This article shares lessons from the implementation of LIVES project interventions aimed at increasing access to input/service supply and market opportunities for value chain actors in Ethiopia.
This year (2016), Alemu Defersha has fattened 42 animals and sold them in the Kera livestock market in Addis Ababa, making a profit of 4,093 (USD 185) per animal.
Population growth, expansion of farming lands and changing farming systems have led to many Ethiopian farmers adopting intensive livestock keeping practices. In the Amhara Region, dairy and cattle fattening practices are increasingly embraced by farmers. LIVES has piloted cattle fattening fairs in the region to help empower cattle fatteners with the information they need to make informed market choices.
Identifying key leverage points and improving market linkages between farmers, input suppliers and traders is key for value chain development. But success depends on involving all key actors and helping them understand what and how they can contribute to the process.
Taking a value chain approach is essential to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, according to scientists working at International Livestock Research Institute project (ILRI). Making smallholder producers more aware of market opportunities will help them make reasonable returns on their investments.
Leveraging private and public sector partners is key to helping smallholder producers establish platforms to exchange knowledge on overcoming bottlenecks in value chain, and create linkages that facilitate new businesses opportunities, such as opening of feed shops.
Capacity development plays a critical enabling role in facilitating the adoption and scaling out of value chain development interventions and approaches by addressing attitudinal, knowledge and skills gaps in value chain actors, service providers and value chain supporters.