Why is transformation needed in this program area?

Between 11 and 13 million rural and peri-urban households are engaged in one or more forms of livestock keeping in Ethiopia, involving cattle, sheep, goats, chicken, camels, farmed beekeeping, inland aquaculture and equines. Current contributions of livestock resources to household nutrition, revenue generation, gainful employment, and ecosystem services are disproportionate to the size and diversity of livestock populations. Largely subsistent modes of livestock coupled with low levels of input and output by the majority of smallholder livestock keepers predispose the sub-sector to often extractive ways of utilizing land and water resources that raise environmental concerns.

As a reproducible natural resource, livestock lend themselves to a wide range of genetic and management improvements. Systemic constraints to these potential improvements include limited access to appropriate technologies, weak institutional arrangements, lack of a coherent training and extension support and gaps in the policy environment. Apart from a diverse livestock genetic resource base, the wide range of agro-ecologies in the country, the fast expanding demand for quality livestock products and services and the strategic geopolitical location of the country close to major global livestock markets offer extensive development opportunities, provided known and emerging systemic bottlenecks are progressively resolved to unlock its potential.

What are the objectives of this program area during GTP II?

The common vision of this program area is to have sustainably improved animal genetic resources for enhanced livestock production and productivity that contributes to household food security and economic development.

This can be realized through nurturing functional and long-lasting genetic evaluation and delivery systems to livestock keepers. Establishing the effective application of appropriate biotechnological tools and institutional arrangements for harnessing the full potential of indigenous and introduced animal genetic resources for domestic and export markets will also facilitate the realization of the common vision.

The program area also aims to effectively harness the potential of medium and large scale commercial livestock farms to catalyze structural and technological transformation of the predominantly smallholder livestock sub-sector. The program will also seize opportunities for the enhanced participation of smallholder livestock keepers in formal markets, not only to increase livestock production and productivity, but also to promote green value chain development and climate change adaptation as well as mitigation.

What are the focus areas of this program?

Extensive consultations with stakeholders at federal and regional levels led to the systematic identification of two prioritized crosscutting deliverables and associated sub-deliverables to be implemented during the GTP II period. The first aims at establishing a national system and institutional arrangements to lead and coordinate livestock genetic evaluation and improvement schemes throughout the country. This will enable the development of coherent genetic and breed improvement guidelines and strategies, the effective mobilization of resources to up- and out-scale successfully demonstrated practices, the efficient customization of proven technologies to candidate production environments for application at meaningful scale and facilitate the necessary enabling environment for sustaining livestock genetic gains.

The second deliverable is on enabling the development of a vibrant, competitive and socially responsible private sector to promote investment, entrepreneurship and private enterprise to drive lasting innovation in livestock genetic improvement and service delivery. This includes the setup of quality based payment systems for priority livestock commodities as well as the initiation of breed societies.