Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program
University of California at Davis
The Oromia Agricultural Research Institute (OARI) has a mandate to conduct agricultural and livestock research throughout the Regional State of Oromia in Ethiopia. OARI has recently opened a facility near Yabello town on the Borana Plateau called the Pastoral and Agro-Pastoral Research Center. A meeting was held in August 2006 at Yabello that involved representatives from pastoral communities, the private sector, government, and non-governmental organizations. The aim was to engage stakeholders in a process of problem prioritization and set the stage to create new partnerships to better address pressing problems. The final priorities included: addressing a general decline in forage availability; improving water-harvesting methods; reducing effects of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD); improving pastoral livestock marketing; and intervening to help mitigate problems associated with increased competition for land between maize cultivation and dry-season grazing. Researchers, pastoral community members, development actors, and policy makers all play varied roles in dealing with each of the five priority issues. The implementation of a new prescribed fire program to restore bush-encroached rangelands in southern Ethiopia, and hence increase forage supplies, is given as an example of integrated action to address problems. The results of this prioritization meeting were encouraging—the key is the focus on process and new partnerships. OARI plans to use the same approach in planning activities at other research centers in different agro-ecological zones.
Coppock, D. Layne; Gebru, Getachew; Gizachew, Lemma; Mesele, Sintayehu; Hassena, Mohammed; and Desta, Solomon, "Public Engagement to Prioritize the Pastoral Research Agenda at the Pastoral and Agro-pastoral Research Center of OARI in Ethiopia" (2006). Environment and Society Faculty Publications. Paper 205.