IGAD Sheikh Technical Veterinary
School and Reference Centre (ISTVS)
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ISTVS 3rd year DEAM students’ field visit to Hargeisa Livestock market and the SCC

ISTVS 3rd year DEAM students’ field visit to Hargeisa Livestock market and the SCC
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ISTVS 3rd year DEAM students’ field visit to Hargeisa Livestock market and the SCC

By Bernard Githinji

Third year students accompanied by their tutors from IGAD Sheikh Technical Veterinary School and Reference Centre (ISTVS) pursuing Bachelor of Science in Dryland Economics and Agro-Ecosystem Management (DEAM) visited the Hargeisa Livestock Market and Somaliland Chamber of Commerce from 29th April to 3rd May 2019 in Hargeisa to gain hands on experience on livestock marketing and supplement the theories learnt in the lecture rooms.

Dr. Wesonga, the ISTVS Principal during a brief just before the field trip alluded that “field trips and hands-on activities are one of the learning experiences that ISTVS community holds dear since they always stuck in students’ memory forever reminding them that experience is the best teacher”.

The students were exposed to goat, sheep, cattle and camel grading and pricing; livestock market data collection using LMIS forms; various market stakeholders and their roles and the different market infrastructures. The students were also introduced to Somaliland chamber of commerce, industry and agriculture an entity that has been in the fore front in livestock data collection on aspect of pricing, grading, marketing and sharing information with relevant stakeholders through Radio Hargeisa, Jamuriya newspaper, website and television as a way of helping the traders make informed trade decisions. The students were also able to feed the livestock marketing data they had collected into the Livestock market information system (LMIS) that is managed by Somaliland chamber of commerce to generate timely price information of different animal grades of export quality (cattle, sheep, goats, and camels) and prices of key food commodities. This information is generated as bi-weekly price data and as monthly, quarterly and annual reports showing the number of exports and prices. Use of LMIS was seen as an innovative way of using ICT in ensuring market information could reach interested parties on time and enable them make informed marketing decisions – of whether to sell at current price or not. The students also appreciated the various stakeholder that were actively involved in the market, ranging from producers, traders and brokers who were directly involved to food vendors, snack retailers, tent merchants among others who were very significant in ensuring marketing processes occur smoothly. As economics students, they appreciated how the market was important in supporting an enormous number of households and the economy of the country at large in various ways.

The students appreciated that there is need to always integrate theoretical lecture theories with practical and hands-on activities by identifying the key role they can play in the whole system. They also appreciated that data is a crucial tool for any government to enable it plan for future, the work that Somaliland Chamber of commerce has been doing. As economist, the students also appreciated the role markets and trade play in economy development and earning foreign income.

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