Ensuring that future research is appropriate
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|Networking as a tool to disseminate livestock information and training materials|
A range of useful outputs have been produced to ensure that livestock research has long-lasting benefits for those it was meant to. Part of this work involved ensuring that the lessons already learned from small stock research are applied in the future. To this end, workshops and publications were used to create a vibrant network of researchers all working in related fields. These efforts are complemented by a decision-support tool designed and tested in Africa and Asia to support researchers conducting nutrition studies in livestock. Manuals and text books have also been produced for a range of audiences. Some are designed to control worms in small ruminants, and are aimed at extension workers and veterinarians. Others deal with wider ranging issues like the role livestock can play in wealth creation.
Project Ref: LPP26:
Livestock Production Programme
Relevant Research Projects:
This project was started to link researchers concerned with smallstock studies, initially goats, so that problems and solutions could be shared. Over time other small stock were included. Five workshops (India, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa) were held and proceedings published (see Annex C Key References). From the fourth workshop (2004) three consortia were commissioned to produce advisory material on the conduct of livestock studies to increase the likelihood of success, and aspects of goat management. The main output was a vibrant network.
A decision tool for those planning livestock nutrition studies was prepared (2006). Studies included both on-station and on-farm trials and the check list was completed after extensive discussions with experienced researchers from Africa, Asia and UK
· To promote well thought-out, well designed and managed livestock nutrition studies to ensure that limited access to time, money and physical resources are used to best advantage to deliver valid outputs for the intended beneficiaries
Two technical briefs (Technical manual for worm management in small ruminants (for extensionists) and Management of anthelmintic resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes of small ruminants-A technical brief for veterinarians) were produced (2006). Both briefs address worms, the most serious disease threat to small ruminants.
Goats are the small ruminants most widely kept by smallholder farmers in the tropics and sub-tropics. Because they browse and graze, they use natural grazing efficiently. Many trees and shrubs produce edible fruits, moderately high in protein, which can be collected and stored for periods of acute feed shortages, e.g. late dry season. The publication, ‘The importance of indigenous tree pods and fruits in goat diets‘ (2006), addresses the role of indigenous trees in natural tropical grazing.
Deliberations at workshops of R7798 highlighted the absence of a textbook dealing with livestock keeping and covering both technical and cross-cutting issues. Also only scant information was available on some ‘region-specific’ livestock species. Existing textbooks were generally written by ‘North’ authors often giving a biased perspective to aspirations of developing country farmers and solutions. The textbook, ‘Livestock and wealth creation-improving the husbandry of animals kept by resource-poor people in developing countries‘ (2005), addresses these issues.
Dissemination of knowledge to all stakeholders engaged in keeping small stock. The net-working, based on regular meetings and personal contacts, established through the meetings bridged two continents and several countries. Flexibility allowed development from a goat network to one covering all small stock species. The network played a major role in the development of ‘Livestock and Wealth Creation‘ (Owen et al., 2005), as well as the consortia reports.
A check list to ensure livestock studies are well managed and relevant to the needs of the resource-poor:
The current publications and planned activities apply across all farming systems
Networking, sharing of ideas and training have a major influence on the inpact of research and development aimed at the resource-poor. The model used here for the exchange of problems, methodologies and solutions, through themed workshops and use of the web make communication between practitioners with common interests possible. Further consortia groupings should be considered.
A follow-up to ‘Livestock and wealth creation’ covering feeding strategies to overcome feed scarcity is recommended. Inadequate feed in the dry season is the major constraint facing most resource-poor livestock producers. Technical knowledge (e.g. on fibrous crop residues R5188, R6619) is available but scattered. One publication, with emphasis on practical application within the resource-poor smallholder livestock system, is needed.
These activities are aimed at human resource development within the cadre of stakeholders responsible for developing and supporting the livestock industry and its practitioners in the field.
The outputs of this cluster of projects link with:
How the outputs were validated:
All the products produced (except ZC0305 which is in press) have been widely circulated in Africa, especially East, West and Southern Africa, and Asia (Bangladesh, India and Nepal).
