Using research outputs for sustainable community development: Lessons learnt in camel milk studies in Kenya.
Wamwere, Njoroge G.J.
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World all over, it has been common practice to chastise animal science research workers (an indeed all researchers) for doing excellent work but only hemming their findings, conclusions and recommendations in well bound reports that are neatly stack in shelves. Consequently, as livestock stakeholders crave for solutions and innovative ways of circumventing the multiple challenges that confront them on daily basis, many cutting edge research outputs are gathering dust somewhere in offices and libraries. In its endeavor to do development unusually, and also in seeking for practical solutions and easily adaptable innovations to the constraints in camel milk marketing, the Ministry of Livestock Development, with assistance from the African Development Bank, designed the ASALBased Livestock and Rural Livelihoods Support Project (ALLPRO) with an inbuilt research programme within the project design. This in essence meant that funds were made available not only for camel milk market development purposes, but also for camel milk marketing research activities, that were meant to provide insights into the researchable issues encountered during the implementation of the project. In addition, the implementation framework provided opportunities for continuous upscaling and outscaling the accruing positive lessons learnt from implementation, including making provision for facilitating acquisition of appropriate technologies. To ensure a proactive approach, ALLPRO identified key collaborating institutions, namely: International Livestock research Institute (ILRI), Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and Kenya Camel Association (KCA) among others), who brought in their comparative advantages to the project. The combined expertise put in place a formidable team that ensured that research findings were documented and used to design functional training modules for the stakeholders involved in camel milk value chain. Moreover, due to the realism of the ensuing research outputs, this project have been to rally many development agents towards designing the up upcoming Garissa camel milk dairy plant. The outcome of this project is a stunning success, and an example of an innovative and sustainable community development endeavors.