Ethiopia is poised to generate around $141 million from the export of approximately 38,000 tons of meat and meat products in the current Ethiopian fiscal year, according to the Livestock Development Institute.
Dr. Asrat Tera, Executive Director of the Institute, highlighted the country’s ongoing efforts to increase export revenues by enhancing both the quality and volume of animal products and expanding market access. Ethiopia boasts the largest livestock resources in Africa and ranks fifth globally; however, it has struggled to reap the full benefits of this potential due to challenges such as an inefficient market system and a lack of coordination among abattoirs.
Over the past 14 years, Ethiopia’s earnings from the livestock sector have remained remarkably low, totaling just $1.1 billion. The country is equipped with 12 large slaughterhouses capable of processing over 200,000 tons of meat annually, but they are currently operating at only 10% of their capacity, exporting a mere 20,000 tons per year.
As part of its strategy to bolster export earnings, the Livestock Development Institute has initiated measures to improve the quality and quantity of animal products and expand market opportunities. Collaborating with various stakeholders, the institute has taken steps such as establishing legal frameworks and launching new initiatives. Additionally, the four-year Yelemat Tirufat program, aimed at enhancing the animal products sector, is playing a significant role in boosting livestock production.
Ethiopia is also focusing on expanding its market access to secure favorable prices for its animal products. In this context, agreements have been reached with countries like China and other Asian nations to import Ethiopia’s animal products, strengthening the prospects for the country’s meat export industry.