Value chains

It is almost a year since Kees Swaans presented this paper at an international workshop on New models for innovation for development held at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom in July 2013, but we are now pleased to share with you the open source article:

Operationalizing inclusive innovation: Lessons from innovation platforms in livestock value chains in India and Mozambique

The CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems contributed financially to make this an open source publication.

Swaans K, Boogaard B, Bendapudi R, Taye H, Hendrickx S and Klerkx L. 2014. Operationalizing inclusive innovation: lessons from innovation platforms in livestock value chains in India and Mozambique. Innovation and Development. DOI 10.1080/2157930X.2014.925246

The imGoats project team recently finalized two short photo stories about the project site in Udaipur (Rajasthan State, India) and Inhassoro (Inhambane province, Mozambique). The photo stories outline the situation before and after the project intervention regarding goat production and commercialization.

Improving livelihoods through goat rearing and commercialisation in India



Improving livelihoods through goat rearing and commercialisation in Mozambique

On 13 August 2013, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and BAIF Development Research Foundation hosted a small ruminant policy meeting at the Park Hotel in New Delhi, India. This activity was part of the imGoats project.

Over 50 participants were present, including representatives from central and state government, agricultural research institutes, development organizations and the private sector.

There were sessions on innovations and stakeholder linkages, market linkages, and service delivery and community-led extension. Each session had two presentations which were followed by lively debates from a panel of experts and the participants.

The main findings of the meeting are outlined below:

  • In India, two sectors of small ruminant production co-exist: smallholders in semi-arid and arid regions and commercial farmers. The increased demand for goat and sheep meat offers an opportunity for both sectors to grow. There is also a good opportunity to maximize the use of by-products that are currently unused for the most part.
  • Because of the diversity of these two sectors, their respective needs with regard to training and services are different, as is the case for their policy needs.
  • Of importance is the organization of smallholder producers into self-help groups that will eventually evolve into cooperatives. Other institutional models can be explored to stimulate linkages with the private sector.
  • Important measures of success include widespread adoption by smallholders of improved animal health, breeding and feeding practices, as well as improved interaction among value chain actors to enhance smallholder market participation. For the private sector, compliance with internationally recognized certification standards, such as ISO International Standards, is important to ensure high-value market participation in India and access to export markets.

On 13 June 2013, the imGoats Inhassoro innovation platform held its ninth meeting at Vulanjane, Inhassoro, Mozambique. It was the last meeting with project support.

In total 16 people participated. The meeting was facilitated by IP president Joao. It was a very good and promising meeting, in which potential goat sales and the future of the IP was discussed. The IP members were motivated to continue the meetings after the project, saying that they ‘can do it on their own now’.

The participants made the following agreements:
- Two goat sales points will be created in the district: in Vulanjane and Mangugumete
- The abattoir in Vilanculos wants to buy around 100 goats per month, on every 2nd Wednesday of the month. The first sales will occur on the 10th of July 2013. Payments will be done in cash. IP participants will inform community members. Paravets will make an inventory of the available animals in their community.
- Next IP meeting: Thursday 18th July.

Due to project ending, the report of the 9th IP meeting is the last report. It can be downloaded here:


We have published research briefs that summarize results of baseline studies that characterized smallholder goat production and marketing systems in Udaipur District, Rajasthan State, India and Inhassoro District, Mozambique.

You may access the briefs via the links below.

On 7 March 2013, the imGoats Inhassoro innovation platform held its eighth meeting at Chitsotso, Inhassoro, Mozambique. It was the third innovation platform meeting where participants came by their own transport.  Twenty-seven participants took part in the meeting including producers, community leaders, paraveterinarians, extension officers and researchers.

The meeting was held at the goat farm of Jan and Joey Bean, who are South African private investors and goat keepers. They have a goat farm in Chitsotso – an imGoats project community – with more than 200 crossbred goats (Mozambican Landim and South African Boerbok).  Jan and Joey expressed their interest in cooperating with the imGoats project participants. The main objective of the meeting was therefore to explore possible options for cooperation.

The following options were explored: 1) commercialization and 2) use of improved breed (Boerbok). With regard to commercialization, Jan expressed interest in buying goats from the project participants. He suggested that he could collect goats from the communities with his own transport if participants aggregate about 10 to 20 goats at once. This led to a discussion on the price; 30 to 35 Mozambique meticais (MtN) per kilogram was too low according to the producers – they wanted MtN 40 to 45 per kilogram. It was agreed that between 5 and 15 April 2013, Jan and Joey will visit a few communities and buy goats as ‘pilot sales’ in order to explore what price is realistic.

At the next – and final – IP meeting at the end of April, experiences about the ‘pilot sales’ will be shared and possibilities for further cooperation will be explored.

Download the report of the eighth imGoats Inhassoro innovation platform meeting

Participants at the 8th imGoats Inhassoro innovation platform meeting

As the imGoats project enters its final six months, the whole team gathered in Udaipur, India from 2-6 July 2012 to participate in a learning and reflection workshop on the activities completed so far and the work still remaining.

On the sidelines of the workshop, Amosse Alberto Maheme, imGoats project officer at CARE Mozambique, shared some of his reflections on the workshop activities, his experiences with applying the theory of Outcome Mapping in the field, and his outlook for the final six months of the project and the sustainability of the activities already implemented.

Listen to what he had to say in this short video (3.46 min).

As the imGoats project enters its final six months, the whole team has gathered in Udaipur, India from 2-6 July 2012 to participate in a Learning and Reflection Workshop on the activities completed so far and the work still remaining.

