Document Type


Journal/Book Title

Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program


University of California at Davis

Publication Date



The Boran of southern Ethiopia have been traditionally viewed as unwilling or unable to engage in large scale, commercialized livestock trade. Here we report on the creation of a new livestock marketing chain from the Borana Plateau to export outlets largely serving the Gulf States. Since 2003 various meetings and exchange tours were organized by collaborating agencies and PARIMA to directly link pastoral producers with livestock exporters and policy makers. This occurred against a backdrop of growing export demand for small ruminants, rapid development of private export industry, formation of well-trained pastoral marketing groups (often dominated by women), and provision of external funds to initially capitalize on trading. We document that a positive market response has occurred. Eleven pastoral marketing groups sold 25,640 head of goats andsheeptoexportfirmsduring2004-5,justpartofamuchlargersurgethroughouttheregion. The pastoral groups have been moderately profitable and income-generation opportunities have been created, although marketing involvement has proven to be very risky in some situations. The groups procured animals from a 57,000-km2 catchment across northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia, resulting in a novel, northbound flow of stock in a cross-border region previously thought to be exclusively dominated by southbound flows of stock to terminal markets in Nairobi. Overall, our observations suggest that given high demand and careful investment in capacity building as well as reduction of marketing risks, pastoralists can move aggressively to market small ruminants here.