Assessment the sustainability of Fish value chain in Tekeze dam, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(2): 43-62 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research
© Oasis International Academic Journals, 2017 (ISSN: XXXX-XXXX)
Asmiro Abeje and Kindye Ayen
Sekota Dry Land Agriculture Research Center
Aksum University, College of Agriculture Ethiopia
Received on 28th August 2017
Received in corrected Version 26 th September 2017 Published 7th Oct. 2017
The study was conducted in Tekeze dam, Amhara Region with t h e objective to evaluate economical, social,
environmental and governance indicators of fish value chain sustainability performance in Tekeze dam.
The data were collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary data for this study were
collected from 50 farmers with simple random sampling technique. Traders and actors were selected using
snowball sampling method. Focus Group Discussion and Key Informant Interview were employed for
data collection and also SAFA guidelines were applied to estimate the sustainability performance of the
fish value chain. The study result showed that fishermen’s are facing with problem of input supply and
high post harvest losses. On marketing side, limited access to market, price fluctuation of the product, lack
of storage, lack of transport, lack of road from the Dam to Abergele town, lack of access to credit service,
lack of policy framework on the use of fish resources and fish resource use inequality. The value chain
analysis revealed that the major actors in the districts are; input suppliers, fishermen, collectors
(cooperatives and shareholders), wholesalers, retailers and consumers. Accordingly, the value chain
activities in the survey period were input supply, production, marketing and consumption. It is also found
out that fish passes through several intermediaries with little value being added before reaching the end
users. The chain is governed by wholesalers who have capital advantage over the other chain actors
especially fishermen. Therefore, fishermen are forced to capture a lower share of profit margin. On the
other side, the sustainability performance of fish value chain in the study area is good and moderate.
Therefore, policy aiming at increasing farmers’ access to inputs, access to credit service, developing and
improving infrastructure, providing extension service, developing rules and regulations on the use of fish
resources are recommended to accelerate the chain’s development. Similarly, policy makers should be
formulated best approaches for ensure its sustainability.
Key words: Value chain analysis, Fish, Actors, profit margin, sustainability performance
Before 50 years ago, fisheries had insignificant role in the Ethiopian economy due to abundant
land-based resources and a sparse population density. But, starting from the 1940s and 50s, the
rapid population growth, which resulted in a shortage of cultivable land and depletion of land
resources, forced the people to look for other occupations and sources of food from water
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(2): 43-62 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
resources at a subsistence level. Also, the rapidly growing demand for fish in the capital city by
foreigners and modern town dwellers contributed to the start of commercial fishing as a new
practice in Rift Valley lakes (from the 1950s) and, later, in Lake Tana (late 1980s). Even though no
systematic survey and assessment of the potential of all water bodies have been made, the rough
potential harvest estimate from 7 main lakes, 2 small lakes and 1 reservoir covering a total area
of 7,005 km2 was about 51,500 tons of fish per year. (Berihun Tefera, et’al, 2009). In Ethiopia, most
of the fishing so far takes place in the lakes (85%) with only 15% in the rivers (MoARD, 2009). The
total fish landing was about 10,005ton and 16, 770ton in 2004 and 2008/9; respectively (MoARD,
2009). It is becoming apparent that the demand for fish is increasing in Ethiopia and the market
is not sufficiently supplied with fish. The fish demand in the country is far higher than the
available fish in the market. (MoARD, 2009). For instance, in fish producing areas of Ethiopia,
local per capita fish consumption is estimated at 8.5kg/year (FAO, 1990), whereas the overall per
capita fish consumption of the country is about 210g/year, which is the lowest in African.
According to Dereje T. and his colleagues (2009); The Fish species composition and abundance
in Tekeze Artificial Lake was total of 181 fish specimens were collected from the dam that are
included in 18 species. According to Dereje T. et al 2009; The Estimating Maximum Sustainable
Yield of fish by different fisheries modeling showed a very wide range of potential estimate:
480-1072 tones with a productivity of 30-105 kg/ha/year. Additionally their finding is that the
mean of the different estimates is about 968 tons per year or 60 kg/ha/year. However, the
daily catch on this dam is greater than the annual estimated catch. (Zera Dawit, personal
communication December, 2014).
