Market-oriented development innovations in the smallholder goat value chain in southwestern Zimbabwe

15 Mar 2013. ICRISAT, ESA (2012) Crop-livestock intensification in Zimbabwe: Closing the loop to sustainability.

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    This research report describes inclusive market-oriented development innovations in the smallholder goat value chain in southwestern Zimbabwe. The key actors in the value chain – goat keepers, feed suppliers, meat processors, government animal health agencies, and development organizations – decided to form an association called an ‘innovation platform’ to improve the functioning of the value chain.

    One innovation was for the feed suppliers to increase the supply of feed to rural areas during the feed-short dry season, which improved improved goat health and survival. Another was to build pens where the animals could be safely kept while being sold, reducing theft and streamlining the sales process.

    Auctions were also established to enable small-scale goat keepers to obtain market-competitive prices for their animals instead of losing out to middlemen at the farm gate. Today more than 85% of sales of goats take place at auctions. As a result of these innovations, the amount of money received by goat keepers for each animal has approximately doubled.

    Reference: 19/03/2013. Innovate to Include
    Related: The Inclusive market-oriented development of ICRISAT

    Markets provide the ‘pull’ or demand for goods that increases the income of farmers who provide those goods. But wealthier farmers often capture these market opportunities first, because they have the resources and knowledge to respond quickly. A central challenge is to include the poor in market opportunities. This requires doing research and development in different and innovative ways. ICRISAT calls this strategy to address this challenge ‘Inclusive Market Oriented Development’ (IMOD).

    IMOD is illustrated in the diagram below. The large arrow denotes progress from subsistence agriculture (growing crops only to feed the family – and often falling short of that objective) towards market-oriented agriculture (selling some or all of the farm’s produce for higher income). The wheel represents innovation, which improves the productivity, reliability and sustainability of smallholder farming. These steady improvements allow a farmer to generate increasing surpluses of food and cash, some of which is reinvested in improving the resilience of the farm, thus reducing the need for social assistance such as emergency food aid (the lower triangular elements of the diagram).

      IMOD graph

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