USAID-PRIME (Pastoralist Areas Resilience Improvement Through Market Expansion) is a five-year, $52 million activity to increase household incomes, and enhance resilience to climate change through market linkages in Ethiopia’s dryland areas. USAID accomplishes this through five goals: increase livestock productivity and competitiveness; increase capacity of communities to respond to climate change; improve access to alternative livelihoods; improve nutritional outcomes; and improve knowledge management and learning for pastoralist issues.


Pastoralist areas of Ethiopia are endowed with a sizeable and diverse livestock resource base. However, the sector’s productivity levels fall far short of its potential due to poorly integrated markets for live animals and underdeveloped animal health services. The natural resources crucial for the livestock production system are also shrinking and deteriorating in quality. Furthermore, pastoralists are unable to capitalize on growing market opportunities and demand because of high transaction costs, limited access to markets, and an underperforming financial services sector.


USAID-PRIME will enhance availability and access to key livestock inputs and improve stakeholders’ capacity to sustainably supply goods and services to the market. The activity will stimulate investment along the value chains of the currently under-tapped livestock sector through facilitative efforts and match funds of promising investments targeted toward increased competitiveness and improved market access. In addition to improving access to finance for all market actors, USAID will provide business support services to enterprises, producers, and trade associations for increased access to and adoption of market information, more productive and appropriate technologies, and better marketing and management practices. Finally, through market-based crisis response mechanisms, the activity will work to increase the resilience of market actors to external shocks that threaten livelihoods.

Based on the results of Emergency Market Mapping and Analyses conducted in 2013, the following opportunities to improve the resilience of the market systems and livelihoods of the pastoralists have been identified:

  • Improving Animal Health Products, Services, and Feed Markets: Through technical assistance, training, matching of business expansion grants, and establishing trade links, USAID will provide access to and encourage the adoption of better animal health preservation practices and feed/fodder conservation practices. For example, the activity will provide business management training and coaching as well as business expansion grants to clinics and private veterinarian pharmacies. USAID will also support the establishment of demonstrational and research plots to aid suppliers in expanding use of drought-resistant feed and fodder varieties.
  • Improving Livestock Markets: USAID-PRIME will enhance market linkages by connecting various actors along the value chain. Additionally, the activity will help strengthen the National Livestock Market Information system and train pastoralist marketing groups and livestock trading enterprises on how best to use this market data to improve their practices.
  • Improving Dairy Value Chain: USAID will offer training, technical assistance, and business expansion grants to producers, milk aggregators, and processors in order to improve milk sanitation and preservation, and promote the adoption of better milk handling and market practices that will result in increased competitiveness and improved household nutritional status.


Jeton Starova, Livestock Production and Marketing Advisor, +251 (0) 111.110.777

Mercy Corps Ethiopia
House #504 Mundy St. Piazza
Arada Sub-city, Kebele 01/02, Addis Ababa

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