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Building resilient communities through improved livestock value chains in Eastern Africa

  • East Africa

CTA’s flagship project in Eastern Africa is intended to increase the involvement of smallholder livestock keepers in the production and marketing of their animals, and so build up their income. It will also make them more resilient to climatic risks.

EN Eastern Africa table ok okWhy are we doing this?

Over half of Africa's cattle, sheep and goats are found in East Africa. Some 60%–80% of rural households keep livestock for food and to sell. Livestock account for about 40% of agricultural gross domestic product in Ethiopia and Kenya and nearly 20% in Uganda. However, the livestock trade, especially in pastoral systems, is dominated by a long chain of middlemen, each of whom takes a share of the producers' potential earnings. This, combined with the impact of extreme climatic events, including drought-related livestock mortality, results in low volumes and inconsistent supply of small ruminants and live cattle. In consequence, local livestock farmers and pastoralists are unable to meet demand for livestock products. For instance, only 6% of the milk and dairy products consumed in Eastern Africa are made locally; the rest is imported. This gap represents a huge opportunity for farmers and pastoralists, traders, processors and retailers alike.

What are we going to do?

We will help producers and traders to access production and market services to improve the way they do business. We will also focus on introducing new ways to manage risk and enhance the resilience of livestock production. We intend to design financial products tailored to young men and women so that they can engage in livestock-related work. To make government more responsive to the needs of everyone involved in the livestock business, we will encourage research into key themes of inclusive livestock value chains and support discussions among policy-makers.

Implementing organisations IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD)
International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR)
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
Other key stakeholders Eastern and Southern Africa Dairy Association (ESADA
European Union (EU)
United Nations Development Programme-Global Environment Facility (UNDP-GEF
International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD)

What are we expecting?

The project will equip livestock farmers and pastoralists with the knowledge and skills they need to establish more effective partnerships with others involved in livestock value chains. This will allow them to earn more from their animals. By giving livestock keepers access to proven methods and innovations, the project will help them increase production, adapt to changing climate conditions, manage their resources and handle risks.

Several of the activities are targeted at bringing benefits to the poorest and most vulnerable livestock keepers. Young men and women will be given the opportunity to work in the livestock sector. The use of information and communication technology in production, marketing and sales will help create these opportunities. At the same time, the lessons learned from the project will be shared with policy-makers to inform regional policy and programming. Other farming groups will be included after the initial work, to amplify the impact of the project.

Who will benefit?

• Farmers' and livestock keepers' organisations
• Private agro-enterprises (including youth-owned)
• Financiers
• Government policy-makers
• Decision-makers in international organisations and NGOs

• Farmers/livestock keepers
• Consumers

What impact will we have?

The project will increase the incomes, health and well-being of the people in Eastern Africa who depend on livestock for their livelihoods. These populations will also be able to adapt to and withstand environmental shocks and climate change. Several of the expected results are targeted at the poorest and most vulnerable livestock keepers, as well as young men and women.

How will we sustain it?

CTA will work with the EU and UNDP-GEF in the region to incorporate the results of this work into the multi-year megaprojects that these agencies are developing for pastoralists in the Karamoja Cluster in eastern Uganda and western Kenya. The community-based organisations and farmer-owned businesses that evolve from the project will be self-sufficient. Linking youth and women's groups with financial institutions and other private-sector operators will build the foundation for sustainable business enterprises. Engaging local governments and higher-level decision-makers will help to create policies that will establish long-lasting and profitable livestock ventures.

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