The European Union has launched a 3 million euro livestock initiative aimed at improving competitiveness of Somali livestock in regional and international markets through better quality products and market diversification.
The initiative, to be implemented jointly with the Ministry Livestock, the Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources of the African Union, IBAR and Food and Agriculture Organisation consolidates the achievements and impacts of previous EU funded support to livestock trade and marketing in Somalia.
In a statement, the EU has also noted the initiative will build the capacity of the Livestock Ministry at regional and national level in promoting and regulating livestock production and trade.
The initiative dubbed Enhancing Somali Livestock Trade; ESOLT will enhance the collaboration with private sector along the livestock value chain, from the small pastoralist production areas to the export market through the main ports of transit.
FAO reported last week Somalia exported 5.3 million animals in 2015, which was a 6% increase from 2014. The export earned the country 384 million dollars. However the country lacks value addition systems meaning only live animals are exported.
The joint initiative, the statement says will develop capacity on Somali livestock value chain actors on trade negotiations and market requirements. This will also be supplemented by a pilot programme to promote standardised grades and branding of Somali livestock commodities.
The project has duration of three years and will be jointly implements by AU IBAR and FAO in strict collaboration with the Ministry of Livestock, Forestry and Range ensuring the proper participation of private sector and Somali beneficiaries.