ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Sept. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) experts have recommended strategies for strengthening Ethiopia's livestock industry -- the primary source of income for the majority of citizens there -- and making government more efficient.
Making the recommendations was a 12-person IBM team hailing from 8 countries that spent 30 days in Ethiopia working with three government ministries as part of an IBM Corporate Service Corps engagement. This initiative sends IBM's top talent to provide pro bono problem solving services to non-governmental, government and small business groups in the developing world on issues that intersect business, technology and society.
For the conclusion of the engagement, IBM developed a model to improve market access and profits for Ethiopia's already-robust livestock industry within and outside the country. Presenting their findings to the Ministry of Trade, IBM's team recommended that the industry more fully participate in the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, giving more farmers access to kiosks that provide accurate and timely pricing information, trends, weather forecasts, and practical agricultural advice.The IBM team believes that this industry could be even more competitive by standardizing and sharpening the collection and analysis of data related to livestock. Such measures would also make livestock trade more transparent and secure. The team suggested a communications and marketing plan to more clearly articulate the benefits of such a framework to stakeholders. To put these plans into effect, the IBM team suggested that better technology and training be provided to employees at the Agriculture Transformation Agency. To that end, IBM worked with the Ministry of Agriculture to suggest stronger linkages with the country's Information Communication Technology Management Center (ICTMC). At the same time, more aggressive training and recruitment programs would be required so that the ICTMC can better deliver technology services to the agencies that it supports.