Value chain describes the full range of activities which are required to bring a product or service
from conception, through the different phases of production(involving a combination of physical
transformation and the input of various producer services), delivery to final consumers, and final
disposal after use (kaplinsky,2000). Value chain analysis is essential to understand relationships
and linkages among buyers and suppliers and a range of market actors in between (Wenz and
Bokelmann, 2011).
A review of literature in agro-industry value chain in Ethiopia indicates that the sector faces
many challenges due to limited market outlets/market for goods/store/, limited efforts in market
linkage activities and poor market information among actors (Dereje, 2007; Kaleb, 2008; Dendena
et al., 2009). Correspondingly, Mamo (2009) argued that small scale, dispersed and unorganized
producers are unlikely to exploit market opportunities as they cannot attain the necessary
economies of scale and lack bargaining/price agreement/ power in negotiating prices. In spite of
the fact that markets are crucial in the process of agricultural commercialization, transaction
costs and other causes of market imperfections could limit the participation of farm households
in different markets (Sadoulet and de Janvry, 1995 as cited in Moti, 2007). This implies that
markets could be physically available but not accessible to some of the farm households. Value
chain analysis is essential to explain the connection between all the actors in a particular chain
of production and distribution and it shows who adds value and where, along the chain. It helps
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(2): 43-62 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
to identify pressure points and make improvements in weaker links where returns are low
(Schmitz, 2005).
According to Neven (2014), the sustainable value chain is defined as value-adding activities that
produce particular raw agricultural materials and transform them into particular products that
are sold to final consumers and disposed of after use, at the same time it is vital to the society
and environment by conserving and efficiently use the natural resource for future generation.
The sustainability of the value chain plays out simultaneously along three dimensions: economic,
social, and environmental or the “triple bottom line” (profit, people, and planet) (Neven, 2014).
On the economic dimension, an existing or proposed upgraded value chain is considered
sustainable if the required activities at the level of each actor or support provider are
commercially profitable. On the social dimension, sustainability refers to socially acceptable
outcomes in terms of the distribution of the benefits and costs associated with the increased value
creation. On the environmental dimension, sustainability is determined largely by the ability of
value chain actors to show little or no negative impact on the natural environment from their
value-adding activities; where possible, they should show a positive impact.
Sustainability indicators are particularly hard to define and measure. The basic problem is that
sustainability is something that only occurs in the future, while the indicators are something that
can be measured in the present (U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), 2012). The
three dimensions of sustainability social, environmental, and economic are treated individually
here for clarity; however, in practice, they overlap (USAID, 2012). Once the core processes of the
value chain are mapped, indicators must be associated with each link of the chain for the three
sustainability dimensions. The indicator selection depends on the level of the organization and
the type of activities (Moreno and Salgado, 2012). Moreover, many academic studies have
assessed the sustainability of agri-food chains, but no agreement has been reached about the
overall sustainability performance of local food systems (Galli et al., 2015; Hand and Martinez,
2010). Indeed, those assessments are challenging in their attempts to integrate agri-food
production and consumption within comprehensive decision-making tools. However, the
scientific community has not yet agreed on a shared methodology which allows for robust and
simultaneous comparisons over the sustainability dimensions of agri-food chains.
Problems in the Tekeze dry fish value chain hinder the potential gains that could have been
attained from the existing opportunities. In this regard, dry fish value chain analysis is an
interesting process that has not been investigated much in the study areas. Both buyers and
sellers in the study areas usually do not play collective roles towards one another and there are
no fish processing activities. Therefore, This Value chain analysis would help to analyze the
challenges and opportunities along the value chain, describe the actors who involved in fish
value chain, and assess its sustainability performance according to locality and the current
existing situation so as to enhance the rate and growth of fishery development nationally.
As a result, the general objective of this research was evaluating the economical, social,
environmental and governance indicators of fish value chain sustainability performance in
Tekeze dam. Additionally, the specific objectives of this research were; to assess the actors and
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(2): 43-62 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
their linkage and function throughout the chain, to examine the distribution of actors’ benefits in
the chain, evaluate the economical, social, and environmental indicators of fish value chain
sustainability performance and to assess the challenges and opportunities for fish value chain.
For this study the fourth bottom line sustainability indictors was adopted by the context of the
Ethiopian fishery development sector in Amhara Region. The selected sustainability indicators
that relate to the economic, social, environmental and governance elements of the fish value chain
in Tekeze dam were shown in the theoretical framework figure 1.
