Ethiopia has earned $72 million from the export of meat and dairy products in the Ethiopian fiscal year that ended on July 7, Director-General of the Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Industry Development Institute announced. This, he pointed out, has been achieved "despite the hurdles" the industry faced during the period.
The majority of the earning has been from the export of beef, goat and sheep meat, Haile-Selassie Weres, Director General of the institute, said, while the rest has been accounted for by other animal products and byproducts such as milk, honey, wax, and fish.
April and May had seen an increase in demand for Ethiopia's meat and dairy products in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, Mr. Haile-Selassie highlighted. The demand for meat had spiked to 100 tons a day and other countries or also showing interest, he said, before Ethiopian Cargo Services stopped flying due to COVID-19. Due to this, the target fell short of the $124 million target set for the year.
The Director-General also mentioned the increase in local demand for meat and dairy products and contraband trade of live animals as challenges.
“We lack cattle supply while local demand is very high when compared to the low price in export. For example, the price of [a kilogram of] beef exported to a Middle Eastern country is $4 at a maximum whereas the local price goes up to $10. So, investors are targeting the local market [instead of exporting],” Haile-Selassie said.
He emphasized the need to give due attention to improving market-oriented animal production, veterinary services, and supply value chain so that Ethiopia can make the most out of the industry. Doing so, he argues, will help address the shortage of meat products by improving both the quality and quantity of production.
Accordingly, Mr. Haile-Selassei said, the Ethiopian government is setting up five quarantines around the borders to ensure an adequate supply of live animals that fulfill the required standard for export and local market. Investors are also encouraged to build their own ranches and other facilities, he added.
Ethiopia has the largest livestock population in Africa, and is located conveniently to access the markets of Europe and the Middle East.