Disease Control / ILRI / Malaysia / Markets / Middle East / Somalia

Saudi Kingdom to double livestock imports from the Horn of Africa

‘Livestock traders in Somaliland welcomed the latest development in Saudi Arabia after the kingdom announced on Friday it will increase livestock imports from the Horn of Africa by two-fold by 2012.

‘A press release from the Ministry of Agriculture and Water said Saudi Arabia plans to import close to 2 million heads of a livestock that comprise sheep, goats, camels and cattle. These imports will targets markets in Djibouti, Somaliland and Somalia. The decision to increase imports follows after Saudi Arabia’s quarantine officials at the Port of Jeddah declared animals from the Horn were disease free, great in quality and strong demand in the local market. Furthermore, the decision was designed to stabilize the local meat market with many Saudis complaining of rising food prices. . . .

‘Similarly, Somaliland is currently pushing forward with plans to export processed meat and livestock to Malaysia after Malaysian investors agreed to explore business opportunities in Somaliland with some already establishing abattoirs in the country. They say its part of the over all plan by Malaysia to become a “global centre for Halal food and related products”. Malaysia imports over 85 percent of its meat needs except poultry and desperately needs a Halal market its citizens can trust. Two-third of its meat imports currently comes from India.

‘. . . IGAD plans to develop the capacity of STVS [Sheikh Technical Veterinary School (STVS) in Somaliland] by bringing on board technical teams and institutions such as Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Makerere University, one of the leading universities in Uganda.

‘The news was well received by livestock traders and animal farmers alike across the Horn of Africa but a devastating drought savaging the region might hurt the current demands.

‘In October 2009, Saudi Arabia relaxed a eleven-year ban on Somaliland livestock and Somaliland animals have been steadily on high demand in the Saudi Kingdom ever since. Livestock market is estimated to be worth $250-million annually in Somaliland. The main markets for livestock from Somaliland are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Yemen.’

Read the whole article at Somaliland Press: Horn of Africa to double livestock exports to Saudi Arabia, 31 March 2011.

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