Mekelle Farms is a leading poultry company in Ethiopia. They supply improved breeds, inputs, and management methods to a network of entrepreneurial farmers whom they develop into successful, profitable links to rural farmers throughout the country.
Their mission is not only to be a successful and profitable company, but also to improve the nutrition and livelihoods of rural Ethiopians, and to build the skills of their workforce. They believe that selling their chickens to every farming family in Ethiopia will improve protein consumption, reduce malnutrition, and increase incomes for the most vulnerable part of the population.
Mekelle Farms’ work positively impacts both their direct customers and end-users. Through management training and the provision of improved inputs to their direct customers, they create small businesses who become economic anchors in their local communities, hiring teams, purchasing supplies, and investing capital in growing operations. Over its first two and a half years, Mekelle Farms has helped create more than one hundred new small businesses, their ‘model farmers,’ in this way.
The household poultry market that Mekelle Farms is helping to build also positively impacts the ‘end-users’ of their products, rural and urban farmers. Ethiopia is challenged by a diet that is significantly deficient in protein. Protein deficiency during a child’s developmental years contributes to decreased educational performance, among other challenges. By helping to build the household poultry market, Mekelle Farms is both increasing the supply of protein to rural and urban households and decreasing the cost of protein, making this precious resource more broadly available.
Further, in creating more opportunities for rural and urban farmers to participate in the household poultry industry, Mekelle Farms makes a financial impact on these households. Every chicken that a rural or urban farming household invests in generates a return in the form of eggs produced salable poultry that can both be sold in local markets. Mekelle Farms estimates that its products benefit end-users at an annualized rate of 98 USD / year, or roughly a 15% increase in earnings for those households subsisting at the global poverty line of 2 USD / day.
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