it could maintain few … but cannot address all the feed problem. The research should be focusing on improving the quality of feed at the same time promoting forages.

Question:
  • Forage is in demand with drought incidents. How reliable is the demand for forages? If one thinks like a business man, is there the market for seed? Have we really assessed the market for seed production? Has there been a study done for economic feasibility? Is it economically feasible to produce forages?

Answer:
  • There is high demand for forages. The problem is most farmers are small holder farmers and the focus of the farmer is towards crop production rather that planting forages to feed his animals. On the other hand although there is high demand showing the potential for the market the feasibility of it all will need to be addressed contextually as demand differs from place to place.

Question: It has been long years since the issue of feed seed production has been mentioned. Where is the bottleneck for this not to work?
Answer:
  • The trend of livestock management by itself is an area that needs to be addressed. Demand is there but Feed seed market is not yet there. The market will need to be established.
  • Storage is another problem.
  • We have attitudinal problems in addition to the market problem. No matter how much product is done there is no work done to change the attitude of the farmer in animal production. The biggest problem to the farmer in managing their animals is the feed but farmers still tend to engage in what they are used to rather than trying new ways, new mechanisms. Therefore, we need to demonstrate, we need to showcase the benefits.

Question: Why is there not quality feed sales?
Answer:
  • Policy is one bottleneck .
  • The area given for managing livestock is very limited.
  • Forage production is not a priority to the farmer.
  • The farmer is thinking in terms of subsistence.
  • We need to think of in terms of commercialization.
  • We need to have a policy change
  • Incentive and subsidy should be there by the government.

Additional Comments
  • For the farmer producing feed is with a tradeoff of production of grains vs feeds, What is the economic return?
  • The question for the farmer is Can I feed my family?
  • The farmer does not prefer to produce forage – hence we will need to address this.
  • Depending on the feasibility – also depending on the specific areas we need to address this issue.
  • Afar experience – maize – and 3 species of feed, top priority is given to maize
  • Intercropping for feed is encouraged to create demand for feed.
  • We are trying to change attitude like this.
  • Molasses is potential – brewery grains – but by product is still very limited.
  • We need more research on this.

Scaling-up forage seed and feed industry in Ethiopia and the intended outcome of the national consultative workshop
Presentation: Scaling-up forage seed and feed industry in Ethiopia and the intended outcome of the national consultative workshop

Plenary Q&A for Barry's presentation
Question: What I am not seeing in the pillar are the production of forage as a profitable opportunity for the smallholder farmer?
Answer:
  • We all agree and it really is. it is 2 or 3 times profitable for the farmers to produce forage.May be I am wrong, and we can further argue about it.

Question: Your presentation tried to cover all the value chains on forage production and marketing but certified seed production and marketing is missing?
Answer: We know that we need a system of certification

Question: We have seen the important pillars on your presentation but how do we link actors to end users?
Answer : We need to do more on the processing and on the marketing side

Comments:
  • Land scarcity – if we know the whole country we have good potential in the hillsides and the mountain areas for forage development. To my opinion these are the areas that we need to engage in for forage production. The linkage between those different actors while implementing is important. So, having a natural resource management at the ministry level is basically very important. Because with this expanding of population, if we deal with forage production in those areas it will be a critical issue. We have to bring people who are implementing this at different levels.
  • We are going to design a big national program. We have to think big. Pillar No. 1 and 2 can be merged, 3rd, 4th and 5th can also be merged into one comprehensive thematic area. We can also have a sort of title which says forage innovations. Another bigger component which we need is value chain enhancement issues and we have to think of having a comprehensive M& E system.
  • We have been talking about forage and forage seed development for the last 20 years. The starting point should be to make a very critical analysis on where have failed. We have to do analysis of technical or institutional perspective to analyze the gap.

