Photo Credit: Apollo Habtamu/ ILRI

Strengthening adaptive capacity of livestock in Ethiopia

An inception workshop was organized by for a new project co-led by AICCRA called Strengthening Adaptive Capacity of Extensive Livestock Systems for Food and Nutrition Security and Low-emissions Development in Eastern and Southern Africa.

This inception workshop was organized by Unique Land Use, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), AICCRA and Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) for a new project called "Strengthening Adaptive Capacity of Extensive Livestock Systems for Food and Nutrition Security and Low-emissions Development in Eastern and Southern Africa" funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). 

Held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the workshop brought together various stakeholders and partners, including the Livestock Development Institute, the University of Gondar and Addis Ababa University, encompassing pastureland breeding researchers, policymakers, and experts.

The primary objective of the inception workshop was to raise awareness and foster understanding of the project among relevant stakeholders and partners in Ethiopia. Additionally, it aimed to explore potential synergies with ongoing initiatives and policy processes while identifying priority research areas for the project.

During the workshop, Dr. Timm Tennigkeit from Unique Land Use emphasized the project's significance in scaling up livestock production innovations with low emissions, all while ensuring food and nutrition security. Scholars presented research findings on topics such as young stock losses, udder health and mastitis, and challenges of community-based breeding programs.

Dr. Timm Tennigkeit from Unique Land Use
Dr. Timm Tennigkeit - Unique Land Use 
Dr. Shimels Wassie, also from Unique Land Use, highlighted the project's unique focus on assessing the effectiveness of existing research projects in livestock system adaptation, greenhouse gas emission mitigation, and food security in Ethiopia. Furthermore, the project explores the interconnectedness of food security, climate change, and gender-related issues. Dr. Wassie emphasized the synergies between increasing livestock productivity, such as achieving greater weight gain or milk yield per animal and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Dr. Shimels Wassie - Unique Land Use
Dr. Yosef Amha, Research consultant at AICCRA East and Southern Africa hosted at ILRI Ethiopia, underscored the organization's contribution to the project, particularly in analyzing past and future climate patterns, climate risks and early warnings, developing suitability maps for animal fodder and feeds, conducting gender and social analyses, and creating climate decision support tools for enhanced adaptation.
Dr. Yosef Amha - AICCRA East and Southern Africa
Presenting on behalf of the University of Gondar, Dr. Tsegaw Fentie highlighted Ethiopia's alarming young stock mortality rates, which stand at approximately 50%. He attributed these high rates to diseases, malnutrition, mismanagement, and environmental impacts. Dr. Fentie recommended disease prevention, improved animal management, and enhanced feeding systems as strategies to reduce mortality.
Dr. Tsegaw Fentie from the University of Gondar

Dr. Tsegaw Fentie - University of Gondar

Dr. Aynalem Haile from ICARDA provided an overview of the Community-Based Breeding Program (CBBP) innovations implemented in collaboration with local communities since 2009. Initially involving eight villages, the CBBP has expanded to over 200 pilot villages and extended to other countries, including Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda. Dr. Haile introduced Dr. Getinet Zelek from ARARI (Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute) and Dr. Deribe Gemiyo from SARI (Southern Agricultural Research Institute) to present the status, achievements, and challenges of CBBP in their respective regions.
Dr. Getinet Zeleke - ARARI

Dr. Shemelis Dagnachew, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Gondar, emphasized the project's collaborative opportunities for capacity building, strengthening postgraduate programs, and advancing research at the university.

Concluding the workshop, a panel discussion prioritized research topics to be undertaken by postgraduate students with project funding. Based on the panel's deliberations, the community-based breeding program and animal health interventions emerged as the focal research areas.


  • Dr. Shigdaf Mekuriaw, Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute
  • Brook Tesfaye Makonnen, AICCRA Ethiopia and East and Southern Africa

AICCRA report

Auma J, Radeny M. 2022. Strengthening Adaptive Capacity of Extensive Livestock Systems for Food and Nutrition Security and Low-emissions Development in Eastern and Southern Africa. AICCRA Inception Report. Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research in Africa (AICCRA).

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