Livestock in Ethiopia offer a multiplicity of services IGAD LPI, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), has revisited estimates of livestock’s contribution to the Ethiopian economy, through two consecutive studies, which conclude that the contribution of livestock in the Ethiopian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to the wider economy is much higher than previous estimates. The studies, “The Contribution of Livestock to the Ethiopian Economy – Parts One and Two” examine and draw conclusions in three key areas:

• The contribution of livestock to the agricultural GDP;
• The value of livestock services not captured in the national accounts;
• The contribution of livestock to the wider economy.

The contribution of livestock to agricultural GDP was reported in IGAD LPI Working Paper No. 02-10 (IGAD LPI WP 02-10). This working paper concluded that current GDP figures dramatically underestimate the value of livestock’s contribution. The study’s initial calculations of total value of 12 categories of ruminant livestock production readjusted estimates based on 2008-09 figures upwards by 47%. Furthermore, the value of animal draught increased livestock contribution to the national agricultural GDP by a factor of 113% over the current gross value.

The second study (IGAD LPI WP 02-11) computes those services provided by livestock that are not captured in national accounts. In the light of this, total economic benefits of livestock goods and services are now estimated be at about 113 billion Ethiopian Birr (ETB) which is  more than three and a half times greater than MOFED’s original estimate in 2008-09. Of the 80 billion ETB increase in benefits, about 15 billion ETB are derived from recalculating the value of livestock products and the remaining 65 billion come from broadening the estimation to include other utilities provided by livestock.

The findings not only strengthen the case for increased investment in the livestock sector, but they also indicate where investments and polices should be directed. A recent IGAD LPI working paper (IGAD LPI WP 01-11) produced in collaboration with the African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) found that the vast majority of policies focus solely on the production and marketing of livestock and livestock products, to the exclusion of other, non-marketed, livelihoods functions provided by livestock, such as savings, transport, risk management and wealth accumulation. This is a gap when seen in the light of the Ethiopian economic studies that found these non-marketed livestock services to be worth approximately twice as much as livestock production and sales.  

Dr. Simplice Nouala, called on regional institutions to recognise the multiple services that livestock provide to livelihoods
Dr. Simplice Nouala called on regional institutions to recognise the multiple services that livestock provide to livelihoods

AU-IBAR’s Chief Animal Production Officer, Dr. Simplice Nouala, called on CAADP, AU IBAR and IGAD to recognise the multiple services that livestock provide to livelihoods, particularly those of the poor, in a recent address to the 12th Annual Meeting of the Inter-Agency Donor Group in Nairobi. He was presenting the findings of a working paper he had recently published through IGAD LPI (available here), in collaboration with FAO.

AU-IBAR’s strategic plan for the period to 2014 already recognises that “The potential of animal resources in contributing to the fight against poverty and the development of Africa is still under-exploited”, and goes on to say “Policies designed to increase production do not necessarily benefit poor livestock keepers who … prioritize survival rather than production”.

The authors built on this and on IGAD LPI case studies that have revealed how little the poor actually participate in the Horn of Africa’s lucrative livestock export markets. They looked at the many services livestock provide to the poor, such as wealth accumulation, managing vulnerability or providing transport, then contrasted these with the objectives of the IGAD region’s livestock policies. They found a policy environment that is successfully supporting those who are in a position to increase production and market their agricultural surplus, but that is failing those who are further down the livestock development ladder.

“The problem is that because the dominant development narrative looks only at production and access to market” he explained “we cannot ensure that livestock development helps the poor…Only when policies consider livestock’s other roles will livestock development become a pathway out of poverty”.

IGAD LPI’s CTA, Dil Peeling, added that one reason why markets and production have dominated policy in the livestock sector is that their benefits are clearly measurable in terms of revenue, whereas setting a value on such goods as traction or social capital requires a different approach. IGAD LPI has been attempting to redress this in IGAD member states by recalculating the contribution of livestock to national economies. Those results they have so far suggest that Dr. Nouala’s analysis also has implications at the macro level. Forthcoming results from Ethiopia, for instance, indicate that whereas the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development had assigned a value of 32 billion Ethiopian Birr to economic activity in the livestock sector in 2008-9, the economic value of the ‘other’ services that were the subject of Dr. Nouala’s presentation were worth a further 65 million birr – around twice as much.

