Ethiopia, the meat industry and export to Egypt
16 April 2018

Three Egyptian livestock exporters signed an agreement with the Egyptian Trust for Trade & Transport Company to supply 354,000 heads. Alfoz Plc, Rimon General Trading and Beal Livestock Export will supply the Egyptian company with 156,000 cows, 120,000 sheeps and 78,000 camels for two years. Alfoz is noted also for Arabic coffee exports and has a ranch and a quarantine facility for animals and will export the largest amount of livestock.

The agreement was signed in front of Abou Bakr Hefny Mahmoud, ambassador of Egypt in Ethiopia, Alebachew Nigussie, the Minister in charge of livestock and fishing, Ahmed Abou Khadar, President of the Egyptian company Trust for Trade & Transport together with representatives of the three companies that will begin to supply the animals soon. “This is the first case of livestock exports in Egypt after three years and it will create great market opportunities”, said Kibre Mulat, President of the Ethiopian Exporters Association to a local newspaper. Trust for Trade & Transport handles logistics and shipments and operates not only in Egypt but also in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. This agreement is the extension of a signed joint commission between the Egyptian minister of Investments and International Cooperation and the Ethiopian Investment Commission that was signed in January 2018 in Cairo.

With nearly 54 million head of cattle, 25.5 million sheeps and 24.06 million goats, Ethiopia is the first in Africa and the fifth globally for livestock resources. The livestock sector makes up about 16.5% of GDP and 35.6% of agricultural GDP and 15% of export revenue. For the current fiscal year, the country aims to generate $350 million from livestock exports. Saudi Arabia is the main destination, followed by Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and the North African states. The cattle sector in Ethiopia is constantly growing and national and international investors are showing interest. Companies in China, Morocco, South Africa and India, in particular, are interested in the meat processing sector.

The industry may continue to grow, as it is still suffering from a low market-oriented production system, a low number of exporters, a low level of quarantine facilities and procedures, lack of disease prevention and excessive, illegal cross-border trade, all factors that have led the sector to contribute to the economy below potential. Last December, the World Bank dedicated $170 million to develop the livestock and fishing sectors in 58 provinces and in six regional states.

Efforts are underway to create graduate and post-graduate programmes, since there is a great need for training in processing technologies for meat, milk, fish and honey. To favor growth, Addis Ababa has created industrial agroprocessing parks in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and has invested about $2.5 billion. According to the Ethiopia Investment Commission, another 17 of these parks will be built by 2025.

In addition, Ethiopia will be present at the Ipack-Ima and Meat-Tech exhibitions that will be held at Rho-Fiera Milan at the end of May, some of the biggest exhibitions of technologies and materials for processing and packaging supplies in the meat industry.