For the last 6 years, Oxfam GB has been supporting women who are fattening sheep and goats for the livestock export trade. Harshin District is a very challenging physical and cultural context. However, 180 women have formed and manage six cooperatives, which have traded and made small profits over the last three years. The viability is fragile because of drought prolongation and pasture degradation, and the fact that peak marketing season is often out of phase with the production cycle. Oxfam GB plans a new project to support the women to make radical changes to both their production system and their marketing - adding semi-intensive rearing using prepared fodder, and reaching the steadier domestic market represented by abbatoirs near Addis. The women are federating their co-ops into a larger union, and we have high hopes of further progress over the next few years.
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