The role of intermediaries in innovation response capacity development: The case of livestock in Ethiopia
MetadataShow full item record
Ethiopia has one of the largest livestock populations in Africa. However, the volume of its livestock and red meat exports is surprisingly low. Increasing the volume of exports has important implications not just for the private sector but also for livelihoods of the poor. This task is becoming increasingly difficult with each passing day, given rising awareness of the global outbreak of diseases and the ever-increasing quality and safety concerns of consumers all around the world. This paper addresses this shortcoming by analyzing three different projects - dealing with different livestock-related challenges - which are geared to increase the volume of livestock exports from Ethiopia. It then explores the process of intermediation in the development of innovation response capacity. The first project, titled the GL-CRSP Pastoral Risk Management Project (PARIMA), focuses on creating missing linkages between pastoralists and the private sector. It was initiated at a time when the rapid development of a private export industry depended on the supply of small ruminants - a requirement that the private sector was unable to fulfill because of a poorly-functioning livestock value chain. The second project, Pastoralist Livelihoods Initiative (PLI), was able to successfully achieve livelihoods objectives in the later stages of a drought. This paper examines how the project, by involving different stakeholders, was able to raise awareness of the importance of creating a positive linkage between livestock exporters and pastoralists during a drought. The third project, USAID SPS LMM, is focused on improving Ethiopia's capacity and competitive advantage for meat and livestock exports. The paper provides an account of how this project stepped in during a ban on livestock exports from Ethiopia, due to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), by Egypt, the country's one of the largest importers. The findings of this study clearly show how indispensable the intermediaries are for innovation response capacity; in assisting and linking different stakeholders (companies, pastoralists, etc.) in accessing knowle dge and other sources to overcome different challenges.