The Political Economy of Pro-Poor Livestock Policy-making in Ethiopia


This paper presents a case study of how livestock policies are made and implemented in a national context, and how they can be improved to better serve the interests of the poor. Livestock are extremely important in Ethiopia and could play a key role in pro-poor development strategy. Livestock are estimated to contribute to the livelihoods of 60-70% of the Ethiopian population. There have been several negative livestock-related trends over the past 20-30 years, however, including a decline in: national and per capita production of livestock products, official livestock and livestock product exports and earnings from exports, and per capita consumption of food from livestock origin.

The study used the key informant method supplemented with official documents, newspaper sources and recently published research on the livestock sector. Interviews helped reveal policymakers' concerns, whereas field trips allowed the researcher to talk to a farmers and learn their perspectives.

The author concludes that a strategy aimed at significantly moving the process forward and achieving pro-poor livestock and related policies needs to be broad, both short term and long term, and politically feasible.

The recommended strategy consists of the following four components: * Reaching early agreement on selected issues and activities, * Forging strategic alliances and other links between key organizations * Engaging in high-level country dialogue, and * strengthening relevant civil society organizations.

A five page executive summary is also available in addition to this paper.


PPLPI, FAO, Rome, Italy, xiii+59 pp.

Published 1 January 2005