Figure 1: The theoretical framework of Tekeze fish value chain sustainable performance.
Governance environment
Policy framework
Conflict resolution
Sustainability management plan
Natural Environment
Farming practices
Waste management
Emission of air pollutants
Socio-cultural environment
Fishery men
Marketing systems
Value adding
Fair trade
Chain governance
Market diversity
Added value share
Product loss
Input supply
Core value chain actors
Resource Equity
Labor condition
Employment creation
Safety and hygiene
Infrastructure elements
Road construction
Institutional elements
Stakeholders interaction
 norms, regulations
Source: Asmiro A. and Kindye A. (2016)
Figure 1: The theoretical framework of Tekeze fish value chain sustainable performance.
Methods and Materials
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(2): 43-62 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
Description of the study areas
The study was conducted in the artificial lake formed by Tekeze hydroelectric power dam on the
Tekeze River (figure 2). Tekeze River in most cases serves as a boundary between Amhara and
Tigray regions. Tekeze dam is established at a distance of about 170 km from Wag Himra zone
town Sekota and it has many perennial rivers which are drained from both Amhara and
Tigray regions.for instance, Tirari river, Zamra river, Rib river, e.t.c The Dam is bordered by
Abergele, Zequala, and Sahila Seyemt Woredas in Amhara region and Tanqua Abergele in Tigray
region. As a result of the huge dam construction, 160 km2 (16,000 hectares) area of land was
covered by water and create an artificial lake with an average depth of 58 meters. 90% (14,400
hectares) of the reservoir is found in Amhara region and the remains 10% (1,600 hectares) is found
in Tigray Region (Dereje Tewabe, et’al, 2009, Prof. Tadesse Dejenie online interview from VOA,
May 18, 2016 at 3:00 o’clock news). The fish productivity potential of the dam is estimated around
968 t/ha (Goraw et’al, 2010). This productivity potential can’t show the current fish productivity
potential in the dam because nowadays the dam is very large and too deep. So, it might increase
the productivity per year. Above 18 fish species were identified in Tekeze dam (Prof. Tadesse
Dejenie online interview from VOA May 18, 2016).
Note: Professor Tadesse Dejenie is a director of postgraduate research directorate from Mekelle
Figure 2
Source: Dereje Tewabe, et’al, 2009
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(2): 43-62 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
Source of data
Primary and secondary data were collected. Primary data were collected using focus group
discussion, key informants and observing the value chain of fish. Secondary data were collected
from published articles, books, working papers of different institution, such as, Wag himra Zone
Agriculture Office, Abergele Woreda Agriculture Office, Abergele Woreda Trade and Transport
office, Abergele Woreda Cooperative Office.
Sampling Method
For this study, in order to select a representative sample a multi-stage sampling technique was
employed to select study area and sample fishery households. Fishermen were selected
randomly from the member of fish cooperatives and individual fishermen. A total of 50
producers were interviewed to meet the stated objective. Data from each actors of the value chain
throughout the chain were also collected using a snowball sampling method because the
marketing information is not easily accessed, so, the authors picked an initial small sample of
respondents from the overall traders. Additionally, 20 experts were sampled from Research
center, Academic institutions, Zone, Woreda and Kebelle agriculture office, Amhara region
biodiversity institution to collect the possible sustainability indicators in production, harvest,
post-harvest, trading, and policy-making throughout the local chains.
Data Collection methods
Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected by using structure and semi-structure
interview from each actors of the value chain, using focus group discussion, key informant
interview of stakeholders and personal observation. The sustainability performance of fish value
chain was assessed based on a set of 26 criteria and also the assessment for each sustainability
dimension (economical, social, environmental and governance) were prepared at the local level
and existing situation experience in the study area. Each dimension has more than one indicator
and attribute.
