Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Nikoi Kote Nikoi


Livestock production is of strategic economic importance as it is a fundamental component of the livelihood of 85 percent of Ethiopian providing draught power, a mode of transportation and food in the form of milk and meat. Furthermore, livestock substitute for the lack of a modern financial system providing a form of saving and risk management.

Unlike many African countries, the profile of livestock production in Ethiopia is well researched but there appears to be a detachment between research and the practical problems faced by beneficiaries the research is focused on. The national rural development policies and agricultural research investments have reflected their predisposition toward commercial cereal crop production. Development projects related to the livestock sub-sector had failed to produce wealth sufficient for development of the national economy. Most projects have had limited impact on the poor livestock keepers due to the projects focus on increasing production using strategies often suitable for wealthier farmers and the lack of coordinated involvement between various institutions. Past and present national policies have ignored the dynamic interaction between the farming system, rural life, and livestock.

This paper reviews and analyzes current/historical national developmental policy documents combined with intensive literature reviews to evaluate Ethiopia’s livestock policy and how it could be improved to better serve the interests of poor livestock keepers. In addition, it reviews the roles played by the Government of Ethiopia, national and international research organizations, and development assistance communities in promoting growth in the livestock sub-sector. It recommends some steps that are necessary preconditions to creating livestock policies that benefit and promote growth in the livestock sub-sector and achieving Ethiopia’s plans for Agricultural Development- Led Industrialization

The proposed strategy consist of the following six components: 1.Changing the livestock sub-sector huge disadvantage due to a lack of representation in the policy arena and eliminating or reducing bias perception of livestock significance lying only in its contribution to crop production; 2. Changing research methodology toward Action-oriented imbedded in innovation systems perspective; 3. Changing coordination efforts between international and national research organizations; 4. Understanding the driving force to adoption and increase of forage production; 5. Developing a private commercial forage industry with subside or tax incentives from the government; 6. Relevant national stakeholder playing an advocacy role and more involvement of international research organization such as ILRI and IFPRI.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Economics | Growth and Development


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