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Making livestock the lifeblood of rural business

Melka Amem village, in Ethiopia’s remote Dello Mena district, is home to Beker, his wife Radiya and their children. They are pastoralists, like most people in these dry, low rangelands and rely heavily on selling animals and animal products for a living.

The family owns a herd of cows, goats and a donkey - but it was difficult to get a good price for them. The nearest market was in Dello Mena town, 25km away. Unable to afford the cost of a truck, each farmer used to walk their livestock to the market. Their once healthy animals then became very weak, which badly impacted their value. As Beker only earned 400 Ethiopian Birr (around $20) for each goat from his small herd, his family remained desperately poor.

Then Farm Africa set up a weekly livestock market much closer to Melka Amem village. Now the farmers don't need to walk the long distance to Dello Mena town and their animals are healthier. The new market attracts traders from other towns nearby, who now buy their stronger, healthier animals for more than 50% more than they were previously earning.

“There was no livestock market before Farm Africa set up the local market here, made it legal and helped the local communities. The other market is 24 km away. Thank you for Farm Africa for this local livestock market,” Beker says.

He is also a member of a rangeland management co-operative, set up by Farm Africa to implement simple systems to keep grazing land in good condition. His animals have since become healthier, and are producing more milk as well as breeding. Beker can now confidently rely on his livestock to give him a good income to provide everything that his family need to thrive, not just survive.

Give a gift today and you could help establish a new livestock market so farmers can sell their animals for a good price and provide for their families for the long term.