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Enhancing market response to resilience in livestock value chain in Eastern Africa (CLI-MARK)

Project

© Africa Research Online

Digitalisation

Some 20 million livestock keepers in the Horn of Africa are threatened by increasingly frequent and severe droughts. Their food and nutrition security, indeed the existence of the pastoral economic system, is under threat. The frequent droughts have eroded the pastoralists’ adaptive capacity and resilience to such an extent that almost every drought now results in a humanitarian crisis. Drought has always been a feature of the Eastern African ecosystem, so why are pastoralists no longer able to cope with drought? One explanation is that they lack assets other than livestock that would allow them to recover from a drought disaster. Moreover, market mechanisms for risk transfer are not yet fully operational in the pastoral livestock system. By definition, pastoralists’ main wealth is their livestock, which they are unlikely to transform into less risky assets. This prevents them from integrating fully in the non-livestock markets.

Challenge

Some 20 million livestock keepers in the Horn of Africa are threatened by increasingly frequent and severe droughts. Their food and nutrition security, indeed the existence of the pastoral economic system, is under threat. The frequent droughts have eroded the pastoralists’ adaptive capacity and resilience to such an extent that almost every drought now results in a humanitarian crisis. Drought has always been a feature of the Eastern African ecosystem, so why are pastoralists no longer able to cope with drought? One explanation is that they lack assets other than livestock that would allow them to recover from a drought disaster. Moreover, market mechanisms for risk transfer are not yet fully operational in the pastoral livestock system. By definition, pastoralists’ main wealth is their livestock, which they are unlikely to transform into less risky assets. This prevents them from integrating fully in the non-livestock markets.

Plan

Building upon work by CTA and its partners, the CLI-MARK project will work with private- and public-sector actors to scale up market mechanisms that can increase the adaptive capacity of pastoralists in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia. CTA will work with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and private-sector partners – APA Insurance, Oromia Insurance Company and aWhere – to:

  • Facilitate design and delivery of a so-called ‘blended weather information system’ that incorporates the best of scientific and indigenous weather knowledge
  • Develop and implement mechanisms for scaling up livestock insurance
  • „Boost markets, trade and enterprises for women and youth to increase incomes and sustainable practices.

Activities

CLI-MARK will work with livestock farmers’ and pastoralists’ organisations to design and test the feasibility of blended weather information systems and try out ICT-based delivery systems. These activities will be led by aWhere, with ILRI as the lead research agency. The project will also educate livestock farmers on the benefits of livestock insurance, while working with APA Insurance and Oromia Insurance to increase availability and affordability of insurance. The project will engage with the governments of Ethiopia and Kenya to discuss how to reduce costs and risks facing livestock farmers. CLI-MARK will also support the development of markets so as to encourage pastoralists to sell livestock and access services including livestock insurance. The project will also support selected women’s and women-led enterprises to help them become viable and profitable. The lessons learned from the project will be shared with policy-makers with a view to informing national policy and programming.

Results

The project will equip livestock farmers and pastoralists with the knowledge and skills they need to access and adopt livestock insurance and better manage risks related to droughts. This will enhance their resilience in the face of recurrent drought. By giving livestock keepers access to proven production methods and innovations, the project will help them to increase production, adapt to changing climate conditions, manage their resources and handle risks.

Beneficiaries

Direct

  • Livestock farmers’ and pastoralists’ organisations
  • Private agro-enterprises (including youth-owned)
  • Financiers
  • Government policy-makers
  • Decision-makers in international organisations and NGOs

Indirect

  • Livestock farmers and pastoralists
  • Consumers

Impact

The project will increase the incomes, health and well-being of 100,000 livestock keepers in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia. These populations will also be able to adapt to and withstand environmental shocks and climate change. Most of the expected results are targeted at the poorest and most vulnerable livestock keepers, as well as young women and men.