Unhappy of the meager turnover by the current meat and dairy export, the Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Technology Institute (EMDTI) is poised to export its products to Chinese market to boost up the income expected from the sector. Targeting to get USD 250 million from meat and dairy export in the last fiscal year of 2013/14, the sector however brought in USD 76 million.
The sector is crippled by a failure to expand the market, low quality chain management, lack of emphasis on veterinary care for animals, to name a few.
To fulfill the huge deficit in the income, Ethiopia has now started looking at other markets in Asia.
Dr. Tekeba Eshete, Vice Head of EMDTI told Capital that the institute is negotiating with Chinese higher officials and companies to enter into the Far East market.
“We are discussing with the Chinese government to export meat and they have welcomed our idea. Now, what is left for the experts is to examine the quality of the meat.”
The quality assessment covers a range of quality assurance benchmarks including the health facility in abattoiries, traceability and live animals registration.
The Ministry of Agriculture has started a pilot project that incorporates traceability and livestock registration in some rural areas and this project is expected to be applied fully throughout the nation in less than two years time.
“It is a great opportunity to enter the largely populated Chinese market and I hope the Chinese technical committee will conduct the evaluations soon so we can commence the export of meat to the Chinese market’’ he added.
He also said that EMDTI is looking forward to entering other Asian markets giving much emphasis to exporting good quality products.
Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates import large amounts of Ethiopian meat while Sudan, Egypt, Somalia and Yemen also import smaller amounts.
Workneh Ayalew, Livestock Value Chain Director with Agricultural Transformation Agency, hailed the EMDTI initiative to expand the export of meat.
“It is good to search other markets and good progress has been made so far, but protecting livestock for good quality export is an issue that all stakeholders should care about.’’
Recently, a national roadmap was prepared to handle the traceability and registration of livestock on a regular and mandatory basis. Yet, the plan is only in a draft form and it waits for ratification by parliament.