Ethiopia doubles livestock export in the face of starvation

EDITOR’S NOTE: While over 15 million Ethiopians are going hungry, Woyanne-affiliated companies are doubling profits from exporting livestock.

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia plans to more than double earnings from livestock exports to $85 million in 2009 by curbing illegal trade and opening new marketing centres, a government official said on Friday.

The Horn of Africa country sold 297,662 heads of livestock for $40 million in 2008 but hopes to raise this by exporting 429,244 livestock for $85 million this year, according to Berhe Igziabher, head of the Animal and Plant Health Regulatory Body.

“The country plans to transform the old and backward type of animal husbandry into a modern ranching system and export processed meat, hides and skin and other leather goods rather than live animals,” Berhe said.

Ethiopia has an estimated 41 million cattle, 25 million sheep, 23 million goats and 150,000 camels, but poor husbandry and contraband trade with neighbouring countries have kept the industry underdeveloped.

The country has also started programmes to check smuggling of animals through neighbouring Djibouti and Somalia.

“We know that Djibouti, a Red Sea state where animals could not thrive due to the country’s climatic conditions, has become a livestock exporter and we also know that 60 percent of livestock being exported by Somalia are those taken from Ethiopia through contraband trade,” Berhe said.

To curb the black market trade, the government has established markets in remote areas to cater for pastoralists in far flung areas such as Afar and Somali.

Berhe said the main thrust of Ethiopia’s livestock development policy would not centre on live animal exports alone.

The government has established a new institution — Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Technology Institute — whose mandate is to enhance modern dairy farming and improve the stock and quality of cattle in the country, he said.

The body will also help pastoralists protect their livestock against the vagaries of climate change by providing feeds and water and veterinary medicine in each districts, he said.

The country’s leather sector earned $103 million last year and plans to take $190 million from leather exports in 2009, according to the Ethiopian Leather Industries Association.

2 comments on “Ethiopia doubles livestock export in the face of starvation

  1. yenatulij on

    It is called the need for hard currency stupid. That need overrides everything else including the caring of starving Ethiopians. Who cares? Meles and Sium Mesfin certainly don’t and why should they? Look what they have been building in Tigrai at the expense of Ethiopia? And nobody seems to have the power to tell them enough is enough. All we have been doing is whining, whining and more whining and when we are at it (and as usual) blame Shabia – those nasty Shabians for all our own weakness. Do you know what the single most weakness of Ethiopian Diaspora is? Do you really want me to remind you for I know you know it. We simply love to look the other way to avoid confronting that truth.

    We, at the Diaspora, care about our stomach more than our country and we love to write endless analysis but, we do not have the guts to challenge the Woyannes or any other enemies of Ethiopia by the barrel of the gun. Oh no! Just look at somewhat boring articles our intellectuals have been writing. Literary, they have written volumes after volumes of analyses, sometimes philosophizing beyond belief. If anyone of you folks believe those written essays are going to get rid of Weyane except to give us a false sense of security, I have a bank full of hard currency to sell [actually] give you just for the asking.

  2. ከቤው on

    በሬ ወደ ውጭ መለኩ ባልከፋ የሕዝቡ መራብ ግን አንድ ሊባል ይገባል::

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