All the contributors were recognised research workers in either universities research institutions or extension services. The workshops (R7798) brought together stakeholders with similar interests and problems so that so that solutions and dissemination pathways could be discussed and pooled. The outputs of R7798 are aimed at all stakeholders involved with small stock, including policy makers, researchers, extensionists and NGOs, with the intention that relevant information should trickle down to farmers (farmers were invited to the workshops).
At the Uganda workshop (Masaka, 2004) consortia were charged with addressing selected problem on a multi-national basis and three consortia reports have been prepared. The decision check list (ZC0289) is designed for young researchers, extension workers, technicians and their line managers involved in livestock nutrition studies. The objectives are to increase the efficiency with which development resources are utilised and to ensure prompt delivery of proven outputs to the farmer. The other consortia reports are expected to be used by vets, animal health workers (ZC0304, worm control in small stock and management of anthelmintic resistance) and general extensionists (including NGOs) (ZC0305, role of indigenous trees in small stock production).
Livestock and Wealth Creation (ZC0213) was written, for university and college lecturers and their students, as an overview of the problems of resource-poor livestock keepers in the developing world, and opportunities for wealth creation and alleviation of poverty through better livestock husbandry. Validation was by virtue of the fact that the book was written using a participatory approach and involved 107 livestock specialists (65 from developing countries) from 28 countries.
Where the Outputs were Validated:
All the products should be regarded as cross-cutting and relevant to all production and farming systems, although R7798 and ZC0305 are probably most relevant in the smallholder dry/cold farming system.
All have been subjected to widespread and critical peer review.
Who are the Users?
All the publications developed within this project have been made freely available to lecturers, students and researchers in universities, colleges and research institutions, extension staff and NGOs. Relevant information has been included in the small stock toolbox (ZC0243) and the coping strategies toolbox and individual project reports.
Where the outputs have been used:
Scale of Current Use:
With printed material the scale of use is not measurable. Distribution was achieved and material is still being requested. In the future an impact assessment, e.g. number of citations in recognised journals for Livestock and wealth creation is a possibility.
Policy and Institutional Structures, and Key Components for Success:
The link (R7798) brought together scientists and researchers with a common interest and purpose. The outputs from this exercise (ZC0289, 0304, 0305 and 0213) are intended to assist in disseminating knowledge at all levels of activity; to help researchers improve the quality of their outputs, through carefully researched and planned studies carried out efficiently (cf researcher outputs are the basis of successful technology development; to ensure that extensionists, NGOs etc. have relevant technologies to transfer to farmers; and that farmers are presented with options relevant to solving the constraints facing them). The transfer of information has been greatly assisted by the development of on-farm trial techniques, ranging from researcher-managed to farmer-managed and implemented trials, and involvement of extension workers and NGOs at all stages. The involvement of stakeholders has given a ‘hands-on’ perspective to printed material and a willingness amongst trainers to use the material (e.g. in farmer-field school manuals).
Lessons Learned and Uptake Pathways
Promotion of Outputs:
This activity produced a model for networking which needs fostering. Links formed during the duration of the project are still active (Bangladesh, Agricultural University, Mymensingh; India, Baif, Development Research Foundation; Kenya, Farm Africa; Nepal Agroforestry Foundation; South Africa, Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute;Tanzania, Sokoine University of Agriculture; Uganda, Farm Network; Zimbabwe, Matopos Research Station).
Distribution has included all known relevant university departments and research services. It is envisaged that all these countries and groups would want to be involved in further activities.
Potential Barriers Preventing Adoption of Outputs:
How to Overcome Barriers to Adoption of Outputs:
The model for networking across the small stock sector in several countries and involving several stakeholders should be maintained, communication being via email with online publications with occasional workshops in target regions, perhaps on a regional basis.
This publication should be supported by a further publication covering strategic feeding to alleviate constraints in periods of feed shortages, and make greater use of locally available feeds such as fibrous crop residues (R5188, R6619)
Not directly applicable but support and training of extension workers, research workers is essential to get knowledge effectively disseminated to poor people
Impacts On Poverty
Poverty Impact Studies:
The outputs from this cluster are concerned with human resource development. Their impact is aimed at those involved in the process of developing and disseminating information. The intention is to improve both the technology generated and the pathways used to inform farmers. However, no impact studies have been carried out.
