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Project in Ethiopia 

Improving the Evidence and Policies for Better Performing Livestock Systems in Ethiopia

Timeframe: October 2016-September 2020

Funding: USAID

Principal investigator (PI) and lead institution

Bart Minten, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Co-PI and collaborator institutions

  • Kalle Hirvonen, IFPRI
  • Policy Studies Institute (PSI), Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research (EIAR), Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (ESSP)

Journal Articles

Ameye, H., Nisrane Bachewe, F., and Minten, B. 2021. The rising price of nutritious foods: The case of Ethiopia. Global Food Security, Volume 31,100582.

D’Haene E, Vandevelde S, Minten B (2021) Fasting, food and farming: Value chains and food taboos in Ethiopia. PLoS ONE 16(12): e0259982.

Minten, B., Beyene, S., and Reardon, T. 2020. Post-harvest losses in rural-urban value chains: Evidence from Ethiopia. Food Policy.

Minten, B., Habte, Y., Baye, K. and Tamru, S. 2023. Food safety and incipient modern value chains: Evidence from milk in Ethiopia. Eur J Dev Res. 


More Information

 October 2020 research update MINTEN VGM (Virtual General Meeting)

Project Plan

The purpose of the project is to bring markets and consumption – on top of production – forward as an integral component into research on livestock systems. Insights into these aspects will contribute towards more informed and evidence-based decision making and consequently to a better performing livestock sector in Ethiopia. More specifically, the project will address two broad research themes:

Theme 1:

Understanding the dairy value chain. Despite the importance of a well-functioning dairy value chain for nutrition and income generation, especially for women, it is currently not clear what the most important constraints are for improved value chain functioning in Ethiopia and what is holding the country back to achieve a white revolution, as seen in other countries such as India and Kenya. To inform policy making, the project will focus – using novel primary data representative at each level of the value chain, from rural producers to urban consumers – on analyzing the functioning of Ethiopia’s rural-urban dairy value chain.

Theme 2:

Understanding consumption and markets of ASF: A national analysis. The first study under this theme is on “ASF consumption in Ethiopia: Patterns, changes, and drivers”. Using five large representative nation-wide household consumption surveys (from 1996 to 2016), the project will analyze the levels, changes, and drivers for change at the national level in ASF consumption and expenditures. Understanding consumption dynamics, and the role of factors such as income growth and urbanization in this, will allow for the assessment of future demand for different types of ASF – and therefore future livestock systems – in Ethiopia. The second study under this theme will look at “Livestock and ASF price behavior in Ethiopia: Patterns, changes, and drivers”, based on large national price datasets. Understanding price behavior is a very important topic given the large impact of prices (and incomes) on consumption of ASF and the often prohibitive high costs of ASF for poor, vulnerable, and women-headed households. Insights in this matter enormously for informed discussions on policies towards achieving well-functioning livestock marketing systems.

The Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (ESSP) – a collaborative program of IFPRI with the Policy Studies Institute (PSI) – will implement the project. ESSP is based in the country and has worked closely with local partners such as the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research (EIAR) and local universities (which will all be partners in this proposed project) in the past. ESSP is guided by an influential national advisory committee that will oversee this proposed project. A two-pronged approach in capacity building will involve training about 150 men and women in specific areas and working closely with local institutions and think-tanks.

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems is part of Feed the Future

This work was funded in whole or part by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Resilience, Environment and Food Security under Agreement # AID-OAA-L-15-00003 as part of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. Additional funding was received from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation OPP#060115.  Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors alone.