Importance of livestock routes in Ethiopia
In September 2015, an international meeting on the “Importance of livestock routes for local, national and regional development” was organised by the Rangeland Management Platform – a forum coordinated by the Pastoral Livestock Development Directorate in the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and the Ethiopian Society of Animal Production (ESAP). The participants concluded that livestock routes are critical for livestock production systems, but are increasingly being blocked and are poorly serviced. They saw a need to map livestock routes in Ethiopia, as a first step toward supporting, servicing and protecting routes would ensure that livestock reach markets in good condition. Better protection of routes should be sought with consultation of pastoralists, crop farmers and other land-users. Cross-border movement of livestock should be facilitated. Need was seen for a central knowledge management system to house information and maps on livestock routes and their status. It was agreed that the Pastoral Directorate should coordinate the implementation of the recommendations. Lessons about livestock routes are being drawn from experiences in neighbouring countries such as Kenya and Tanzania. The 38-page report on the meeting can be found here.