How the Poor have Benefited (including gender and other poverty groups):
For this cluster it is not possible to give an objective assessment. However, the outputs have been generated to improve the quality, efficiency of procurement, relevance and timeliness of the support available to the resource-poor. Continuous training and sharing of ideas, supported by information relevant to the poor, is needed for impact.
Direct and Indirect Environmental Benefits:
The outputs all promote responsible livestock production, thereby minimising the effects of degradation and pollution.
Adverse Environmental Impacts:
Promotion of technology that can increase livestock numbers without consideration of controlled marketing can have an adverse effect on the environment. This criticism is often levelled at goats, but controlled goat keeping is often the best entry point into ruminant production. Environmental issues should be included in training programmes.
Coping with the Effects of Climate Change, or Risk from Natural Disasters:
Because of the likelihood of climate change, especially global warming, livestock researchers should address the problems of desertification (Smith and Wangiri, 1996) and nutrition, particularly forage production, in an increasingly arid environment. Because of the lack of research resources, all studies should be well planned and this output indicates how this should be achieved.
A series of Livestock Production Programme (LPP) programmes were linked to promote: (1) the sharing of good practice between the projects; (2) awareness and training in rigorous experimental approaches; (3) the importance of appropriate dissemination techniques for research and development programmes; (4) assessment of the impact of the programmes; (5) development of multi-national programmes to improve the impact of the individual projects. The project was originally conceived to involve three projects involving the use of tanniniferous feeds in small ruminant production. The success of the initial collaborations indicated that there was considerable potential in this approach and the programme was extended to cover many of the LPP projects involving small stock. The main activities of the project was the organisation of five workshops, each held in a target region and as the project developed involving increasing numbers of local farmers, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), national agricultural research services (NARS) and donors. The proceedings of four of the workshops were published. In addition five multi-national projects were established. Four focussed upon dissemination of information relevant to the impact of small stock on the livelihood of resource-poor farmers and one on the effective and efficient design of animal nutrition studies. A network of workers in development from 20 different counties was established. As a result of the activities the impact of the individual projects was greater than the sum of the individual projects.
(i) Smith, T., Godfrey, S.H., Buttery, P.J. and Owen, E. (ed.). 2002. Helping smallstock keepers enhance their livelihoods: improving management of smallholder owned sheep and goats by utilising local resources‘: Proceedings of the second DFID Livestock Production Programme Link Project (R7798) Workshop for smallstock keepers. Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania, Tanzania 8-10 January 2002. Natural Resources International Ltd., Aylesford, Kent, UK, ISBN:09539274-4-x
Theme: The need for experimental rigor in undertaking animal studies associated with livestock development
(ii) Smith, T. Godfrey, S.H., Buttery, P.J., Owen, E. (ed.). (2004). The contribution of small ruminants in alleviating poverty: communicating messages from research: Proceedings of the third DFID Livestock Production Programme Link Project (R7798) workshop for small ruminant keepers. Izaak Walton Inn, Embu, Kenya, 4-7 February 2003. Natural Resources International Ltd., Aylesford, Kent, UK,
Theme: The importance of and techniques used for communicating the messages of development research.
(iii) Smith, T., Godfrey, S.H., Ssewannyana, E., Buttery, P.J. and Owen, E. (ed.). (2005). Small stock in development: Proceedings of a workshop on enhancing the contribution of small livestock to the livelihoods of resource-poor communities. Hotel Brovad, Masake, Uganda, 15-19 November 2004. Natural Resources International Ltd., Aylesford, Kent, UK.
Theme: Continued development of skills in dissemination with more emphasis on a wide range of small stock. The value of combining the expertise and knowledge developed in individual projects from different target regions explored and as a result four multinational dissemination projects were instigated.