On day one of this week’s workshop, BAIF Trustee and Principal Adviser, N.G. Hegde took time out to answer a few questions. He spoke about the role played by BAIF in imGoats, and his observations of the project so far:

N. G. Hegde, BAIF Trustee and Adviser, imGoats Learning and Reflection Workshop, 2-6 Jul 2012, Udaipur, India (Photo credit: ILRI/Kara Brown)

What is your role (and the role of BAIF) in the imGoats project?

I’ve been involved from the very beginning, from the stage of project conception. Earlier at BAIF we ran a goat development project in West Bengal, way back in 2005. This proved some success, and we saw the potential for wider implementation. However, we were not very happy with the marketing aspect – the farmers were still struggling to get a good price for their goats. With the imGoats project, I wanted to make sure, personally, that BAIF brought with us earlier experience from West Bengal so that, through interaction with ILRI, the new project would incorporate both our combined experiences and also solve some of our unsolved questions.

What have you observed over the past year and a half since the inception of imGoats? Any key milestones or significant lessons learned?

The project is moving in the right direction – it’s progressing well. Firstly, we were able to form very good groups; we were able to place good people, well trained staff; and bring together a great deal of international experience and technology. We also established producers hubs and innovation platforms, which we never had in earlier projects. We had no experience, but faith in the wisdom of ILRI, and so far we have been very happy. We’ve established good relations with the Animal Husbandry department of the Government, which helps interaction between officials and farmers & goat keepers.

We’ve also seen a change at the ‘middleman’ level (traders and butchers). Initially, farmers and goat keepers had no direct link with butchers and traders, and the traders had no sympathy for the farmers. So exploitation used to be there. But, gradually, the traders began to interact more with the goat keepers and were able to understand their plight, understand and appreciate the hard work of the farmers so are now open to help. In any business, establishing a dialogue and concern for each other is a good opening for the future. So, to that extent, we are extremely hopeful that in the future these people will have better bargaining power.

Thirdly, never before in Rajasthan had farmers the idea of weighing their goats before sale. Today, most of the goat keepers now weigh their goats well before selling, and now say to the traders “this is my price…”, instead of the other way around. This is a tremendous empowerment and we realise that the message has reached them: that marketing of goats should be based on weight and not physical appearance.

So aside from the beneficiaries, what do you hope to see happen from the project team itself over the final 6 months?

Over the next six months we are going to complete any unfinished work, particularly documentation of the project. This includes process assessment as to which activities have contributed more to the beneficiaries, and which have not, and assessing the impact of the various activities. Based on this we will develop a document for good management practices in goat husbandry.

And finally, what could be used from this project in other similar future initiatives across India?

This project has given us a lot of confidence. Firstly to take in new ideas where the Goverment and donors are looking for a short-term opportunity in drought-affected areas, or in areas where agriculture cannot be a major source of livelihood. We have seen that in goat husbandry, the chances of success are more than 90% and the impact of the project can be seen in a short period of 18-24 months. We have also seen that with women (the majority of goat keepers are women in India) – money goes into the right investments. When interviewed, we found that the women had either purchased land or invested in the education of their daughters. When the man has to spend money, his preference is still for boys to be educated, but a mother gives equal treatment to her daughters – which I find fascinating. These projects taken up in Jharkhand and Rajasthan will become a model for showing to other donors and farmers how goat husbandry can be a source of livelihood for the weaker sections of society, particularly women-headed families in the future.

We always consider goat keeping as an initial project for the landless. There are many goat keepers who have then purchased land and gone into agricultural production. So it is an opportunity for people who just can’t start with anything, to get started for a short period of one or two years then they can find alternative sources. If not anything, they can at least educate their children and put them into better opportunities.

The imGoats project seeks to investigate how best goat value chains can be used to increase food security and reduce poverty among smallholders in India and Mozambique. Funded by IFAD, the project is led by researchers from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in collaboration with the BAIF Development Research Foundation in India and CARE International in Mozambique.

The imGoats innovation platforms in Jhadol, Udaipur held their fifth and sixth meetings in January and April 2012, respectively.

The imGoats Special Project Scientist, Ramkumar Bendapudi, sends in this progress report:

“Action plans have been prepared at the innovation platform meetings based on priority issues identified by the community members that needed immediate attention. 

So far diseases in goats have been a major issue. Awareness levels among the field guides and goatkeepers about endoparasites and specific treatment has increased. The faecal sample tests are now becoming part of regular activities. 

As we approach summer and winter months, focus on other issues such as feed and markets can be expected”.

Goats in Vilanculos,Mozambique

Goats in Vilanculos, Mozambique (photo credit: ILRI/Ranjitha Puskur).

On 10 May 2012, the imGoats Inhassoro innovation platform held its fifth meeting at Vuca Interior, Mozambique. About 40 participants took part in the meeting, representing producers, community leaders, paraveterinarians, extension officers, researchers, and meat buyers and sellers.

The meeting covered a range of topics, starting with a presentation of the baseline results and related (project) actions. Thereafter, each community gave an update on activities in the past two months about the communal grazing area and construction of improved kraals.

Subsequently, follow-up actions were discussed and dates for goat fairs in June were defined. In addition, there was a discussion on the future and sustainability of the innovation platform. The discussion was facilitated with an exercise in which each stakeholder group answered the following three questions:

  1. What are the benefits of the innovation platform to date?
  2. What would be the challenges to maintain the innovation platform without project support?
  3. How could these challenges be overcome?

Each stakeholder group presented their answers. Many participants identified ‘transport’ as one of the main challenges (as CARE still provides transport due to long distances between the communities but this would not be sustainable in the long term). The participants therefore decided that participants would organize their own transport to the next innovation platform meeting.

Download the report of the fifth imGoats Inhassoro innovation platform meeting

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