Document Type

Report

Journal/Book Title

Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program

Publication Date

12-2009

Publisher

University of California at Davis

Abstract

The PARIMA project has facilitated collective action, empowerment of women, and increased involvement in livestock marketing among pastoralists on the Borana Plateau since 2001. Fifty-nine collective-action groups formed by PARIMA and her partners have been recently merged into market-oriented cooperatives, consistent with government policy. We used focus groups and participatory appraisals to assess the extent that market linkages have been sustained since previously reported in 2006. The markets have been growing, but are volatile. Members report they need access to early warning and livestock market-information systems, as well as more capital, to promote trade. Export firms have imposed added conditions on animal delivery that puts cooperatives at a disadvantage versus wealthy traders. This suggests that pastoral cooperatives may be increasingly sidelined from effective market participation. Connecting pastoral producers to markets is a dynamic process, and gains achieved can be quickly eroded. To promote sustainability of market linkages we recommend that third parties monitor the cooperatives and marketing chains to identify problems and build capacity. Early-warning and livestock market information systems need to be implemented. Local researchers can identify animal production constraints that limit market supply and use action research to test interventions in partnership with communities.