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Despite the sustained economic growth and improvements in agricultural productivity the country has achieved over the years, food and nutrition insecurity remains a serious challenge in Ethiopia. The livestock subsector, which is a major contributor to the agricultural sector and the country’s overall economy, could play a critical role in food systems and in improving nutrition. This paper employs a spatial typology to identify interventions that could help increase the production and consumption of livestock-based foods. Using data for the four dimensions of the comprehensive food and nutrition security framework, we estimate efficiency and average performance in terms of livestock production, access and utilization. A stochastic frontier approach is employed to estimate the production potential for the livestock sector. The results reveal that distance to the nearest road, household size, and the gender of household heads all reduce inefficiency in livestock production. The findings also indicate that low livestock potential is correlated with a low level of food and nutrition security and that Ethiopia has very low per capita consumption of livestock production. Low livestock potential is attributed to a lack of feed, water and veterinary services. Therefore, policy interventions to enhance livestock production and improve livestock production efficiency could include putting more resources into veterinary services and the provision of subsidies for animal feed, as well as the introduction of policies geared towards increasing water supply, improving access to equipment for producers, and facilitating their access to credit and quality inputs. Knowledge of nutrition at the household level could also be improved through awareness-raising communications, including making agriculture extension services more nutrition sensitive.

Published as AKADEMIYA2063 Working Paper No. 005 (2023)