For Mahmud Haji, a livestock trader in the Ethiopian Somali Region, “A poor market linkage among the value chain actors is one of the reasons for poor performance of livestock markets.” The Ministry of Agriculture also recognizes that lack of reliable market for live animals and animal products, weak linkage between livestock exporters and international buyers, and lack of competitiveness in the Ethiopian livestock sector are important bottlenecks for Ethiopia to meet its Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) goals in the livestock sector.
In an effort to improve livestock marketing and competitiveness, Pastoralist Areas Resilience Improvement through Market Expansion (PRIME) coordinated with the Ministry of Trade to facilitate the participation of four export abattoirs and live animal exporters from pastoral and agro pastoral areas and a government official in the Gulfood Expo held in Dubai from ) February 22-26, 2014. The visit presented an opportunity not only to expose the companies to state-of-the-art technologies, new practices, latest products and reputable suppliers in the livestock sector, but also create lucrative and rewarding trade links with prominent companies in the region.
Ato Ahmed Mustefa (left), Livestock Exporter, making deals with meat importers from Yemen
Ato Zenebe Kassa, General Manager of Rez Agro-Vet Trading Company and one of the participants of the visit, describes the visit as a “valuable to gain experience and create linkage with potential livestock importers from different parts of the Gulf States. The visit triggered some companies to revisit their strategic directions. Some signed a number of concrete trade agreements with new clients. Others revised their marketing strategy and learned more about importers needs and requirements, which they are working hard to meet. Rez Agro-vet Trading Company, for example, entered into an agreement with Ard Eneaam Company to export 330 camels per quarter to Egypt. The Company had also discussions with more than ten livestock traders and made a deal with four livestock importing companies: Yazdan Food Service to export 2000 sheep per month, Bahrain Group to export 5000 sheep and 200 cattle per quarter, Nile Union Meat Cop to export 3000 cattle per two months, and Euro Star to export 1500 camels every forty-five days. Faisal Guhad established business links with more than 20 companies and he is having negotiations with the companies to sign MoUs and business deals. Overall, the visit was key in meeting PRIME’s livestock productivity objective of improving trade of live animals and improving meat trade.
PRIME staff are supporting the participants continually in following up on the new trade links to support the companies in either executing export transactions or increasing competitiveness by adopting new technologies and quality standards that the potential buyers require.