(iv) Smith, T., Vatta. A.F., Buttery, P.J., Owen, E. and Richards W.I. (ed.). Making a difference: improving the livelihoods of resource-poor small stock keepers’. Proceedings of a workshop ‘Improving The Well-Being Of Resource-Poor Communities – The Role Of Small Livestock’ in Howick South Africa between 12th to 15 th September. Natural Resources International Ltd., Aylesford, Kent, UK. (available as a CD).
Theme: The impact of small stock on the livelihoods of communities. This workshop included visits and subsequent workshops on the impact of small stock on the nutrition and health of both rural and urban communities.
Three projects involving international consortia and focusing on dissemination of information relevant to the contribution of small stock to the well-being of resource-poor farmers delivered outputs
(i)The importance of indigenous tree fruits (pods) and foliage in goat diets (ZC0305)
J. L. N. Sikosana1, B. R. Banstola2, H. K. Shrestha3, M. M. Hossain4, R. H. Sarwer4, J. Kabirizi5 and F. Ejobi6
1Department of Agricultural Research and Extension, Matopos Research Station, Private Bag K 5137, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; 2Bovine Research Programme, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, PO Box 1950, Kathmandu, Nepal; 3Planning Division, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Singhdarbar Plaza, PO Box 5459, Kathmandu, Nepal; 4Department of Animal Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh; 5Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Institute, PO Box 7084, Kampala, Uganda; 6Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Makerere University, PO Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
(ii)Joint dissemination of outputs from LPP-funded projects: Preparation and production of: 1 “A Technical Manual for Worm Management in Small Ruminants”; 2) “Management of anthelmintic resistence in gastrointestinal nematodes of small ruminants” (ZC 0304)
R.A. Max1, M.L Jayaswal2, A. F. Vatta3, A. A. Kassuku1, A. E. Kimambo1 and L. A. Mtenga1
1Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania; 2New Era, Kathmandu, Nepal; 3Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (OVI), South Africa.
(iii) A decision-making checklist for animal nutrition studies in livestock development (ZC0289)
P.J. Buttery, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK.
E. Owen, Formerly of Department of Agriculture, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Earley Gate, P.O. Box 237, Reading RG6 6AR, UK.
T. Smith, Formerly of Department of Agriculture, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Earley Gate, P.O. Box 237, Reading RG6 6AR, UK.
A. Akbar, Department of Animal Nutrition, Bangladesh Agricultutal University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh.
J.N. Clatworthy, 3 The Mead, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0EY, UK.
M. Hossain, Department of Animal Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh.
A.E. Kimambo, Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania.
A. Kitalyi, Regional Land Management, Unit, (RELMA) at World Agroforestry Centre, (ICRAF), P.O. Box 30677, Nairobi 00100, Kenya.
B.A. Lukuyu, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre – Muguga, P.O. Box 30148, Nairobi, Kenya.
R.M. Max, Department of Veterinary Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3017, Morogoro, Tanzania.
L.A. Mtenga,, Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania.
D.M. Mwangi, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, P.O. Box 57811-00200, City Square, Nairobi, Kenya.
E.M. Nengomasha, Department of Agricultural Research and Extension, Henderson Research Station, P. Bag 2004, Mazowe, Zimbabwe.
R.A. Pearson, Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Division of Animal Health and Welfare, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK.
J.I. Richards, NR International, Park House, Bradbourne Lane, Aylesford, Kent ME20 6SN, UK.
J.L.N. Sikosana, Department of Agricultural Research and Extension, Matopos Research Station, P. Bag K5317, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Although not directly managed by the Link Project, the Link and its members were instrumental in developing the concept of and producing a new animal science textbook specifically designed for the target regions of the LPP. The book has 107 authors from 28 countries. The 600 page textbook is aimed at universities, agricultural colleges and similar training establishments as well as extension officers, research and development workers. The full citation is:
Owen, E., Kitalyi, A., Jayasuriya, N. and Smith, T. (ed.) (2005). Livestock and wealth creation: improving the husbandry of livestock kept by resource-poor people in developing countries. Nottingham University Press, Nottingham, UK
Smith, T. and Wangiri, (1996). Desertification control and natural resource management: case studies from SADC countries. United Nations Education and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO), Dakar, Senegal.
Relevant Research Projects, with links to the