Pro-poor livestock research and development

RELOAD Postdoc Dr. Margareta Lelea presented results from RELOAD at the 16th annual meeting of the Inter-Agency Donor Group (IADG) on pro-poor livestock research and development in Berlin, November 18-20, 2015.

Her presentation titled, “Enabling change through transdisciplinary knowledge creation processes: Multi-actor approaches in food value chain research in East Africa” summarized work obtained across several RELOAD subprojects, including social science, dairy and meat.

It shows how collaborative learning methodologies and multi-stakeholder platforms can lead to changes of practice based on a joint understanding of problems and constraints that need to be addressed in the research process.

For example, dairy farmers from Nakuru County, Kenya, have increased silage production to level seasonal variations in milk production. They have also implemented a system of regular milk testing and record keeping, which some also apply to their other agricultural activities. The diffusion of these innovative practices happens through the farmers’ own networks.

Actors along pastoral meat supply chains in Northern Kenya have started a platform to facilitate collaboration and improve communication between producers and the demand-side. As a result of dialog with government officials, they achieved that multiple taxation on repeated animal sales at different market locations has been stopped while the issue is investigated further at the County level.

Such multi-actor approaches facilitate innovation and changes of practice, in addition to being a form of social innovation in and of themselves. They have a potential to improve social relationships among diverse actors, particularly in situations of instability and change.

The work presented has been developed jointly by researchers and students of the German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL) and relies on their respective contributions to the RELOAD research network.

See the presentation here