Empowering small-scale farmers towards the SDGs through participative, innovative and sustainable livestock and poultry value chains (LPVCs)

Project consortium and fund

  • PI Daniel Muluwork Atsbeha (NIBIO) Daniel.Muluwork.Atsbeha@nibio.no
  • Coordinator Giovanna Ottaviani Aalmo (NIBIO) Giovanna.ottaviani.aalmo@nibio.no
  • Divina Gracia Rodriguez (NIBIO) divina.rodriguez@nibio.no
  • Wilhemina Quaye (SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE) quayewilhemina@yahoo.com
  • Ibrahima Niang (INSTITUTE OF  FOOD TECHNOLOGY) ibniang@ita.sn
  • José Maria Díaz Puente (UNIVERSITA POLITECNICA DE MADRID) jm.diazpuente@upm.es

Thematic and geographic area of the project:

SPEAR will investigate livestock and poultry production interventions targeting sustainable food security, food technology and safety, food value chain and rural development and agricultural economy. A systems perspective is employed to initiate participatory approach to value chain analysis, technology development and ex-ante impact assessment of interventions.

  • Sustainable food security
  • Animal sciences
  • Food technology and safety
  • Food value-chain
  • Rural development and agricultural economy

Project’s summary/abstract:                    

The overall objective of SPEAR is to improve the livelihoods of small-scale livestock and poultry farmers by improving the productivity and quality of local livestock and poultry value chains (LPVCs) in Senegal, Ghana, and Kenya through research (e.g., identifying constraints and opportunities for sustainable production and consumption) and innovation (e.g., insect meals as an animal feed and new livestock and poultry based products with long shelf life) that will contribute to policy

SPEAR is mainly articulated around five work packages:

  1. Management and Coordination Platform;
  2. Investigation of constraints and opportunities for improving productivity and quality of local LPVCs;
  3. Development of participatory value chain modeling framework;
  4. Participatory research on LPVCs – “from the lab to the mud” focusing on developing low cos t- and nutrient-rich food supplements from local cereals and insects and new livestock and poultry based products, and
  5. Outreach and Learning to enhance innovation capacity.

The novelty of our research lies in the combination of two approaches:

  1. value chain analysis and
  2. participatory modeling, to create a participatory value chain modelling (PVCM) approach.

Various stakeholders will be involved to integrate scientific knowledge with indigenous and local knowledge, which is often disregarded but can provide valuable insights, in the value chain analysis.

SPEAR will bring stakeholders more inclusively into the planning and decision-making process that can:

  • strengthen stakeholders’ capacity to make informed decisions,
  • enhance stakeholders’ sense of ownership and implementation success,
  • build sustainable business links for different LPVC actors, and
  • increase policy uptake.

A virtual leaning lab (VLL) for knowledge exchange, which can be an important information resource for LPVC stakeholders, will also be established.

Project’s main objective(s):                                         

SPEAR’s overall objective is to improve productivity and quality on local livestock and poultry value chains (LPVCs).

Specifically, the project seeks to:

  1. Research-focused: develop and test a Participatory Value Chain Modelling approach for the analysis of local livestock and poultry value chains together with partner African countries to identify with a collective effort, evidence-based challenges and opportunities related to production and marketing of livestock and poultry products by small-scale farmers, especially women and youth;
  2. Innovation-focused: provide small-scale farmers with evidence-based tools and practices to empower them with knowledge and technologies to raise productivity and meet quality and sanitary standards; and
  3. Policy-focused: provide policymakers with evidence-based strategies to enhance the smallholders’ ability to compete in the livestock markets.

Theory of Change and Impact Pathway

Summary ToC with assumptions                         

SPEAR is designed based on the following assumptions:

  • small-scale producers are interested to increase their productivity and quality of their products and are actively trying to do so, and
  • the institutional setup to establish and promote quality standards in LPVCs exists.

Farmers are often unable to increase production and meet quality standards by adopting productivity- and quality-enhancing technologies unless the value chains for their products are sufficiently developed and dynamic.

SPEAR will enhance the contribution of agriculture research outputs to food and nutrition security  through three major impact pathways:

  • research linking supply and demand issues to understand LPVCs & identify the interventions required,
  • innovation activities strengthening farmers ability to participate in LPVCs, and
  • policy/ies promoting sustainable LPVCs.

The research and innovation component of the project is divided into four task groups:

  1. assessing farm level performance,
  2. taking a system perspective of the value chain;
  3. identify high leverage points that can register large effects at minimum effort, and
  4. address the innovation needs that can arise in the process.

SPEAR’s multidisciplinary team will work together with different stakeholders to identify and address challenges and opportunities in LPVCs.  To maximize the synergy effect, the VLL will serve as a platform for interaction among and beyond the project framework.

Expected outcomes and impact:                          

IMPACT: Smallholder farmers have improved livelihoods in Senegal, Ghana, and Kenya (Sustainable Development Goals on No Poverty(1), Zero Hunger (2), and Responsible Production and Consumption (12)).

Outcome 1: Improved livestock and poultry productivity and product quality of smallholders

SPEAR will improve smallholders’ livelihood through the

  1. development of innovative outcomes,
  2. provision of technical information and knowledge on meeting livestock-poultry quality standards and challenges, and
  3. country-specific participatory learning approach among LPVCs actors.

By focusing on participatory approaches, SPEAR can bring smallholders more inclusively into the policy decision-making process and allow them to communicate their demands more effectively. By also engaging women and youth in forums and development activities, policymakers can be more sensitive in formulating policies that position women and youth as central to food and nutrition security.

Outcome 2: Improved coordination along the value chain

SPEAR country assessment reports will include identified technological and institutional entry points in the value chain improving the livestock-poultry productivity and product quality, and exit points where production losses and low-quality outputs can be prevented. Also, SPEAR’s systems planning tools and metrics for quantifying LPVC performance can improve assessment of causal value chain mechanisms/policies. By using systems modelling, SPEAR can evaluate and prioritize between different policy choices and help policymakers make better decisions.

Outcome 3: Improved uptake of innovation

Building smallholders’ technical and managerial skills in a manner that complements their indigenous knowledge and capacity needs will likely increase the speed of innovation adoption and strengthen their engagement in the LPVCs. SPEAR will conduct farmers’ training and provide training modules for best practices in livestock-poultry production and quality management.