Investment in livestock agriculture in Ethiopia has the potential to halve poverty, improve the food security of rural people and make livestock an increasing contributor to GDP growth. The Ethiopia livestock master plan (LMP) sets out ambitious year 2020 targets for several livestock value chains—crossbred dairy cows, red meat-milk and feedlot, and poultry. The 2020 targets aim to increase meat, milk and egg production by 58%, 83% and 828% respectively above 2012/2013 totals.
Livestock production accounts for approximately one third of the global water footprint, and Ethiopia is no different. A scarce commodity in the country, water availability has been aggravated by climatic fluctuations and rapid economic growth. With the potential consequences for human health of a lack of quality drinking water, as well as for the country’s development, there is a strong case for enhancing the role of research for development in understanding better how limited water resources can be used.
Over the last 20 years, the Ethiopian government has prioritized the transformation of the agricultural sector, yet the absence of a livestock roadmap has hindered implementation.