Engaging with Asia’s manure management stakeholders

On 13 May 2015, the Asia Regional Centre (SEI Asia) hosted the first strategic planning meeting for Asia on the CCAC “Livestock and Manure Management Component”. Regional experts from academic institutes, development organizations, governmental agencies, representatives of UN agencies and the private sector were familiarized with the project and challenged to give their expert opinions.

Matthew Fielding, the LMMC Project Manager for Asia, emphasised the importance of engaging with regional key stakeholders operating in the field of manure management and livestock production, boosting knowledge sharing on integrated manure management practices across the region.

Ms. Ngamnet Aektasaeng, the LMMC Project Coordinator presented the main findings of the scoping study for Asia. Limited awareness of manure use practice benefits, ineffective use of manure, non-supportive policies as well as poor investment attraction in manure storage were recognized as important barriers to the adoption of improved manure management on a farm scale.

Opportunities for Practice Change

The meeting continued with the presentations from two Opportunities for Practice Change (OPCs) for Vietnam and Bangladesh. The Vietnam OPC applies a bottom–up capacity building approach. Through the training of 100 technicians and 4,000 farmers, this OPC aims at increasing awareness of the benefits of using manure and bio-slurry. Its goal is to tackle the perception of manure as waste and nuisance, and view its use as a valuable fertilizer and energy source especially for biogas production and consumption.
The Bangladesh OPC is based on a top-down, policy-level approach. It aims to influence the policy process by presenting the draft of an Integrated Manure Management (IMM) National Policy that can contribute to the reduction of SLCPs emissions deriving from livestock. Among other objectives of this project, the creation of the Bangladesh Manure Knowledge Kiosk, an internet-based platform, can be seen as an innovative way to engage with different key stakeholders, encouraging the spread and sharing of knowledge on IMM practices.

Useful tools

Using a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), group discussions followed the two presentations to offer suggestions and concerns from the experts.

If the selected case studies are successful in the implementation phase (2015), the potential exists for generating additional income from the biogas production (in Vietnam) and mainstreaming integrated manure management into relevant policy processes and official documents (in the Bangladesh case). The training as well as the creation of an internet-based platform was positively viewed as tools for sharing information on available innovation technology, best practices and expert advice to support farmers’ activities.


However important obstacles and barriers have to be taken into consideration, according to the participants. They noted a lack of knowledge, awareness and understanding both at farmer and policy level, political instability, low level of policy enforcement, severe institutional fragmentation leading to scarce cooperation among departments and concerned line agencies. Besides, there is a need to structure the stakeholder engagement process using an approach that considers cultural and social acceptance issues.

Positive impact

Overall, the meeting had a positive impact. It had been “an occasion for building an effective network of expertise”, as one participant stated, and it was considered to be a very “interesting to see efforts on integrated manure management being put in action by other developing countries” by another.

The next opportunity to meet with the Asia Regional Centre at a public event will be at the International Soil Conference to be held in Thailand, later in 2015.

(News item based on an article written by Francesca Franzetti)