PRIME’s Nutritional Interventions in Southern Cluster are Winning Government Buy-in

Improving the nutritional status of families is one of the goals of the Pastoralist Areas Resilience improvement through Market Expansion (PRIME) project. The project works to achieve this goal through a behavior change communications (BCC); edutainment is one of the BCC components the project draws on. Informed with research, PRIME works with local entertainment groups and clubs to hold dramas, street shows and other entertaining activities to reach rural communities with nutritional messages that encourage community members to change their behaviors on equitable household decision making, 1000-day-care, fodder production, animal health, and dietary diversity. Local governments are now recognizing the impact such activities are making on rural communities.[read more=”Continue Reading ” less=”Less”]

These promotional activities have been recognized by local governments. Dire woreda health office nutrition officer Abdi Hasen, who attended one of the recent events, thanked PRIME for complementing government efforts on nutrition. “Through health extension workers we have been providing nutrition education for woreda’s communities,” says Abdi. “However,” he continued to say, “ health extension workers have not been disseminating messages for all community members but this approach will enable us to disseminate message for large communities”.PRIME in Southern Cluster, in partnership with local theatre band, has been promoting healthier behaviors for rural pastoralist communities during market days through shows. The shows included dramas, question_and_answer sessions and feedback sessions. In its recent promotional effort, PRIME reached 1250 community members in Yabello and Dire woredas with the key message of 1000-day-care. The promotions were conducted in places where community members gathered for business transactions. Through these promotional activities, community members realized that nutritional interventions between the first day of a women’s pregnancy and the second birthday of her child are critical in determining the future well-being of children. Participants of the events admitted that they had no idea of the importance of the 1000 days and promised to put this into practice.

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Got Camel Milk? Ethiopian Dairy Processor Ramps Up Production With USAID Support

The dairy market system in the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of Ethiopia is predominantly subsistence-based, which means communities have limited access to markets and institutional support around agriculture and livestock management is limited. That’s why Feed the Future is providing technical and financial support to companies like Berwako Milk Processing PLC, a venture recently established by local entrepreneur Amir Mukhtar in Jijiga, the capital of the Somali Region of Ethiopia.

Berwako Milk Processing PLC is just one of six companies receiving a matching-grant through the Innovation Investment Fund of the Pastoralist Areas Resilience Improvement Through Market Expansion (PRIME) project in Ethiopia. PRIME is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Mercy Corps.

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MercyCorps

Photo Credit: USAID/PRIME – Amir Mukhtar shows off his milk processing facility

 What is the Innovation Investment Fund?

The IIF facilitates finance to growth-oriented medium to large-scale enterprises through matching grants/contracts, leveraging local capital for investments in a range of market development activities that improve market linkages, generate employment, and increase financial inclusion. To date, the IIF has signed agreements with six companies for a total value of around $6 million USD, with private sector cost-share of $24.8 million USD, or 80 percent! The IIF provided a $370k grant to Berwako, which the company matched with $1.3 million of its own financing, mainly for purchasing equipment to expand production capacity.

Have you tried Camel Milk?

Almost a year into its start-up, Berwako is collecting camel and cow milk from approximately 300 households to process 1,200 liters of raw milk per day. The higher price Berwako offers for high-quality milk has already resulted in better raw milk and increased incomes for local milk-producing households. The company has also started marketing its products in Jijiga and other urban areas, such as Addis Ababa. Due to high demand, it is now expanding into neighboring countries such as Somalia and Djibouti. Berwako is even considering producing camel milk yogurt.

The Somali community especially highly prizes camel milk, a traditional product that has been enjoyed by generations of pastoralists. Perhaps not surprising, as camel milk has less fat than cow milk and camel milk is available even during the dry season when cow milk production significantly decreases in the pastoral areas. Currently Berwako is the only processor of camel milk in Ethiopia, but that first-mover advantage won’t last for long. There are already signs that other companies are moving into the fray.

Nonetheless, Mukhtar is optimistic about his company’s prospects. “While the completion of this project poses numerous challenges,” he says, “the vision of working together with the milk-producing communities and the support we are getting from USAID keeps us confident that what we are doing will bring tremendous benefits to the households we create markets for, consumers and the national economy.”

