Improving livestock productivity and water use efficiency of livestock production in the highlands of Ethiopia through integration of technical and institutional interventions

PhD project by Kebebe Gunte. Market-oriented livestock production presents promising option to improve food security and reduce poverty of livestock keepers in Ethiopia. However, livestock production in Ethiopia is subsistence-oriented and constrained by poor livestock water productivity. We argue that livestock development involves addressing complex technological and institutional constraints at farm level and at the level of system of stakeholders in livestock development.

This project assesses strategies for livestock development in different biophysical and institutional settings with particular emphasis on enhancing livestock water productivity. The specific objectives are: to characterize the production systems with emphasis on water use in livestock production; to map the links among livestock-related players and identify weak connections; to determine optimal enterprise combinations; to examine technical, institutional and policy factors affecting enterprise choices and to assess the potential of multi-stakeholder platforms in improving effectiveness of livestock value chain development in Ethiopian highlands.

The outcomes of these studies will be used as input to assess the potential of institutional interventions in improving productivity and market competitiveness of the livestock sector and empower actors in livestock value chain. A combination of Multi-Criteria Programming, innovation constraint analysis, lessons from collective action by the stakeholders will be used to evaluate strategies for livestock development.