Agricultural Growth Program – Livestock Market Development
Ethiopia is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa that is home to more than 87 million people, with only 17% of these individuals residing in urban towns/cities. For Ethiopians–especially the 72 million rural-based Ethiopians–the agricultural sector remains an important source of both household income and household nutrition. Despite Ethiopia’s focus on manufacturing and infrastructure development, agriculture still comprises 45% of the country’s GDP and 78% of the country’s employment. In the recently completed Ethiopia Poverty Assessment, the Government of Ethiopia also found that agriculture development could be directly linked to the country’s contributions to poverty reduction experienced in the last decade.
Contributing to both agriculture development and poverty reduction in Ethiopia, CNFA’s Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development (AGP-LMD) project is USAID/Ethiopia’s contribution to the Government of Ethiopia Agricultural Growth Program’s (AGP) livestock development activities, and to the U.S. Government Feed the Future (FTF) initiative. Since September 2012, with plans to finish in 2017, AGP-LMD has been working to foster growth, reduce poverty, and improve the competitiveness of Ethiopia’s dairy and meat and live animal (MLA) livestock value chains. To achieve the goal of improving the incomes and nutritional status of smallholder farmers, we have been focusing our interventions on three immediate results:
- Increased productivity and competitiveness of selected livestock value chains;
- Improved enabling environment for livestock value chains;
- Improved quality and diversity of household diets.
Over the last three years, we have planned productivity, marketing, policy and nutrition activities that support these three immediate results. In the process of these efforts, we have established relationships with implementers, grantees, government bodies, and livestock producers and processers across the project’s 46 AGP woredas and 16 non-AGP woredas in the four regions of Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) and Tigray. In addition to the three immediate results, our team has worked to integrate cross-cutting intervention areas: gender mainstreaming, natural resource management and ICT – into our interventions and approaches.
In support of cross-cutting interventions, and to improve productivity and competitiveness, CNFA spurs innovation and investment in the livestock value chains through a $6 million Innovation Grant Fund, which utilizes a RFA process to invest in demand-driven value chain related opportunities, particularly those that address key constraints in the value chain, through competitive proposals from value chain actors. Since September 2015, our project has been working with 47 Innovation Fund grantees, many of which have been selected for their ability to attract further capital investment. Program grantees bring high potential to stimulate upstream supply of needed raw inputs while promoting downstream value-added activities that enhance the quality of the final product. We have found that, as a result of program investments, farmers have been able to improve their production and increase their incomes, and households are able to access and afford nutritional livestock products that are more readily available in local markets.