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Livestock production and marketing:


  • Negassa, Asfaw
  • Rashid, Shahidur
  • Gebremedhin, Berhanu


The livestock is an important sub-sector within Ethiopia’s economy in terms of its contributions to both agricultural value-added and national GDP. Between 1995/96 and 2005/06, the livestock sub-sector’s share averaged 24 percent of agricultural GDP and 11 percent of national GDP, with the highest shares recorded at 27 percent and 13 percent, respectively, at its peak (NBE 2005/06). The contribution of livestock and livestock product exports to foreign exchange earnings is also large. The annual average revenue from livestock and livestock product exports was estimated to be 13 percent of the annual national foreign exchange earnings during the period 2000/01 to 2007/08 (NBE 2007/08). Given the large porous border, a large amount of cross-border exports also go un-recorded. Therefore, the official estimates of foreign exchange earnings do not necessarily reflect the actual volume of exports.At the household level, livestock plays a critical economic and social role in the lives of pastoralists, agro-pastoralists, and smallholder farm households. Livestock fulfills an important function in coping with shocks, accumulating wealth, and serving as a store of value in the absence of formal financial institutions and other missing markets. In the case of smallholder mixed farming systems, livestock provides nutritious food, additional emergency and cash income, transportation, farm outputs and inputs, and fuels for cooking food. In the case of pastoralists, livestock represents a sole means to support and sustain their livelihoods. Furthermore, available research suggests that with economic growth, consumption patterns tend to change towards high value and high protein foods, such as those derived from livestock (Delgado et al. 1999). This implies that, given the economic growth in Ethiopia and the region, the market demand for livestock and livestock products is likely to continue growing in the future. The government recognizes the importance of livestock in poverty alleviation and has increased its emphasis on modernizing and commercializing the livestock sub-sector in recent years (SPS-LMM 2008).Focusing on four key livestock classes—cattle, sheep, goats, and chicken—this chapter undertakes three tasks: (1) it provides a characterization of the livestock subsector, (2) it assesses livestock and livestock product value chains based on primary data, and (3) analyzes the trends in marketing and trade of live animals and animal products. Carrying out these tasks relies on the critical review of existing literature and policy documents, as well as extensive use of both secondary and primary data, including household and traders’ surveys. The paper is organized following the sequence of these major tasks and concludes with a summary and policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Negassa, Asfaw & Rashid, Shahidur & Gebremedhin, Berhanu, 2011. "Livestock production and marketing:," ESSP working papers 26, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:esspwp:26

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    • Negassa, Asfaw & Rashid, Shahidur & Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Kennedy, Adam, 2012. "Livestock production and marketing," IFPRI book chapters,in: Food and agriculture in Ethiopia: Progress and policy challenges, chapter 6 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Delgado, Christopher L. & Rosegrant, Mark W. & Steinfeld, Henning & Ehui, Simeon K. & Courbois, Claude, 1999. "Livestock to 2020: the next food revolution," 2020 vision briefs 61, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Little, Peter, 2005. "Unofficial Trade When States are Weak: The Case of Cross-Border Commerce in the Horn of Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 013, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Ayele, Gezahegn & Jabbar, Mohammad A. & Teklewold, Hailemariam & Mulugeta, Elias & Kebede, Getahun, 2006. "Seasonal and inter-market differences in prices of small ruminants in Ethiopia," Research Reports 182171, International Livestock Research Institute.
    4. Negassa, Asfaw & Jabbar, Mohammad A., 2008. "Livestock ownership, commercial off-take rates and their determinants in Ethiopia," Research Reports 99126, International Livestock Research Institute.
    5. Francesconi, Gian Nicola & Heerink, Nico & D'Haese, Marijke, 2010. "Evolution and challenges of dairy supply chains: Evidence from supermarkets, industries and consumers in Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 60-68, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Glenn P. Jenkins & Mikhail Miklyaev, 2014. "Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Small Holders' Lambs And Goats Fattening Activity In Ethiopia," Development Discussion Papers 2013-11, JDI Executive Programs.
    2. Mikhail Miklyaev & Glenn Jenkins, 2013. "An Integrated Appraisal Of Productivity Enhancing Interventions In Ethiopian Dairy Farming," Development Discussion Papers 2013-02, JDI Executive Programs.
    3. Glenn P. Jenkins & Mikhail Miklyaev, 2014. "Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Small Ruminants Fattening With Feed Concentrates In The Highlands Of Ethiopia," Development Discussion Papers 2013-12, JDI Executive Programs.

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    livestock; Marketing; trade;


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