Group discussion
Visioning the concept note discuss and present the strength, weakness, opportunities and strength

Strengths:
  • The PPP approach (lesson from earlier projects)
  • Multi-disciplinary team
  • Multi-stakeholder approach on wider issues
  • Inclusive value chain approach
  • Concept note indicative of the scope of the problem

  • Focus on certification procedures (type, fake seed, germination, output)
  • Quality of forage seed
  • Forage variety development and release by research institutes and universities
  • Forage seed regulation (release and standard started)

  • The program approach in the CN is good
  • Sectoral integration
  • Addressing forage along with forage seed is commendable


  • Forage for NRM, SLM and other purposes
  • Forage seed development linked to national SLM, NRM and soil fertility programs

  • Efforts made from regions and previous national programs
  • Availability of best practices (e.g. in pastoral areas)

  • Proper maintenance of genetic resources
  • Forage development is good potential to contribute to biodiversity

  • Feed (forage) identified as priority livestock development compared to breeding
  • Emerging feed industry
  • Involvement of private sectors in forage seed business

Weakness
  • Identifying the supply chain and actors and how do we link to the market and suppliers.
  • The five pillars are not exhaustive e.g. marketing issues not addressed
  • CN does not show a clear forage and forage seed system to be developed (value chain)
  • Who multiply and market egs. Pre basic and basic

  • Certified/QDS seed production and marketing
  • Economic feasibility considering smallholders as a buyer vs government and programs

  • Drought/forest tolerant species not identified
  • Grazing and marginal lands not used to develop forage
  • No system/policy on improved management of communal graze/waste land – like “sharing of benefit”

  • Demand estimation
  • Is the seed system incentivized?
  • Exportable commercial fodder production
  • Poor experience of farmers on forage seed production/management
  • Inadequate data on livestock
  • Poor market information system (marketing system from producers to consumers and vice versa)

  • Information dissemination
  • Existing best practices in the seed sector
  • Concept note need to address forage quality issue in addition to forage seed certification
  • No public and private forage seed production system (basic and certified)
  • Luck of relevant academic programs focusing in forage seed

  • Does the proposal recognize the seed cycle?

  • Low emphasis to indigenous forage crops
  • Inadequate crop-integrated forage seed laboratories and certifications

  • Development of national standards and technical support is missing
  • Limited capacity in the forage seed multiplication among the:
    • Private sectors
    • Research institutes
    • Academic institutes
  • Weak research-extension linkage –poor scaling up of technologies
  • Health production extension service not integrated
  • Poor utilization of the gene pool at ILRI by…

Opportunities
  • Certification system can follow the system already developed for other crops
  • Use of existing community based seed production cooperatives

  • Availability of basic forage seed pool at ILRI and genetic diversity in Ethiopia
  • Expansion of knowledge. Institutes that can deliver capacity building activities
  • Universities training institutes

  • RED – FS (forage seed can be incorporated)
  • Response to climate variability
  • Declining of communal grazing land leading farmers to look at alternatives such as forage development
  • Involvement of NGO’s in forage seed multiplication

  • Supportive policy arrangement
    • Ministry of animal production and fisheries
    • Given emphasis in GTP II
  • New ministry
  • Government interest (feeding livestock, SLM)
  • Possibility of integrating with NRM, SLM and CRGE activities
  • Multipurpose use of forage crops availability
  • Targets set on the livestock master plan and GTP II
  • Growing demand for forage seeds
  • Integration of forage production with other activities (such as dairy farm, land management a- like waste land)

  • Enough actors: producers, suppliers and market
  • Private sectors interest on livestock development
  • Local market demand
  • Development of market for forage
  • Government irrigation initiatives
  • Growing demand for forage seeds
  • Existence of private seed producers and cooperatives

Threats
  • Unregulated prices distorted market
  • Market for forage and forage seed not developed
  • Majority of seed in the market is sub-standard
  • Improperly managed forage seed – seen as week threatening crop production
  • Inadequate multisector coordination (NRM, soil and forage)
  • Certification of forage seed is limited
    • Adopted from food crops
    • Very poor application
  • Brokers dominated the seed market
  • NGO’s exit strategy:
  • None existence or not well structured producers and utilizers

  • Weak market linkage
  • Free distribution of forage seed

  • Adoption of cultivated forage and to buy forage seeds by livestock producers
  • Inputs (land, basic and breeder seed etc)
  • Diversified agro-ecology requirement of forage crops demand huge resource

  • Conflict of interest raised on multipurpose crop utilization
  • Not responding to climate change
  • Livestock – environment risk factors

  • Functionality of the new ministry of livestock and fishery at regional level?

