The Livestock Market Associations (LMAs) was established by COOPI in 2017 during phase 3 of the DFAT funded Project in Belet hawa and Dollow of Gedo Region. The two Associations consist of 21 male and 9 female. Each Association is composed of 15 members.
The target communities previously never had LMA’s and had a lot of gaps in relation to poor bargaining power, poor marketing knowledge, lack of exposure, lack of conflict resolution mechanisms in livestock markets and poor pricing skills. Due to these weaknesses COOPI established and strengthened the LMA’s in Dolow and Belet Hawa through trainings on record keeping, development of constitution, profit and loss tracking, provision of revolving funds to the LMA,s and linking them to other LMAs from Mogadishu and Kenyan markets. This was made possible through exchange visits that enabled them to develop very good networking, develop good social Capital and social cohesion and relationships with well-established LMAs from other highly developed livestock markets to help mentor and coach them on their roles and responsibilities. As a result of the Interventions the livestock sales of the LMA’s and other pastoralists have drastically increased with very good profits. In 2017 the LMA’s sold 375 animals, 100 camel, and 275 cattle while in 2018 during the Muslim Eid festival only they sold 500 animals, 50 camels, 150 cattle and 300 goats and sheep. Compared to the previous years before the project interventions, there was just individual livestock trade with less than 50 animals sold in a month with price exploitations that led to losses and increased poverty.
Today the LMA’s have established their own animal office space, with animal products, updated animal prices and they make money to sustain their association and family from it. The communities benefit a lot from the pricing of the animals that has reduced exploitation by the brokers. The communities trust the LMA’s with the task of pricing their animals and bargaining. Livestock sale is now seen as a lucrative business in Somalia as it facilitates household needs like medication, education, shelter, clothing, food and other necessities.
The progressive improvement of the LMAs and the trust they have received from the communities, it is evident that this is a sustainable project that will financially, socially and economically develop most households with enough assets and knowledge to be resilient to any shocks and stresses.