Agricultural Growth Program – Livestock Market Development


The Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development (AGP-LMD) was a five-year project funded by USAID, which started in 2012 and ended in 2017. As part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative, AGP-LMD fostered growth, created jobs for rural households, and reduced hunger and malnutrition through increased competitiveness of selected livestock value chains in meat and dairy.

The project was part of USAID’s broader contribution to the Government of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program, which has a key objective of increasing agricultural productivity and market access for crop and livestock products in targeted areas, while increasing the participation of women and youth. Since 2012, AGP-LMD worked to meet this goal. By joining international expertise and worldwide best practices, the CNFA team supported seasoned local partner organizations in leading interventions through existing cooperatives, associations, government agencies and private firms, and in spurring sustainable economic growth in Ethiopia.

Program Approach: 

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 rurally-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 agricultural development could be directly linked to the country’s contributions to poverty reduction experienced in the last decade.

To achieve the goal of improving the incomes and nutritional status of smallholder farmers, the project focused its interventions on three immediate results:

  1. Increased productivity and competitiveness of selected livestock value chains;
  2. Improved enabling environment for livestock value chains;
  3. Improved quality and diversity of household diets.

Spurred investment and innovation: AGP-LMD spurred innovation and matching investments in livestock value chains through a $6 million Innovation Grant Fund, invested in demand-driven value chain related opportunities – particularly those that addressed key constraints in the value chain – through competitive proposals from value chain actors. As of September 2015, our project worked with 47 Innovation Fund grantees, many of which were selected for their ability to attract further capital investment. In total, AGP-LMD implementation created approximately 5,335 jobs and stimulated additional private investment of $33.2 million in the livestock sector.

Enhanced nutrition of rural households: AGP-LMD integrated behavior change communications and community mobilization efforts related to nutritional practices in program activities. The program targeted improvements in quality and diversity of diet for children under two and people living with HIV/AIDS. Through the utilization of development agents and health extension workers, AGP-LMD reached more than 160,000 people with nutrition messaging.

Built an enabling environment for livestock value chains: The AGP-LMD team facilitated policy discussions to reform identified bottlenecks and involved stakeholders through workshops and platforms. By empowering interests in policy reform and advocacy, the program leveraged capacity building for public and private-sector actors, coordinated linkages with other USAID programs and applied research to yield successful interventions. During its five year life, AGP-LMD developed and supported 11 livestock-related policies, regulations, and administrative procedures.

Further direct collaboration between the project and the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries resulted in the launch of the Ethiopian Livestock Identification and Traceability System (ETLITS) in 2017. Implemented by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and financially supported by USAID, ETLITS is enabling organizations and businesses to track the lifespan of livestock and to track the production, processing, distribution and transport of livestock into the broader retail market. The ETLITS system is also helping to ensure maximum animal health and food safety and also contributes to successfully positioning Ethiopian meat and live animals products in new export markets.

Increased productivity and competitiveness of livestock value chains: AGP-LMD provided training to livestock producers, enabling them to increase their livestock production and expand private farm supply businesses to better provide commercial farm inputs and services. Efforts to link value chain actors to high-quality input and service providers, improve livestock management, improve post-production, efficiencies, and quality control resulted in increased competitiveness of Ethiopian products in domestic and international markets. Exports of meat and live animals throughout LMD’s five-year support totaled $106.3 million.

The daily processing capacity of meat and live animals within Ethiopia also increased from 42 metric tons in 2012 to 79 metric tons in 2016, making LMD’s contributions in this sector responsible for thirty-five percent (35%) of Ethiopia’s meat and live animal exports.

Worked closely with women entrepreneursThroughout its duration, AGP-LMD trained more than 400 women entrepreneurs in business and leadership. Women were equipped with skills like time management, strategic planning, business relationship management, and ICT to help them participate more formally in the marketplace and to expand their business operations. As a result, project-supported women increased their savings, improved the quality of their products, and strengthened their decision-making power within the household.

"My cooperative received training in high-quality meat production and hygiene from AGP-LMD. With this training, my cooperative decided to spend over 15,000 Birr ($750 USD) to share this knowledge and train our own workers. With most of our staff now fully trained, we have increased the average slaughtering from 120 to 200 animals per day and have increased the profit from 6MM ETB ($300,000 USD) to 8MM ETB ($400,000 USD) per year."

- Taye Leta, General Manager of the Sululta Abattoir Farmer’s Cooperative in Oromia

AGP-LMD provided me with both a grant to support my dairy business and trainings in quality milk production, value addition, entrepreneurship and leadership. Before working with USAID, my business idea was to only supply cheese to my own pizza house. Today, I have a growing business and supply various markets throughout the country, including a daily supply to a supermarket in Mekelle. I know that my family’s livelihoods improved and my income has increased as a result of working with AGP-LMD.

- Emebet Mekonnen, General Manager of Emebet and Her Children Milk & Milk Products PLC in Amhara

Our Impact

$106.3 million

in livestock export sales facilitated

$33.2 million

in new private investment leveraged in the livestock sector


individuals trained on agricultural-sector productivity


CNFA is proud to share the privilege of implementing our work with these local and international organizations.