Closing his presentation, Dr. Nouala acknowledged the advances made in the IGAD region through IGAD LPI, but stressed AU-IBAR’s pan-African mandate and the role the organisation can therefore play in advocating for a broader livestock development paradigm throughout the continent.

IGAD LPI is now in discussions with AU IBAR as to how best it can support it in that role.

Livestock play key role in fostering the livelihoods of rural communities in the IGAD Region

Livestock play key role in fostering the livelihoods of rural communities in the IGAD Region

A working paper on Livestock and Livelihoods in the IGAD Region: A Policy and Institutional Analysis is published by IGAD LPI. The paper is written by Ugo Pica-Ciamarra from FAO Animal Production and Health Division, Simplice Nouala from AU-IBAR and Sunae Kim from FAO Regional Office for the Near East.

This paper presents an analysis of livestock sector policies and institutions in the IGAD region to assess if and how they support inclusive development of the sector. It first reviews the objectives of major livestock related policies in the IGAD region and the development narratives that drive them. It then compares these objectives and narratives with the livelihood strategies pursed by poor men and women livestock keepers, as identified through the IGAD Livestock Policy Initiative (IGAD LPI).

The paper recognises that policies have their effect by changing the ‘rules of the game’, often called institutions, under which people pursue varied livelihood strategies. In particular, people will only benefit from policies when the resulting institutions open up livelihoods options to which they are capable of responding. Their capacity to respond depends on their assets and skills, which are invariably more constraining for poorer groups and women, and that are often already reflected in their existing livelihoods strategies.

The review of livestock related policies at pan-African, regional and country level, together with donor priorities, reveals a dominant development paradigm emphasising increased livestock productivity and marketing. Such an emphasis, as documented by the IGAD-LPI, results in realistic livelihoods options only being made available to wealthier livestock keepers and in so doing fails to support the livestock dependent poor. Although policies for increased production and sales may be essential to develop the sector, they are not sufficient on their own to support those households who, in their efforts to secure their livelihoods, build on all the broader livelihoods services provided by livestock, which represent, inter alia, a source of food, income, manure, draught power and hauling services, savings, insurance and social capital.

The paper further finds that the majority of livestock sector policies and programmes affecting the region focus on technical fixes to the exclusion of institutional dimensions and that there is little coordination in the development and implementation of the various policies and programmes, at both regional and country levels. Yet, policies are likely to succeed in poverty reduction only when they deliver changes in institutional mandates and administrative processes, and are consistent with the system of incentives which underpin poor livestock keepers’ behaviour,   In addition, an inclusive development of the livestock sector requires that a coherent set of policies be designed and implemented, including policies within and beyond the livestock domain (e.g. trade, cropping, environmental or credit policies).

The paper recommends that first and foremost, the dominant ‘production and market access’ narrative should be enhanced by a development paradigm that also appreciates the many livelihoods services provided by livestock, including both monetary and non-monetary services. An enhanced livestock-livelihoods narrative would ensure that most future policies, programmes and projects, by adhering to the new paradigm, will build on the many livelihoods services provided by livestock, thereby supporting a pro-poor development of the sector.  It also recommends that policies, programmes and projects should be designed through an inclusive process that embraces dialogue and the use of evidence to address institutional dimensions, and that some effective coordination be established between AU-IBAR, RECs and national governments; between RECs; and between livestock related policies at national level.

The paper recognizes that AU-IBAR, RECs and national governments could contribute towards addressing the above recommendations, but notes that IGAD, in partnership with AU-IBAR, has generated encouraging experiences in this respect, through IGAD-LPI.

IGAD LPI Steering Committee Members

The 6th Steering Committee (SC), held on 14th and 15th December in Naivasha, Kenya, stressed the importance of maintaining the momentum of the Policy Hubs and the Information Nodes created by IGAD LPI across all IGAD member states, after the end of the project in February 2012. National Steering Committee Members presented their plans for national internalisation of project institutions, following discussions held within their policy hubs. Their proposals were in some cases ambitious, while others represented a fundamental re-think on their preferred  structure. In all cases, however, they re-affirmed that, building on the experience of IGAD LPI and the policy hubs, there is a strongly felt need for strong, poverty focussed national think-tanks, coupled to policy making.

