The Ethiopian Dairy Value Chain with a Particular Focus on Cattle and Camel Milk: Current Scenarios and Investment Opportunities

  • Zelalem Yilma PAID Program, Land O’Lakes, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Yonas Hailu Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia
  • Takele Wolkaro Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia
  • Mitiku Eshetu Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia



Abstract: Cattle and camel represent important cultural, social, nutritional as well as economic values to a substantial proportion of the livestock keeping communities dwelling in various agro-ecologies of Ethiopia. The country has a substantial potential for dairy development considering the large livestock populations found in the country with other productivity enhancing factors. However, despite large population, the productivity is by far low; that the country to be a net importer of dairy products with import values significantly exceeding export values. Among others; limited market outlets for milk and milk products, inefficient and untimely artificial insemination service delivery, lack of crossbreed heifers, shortage and increasing price of feeds especially agro-industrial by-products and poor linkages among key value-chain actors are the frequently cited factors deemed guilty. It is therefore, with this breathing situation that this review report made an effort to highlight the prevailing situation of the Ethiopian cattle and camel milk value chains as well as the missing link. Based on the current scenario, it also suggests appropriate improvement interventions to take and when taken right then producers in particular and the country at general could make use of optimum if not maximum benefits that can be tapped from the sector.


Keywords: Actors Linkage; Livestock; Marketing; Productivity 

Author Biographies

Zelalem Yilma, PAID Program, Land O’Lakes, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
PAID Program, Land O’Lakes, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Yonas Hailu, Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

School of Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, Po. Box. 128 Dire Dawa, Ethiopia 

Takele Wolkaro, Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia
School of Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, Po. Box. 128 Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
Mitiku Eshetu, Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia
School of Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, Po. Box. 128 Dire Dawa, Ethiopia


