The demand for cattle meat (i.e. beef, pork, goat and sheep) is growing rapidly as cities in developing countries expand and standards of living increase. The U.N. is forecasting that demand will quadruple by 2050.

Domestic producers are not able to fulfill the growing demand, and in many developing countries imported meat takes a large share of the market, as it has the quality standards that urban consumers require. This meat is often dumped at low prices that distort domestic livestock markets and hinder local producers to compete. Pastoralists’and livestock farmers’ current traditional way of working has low yields and they are not able to meet the requirements of supply chains that require consistent timing and quality. In addition, many sedentary farmers are fencing-off traditional open access grazing areas and transhumance corridors, limiting transhumance. This has caused increasing conflict and insecurity. This situation is compounded by the impacts of climate change (e.g. extended droughts), the threat of global animal borne diseases and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock sector.

Our Approach

SNV develops targeted interventions to grow production fulfill the increasing demand. Building on our decades-long experience, SNV matches pastoralists and sedentary farmers with livestock processors and traders, and aligns their mutual interests and needs. We improve governance, strengthen advocacy and conflict prevention to ensure pastoralists mobility. We develop market-based extension and input services, to improve cattle quality. We support processors to establish links with off-take agreements, promote transparent market pricing and work with processors to improve value chain governance.

Our approach consists of the following elements:

  • Roadside assistance: we improve farmers’ resilience and productivity, by improving access to water-points, dry-season feeding options, herd management and livestock housing.
  • Cattle-care: we develop market-based extension and input services that improve productivity and professionalise the value chain.
  • Transparent trade: we stimulate transparent quality-based market pricing systems (e.g. through grading and by using simple tools like measuring tape), and direct off-take arrangements from cattle providers to traders.
  • Weight Watchers: we increase the supply of quality meat, by creating a pivotal buffer of intensive sedentary farming between pastoralists and processors.
  • Into the city: we work with processors (slaughter poles & abattoirs) and traders to develop markets for their products and strengthen their supply chain linkages.
  • Good governance: stable market regulations support trust building in the value chain and improve efficiencies.

In addition to growing incomes and professionalising value chains, our projects give special attention to the position of women and young people, whose position is often marginalised. Our projects address gender imbalances and create employment opportunities for young people, through our dedicated methodologies Balancing Benefits, and Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE).


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