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Market Analysis for Pastoralists (MAP)

Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, & Nigeria

  • Timeframe: September 2021 - 2023
  • Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Lead Institution

University of Florida, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems


The African Union estimates that Africa has ~268 million pastoralists – over a quarter of the total population. The incidence of extreme poverty ranges between 25 and 55% among African pastoralists. These pastoralists inhabit a large percentage of the territory and form an important pillar of the economy in many countries. For instance, estimates indicate that 15 million pastoralists inhabit approximately 60% of Ethiopian territory and contribute around 35% to the agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Yet, pastoralists face increasing challenges including recurrent droughts, rangeland degradation, conflicts, and pastoral unfriendly policies etc. In addition, limited market literacy and access are important factors that constrain pastoralist’s ability to improve their livestock’s productivity and livelihoods.

While public, private, and social sectors have all invested in pastoral markets in the past few decades, few of these efforts have translated into improved livelihoods, economic growth, or poverty reduction at scale. This is exacerbated by the inability to target the right populations for these efforts, which is primarily driven by difficulties with defining poverty and applying the right vulnerability standards in these systems and cultural challenges. Existing knowledge on livestock market structures, performance, and prices are also poor and inadequate for designing policies and institutions to overcome system issues. Further, other market research efforts around pastoralist value chains have focused on increasing resilience than optimizing the value chain for economic outcomes.

Recognizing these challenges, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems at the University of Florida is implementing a market research effort building on existing evidence generated by different stakeholders (for instance, the National Bureaus of Statistics, Ministries of Trade, Ministries of Agriculture / Livestock, ILRI, AU-IBAR, USAID, etc.) about pastoral markets and investments in pastoral areas of three African countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Nigeria for the cattle and small ruminant (sheep and goat) value chains.

Research Hypothesis

  • We hypothesize that the economy of pastoralists can be improved thus reducing their poverty and increasing their resilience with the right inclusive and innovative market interventions. Therefore, the objectives of the project are as follows:

Research Objectives 

  • Validate the assumption that the right inclusive and innovative market interventions can contribute to growing the economy, reducing poverty, and increasing the resilience of pastoralists.
  • Provide recommendations on specific market interventions that should be prioritized to grow the economy, reduce poverty, and increase resilience of pastoralists, and how these should be implemented.
  • Define key conditions and partnerships required to sustain the interventions and provide small-scale producers consistent and fair access to markets to generate increased revenues.

Research Approach

The study will be undertaken in three African countries Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Nigeria. An extensive literature review of peer-reviewed and gray literature will be conducted. Surveys including key informant interviews focus group/stakeholder consultations will be used to gather and collate data from different sectors in each country. An initial convening of stakeholders will be held to bring together key stakeholders, get them to buy in and agree to collaborate, share data and recommendations. About ten months into the project, another virtual convening will be held to share findings with stakeholders and solicit their recommendations and proposed key interventions. The activities will take place in two phases, namely, Phase 1, the first four months and focus on preliminary literature review and wider stakeholder consultations and the development of potential options for investment hypotheses based on available data. Phase 2 will span eight months: focus on more extensive data collection to refine initial versions of the deliverables shared after four months of project start.

Anticipated Results and Deliverables

This project will identify the right inclusive and innovative market interventions for pastoralists communities in Africa. Identification of such market interventions will contribute to improving the economy of pastoralists in Africa, reducing their poverty, and increasing their resilience.

Collaborating Institutions

  • Boston Consultancy Group (BCG)
  • Syracuse University
  • Mercy Corps
  • national consultants


UF News: Grant helps UF researchers expand income opportunities for small-scale farmers in Africa

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Photo at top: The people of Ta Kuti village (Niger State) are pastoralists and beneficiaries of Nigeria's Fadama II project. Photo: Arne Hoel via Flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Inclusive Investment Nairobi, Kenya

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.