Methods for Data Analysis
Qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis approach, i.e. the qualitative data were
narrated and quantitative data analysis were done using descriptive statistics to calculate benefit
margins along the core processes of fish value chain and other simple statistical calculations. To
formulate the indicators of sustainability performance of fish value chain, the authors adapted
the SAFA guidelines developed by FAO, (V-3), 2014. First, the authors formulate the attributes
and indicators to show the economical, social, and environmental and governance dimensions of
fish value chain sustainability performance in Tekeze dam. Herefter, all experts who sampled in
the sampling part gave the assessment value for each indicator via qualitative method with five
score categories. The assessment scale was drawn from 1 to 5 which is 1 = unacceptable, 2 =
limited, 3 = moderate, 4 = good and 5 = best. Each selected indicator was defined an assessment
range from a minimum of 1 for the “unacceptable situations” to a maximum of 5 for the “best
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(2): 43-62 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
situations.” For this evaluation, the reference points for the assessment performance of fish were
Ethiopian national sustainability goals within Amhara region context. Multiply the actual
assessment value of each indicator by the standard performance value of it and then sum up the
value of those indicators with each dimension. After that, subtract the actual scores for dimension
from the maximum potential scores of the same dimension. Finally, convert the data into scores
and interpret the final result based on SAFA guidelines which depicted in table 1.
Table 1: SAFA guidelines V-3.0 formulated by FAO, 2014
Performance categories
Best situation = 5
Good situation = 4
Moderate situation = 3
Limited situation = 2
Unacceptable situation = 1
Performance scores
80% – 100%
60% - 80%
40% – 60%
20% – 40%
0% – 20%
Results and Discussions
Core function of Tekeze dam fish value chain
In Tekeze fish value chain there are different core processes which are input supply, production,
processing, marketing and consumption. In these core processes, there are different actors who
implement different activities in their day to day life a means of livelihood strategy. Each of these
core processes are described and analyzed in figure 3 which shows how each core process makes
linear function and also the actors and activities being done by each actor.
Input supply
inputs (gear,
boat, hook,
Merchants at
Yechila and Bahir
Dar town
 Farmers
 Shareholders
 Cooperatives
Shareholders whole
Figure 3: Core functions, actors and activities of Tekeze fish value chain.
Core functions in fish value chain of Tekeze Dam
Input supply, Fishing, processing, storing and consumption are the core function in the fish value
chain and core functions have different actors who perform different activities
Input supply
Producers purchase inputs and fishing materials which are used for fishing practices such as boat,
hooks, gillnet, thread, freezer etc from Bahir Dar and Yechila town who produce those the above
mentioned fishing materials. The boats were purchased by cooperatives that are organized for
fishing gained from the credit service provided by private borrowers.
Fishing (trapping) techniques
The fishing technique that fishermen used to trap the fish uses both steel and wooden boat. Fishing
in the lake is practiced by setting the nets in the afternoon and will catch early in the next day
morning. Most fishermen use monofilament gillnet which come from Sudan and Egypt having
lower mesh size up to 5 c. m. which catches very small fishes.
Fish handling, processing, marketing
Handling and processing are the core function in the value chain of fish in Tekeze dam. Fisher men’s
in Tekeze reservoir fillet the fish on the shore(beach) of the reservoir using knife without any shad
and they supply this filleted fish by carrying on their shoulder using jar and Kassa due to
inaccessibility of road to the shore( beaches ) of the Tekeze dam. Fisher men sell their filleted fish
for the fishers’ cooperative they belonged and also for other retailers, shareholders and whole seller.
Some fishers sell to other collectors and retailers other than selling for their own fishers’ cooperative
because of they lack trust on their fishery cooperatives in paying the birr they sold because there is
no contractual agreement between Fishery cooperatives and whole sellers and whole sellers some
times did not repay the birr they bought from cooperatives. The buyers of the filleted fish load the
filleted fish by truck to Yechila town and this leads the filleted fish to spoil. Collectors, shareholders
and some whole sellers packed the filleted fish and then they dried in freezers and they sell both for
hotels and restaurants, retailers and for whole sellers.
Fig.4 Handling methods to supply the fish to the market
without shade
Fig.6 Trucking of filleted fish in open ISUZU
Packing and storage
Fig.5 Fishers filleting the fish
Fig. 7 Fishers filleting the fish without shade
Packing and storage are one of the core functions in value chain of fish. Different collectors and
retailers packed the filleted fish in two forms i.e. split form (packing each piece of filleted fish which
weighs one kilo gram and in merging of different filleted fish having one kilogram using plastic and
uses freezer for storing the packed filleted fish.