Currently working with two milk consolidation cooperatives in Danusha and Bombas, Berwako is playing an important role in catalyzing the regional dairy market and adding to the resilience of pastoralist households. The PRIME project supported the cooperative members through training on milk sanitation and quality, and additional support to the cooperatives for the provision of dairy equipment and technical capacity building will be provided by Berwako. This model ensures that a sustainable partnership is forged between Berwako and its suppliers.

What is the Impact?

With 36 full-time staff, nine of which were hired since PRIME’s started its support, Berwako is aiming to process around 5,000 liters of milk per day by the end of the year. It is anticipated that USAID’s support to Berwako under Feed the Future will enable more than 3,000 pastoral and agro-pastoral households to have access to a more reliable, fair and regular market for their milk, resulting in increased household income, resilience, and nutrition. In a virtuous circle, better access to markets will stimulate more production, improving livestock productivity and quality, which in turn will improve household nutrition and resilience. The work with Berwako and dairy cooperatives are complemented by PRIME’s Behavior Change Communication activities, including a 20-episode Soap Opera for Social Change developed in partnership with Warner Brothers as well as local Theatre Group Performances. These and other activities reinforce key messages that contribute to household nutrition, especially for women and children.

The USAID project, which is designed to increase household incomes and enhance resilience to climate change through market linkages in Ethiopia’s dryland areas, will continue to work with Berwako and other local entrepreneurs as part of Feed the Future to facilitate new and innovative products and services that will benefit Ethiopia’s pastoral and agro-pastoral community.

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PRIME Supports Haramaya University Organize The 3rd International Veterinary Education Conference

In collaboration with, has stated its 3rd International Veterinary Education Conference today, 18 June 2015. The theme of the two-day conference (18- 19 June 2015) conference is “Enhancing Livestock Productivity, Role of Quality Veterinary Education, Research and Rationalization in Promoting Export Market to Endure Food Security and Sustainable Economic Growth”. Twenty-three scholars presented papers and six of thse studies were done by Haramaya University and supported by PRIME. Dr. Abdulmen Mohammed, PRIME staff, presented PRIME’s experience on competitive grants for private veterinary pharmacies. Each presentation was followed by a question and answer session in which challenges, lessons learned, recommendations and way forward were discussed. The conference was attended by more than 300 people, including, the State Minister for Livestock Development, and they were drawn from, Ministry of Agriculture, NGOs, senior officials of Haramaya University, Agricultural Research Centers, Deans of Veterinary Colleges of various universities, students.The conference was instrumental [read more = “Continue Reading” less=”Less”]

The 3rd International Veterinary Education Conference in Haramaya University in progressPRIME partnered with Haramaya University,the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ethiopian Veterinary Association (EVA) and other development partners to support the College of Veterinary Medicine,Haramaya University,to organize the 3rd International Veterinary Education Conference from June 17-19, 2015. The theme of the conference was, “Enhancing Livestock Productivity, Role of Quality Veterinary Education, Research and Rationalization in Promoting Export Market to Ensure Food Security and Sustainable Economic Growth”. Papers were presented under three thematic areas: Impact of Disease and Climate Change on Livestock Productivity; Veterinary Rationalization in bringing research findings and recommendations to the attention of decision makers and stakeholders.

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Monthly Livestock Price Report Bulletin March 2015

he livestock market bulletin report for the month of March, 2015, a publication of selected information obtained from the NLMIS. This publication contains limited amount of information and further detail on pricing, number of traded animals (small ruminants, cattle, camel) categorized in various breeds and body condition in different markets throughout Ethiopia on weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis can be found on www.lmiset.net

Please Click the link below to download the Report Bulletin March 2015, Monthly Livestock Price Report Bulletin_March_2015

Monthly Livestock Price Report Bulletin February2015

he livestock market bulletin report for the month of February, 2015, a publication of selected information obtained from the NLMIS. This publication contains limited amount of information and further detail on pricing, number of traded animals (small ruminants, cattle, camel) categorized in various breeds and body condition in different markets throughout Ethiopia on weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis can be found on www.lmiset.net

Please Click the link below to download the Report Bulletin February 2015, Monthly Livestock Price Report Bulletin_Februay_2015