ADDIS ABABA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia has only managed to achieve half of its target from meat export sub-sector during the just completed 2016 / 2017 Ethiopian fiscal year, revealed the Ethiopian Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries on Friday.
The Ministry, which had an initial plan of exporting 38,600 tons of meat abroad, was only able to export 19,779 tons that accounts close to 50 percent of the target, Abrham Tesfaye, Ministry's public relation head, told Xinhua on Friday.
The shortfall in the country's target from meat export sub-sector is mainly attributed to the drought scenario that hits parts of the east African country affecting the pastoralist communities that contribute the highest-share of Ethiopia's cattle population, he asserted.
Despite the initial plan set to earn close to 146 million U.S. dollars from export of the meat sub-sector, the country was only able to generate 100.3 million U.S. dollars during the same period, according to Tesfaye.
Middle Eastern countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman are the largest importers of the product from Ethiopia.
While the livestock sector is an important subdivision within the country's economy in terms of its contributions to both agricultural value-added and national GDP, recent drought has wrecked havoc on Ethiopia's cattle population.
Figures from the Ethiopian government revealed that the east African country is home to one of the largest livestock populations in Africa, with approximately 50 million cattle, 50 million goats and sheep, and an additional assortment of horses, donkeys and camels.
The Ethiopian parliament has recently advised the country to modernize the livestock development sector so as to reduce the impacts of drought, such as the ongoing drought that hit the east African country since 2015.