The Ethiopian Poultry Producers and Processors Association (EPPPA) has recognized the Livestock Compact of the International Livestock Research Institute(ILRI)-led Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) project for its role in strengthening the Ethiopian poultry sector. Adeniyi Adediran, leader of TAAT, received an award from EPPPA on behalf of the project during the EPPPA Annual General Assembly on 25 January 2020 in Addis Ababa.
The TAAT livestock compact provides financial and technical support to Ethiopia’s poultry innovation platform that brings together sector actors and policymakers to deliberate on solutions to challenges facing the industry.
TAAT supported the EPPPA to organize its first national poultry forum in April 2019, which brought together policymakers from the ministries of Trade and Industry Development, Finance and Economic Cooperation, and the National Bank of Ethiopia as well as poultry farmers, producers, suppliers and other industry actors. The forum identified key challenges facing the poultry industry in Ethiopia as shortage of access to foreign currency for importation of basic poultry inputs, and taxes levied on imports of poultry inputs and machinery among others. These discussions contributed to the government’s directive that lifted import tax on some poultry inputs and equipment and improved access to foreign currency for stakeholders in the industry.
Encouraged by these positive actions, with technical support from TAAT, EPPPA organized five regional workshops in 2019 to raise awareness on the importance of advocacy in influencing government policy. These events led to the holding of a Poultry Stakeholders Forum side event at the African Livestock Exhibition and Congress (ALEC) in Addis Ababa in October 2019.
The TAAT Livestock Compact and the TAAT Policy Enabler Compact co-sponsored the ‘poultry forum’ at the ALEC conference. It was attended by members of the agricultural standing committee of the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives (HPRE), poultry farmers, research institutes, suppliers, distributors, industry association representatives and other poultry stakeholders. Francis Nang’ayo, TAAT’s policy enabler compact lead, presented the results of a ‘Poultry and small ruminant supply/value chains in Ethiopia: policy and operational challenges’ review for validation. Genene Tesfaye, EPPPA president, shared the findings of the first national poultry forum and the five regional poultry platforms.
Based on issues raised in the two presentations, a panel discussion was held involving the following panellists: Tadelle Dessie (ILRI), Martha Yami (National Veterinary Institute), Tadesse Berhe (Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Industry Development Institute), Genene Tesfaye (EPPPA) and Moti Cheru (Veterinary Drugs and Animal Feeds Administration and Control Agency). They discussed, among other topics, the lack of engagement between the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and poultry industry actors, lack of alternative plans for vaccine supply, taxes on import of poultry inputs and sales of poultry products, lack of capacity-building centres, lack of synergy among government institutions, inadequate efforts to create demand for poultry products, feed shortage and lack of access to finance for poultry sector actors.
Members of the Agricultural Standing Committee of the HPRE who attended the poultry forum discussed with relevant officials at the MoA and managed to create smoother working relationship between the MoA and EPPPA.
As a result, the MoA, EPPPA and Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Industry Development Institute (EMDIDI) organized a workshop that helped in reaching a consensus to support regional bureaus in their efforts to collect reliable field level data on the national poultry population. Participants included representatives from the Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s regions. In addition, the EPPPA, EMDIDI and MOA held a meeting to evaluate stakeholders’ integration and measures to enhance the poultry sector.
The discussions in these platforms have also contributed to the government’s decision to build a poultry slaughterhouse facility in Bishoftu.
‘This award reinforces our conviction that a vibrant poultry industry association plays an important role in advocacy for an improved policy environment,’ said Adediran. ‘By working together, we can hasten technical innovations and adoption and resolve many of the barriers limiting the development of the Ethiopian poultry industry.’
The TAAT Livestock Compact project is funded by the African Development Bank and is implemented by ILRI. Working in Ethiopia, Mali and Nigeria, it aims to increase the productivity and profitability of small ruminants and poultry value chains through the scaling of proven technologies in livestock genetics, feed, health, production systems and marketing in Africa.