Established in 2016, Jijiga Export Slaughterhouse (JESH) currently has eleven stakeholders, predominately diaspora members. The company is located on 138 hectares of land in the Faafan region of Ethiopia, roughly 30km outside of Jijiga.
JESH has a capacity of slaughtering 2,000 livestock per day, predominately for export to the U.A.E. Additionally, they produce 300 liters of camel milk per day for the Jijiga market from their heard of 123 camels.
Business operations were interrupted in 2017 due to foreign exchange shortages and transportation route-to-market blocks. Operations are set to recommence in 2022 with an expansion into cash crops, water provision (bottling) and a renewed focus on dairy production for export.
The livestock and abattoir sub-sector is an interesting area for investment consideration in Ethiopia due to the massive livestock resource and its close proximity to export market destinations, mainly the Middle East. Ethiopia is the leading country in livestock supply in Africa, as referenced in the market overview section above. More specifically, the Somali region of Ethiopia (where the company is located), 23% of the country’s sheep and 34% of the country’s goat livestock population is located in the region.
Furthermore, while the country may not yet be known for exporting dairy product, increased domestic consumption indicates that the sub-sector is ready for formalization and investment. As such, JESH presents an intriguing opportunity to help the company fully utilize its existing capacity, expand its processing capacity and increase the company’s export revenue.
JESH previously partnered with USAID and Mercy Corps for a resiliency-building mechanism. The project was designed to build out their operations with the goal of a) supporting thousands of pastoralists in the region through income generation, and b) providing said pastoralists access to the international market through their livestock trade operations.
With support from the RLI network, these same objectives could be renewed and built out with a RLI lens. There are significant IDP populations in the region who have pastoralist backgrounds. As such, the business model aligns with the recommendation to develop and support RLI businesses that directly support the traditional livelihoods of the populations RLI stakeholders seek to serve.