Lessons for livestock marketing in the Horn

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published a review of global literature on the “Horn of Africa livestock market system: lessons from elsewhere” (2015, 22 pp) commissioned by Mercy Corps with funding from USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation and SIDA under the Global Resilience Challenge.

It is focused on understanding efforts made worldwide to address the problem statement “Poor conditions of sale discourage market orientation for millions of micro- and small-scale livestock keepers (pastoralists and agropastoralists) across the arid and semi-arid lands of the Horn of Africa (HoA), limiting their abilities to effectively deal with risk and increase productivity and wealth.” Examples are drawn from cases in Botswana, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Brazil, Benin, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya, covering initiatives relate to infrastructure, animal health, telecommunications, insurance, sharia-compliant micro-credit, policy, transaction costs, social capital and gender.

The review briefly outlines the background to the problem statement, detailing the key features of the livestock market system in the HoA, and the main vulnerabilities and challenges to resilience faced by pastoralists. It identifies cases from across the world that may have some relevance in addressing those challenges. Since the HoA is in many respects unique, and research into pastoralism there is at a relatively developed stage, these cases suggest indicative lines of approach rather than ready-made solutions. Finally, the review draws together the lessons from these cases, combines them with more general research on good practice in interventions to promote resilience in pastoralist systems, and suggests some possible ways forward.

Posted on 23 August 2015 in Pastoralism & Marketing