Can talking help to improve livestock production? Last Monday we tried. Seven persons working on livestock production held a 10-minute-presentation about what they could do for the other attendants at the meeting, followed by a speeddating event to link up people who never met before. Speeddating meant this meeting to talk to a person you don’t know before and get in 4 minutes to know what he/she can do for you and what you can do in return to him/her. This resulted in a better understanding of the initiatives that were going on and will hopefully result in future collaboration to achieve improved productivity at farms.
A little bit more information about the situation. Debre Zeyit is a good location to produce crops and grow livestock, as told in earlier blogs and found in different publications. Besides the local farmers, other people have observed this and many initiatives are going on. This gives excellent opportunities to work together on agricultural production. Local organisations have already established some focus groups on different subjects, but the private sector has not been involved intensely yet. However, the private sector is very well developed and gives good opportunities to commercially develop the agricultural sector.
Therefore, this meeting was organised by the local government office, the local research organisation and myself to link up all these stakeholders. The program included presentations about:
– The research/government program of the last years and the coming months: where can the other stakeholders be involved?
– Maize silage production and sales and the establishment of a dairy farm with training opportunities
– Insemination problems for dairy cows: what are the solutions? Addis Abeba University branch in Debre Zeyit did research and found solutions. They can be further involved in analysing problems and will work on this issue further on.
– The possibilities of the commercial poultry farm and future plans for a training centre and distribution of laying hens to local farmers
– Using Effective Microorganisms to improve animal health and productivity
– The possibilities of obtaining finance for investments in the agricultural sector by the largest bank of Ethiopia
In total, almost 35 persons were present. Some of them are farmers, others working for dairy cooperatives, the government extension office, a veterinary institute, research organisations, a bank, a feed factory, and many others involved in farming. So the mission during the speeddates was to get to know the person you never met before or never have spoken to before. This resulted in direct win-win situations: a farmers’ group got an agreement with the bank for funds for their initiatives (they had been searching for funds for almost 2 years already) and the manager of a large farm got new hope for his low laying percentage of the hens by trying effective microorganisms. Many other deals were made.
The private sector and local government office will follow up this meeting and hopefully this will result in sharing knowledge and resources to improve productivity and earn a good income with that!