The Ethiopian government has recently signed 470 million USD loan and donation agreement with the World Bank, of which 170 million USD loan goes to livestock and fishery resource development.
The Project aimed at transforming the sector through developing livestock and fishery resources, educating low income farmers and pastoralists towards animal husbandry, and upgrading the status of small livestock cooperatives, Ministry of Livestock and Fishery Project Coordinator Dr. Tomas Cherinet told The Ethiopian Herald.
According to Dr. Tomas, the Project works in four value chain components- dairy, poultry, fishery and red meat.
"The Project is ready to assist all actors at the same time. Primarily cooperatives or common interest group would be created in poultry and dairy. As they are working in an organized manner, they will able to assist others."
Domestic dairy cattle yield from 1.5 to 2.0 liters of milk a day which is below the expected average. Hence, the Project has planned to increase the yield from 8 to 12 liters per day by crossbreeding domesticated cattle with exotic high yielding species.
"The Project is the first in its kind. The previous projects were handled many issues in one. But this Project is focusing on animal issues alone and the government is also dedicated to transform the sector.
As states have potential livestock and fishery resources, the Project will open animal health laboratories, forage production and distribution centers and develop livestock extension, Dr Tomas remarked.
As to him, the Project which aimed at benefiting 1.2 million farmers and pastorialists could not cover all woredas of the country. Hence, it would operate in some selected 58 woredas of the six states, Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, SNNPs, Benishangul and Gambella and embraces 1784 kebeles.
According to the Manager, the Project would be fully operational when the allocated loan is ratified by the Council of Ministers and House of Peoples' Representatives and released. As a tentative schedule, the Project is set to be launched in June.
The Ministry is working aggressively for Project's implementation. In states, project coordination units will be opened to operate accordingly.
The Project will be applicable within five years time and is expected to bring differences in the sector: transforming peoples' nutrition culture, and augmenting livestock product export.