IGAD further presented its plans for continuing the work of IGAD LPI after its closure in February 2012, which will in large part be taken forward by the forthcoming IGAD livestock centre. Commending the work done by IGAD LPI, Mr Maina Karaba, Acting Director of Agriculture and Environment at the IGAD Secretariat, and Chairperson of the Meeting, explained how the centre would build up on what has been achieved so far by IGAD LPI.

Presenting the proposed workplan for 2011, IGAD LPI’s Chief Technical Adviser, Dr Dil Peeling, stressed that with 14 months left to run, the project was not yet ready to wind down. He proposed several areas of engagement which would be coupled to a process of lesson learning in order to inform the institutionalisation of project gains at national level, and the establishment of the centre at regional level.  

IGAD LPI SCM Recommendations

The PRSP TWG of the Sudan Policy Hub discussing project proposals

The PRSP TWG of the Sudan Policy Hub discussing project proposals

This week, the Policy Hubs in Djibouti and Uganda met to decide how they intend to institutionalise and maintain their Policy Hubs, working groups and Information Nodes. In the Sudan, the Technical Working Group convened to consolidate livestock project proposals for further action by their Policy Hub.

The Djiboutian Policy Hub, attended by IGAD LPI Chief Technical Adviser Dil Peeling, agreed on an action plan that foresees better representation of women and of senior officials and that establishes a legal status for the institutions. Dr. Otieno Mtula attended the Policy Hub in Uganda, which examined ways through which the national Policy Hub and Information Node could be institutionalised to keep advocating and supporting pro-poor policy processes in the country after IGAD LPI closes in February 2012 and established a smaller sub-group to finalise their plan. The meeting also examined concepts being developed for inclusion in the country’s development planning. Dr Abdi Jama, IGAD LPI Livestock Information Adviser, took part in a Sudanese Technical Working Group meeting on better representation of livestock in the National Development Plans. The meeting focused on consolidating the array of priority small projects identified so far into larger projects and programs to be incorporated in the Country’s Poverty Eradication Paper.  These projects will be submitted to the Policy Hub chaired by the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries for final review, based on their poverty and gender focus. The meeting is scheduled for the end of December.

Dr Otieno Mtula, IGAD LPI Livestock Policy Adviser, speaking at the Sudan Policy Hub Meeting in Khartoum

Dr Otieno Mtula, IGAD LPI Livestock Policy Adviser, speaking at the Sudan Policy Hub Meeting in Khartoum

The Sudanese Policy Hub meeting on the 8th – 9th November 2010, discussed ways of institutionalising their Policy Hub and Information Node, established through IGAD LPI, into the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries (MARF). The policy hub further discussed ways of ensuring sustainable funding to maintain momentum beyond the life of IGAD LPI, and continue addressing challenges the livestock keepers face in sustaining their livelihoods. The Policy Hub formed a special committee to meet senior MARF officials and the Head of the Agriculture Committee in the National Assembly and advocate the recommendations coming out of the meeting. They will convey the message that Sudan needs more emphasis on pro-poor policy making for the benefit of the livestock dependent poor.

The Policy Hub discussing PRSP issues, Khartoum

The Policy Hub discussing PRSP issues, Khartoum

A working group, a subset of the Sudanese livestock Policy Hub, held a meeting on the 3th October 2010 in Khartoum, Sudan to continue to develop and refine viable livestock development projects with the aim of augmenting the profile of livestock in the Sudanese country poverty eradication strategy paper. The working group consists of representatives from government ministries, pastoralist unions, civil Society organizations, women affairs, NGOs and the private sector.

Opening the one day session, the IGAD LPI National Technical Focal Point, Dr. Ammar Sheikh underscored the need to focus on the development of project proposals and programs that have the potential to contribute on improving on livelihoods of the livestock keepers as well as to the overall alleviation on poverty and food insecurity in the Sudan,

The IGAD LPI National Technical Focal Point, Dr. Ammar Sheikh and Dr. Abdi Jama of IGAD LPI briefed the Sudanese IGAD LPI Steering Committee member, Dr. Kamal Tagelsir Elsheikh on recent developments in the project and exchanged views with regard to the sustainably of institutions set up by IGAD LPI such as Policy Hub and National Information Node.  Dr. Elsheikh expressed his confidence that these institutions will receive support from the Ministry of Animal Resource and Fisheries beyond the life of the project given their importance and contributions so far to capacity building on pro- poor livestock policy making in the Sudan.