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Ertiro B.T.,Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research EIAR | Zeleke H.,Haramaya University | Friesen D.,Centro Internacional Of Mejoramiento Of Maiz Y Trigo Cimmyt | Blummel M.,International Livestock Research Institute ILRI | Twumasi-Afriyie S.,Centro Internacional Of Mejoramiento Of Maiz Y Trigo Cimmyt
Field Crops Research | Year: 2013

Prediction of hybrid performance from inbred lines per se is crucial in targeted improvement of new traits such as stover fodder quality. The present study investigated the trend in variability and association between food and fodder traits in inbred parents and the hybrids derived from them and assessed the general combining ability (GCA) of inbred lines for both food and fodder traits. Sixteen inbred lines and sixty single cross hybrids generated by a 10×6 factorial mating design were evaluated for grain and stover yield and a range of laboratory stover fodder quality traits across three environments in Ethiopia. The hybrid and inbred line trials were planted in adjacent blocks in the same fields using an alpha lattice experimental design. Genotypes in both hybrids and inbred trials showed highly significant differences for all the traits studied. Generally, hybrids had higher grain and stover yields and lower stover fodder quality traits than the inbred lines. Both the magnitude and direction of relationship for almost all traits were similar among genotypes in the inbred and hybrid trials. General combining abilities of both lines and testers and specific combining ability (SCA) of line by tester interactions were significant for most traits studied. The highly significant GCA effects observed for most traits and the greater relative importance of GCA (lines and testers) as compared to SCA for grain yield and most stover fodder quality traits suggest the importance of additive gene effects in controlling grain and stover yield as well as stover fodder quality. Important stover fodder quality traits such as digestibility and metabolizable energy were highly heritable (h2=0.79-0.81) and the genotypic variations among hybrids in these traits will have implications for productivity of maize stover fed to livestock or for the income of farmers selling maize stover to fodder value chains. Significant positive relationships observed between inbred lines per se and hybrid performances for these fodder quality traits suggest the feasibility of predicting hybrid performance from the performance of the inbred lines. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Erenstein O.,International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center | Thorpe W.,International Livestock Research Institute ILRI
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2011

Rice-wheat systems in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) have long exemplified South Asia's agricultural transformation through the Green Revolution. The same systems now also typify the post-Green Revolution stagnation and equity challenges, despite receiving considerable attention from the research and development (R&D) community. The apparent homogeneity of vast irrigated plains masks significant diversity in assets, livelihood strategies and livelihood outcomes. The paper analyzes the rural livelihoods and underlying agro-ecological gradients in the IGP drawing on village surveys and secondary data as characterization tools. The contribution of the paper is twofold: (i) new knowledge of the socio-economic circumstances in farming communities across the Indian IGP to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of R&D interventions and particularly poverty alleviation; and (ii) an illustration of a novel approach to operationalize livelihood analysis at the meso-level so as to address spatial scale issues and link micro-level contextual realities across a vast geographical area. The agricultural R&D community needs to incorporate this socio-economic diversity more proactively into its R&D agenda if it is to succeed in sustaining productivity gains, improving rural livelihoods equitably, and securing environmental sustainability in this important eco-region. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Tarawali S.,International Livestock Research Institute ILRI | Herrero M.,ILRI | Descheemaeker K.,ILRI and International Water Management Institute IWMI | Grings E.,ILRI | Blummel M.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
Livestock Science | Year: 2011

Mixed crop livestock systems provide the majority of the cereal and livestock domestic products for households in developing countries. We explore the question of whether such systems can respond to increasing demands for livestock products without compromising future livelihoods of the poor or the environment. We consider how the potential of smallholder farmers to address future milk and meat demands as livestock system transition may be impacted by the trajectory of intensification, the type of livestock commodity and the changing economic circumstances. Examples of ruminant feeding and management options with the potential to increase productivity and mitigate negative environmental impacts, notably greenhouse gases and the use of land and water in the context of developing country crop livestock systems are presented. However, such technical dimensions need to be realistically and practically considered in the context of changing market demands. Furthermore, if crop livestock systems in developing countries are to benefit today's smallholder farmers, radically different approaches will be needed. Equal importance will need to be given to technology based production and efficiency enhancing dimensions together with innovative and practical approaches encompassing institutional, policy and market solutions often in a value chain context. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Prager S.D.,International Center for Tropical Agriculture | Pfeifer C.,International Livestock Research Institute ILRI
Ecology and Society | Year: 2015

The premise of this research is to better understand how approaches to implementing rainwater management practices can be informed by understanding how the people living and working in agroecosystems are connected to one another. Because these connections are via both social interactions and functional characteristics of the landscape, a social-ecological network emerges. Using social-ecological network theory, we ask how understanding the structure of interactions can lead to improved rainwater management interventions. Using a case study situated within a small sub-basin in the Fogera area of the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia, we build networks of smallholders based both on the biophysical and social-institutional landscapes present in the study site, with the smallholders themselves as the common element between the networks. In turn we explore how structures present in the networks may serve to guide decision making regarding both where and with whom rainwater management interventions could be developed. This research thus illustrates an approach for constructing a social-ecological network and demonstrates how the structures of the network yield insights for tailoring the implementation of rainwater management practices to the social and ecological setting. © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by the Resilience Alliance.

Fadiga M.L.,International Livestock Research Institute ILRI | Katjiuongua H.B.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute
Food Policy | Year: 2014

Animal disease outbreaks pose a significant threat in terms of potential economic losses, reduced productivity, and negative impacts on public health, food security and nutrition. This paper considers four issues in ex-post evaluation of animal disease interventions: firstly, a counterfactual involves simulating disease trajectories without the intervention. But some diseases can become endemic or become dormant after an outbreak, making it a challenge to know the true trajectory without the intervention. Secondly, without adequate design of controls and treatments, how can the estimated impacts be attributed to a given intervention? Thirdly, how do we assess costs saved by the intervention? Fourthly, given data uncertainty, would a stochastic simulation give better estimates than a deterministic one in solving for key variables? This paper addresses these issues and proposes solutions that bridge the gap between household level analysis and macro-level simulations in modelling the impact of animal diseases outbreaks. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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