Overview and background paper on Ethiopia’s poultry sector

Relevance for HPAI research in Ethiopia

Dawit Alemu, Tamirat Degefe, Setotaw Ferede, Serge Nzietcheung, Devesh Roy
africa/indonesia region report

This study presents a detailed review of the poultry sector in Ethiopia in order to provide background information for further research related to pro-poor HPAI risk reduction strategies in Ethiopia. The report surveys information that exists in the literature and among the stakeholders in order to identify the research gaps that can be addressed in the project. In preparation of this report, published and grey literature, expert interviews and official documents were used. The paper presents information on the role of the poultry sector in the economy of Ethiopia and also information related to role of poultry in rural livelihoods. The information related to the role of poultry at the supra-household level is presented taking into account the differentiation within the poultry sector. This differentiation relates to the size, organization and levels of bio-security among other characteristics. The survey distinguishes these characteristics by the types of the poultry sector, poses conjectures regarding the implications for the introduction and spread of the HPAI and subsequently explores the research gaps. In assessing the information on poultry’s role in rural livelihoods, the report synthesizes information at the most disaggregated level possible for example by assessing the evidence related to the impact on women. The report considers livelihood analysis to be not only important as an end in itself but also as critical for the implementation of prevention and control measures related to HPAI. In capturing the role of poultry in livelihoods, based on the existing evidence the report takes a supply chain perspective. Based on a scare that occurred (a false alarm) the report provides summary information on the potentially discrete economic and livelihood impacts of HPAI outbreak. The paper finds that poultry though not a big component of the aggregate Ethiopian economy, its role has been becoming more important over time. At the micro-economic level poultry is very important especially for women. The structure of the poultry sector has also been changing with more organized segments evolving in urban and peri-urban areas. The vast majority remains as backyard poultry in Ethiopia. Independent of the level of organization and size and whether in the public or private sector, the report finds that there is significant scope to improve bio-security levels. The report also surveys the literature on the disease risk and synthesizes information on the risk assessment for the introduction and spread of HPAI that exist in case of Ethiopia. The risk pathways relate to migratory birds as well as trade (legal and illegal) of both inputs and outputs. In this segment also, the report first summarizes the existing state of knowledge and methods and subsequently proposes research gaps some of which the project should aim to fill. Finally, the institutional analysis in the report provides information to assess the response capacity of the public and private institutions and makes preliminary suggestions as to what could be targeted for better efficacy of prevention and control strategies. Assessing the institutions postulated to deal with HPAI threat the report provides information on the whole gamut of institutions and suggests areas where there is scope for improvements. These potential areas for improvement also form part of the research gaps identified.