Fig. 8 Split form
Fig. 9 Merge form
Actors in Tekeze fish value chain
Producers: In Tekeze dam, there are different fishers’ cooperatives in three Woredas (Abergele,
Zequala and Sehala) engaged in fish production and marketing activitites and most of members of
fishery cooperatives are full time participants. Shareholder groups, individual fishers, individual
collectors and wholesellers are also involved in fishing activity by hiring labor at minimum wage
and are the main actors in producing filleted fish of Tekeze Dam .Those fisher cooperatives and
individual fishermen sell the filleted fish at farm gate around the dam market place for whole sellers,
fisher cooperatives, shareholder groups and for individual collectors who prepare food from filet
at that market place.
Collectors: - Most local collectors are fisher cooperatives, shareholders, whole sellers who perform
the collecting filleted fish from fishermen in Tekeze dam.
Retailers: - retailers are individuals who purchase filleted fish from producers, and also packed
filleted fish from collectors in Tekeze dam and Yechila town and also individual people who
purchase packed filleted fish from whole sellers in Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar and Mekelle towns.
Whole sellers : - Mostly they come from Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar town and purchase either
directly from producers and local collectors in bulk and sell to retailers and hotels in Addis Ababa,
Bahir Dar, Mekelle, Gonder and Harer towns.
Retailers:- are actors who buy packed filleted fish from collectors in Addis Ababa town, Bahir Dar
town, Mekelle, Gonder etc.
Hotels and Restaurants:- Hotels and restaurants are actors who purchase packed filleted fish from
whole sellers , retailers in Addis Ababa town, Bahir Dar town, Mekelle, Gonder etc .to prepare
food in different form.
Individual Consumers:- Individual consumers are those market actors that purchase filleted fish
for their household consumption. Therefore, they buy packed filleted fish from collectors and
Marketing routs of Tekeze fish
Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar city are the dominant market rout of Tekeze fish. Mekelle, Gonder,
Harer, Shire are the other market rout of Tekeze dam filleted fish.
Addis Ababa
Tekeze Dam
Bahir Dar
Fig 10. Marketing routs Tekeze fish
Marketing channel
Tekeze fish marketing channel starts at the shore of the lake and reach the final consumers through
several channels. But four major channels were identified in this study.
Market Channel One: Producers /cooperatives/→ Collectors → Individual Consumer
Market Channel two: Producers /cooperatives/ →retailers→ individual consumers
Market Channel three: Producers /cooperatives/ →collectors →hotels and restaurants
Market Channel four: Producers /cooperatives/ → Collectors → whole seller → Retailers →
Individual Consumers
Fig. 11 Marketing Channels of fish value chain
Analysis of Fish value chain performance
Marketing margin measures the share of the final selling price that is captured by a particular
agent in the marketing chain. In a situation where there were several participants in a chain exist,
the margin was calculated by finding the price variations at different segments and then
comparing them with the final price to the consumer. The consumer price then is the base or
common denominator for all marketing margins. In analyzing margins, first the Total Gross
Marketing Margin (TGMM) was calculated. This is the difference between producer’s (farmer’s)
price and consumers’ price (price paid by final consumer) i.e.
TGMM = Consumer’s price – Farmer gate price
Then, the % share of the marketing margin at a given stage ‘i’ (GMMi) was computed as:

Where, SPi is selling price at ith link and PPi is purchase price at ith link
the total gross profit margin will also compute as: TGPM=TGMM - TOE Where, TGPM is total
gross profit margin, TGMM is total gross marketing margin, TOE is total operating expense.
Similarly, profit margin that deducts operating expense from marketing margin was done by
Dawit (2010) and Marshal (2011); then % share of profit margin at stage “i” is given as:  =

Where, GPMi =Gross profit margin at ith link, GMMi =Gross marketing margin
at ith link, OEi =Operating expense at ith link and GPM=Total gross profit margin.
TGMM = Consumer price – Fishers price (production cost) = 90.5 birr/Kg – 18.77 birr/kg = 71.73
birr/kg. Similarly, Total Gross Profit Margin (TGPM) is given by:
TGPM = TGMM – Total operating expense = 71.73 birr/kg – 43.07 birr/kg = 28.66birrr/kg
In order to measure the market share of each agent, the marketing channel where all agents
have participated was selected. The share of each marketing agent was described in table 2.
