The MINI project is investigating how to increase the availability of fruits and vegetables in nutritionally vulnerable markets in Bihar, India. The barriers to this goal are numerous, ranging from the inferior prices offered to farmers in smaller markets, to the typically weaker purchasing power of rural consumers.
Recently, ILRI and partners have implemented participatory processes in the construction of SD models. Such techniques (termed “group model building” or “mediated modelling”) involve the careful organization of several focus group sessions with 10-15 value chain stakeholders. The participants articulate value chain problems, structure, and data that are then used to parametrize working models from which scenarios can be jointly developed and discussed.
Recently, ILRI researchers from the Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods (PIL) Program and the collaborative CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) developed and implemented a two-day training curriculum on equity and gender for the finalists from the first veterinary class at Malawi’s Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Both the bone and tallow value chains are short, use low-value inputs, produce relatively low-valued products and are complementary. To better harness their potential contribution to improved economic growth, the study recommends that value addition should be adopted. This can be achieved by slaughtering, processing and exporting chilled carcasses/packaged meat and by investing in the transformation and processing of livestock by-products like hides and skins, and bones, tallow and horns.
The CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative (GBI) envisions the development of a comprehensive toolbox aimed at the analysis and incorporation of gender perspectives from the very beginning of a breeding program, right through to implementation and impact assessment.
A recent study in Nicaragua shows that despite the growing popularity of learning alliances, it is difficult to quantify whether they increase the capacity of partners compared to other networks with similar goals. Researchers from ILRI and the Georg-August-Universitåt in Germany evaluated the business relationship constructs of trust and capacity development in the Nicaraguan Learning Alliance.
Dairy is an important contributor to the nation’s economy in Nicaragua. Cattle production accounts for 45% of the national agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 32% of exports by value. An improved cattle feeding system is a profitable investment that can increase cow milk yields in the country.