Next Steps
One of the next concert steps following this work shop will be forming technical experts for the write shop to further work on and write the project. Participants had an open discussion to nominate experts who is missing from the informal writing team. and the following institutions forwarded.
  • Higher education institutions and universities
  • Regional agricultural research institutes
  • Agricultural investment administration agency
  • Land authority
  • Bureau of water
  • Private and commercial seed producers
  • Ethiopian standards agency
  • NGO’s (Engine NGO, nutrition sensitive organization)
  • Agricultural inputs and quality control and quarantine agency (authorized agency by the MoA) – very neural
  • EPOSPEA - Ethiopian pulses and oil seeds association
  • Investment commission
  • Microfinance institutions
  • Farmers (the users)
  • Ministry of forestry and environmental protection
  • The pastoralists (Offices of the pastoralists)
  • FCA - Cooperatives
  • EBI
  • FAO
  • ICRAF
  • ESAP - Civil society
  • SNV
  • ISSD
  • Forage seed producers’ network – organized by ILRI - feed seed
  • Representative from Biodiversity institute
  • Feed association
  • Grain seed association
  • Self-help Africa on Community Seed Development

Closing
The most important group to say thank you is to yourselves: for coming from the regions to attend the workshop and I hope you enjoyed it and I wish you all a safe travels.

As we look at what a participatory exercise can generate, it is a reminder of an incredible knowledge we have in Ethiopia around every single agricultural topic. If we have been doing dry land rice or the impacts of acacia I am sure we could have generated the same amount of information. What is interesting in the agricultural sector is that, it doesn’t really matter at what level we do participatory exercise with a group of experts to generate a thousand ideas in a couple of hours but we can also generate the same amount of information with farmers.

One of the discussion that needs to carry on is to know the real demand for what we are trying to sell. If we see the 57 agro-ecologies in Ethiopia 75% of them are in dryland areas. Do we have the right seed to grow the right forage that farmers want, and that is the question we should ask ourselves. So, I would like to suggest two ways that we can go forward.

The first thing is we should recognize is that the GTP and the concept note are the opportunity and we should quickly build on that. As a follow up of this workshop, we will try to develop quickly a write shop and I have given my promise to Barry that we will support this in January. We should pull together a program around forage seed development, certification and similar issues. Looking into the demand side, I see another opportunity for this project. For example, right now in a zone like Wag Hemra Zone where there is a serious drought, what forage seeds do we have that would support a drought intervention in a place like this, and even if we have the right seed, do the farmers have enough land where they can allocate an area like this for forage production.

The other part of the process needs to be to use all the knowledge you generated, we need to use all the comments and go deeper to look in to all these interesting ideas, views, perspectives, strength, challenges and opportunities and I believe this has to be done at the farmers level too. I hope, as we move forward in January, we have to focus in two way process.

One process could be around policy and strategy development, development of a program that can create some level of interest and possibly begin to excite some of the senior people. There are some benefits as to what we could offer to the GTP and that could be benefiting the smallholder farmers in terms of nutrition and income.

The second process will be trying to understand the document: what farmers interests are, what farmers are already doing, their successes, their frustrations and how they see they would like better lives through livestock. Fundamentally we cannot separate forage seed from meat or milk production

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you all in January.




























































Organizers

Group discussion:
Visioning the concept note discuss and present the strength, weakness, opportunities and strength
Strengths:

The PPP approach (lesson from earlier projects)
Multi-disciplinary team
Multi-stakeholder approach on wider issues
Inclusive value chain approach
Concept note indicative of the scope of the problem


Focus on certification procedures (type, fake seed, germination, output)
Quality of forage seed
Forage variety development and release by research institutes and universities
Forage seed regulation (release and standard started)


The program approach in the CN is good
Sectoral integration
Addressing forage along with forage seed is commendable


Forage for NRM, SLM and other purposes
Forage seed development linked to national SLM, NRM and soil fertility programs
Efforts made from regions and previous national programs
Availability of best practices (e.g. in pastoral areas)


Proper maintenance of genetic resources
Forage development is good potential to contribute to biodiversity
Feed (forage) identified as priority liv. Development compared to breeding
Emerging feed industry
Involvement of private sectors in forage seed business




