Addis Ababa February 9/2023/ENA/ The government of Ethiopia has been exerting efforts to adequately tap the potential of livestock resources for the national economy by helping the nation earn significant amount of foreign exchange from the sector, ministry of Agriculture said.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Ethiopia has the largest livestock population in Africa, with 65 million cattle, 40 million sheep, 51 million goats, 8 million camels and 49 million chickens, according to the 2020 central statistics agency data.
Ethiopia has promising investment potential to develop livestock sector as the lives of millions of people depend on animal rearing.
The country’s export potential of livestock particularly to the Middle East is very huge, according to researches.
However, the export earnings from the livestock export trade has not been adequate considering the existing livestock potential of the country, which is the biggest in Africa and among the greatest potential livestock resources in the world.
In order to enable the sector play its role in strengthening the country’s foreign trade, the nation has been implementing a livestock strategy with a view to increase productivity in various aspects, advisor to State Minister of Agriculture, Alemayehu Mekonnen told ENA.
According to him, the government of Ethiopia has been exerting efforts to adequately tap the potential of livestock resources for the national economy considering the fact that livestock sector contribution is vital for the success of the country’s 10 years home grown development plan.
We have 10 year home grown development strategy that focuses on selective commodities, he said, adding out of which three are in the livestock sector.
Dairy development, poultry, and red meat and also the feed development will be given special attention, he noted.
The recently launched national program ‘YeLemat Tirufat’, which focuses on nutritional opulence, also paid special attention for certain livestock commodities like milk, honey, poultry, and fish, he said.
As compared to other African countries, Ethiopia has a huge beef cattle population, he said, adding the beef cattle production sector plays a crucial role in the livelihoods of pastoral farmers in Ethiopia.
However, since there are no or little improved beef cattle breeds and production systems in Ethiopia, the yield and compositional quality of beef are very low compared to other African countries.
On top of that, climate change poses challenges to the development of the sector and other development agendas as it is creating recurrent draught, he said.
In a bid to address both the inevitable reality of climate change, adapt and mitigate its effects, and strengthen livestock productivity and efficiency, Ethiopia has embarked upon the development of a Climate-Resilient Green Economy strategy, the adviser explained.
Afforestation and land rehabilitation interventions including the Green Legacy Project, which are also vital for the livestock development, are already bearing notable fruits, he said.
He said that the livestock sector has already prepared short, medium and long-term plans to address strategic areas for the sectors development.
It is indicated that efforts will also be made to attract foreign investment in the sector as Ethiopia has huge potential to develop livestock.
In this regard, the adviser said the government is working to address all the existing challenges including value chain efficiency, improved rangeland and pastureland management so as to improve the sector and strengthen investment.