Jijiga, Ethiopia, February 25, 2016 – The launch of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future-supported abattoir will provide the largest and most reliable livestock market in the lowland areas of Ethiopia, buying animals from more than 55,000 households in the first year of operation.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Pastoralist Areas Resilience Improvement through Market Expansion (PRIME) activity, provided a $1.5 million grant to JESH Plc. The grant leveraged private sector investment to build the first ever international-standard abattoir and livestock fattening facility in the Somali Region. JESH is located in Faafan village, approximately 40km west of Jigjiga in the Ethiopian Somali Regional State, which is home to the largest animal population in Ethiopia.
The facility was inaugurated on February 25, 2016 by the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia M. Haslach and the Somali Regional Government President, H.E. Abdi Mohamud Omar, as well as other senior government and development partner officials.
USAID supported the effort to create JESH in order to provide a reliable livestock market for lowland areas of Ethiopia where the majority of pastoral communities live and rear their livestock, thereby creating opportunities for thousands of pastoralists to increase their income, create new jobs and increase resilience.
The slaughterhouse will process meat according to international standards and will be Halal-certified to meet requirements for exporting to the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The plant will have the capacity to process 200 large ruminants (cattle and calves) and 2,000 small ruminants (sheep and goats) within an 8-hour shift. JESH will export 15 MT of chilled sheep and goat meat, and about 20 MT of frozen, deboned red meat per day.
JESH founder and CEO, Dr. Faisal Guhad stated, “Thanks to USAID, JESH has been transformed into a major, socially responsible business which keeps a keen eye on ways to support the community. Because of USAID’s support, JESH will continue to purchase livestock from pastoralist communities into the future, even after the completion of PRIME program.”
Ambassador Haslach commented, “We can all be proud that meat from the Somali Region will soon be exported directly from here to the Middle East, Asia and other locations in Africa…the United States Government is proud to be part of this important initiative.”
Support for JESH was provided by USAID’s Innovation and Investment Fund, managed by Mercy Corps, which aims to increase pastoral household incomes and enhance resilience to climate change. The fund leverages local capital for investment in a range of market development activities that improve market linkages, generate employment, and increase financial inclusion”.