5. References
Access Capital Research. 2010. Investing in Ethiopia, Ethiopia’s Export Performance. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Pp. 16.
Adebabay Kebede. 2009. Characterization of Milk Production Systems, Marketing and On- Farm Evaluation of the Effect of Feed Supplementation on Milk Yield and Milk Composition of Cows at Bure District, Ethiopia. MSc thesis, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia. 130 pp.
AGP-LMD. 2013. Agricultural Growth Project - Livestock Market Development. Value Chain Analysis for Ethiopia: Meat and Live Animals, Hides, Skins and Leather, Dairy. Expanding Livestock Markets for Small-holder Producers, AID-663-C-12-00009, USAID, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ahmed, M. A. M., Ehui, S., and Assefa, Y. 2004. Dairy Development in Ethiopia. EPTD Discussion Paper No. 123, Environment and Production Technology Division International Food Policy Research Institute ,2033 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006 U.S.A.
Ayele Solomon, Assegid Workalemahu, Jabbar M. A., Ahmed, M. and Belachew Hurissa. 2003. Livestock Marketing in Ethiopia: A review of structure, performance and development initiatives. Socio-economic and Policy Research Working Paper 52. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), Nairobi, Kenya. Pp. 35.
Azage Tegegne, Berhanu Gebremedhin, Dirk, H., Berhanu Belay and Yosef Mekasha. 2013. Smallholder Dairy Production and Marketing Systems in Ethiopia: IPMS experiences and opportunities for market oriented development. IPMS (Improving Productivity and Market Success) of Ethiopian Farmers Project Working Paper 31. Nairobi: ILRI.
Brokken, R. and Senait Seyoum, 1992. Dairy Marketing in sub-Saharan Africa. Proceedings of a symposium held at ILCA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 26-30 November 1990. ILCA (International Livestock Centre for Africa), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
CSA (Central Statistics Agency), 2008/-2011/12. Annual Reports on ‘Agricultural Sample Survey - Livestock, Poultry and Beehives Population (private peasant holdings)’ and ‘Report on Crop and Livestock Product Utilization’. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
CSA (Central Statistics Agency). 2013. Agricultural Sample Survey 2011/12. Report on Livestock and Livestock Characteristics. Statistical bulletin 446, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
CSA. 2014/15. Agricultural Sample Survey. Livestock, Poultry and Beehives population (private peasant holdings). Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Central Statistical Authority (CSA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Demissie, B., Komicha, H. H. and Kedir, A. 2014. An Analysis of Camel and Cow Milk Marketing Chain amongst Pastorals and Agro-Pastorals in Gursum and Babile Districts, Ethiopia. Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development, 5 (27): 129-138.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) 1990. The technology of traditional milk products in developing countries. FAO Animal Production and Health Paper 85. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. pp. 333.
FAOSTAT (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) 2007. Statistical Yearbook. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAOSTAT, 2009. World camel milk production by country.
FAO, 2010. Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative. Status and prospects for smallholder Milk production, A Global Perspective. Edition of Torsten Hemme Joachim Otte, Rome.
FAOSTAT, 2015. World camel milk production by country.
Francesconi, G. N., Heerink, N. and D’Haese, M. 2010. Evolution and challenges of dairy supply chain; Evidence from supermarket, Industries and consumers in Ethiopia. Food Policy, 35 (1): 60-68.
Haile, G. 2009. The impact of global economic and financial crisis on the Ethiopian dairy industry. Impact of the global economic crisis on least developed countries’ (LDCs) productive capacities and trade prospects: Threats and opportunities, Least Developed Countries Ministerial Conference, UNIDO, UN-OHRLLS, 3-4 December 2009, Vienna International Center, Austria.
Haile, G. 2010. Value Chain Financing: The Case of Selale area Dairy Value Chain. MSc thesis, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 63 pp.
Holloway, G., Nicholson, C., Delgado, C., Staal, CS. and Ehui, S. 2000. How to make Milk Market: A case study from the Ethiopian highlands. Socio-economic and policy research working paper 28. International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya. p.28.
ITC (International Trade Center) Available at
Jabbar, M. and Benin, S. 2005. Trade Behaviour and Transaction Costs in Live Animal Marketing in Ethiopian highland markets, in Pender, J. and Ruben, R. (Eds.).
Kaplinsky, R. 2000. Globalization and equalization: Studies: what can learned from value chain analysis? Journal of Development, 37 (2): 117-146.
Mohammed Yousuf. 2003. Certain Aspects of the Dairy System in the Harar Milk-shed, Eastern Ethiopia. PhD Thesis dissertation submitted to University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, Department of Animal, wildlife and Grassland Sciences. South Africa. p.195.
Rich, K. M., Baker D., Negassa, A. and Ross, R. B. 2009. Concepts, applications, and extensions of value chain analysis to livestock systems in developing countries. Contributed paper prepared for presentation at the International Association of Agricultural Economics Conference, Beijing, China.
SNV (Netherlands Development Organization), 2012. Inventory of dairy policy- Ethiopia. Target Business Consultants Plc,, Getachew Feleke, Medhin Woldearegay
SNV. 2008. Dairy Investment Opportunities in Ethiopia. by TAM Consult, Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. pp 59.
Staal, S. J. and Shapiro, B. I. 1996. The Economic Impacts of Public Policy on Smallholder Peri-Urban Dairy Producers in and around Addis Ababa. ESAP publication No. 2.
Tesfaye Lemma, Puskur, R., Hoekstra, D. and Azage Tegegne. 2010. Commercializing Dairy and Forage Systems in Ethiopia: An innovation systems perspective. Working Paper 17. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), Nairobi, Kenya. 57 pp.
Woldemichael Somano. 2008. Dairy Marketing Chain Analysis: The case of Shashemene, Hawassa and Dale district’s milk-shed, Southern Ethiopia. M.Sc. Thesis presented to Haramaya University, Haramaya, Ethiopia.
Yilma, Z., Desta, H., and Guerne, B. E. 2010. Innovation Actors and Linkages in the Dairy value Chain of Ethiopia. In Proc of Nat. Stakeholder Workshop, FAO, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia May 28, 2010. pp. 77-104.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.