The IGAD region is rich in livestock resources, which is the major source of livelihood for millions of agro-pastoralists and pastoralists. The demand for livestock and livestock products in the region, in Africa and in the Middle East is high and raising. In 2014, the region exported 10 millions of live animals to Middle East and North African (MENA) countries. The main bottle neck for the livestock sector in the IGAD region , among others, are limited knowledge on requirements from importing countries, capacity to meet SPS/market compliance, in-consistent marketable product supply, limited value addition, inadequate market promotion and linkage, trans-boundary Animal diseases and limited information sharing and networking among the actors. These constraints are affecting competitiveness in the markets thereby market share.
IGAD and FAO therefore jointly developed a regional project entitled Improving Supply of Safe and Quality Livestock and Meat Exported from the Horn of Africa to Middle East and Gulf Countries; to complement with other projects, programs and initiatives and enhance competitiveness and market share of the region in livestock and livestock products. The launch was organized by FAO/SFE and IGAD Center for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD). It took place in Addis Ababa; Ethiopia from December 7-8, 2015. The participants were from IGAD member states; Ministries in charge of Livestock, private sectors/NEALCO; FAO, AUIBAR and ICPALD. The workshop was officially opened by Dr. Bewket Siraw, Director of Veterinary Services representing the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery, Ethiopia; after remarks made by Dr. Patrick (FAO/SFE coordinator ) , Dr. Ameha Sebsibe; representing ICPALD Director and Mr. Andrea Ghione, Italian Development Cooperation, representing the Italian Embassy
The Member states has shown strong interest on the project activities and thanked FAO and IGAD for developing the project and mobilizing resources. Hon. Bright Rwamirama; Ugandan Minister for MAAIF also thanked FAO and IGAD for the efforts being made and reminded the audience of the need to develop the industry in Eastern Africa countries, in order to add value to products before export.
Finally the workshop recommended the following main actions: the project need to seek, enhance synergy and complementarities with related projects/programs/initiatives and with other partners involved in the region, the Italian Cooperation to release the second instalment of the budget in time to enable implementation of the follow up project activities and the project to explore alternative markets to Asia; Africa in addition to the IGAD traditional Middle East & North Africa (MENA) markets. It was also recommended that the project to diversify the markets within MENA.
We are grateful to Italian Development cooperation for financing this event.