Bishoftu, Ethiopia, September 21, 2015 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Livestock Market Development activity, today held an equipment handover ceremony for eight grantees operating in the Amhara, Oromia and SNNP regions. The grantees come from diversified areas of the livestock sector including artificial insemination, dairy and feed production, and meat processing. These eight grants will encourage local Ethiopian investment and innovation in the livestock sector.
As in many countries, one of the critical constraints for Ethiopian businesses to grow and develop is the lack of capital and finance, especially for businesses with innovative ideas. These businesses often lack collateral and their innovative ideas are viewed as risky. Businesses in Ethiopia’s livestock sector face even greater challenges due to the banking industry’s unfamiliarity with lending to the livestock sector.
The goal of the USAID activity is to improve productivity, competitiveness, and profitability of activities related to dairy, meat and animal production, processing, and export. Through its innovation grants fund, USAID intends to award up to $6 million. Grant awards range from $25,000 and $300,000. Successful grant applications will continue to address innovations and technologies that solve critical constraints along the farm-to-market path.
“The Ethiopia’s livestock sector has enormous potential to reduce extreme poverty and malnutrition,” said USAID Ethiopia Acting Mission Director Ramona El Hamzaoui. “These grants will spur local entrepreneurship and innovation as well as unblock obstacles to producing and marketing better or new products and, eventually, grow more jobs in livestock businesses.”
The equipment delivered today included mobile abattoirs, trucks, cream makers, and chilling machines, valued at $336,000. The event also featured booths that demonstrated the connections between suppliers, producers and processors in the meat, live animal and dairy sectors, and a cattle tagging exercise with two local cow breeds.
USAID’s Livestock Market Development is a five-year project implemented as part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, with the goal to improve smallholder incomes and nutritional status in four regions of Ethiopia.
Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) is a Washington, D.C.-based international development organization that specializes in implementing enterprise-based agricultural/livestock development initiatives designed to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, increase productivity and improve access to inputs and finance. CNFA currently implements two activities in Ethiopia, through USAID support.