Market Sheds in Ethiopian Livestock Markets boost Farmers’ Participation and Income
A new study conducted in the central Ethiopian highlands reveals that introducing animal sheds in livestock markets can increase farmers’ market attendance and income. 800 farming households who own small goats and sheep herds were surveyed as part of the study, which quantified the marginal impact of experimental market sheds on their income. The significant results were overwhelmingly positive.
A long and arduous journey separates farmers and their animals in the central highlands of Ethiopia from the nearest livestock markets. When they finally reach the market, the animals can be drenched by seasonal downpours or parched from hours and even days of walking, and then standing at market under a blazing sun, with little shelter to rest. In these conditions, the animals deteriorate fast, forcing farmers to sell them soon after arrival often accepting unsatisfactory offers.
Having animal sheds available at livestock markets could significantly change that dynamic, the study researchers have found. By sheltering the animals, as well as the farmers, from the vagaries of the weather, the sheds allow for longer negotiation time, achieving better prices per animal and increasing the frequency of the farmers’ visits to the market.