Who benefits from livestock exports from the Horn?
Aid donors have invested much in livestock marketing in pastoralist areas of the Horn of Africa for over 30 years. Most recently, this support has included attention to export of live animals and related certification, quarantine and other inputs. It has often been assumed that, in pastoralist areas, a linear and simple relationship exists between “better access to export markets” and “poverty alleviation.” The report “Livestock exports from the Horn of Africa” (2010) examines the benefits derived from the livestock export trade by different pastoralist wealth groups and discusses the policy implications. It was found that the considerable investment in market infrastructure and export markets did not benefit poorer pastoralists. While the livestock export trade from the Horn continues to grow, so do levels of pastoralist destitution. A more poverty-focused approach in pastoralist areas would explicitly recognise and support a strategy of herd growth for poorer households, which would include developing infrastructure and communications, tailoring credit and financial services to poorer herders, supporting primary veterinary services (e.g. though community-based animal heath workers, and institutionalising livelihoods-based programming and drought-cycle management.