Livestock is a significant contributor to economic and social development in Ethiopia, both at the household and national levels. However, the sector suffers from low input-low-output subsistence production and marketing systems. The latter encompasses stock routes, accessible market places, marketing standards and intelligence (information), transport facilities etc.
This story is based on the information obtained from the Addis Ababa Trade and Industry Bureau, from personal observations in the market places and discussions with actors involved in the business.
Addis Ababa has the largest number of butcheries and meat consumers (around 30% of the national meat consumption is in Addis Ababa). To serve these consumers, there are five regional livestock market centers around Addis Ababa: Kerra, Shogolle, Akaki, Karalo and Berchuko established in 1949, 1995, 2004, 1988, and 1987 E.C., respectively. These centers were established for three major reasons. To create suitable market places for traders and buyers to meet; to avoid health and other hazards by avoiding the sale of animals everywhere across the city; and for smooth flow of traffic. The market centers are primarily meant for local consumption.
There is much diversity in the available infrastructure at the centers. Four of them have concrete fences while the Akaki market has wooden fencing. Although there is water supply in all of them, none have quarantine facilities, waste disposal pits/places, or weighing bridges/scales. Shelters or shades are only available in Shogolle and Berchuko market centers. Veterinary services are available only at Kerra center. Loading/unloading facilities are available at Kerra, Shogolle and Berchuko centers.
In terms of market specialization, Shogolle, Kerra, Karalo and Akaki are specialized is cattle while Berchuko market is specialized in small ruminants (about 95% sheep).
The market days for the Akaki center are Tuesday and Saturday, while Wednesdays and Fridays are for the remaining four.
The livestock supply to the markets varies from season to season. The largest number of livestock is sold from April to September, followed by October to January. The lowest market is in the months of February and March (during Ethiopian Orthodox fasting months).
The main buyers of cattle are butcheries; hotels are the main purchasers of sheep. To a limited extent, individual consumers also buy cattle and sheep. Cattle are mainly slaughtered at nearby slaughterhouses while sheep and goats are slaughtered at individual hotels or houses.
According to the Trade and Industry Bureau, the supply of cattle is mainly from Oromia, Southern Nation Nationalities People Region (SNNPR) and Amhara. The supply of sheep to Berchuko is dominated by Arsi, west Shoa and north Shoa zones.
Compared to the supply of animals to Addis Ababa, the market centers are not adequate. In addition, the existing market centers do not have all the necessary facilities. Furthermore, technical backstopping is required for the development of the marketing system.
Although LIVES is not involved in infrastructural development, it can assist by capacity development and coaching and knowledge sharing activities in livestock marketing. Without any doubt, project beneficiaries will directly or indirectly benefit from such interventions as these are mostly the ultimate livestock markets.
Contributed by the Oromia regional team and Dereje Legesse