Weakness
· Identifying the supply chain and actors and how do we link to the market and suppliers.
· The five pillars are not exhaustive e.g. marketing issues not addressed
· CN does not show a clear forage and forage seed system to be developed (value chain)
· Who multiply and market egs. Pre basic and basic
· Certified/QDS seed production and marketing
· Economic feasibility considering smallholders as a buyer vs government and programs
· Drought/forest tolerant species not identified
· Grazing and marginal lands not used to develop forage
· No system/policy on improved management of communal graze/waste land – like “sharing of benefit”
· Demand estimation
· Is the seed system incentivized?
· Exportable commercial fodder production
· Poor experience of farmers on forage seed production/management
· Inadequate data on livestock
· Poor market information system (marketing system from producers to consumers and vice versa)
· Information dissemination
· Existing best practices in the seed sector
· Concept note need to address forage quality issue in addition to forage seed certification
· No public and private forage seed production system (basic and certified)
· Luck of relevant academic programs focusing in forage seed
· Does the proposal recognize the seed cycle?
· Low emphasis to indigenous forage crops
· Inadequate crop-integrated forage seed laboratories and certifications
· Development of national standards and technical support is missing
· Limited capacity in the forage seed multiplication among the:

o Private sectors
o Research institutes
o Academic institutes

· Weak research-extension linkage –poor scaling up of technologies
· Health production extension service not integrated
· Poor utilization of the gene pool at ILRI by…




Opportunities
· Certification system can follow the system already developed for other crops
· Use of existing community based seed production cooperatives
· Availability of basic forage seed pool at ILRI and genetic diversity in Ethiopia
· Expansion of knowledge. Institutes that can deliver capacity building activities
· Universities training institutes
· RED – FS (forage seed can be incorporated)
· Response to climate variability
· Declining of communal grazing land leading farmers to look at alternatives such as forage development
· Involvement of NGO’s in forage seed multiplication
· Supportive policy arrangement

o Ministry of animal production and fisheries
o Given emphasis in GTP II

· New ministry
· Government interest (feeding livestock, SLM)
· Possibility of integrating with NRM, SLM and CRGE activities
· Multipurpose use of forage crops availability
· Targets set on the livestock master plan and GTP II
· Growing demand for forage seeds
· Integration of forage production with other activities (such as dairy farm, land management a- like waste land)
· Enough actors: producers, suppliers and market
· Private sectors interest on livestock development
· Local market demand
· Development of market for forage
· Government irrigation initiatives
· Growing demand for forage seeds
· Existence of private seed producers and cooperatives




Threats
· Unregulated prices distorted market
· Market for forage and forage seed not developed
· Majority of seed in the market is sub-standard
· Improperly managed forage seed – seen as week threatening crop production
· Inadequate multisector coordination (NRM, soil and forage)
· Certification of forage seed is limited

§ Adopted from food crops
§ Very poor application

· Brokers dominated the seed market
· NGO’s exit strategy:

§ None existence or not well structured producers and utilizers
· Weak market linkage
· Free distribution of forage seed
· Adoption of cultivated forage and to buy forage seeds by livestock producers
· Inputs (land, basic and breeder seed etc)
· Diversified agro-ecology requirement of forage crops demand huge resource
· Conflict of interest raised on multipurpose crop utilization
· Not responding to climate change
· Livestock – environment risk factors
· Functionality of the new ministry of livestock and fishery at regional level?

Who is missing in the group (institutions)?
We are missing actors like:

· Higher education institutions and universities
· Regional agricultural research institutes
· Land authority
· Bureau of water
· Private and commercial seed producers
· Ethiopian standards agency
· NGO’s (Engine project – livelihood component is led by) –
· Agricultural inputs and quality control and quarantine agency (authorized agency by the MoA) – very neural
· Investment office
· Microfinance institutions
· Farmers (the users)
· Ministry of forestry and environmental protection
· The pastoralists (Offices of the pastoralists)
· Universities
· Cooperatives
· Private seed producers association
· FAO
· Representative from Biodiversity institute
· ICRAF
· Civil society (ESAP) –
· Feed association
· Grain seed association
· Forage seed producers’ network – organized by ILRI
· Ethiopian pulses and oil seeds association (EPOSPEA)
· ISSD
· Self-help Africa on Community Seed Development