USAID Supports Innovative Livestock Feed Solution

Two men holding bag. (Embassy Image)USAID Supports Innovative Livestock Feed Solution Ethio-Feed PLC Launches Livestock Feed Facility that Transforms Agricultural Waste into Quality Livestock Feed East Wellega Zone, Oromia, Ethiopia, December 8, 2014 – The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development activity, today held a ribbon cutting ceremony to open a livestock feed manufacturing facility financed, in part, through a USAID grant to Ethio-Feed PLC. The manufacturing equipment provided to Ethio-Feed will create easy access to affordable and nutritious livestock feed for over 350 dairy farmers and feedlot operators in the Bako, Sire and Anno districts of the Oromia Region. The feed ingredients come from agricultural by-products that are readily available. A shortage of affordable and nutritious feed is a major constraint for Ethiopia’s livestock farmers, which is what led Ethio-Feed PLC to focus on the development of new feeds from agricultural by-products and other ingredients, previously considered as waste. Ethio-Feed partnered with Anno Agro-Industry through a franchise agreement to build the new facility and will partner with other franchisees to open similar facilities in Wonji and Mekele within the coming three months. “A major challenge that limits competitiveness and productivity of Ethiopia’s livestock sector is a lack of capital for new technology. To help address this challenge, USAID awards grants to private sector companies, cooperatives, associations and entrepreneurs for innovative activities that will benefit smallholder farmers and promote competitiveness in the meat, live animal and dairy value chains in Ethiopia,” said USAID Ethiopia Acting Mission Director Gary Linden. “Ethio-Feed is one of 18 companies that received grants and we believe that the other 17 grant recipients, and those in line to receive grants, will use a similar approach and bring substantial achievements to increase productivity.” Through the $5.5 million Innovation Grants Fund, USAID will assist approximately 200 companies, cooperatives, associations and entrepreneurs through awards ranging from $25,000 to $300,000 each. The grant amount is determined based on the applicant’s need, the proposed activities, and the potential impact for smallholder livestock farmers. The grants support innovations and technologies that solve critical constraints along the livestock value chains. The goal of USAID’s Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development activity is to improve productivity, competitiveness, and profitability of activities related to dairy, meat and live animal production, processing, and export. The USAID activity is funded by the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative as part of the U.S. Government’s contribution to the Government of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program.