Techfit development meeting, Addis Ababa, May 23-24


Group photo

Background

At the last Techfit Development meeting in Addis Ababa a series of actions were agreed.

From May 23-24, 2013, a group of people met to take some of these tasks forward.

Areas worked on included:


Detailed actions are mentioned on each page; overall actions here

The group identified potential techfit (and FEAST) test locations:
africa rising
milkit
nicaragua dairy
SPVCD Uganda
CRP Humidtropics in nigeria and kenya
CLW SE Asia
Ethiopia small ruminants / SNV / Hawassa Univ

Work on the design of the tool continues after the workshop; A FEAST user group will be planned for later. Other actions are listed here

Day 1

Time
Activity
Person
Notes
09:00
Welcome and intros
Peter

09:15
Overview of Techfit


Alan
FEAST – in Fodder Adoption Project (FAP) – started by Alan and Werner
Feed often very isolated issue and not placed in broader livelihood context; pushed by research institutions – lack of farmer ownership; è FEAST
Lack of how interventions fit the context, i.e. land, labour, cash, knowledge; è TechFit
Recent development is a Data Aggregator for easy download of the data
  • how to better connect the different challenges, map them and show that they are interlinked?
  • one issue is that researchers take the quantitative data more important than the PRA outputs!
See flow chart:



Who will be the users? Extension workers + researchers – all? We need to very precisely write the manual with all necessary details.
09:30
Steps so far
Alan
TechFit – an attempt to deal with a more systematic approach – decision support tool – started in Dehradun, India, Sept. 2011.

Core concept – key context attributes (land, labour, cash/credit, input delivery, and knowledge); following steps are:
List of technologies all scored according to the same attributes
Match context with technologies; Key context attributes x Key technology attributes = Score
Filters, then cost-benefit assessment;
Final output – ideas for promising feed interventions and understanding why some of the favourites from researchers often do not work;

New filters – already in use yes/no? potential mitigate constraints – score on seasonality, quality, biomass quantity. Applicability to commodity (beef, dairy, sheep/goats, pigs/ poultry). Applicability to farming systems (pastoral, agro-pastoral, mixed, commercial grassland).
10:00
Reflections on Techfit


Werner
There has to be enough feed – even small amounts added will immediately translate into more production. Ad libitum feeding is not an intervention (quantity first!). Smart feeding next step – increase quality – where quantity is enough. Quantity available then needs to be seen regarding main constraints, like dry/cold season, or rainy season or generally quantity. Voluntary feed intake is highly related to feed quality. Michael B, assumption that animals would eat more of the same (low feed quality) feed stuff, is too simplistic.

How to weigh changes of a new intervention vs. current practice – e.g. labor for planting forages vs. supervised herding, which requires lots of labor; also we have not gotten any gender aspect in the scores!
10:15
Designing the tasks and assigning participants to groups
Peter

10:30
Coffee


11:00
Group work

We divide into groups based on agreed tasks
12:30
Lunch


14:00
Group work continued


15:30
Tea/coffee


15:45
Cross-group reporting and review

We review together progress of each group and feed in ideas to stimulate further work
16:45
Day 1 wrap up and Day 2 task development

Based on the above discussion we set up further tasks for Day 2

Day 2

Time
Activity
Person
Notes
09:00
Reminder of group work tasks
Peter
progress report on day 1
15:30
Agreeing next steps and wrap up
Alan

Wrap up


Werner + scoring group: group very diverse with different backgrounds + origins, but no major disagreements among group members; all scores done – but reasons for scores have not been captured as yet; need to do descriptions; need to get back to compare what individuals (Werner + Harindar) scored against the current group scoring; test it and see what calculations are producing and check whether algorithms are right; there was no major disagreement between cattle, sheep/goats regarding breeding. All rows were ok; columns also ok.
Row descriptions should come with the Fact sheets; column descriptions rather in the manual.
Testing is needed, could be with some existing FEAST data. Testing should be done through the upcoming FEASTs – AfricaRising in Ethiopia and Tanzania. è new FEAST needs to come up rapidly.
Will there be any gathering of feeds experts to check through?
Sensitivity analysis would need to be done to really roll out.

Alan on FEAST: existing data from FEAST can generate some of the information on seasonality; some questions need to be added to the questionnaire; it will be difficult to use existing FEAST reports to run the TechFit.

Adrian on the Fact sheets: what still has to be done? Draft needs to be circulated (on the wiki); link them with scoring system; write a few examples (Ben, Harindar Makkar, Eduardo).

Keith on the Manual: description of the TechFit Tool; introduction; step-by-step how to use the tool; glossary; 50 pp.? – by July?

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA): Padma mentioned the actions
Tool design: Peter Thorne
Adoptability: Brigitte still to finalize.

News item/story for the Blog: Peter Ballantyne.
16:30
Close






Participants

Name
From
e-mail address
Adrian Bolliger
CIAT
a.bolliger@cgiar.org
Adugna Tolera
Hawassa University
atolera@yahoo.com
Alan Duncan
ILRI
a.duncan@cgiar.org
Alexandra Jorge
ILRI
a.jorge@cgiar.org
Barbara Rischkowsky
ICARDA
b.rischkowsky@cgiar.org
Biruk Hailu
FAO
burew2@gmail.com
Brigitte Maass
CIAT
b.maass@cgiar.org
Danilo Pezo
ILRI
d.pezo@cgiar.org
Eduardo Somarriba
CATIE
esomarri@catie.ac.cr
Firehiwot Tesfaye
Send a Cow
firetsaceth@ethionet.et
Isabelle Baltenweck
ILRI
i.baltenweck@cgiar.org
Keith Sones
Independent
ksones@africaonline.co.ke
Lemma Gizachew
FAO
Lemma.Gizachew@fao.org
Martin Mena
CIAT
m.a.mena@cgiar.org
Michael Blummel
ILRI
m.blummel@cgiar.org
Michael Peters
CIAT
m.peters-ciat@cgiar.org
Nicholas Nyathi
SNV
nnyathi@snvworld.org
Padmakumar
ILRI
v.padmakumar@cgiar.org
Peter Ballantyne
ILRI
p.ballantyne@cgiar.org
Peter Thorne
ILRI
p.thorne@cgiar.org
Rein van der Hoek
CIAT
r.vanderhoek@cgiar.org
Shirley Tarawali
ILRI
s.tarawali@cgiar.org
Tsehay Regassa
ILRI
tsehayregassa@yahoo.com
Werner Stur
Independent
stur@warrawilla.com.au