Table 2: The fish value chain actors’ share of margin and profit
Items (Birr/k.g)
Horizontal Sum
Purchase prices
Production cost
Marketing cost
Overhead cost
Packing material
Total marketing cost
Total cost
Sale Prices
Market margin
% share of margin
Profit margin
% share of profit
Source: (own computation from survey result, 2016)
Actors in the fish value chain add value to the product as a product passes from one actor up to the
final consumers. Actors change the form of the product by filleting, washin, packing of the product
by creating time and space value of a product. As compared to fishermen’s and collectors the
marketing cost of whole sellers and retailers is high. Regarding the percentage share of profit
margin; wholesalers and retailers accounts 36.01 % and 28.65 % of the total profit margin
respectively. And also the producers (fisher men’s took only 11.74 % of the profit margin.This
indicates that producers have low profit margin from the other actors, however, wholesakers are the
leader of the fish market in Tekeze dam.
Assessment of Tekeze fish value chain Sustainability Performance
As depicted in Table 3, for evaluation of Tekeze fish value chain’s sustainability performance 26
local level attributes indictors were formulated. Each attribute has its own local level indictors.
Among those indicators, the number of local indicators for economic, social, environmental and
governance were 7, 14, 2 and 3 respectively. Additionally, those indicators were evaluated by experts
via focus group discussion based on Ethiopian national sustainable development goals as applied
in the Amhara Region situation.
Economic aspects of Tekeze fish value chain
As depicted in table 3, the economic dimension of Tekeze fish value chain sustanaibility performance
was assessed by using 7 potential attributes, such as, profitability, added value shares, chain
governance, fair trade, market diversity, value adding activities and product loss. Each attribute has
its own indicators. According to the expert evaluation, three indicators (chain governance, market
diversity and product loss), two indictors (added value shares and fair trade), one indictor (value
adding activities) and one indicator (profitability) are ranked under unacceptable, limited, good and
best situation respectively. However, the average score of economic aspect of Tekeze fish value chain
sustainability performance is moderate situation. The qualitative data was computed as follow. The
maximum potential score for the economic dimension was 7 indicators x 5 points (best performance)
= 35. However, the actual score of economic indicators were 1 best performance (1*5), 1 good
performance (1*4), 2 limited performance (2*2) and 3 unacceptable performance (3*1) = 16. Then,
this score was converted into percentage. That means the final score of the economic dimension was
16/35 = 0.4575 or 45.75%, which falls to a moderate performance.
Social aspects of Tekeze fish value chain
As illustrated in table 3, the social dimension of Tekeze fish value chain sustainability performance
was assessed by using 14 local level attributes. Each attribute has its own indicators. Among those
indicators, four indicators (resource use equity, transportation, road and trapping techniques), five
indictors (perception, gender, market information, product information and product quality ), two
indicators (stakeholder interaction and safety & hygiene), one indicator (Fishery men’s cooperation
for bargaining power) and two indicators (employment and labor condition) fall to unacceptable,
limited, moderate, good and best performance situation. However,the mean score of social
dimension for Tekeze fish value chain sustainability performance is moderate situation. It analyze
as follow; the maximum potential score for the social dimension was 14 indicators*5 points (best
performance) = 70. But, The actual ratings of social indicators were 2 best performance (2*5), 1 good
performance (1*4), 2 moderate performance (2*3), 5 limited performance (5*2) and 4 unacceptable
performance (4*1) = 34. Then, the authors converted this score into percentage so as to know the
status of social sustainability of fish value chain. Hence, the final score of the social dimension was
34/70 = 0.486 or 48.6%, which equivalent to a moderate performance.
Environmental aspects of Tekeze fish value chain
According to the Expert assessment, the environmental dimension of Tekeze fish value chain
sustanablity performance was evaluated by using 2 local level attributes. attribute has its own
indicators. One indicator (waste managment) and the other one indicator (emission of air pollutants)
fall under limited and best performance sistation respectively. However, the average performance
score for environmental aspects of Tekeze fish value chain is good performance. It is more
emphasized as follow; the maximum potential score for the environmental dimension was 2
indicators*5 points (best performance) =10. However, the actual ratings of environmental indicators
were 1 best performance (1*5) and 1 limited performance (1*2) = 7. Then, the authors converted this
value into percentage, so, the final score of the environmental dimension was 7/10 = 0.7 or 70%,
which falls to good performance.
Governance aspects of Tekeze fish value chain
As depicted in table 3, the governance aspect of Tekeze fish value chain sustainability performance
was evaluated by using three local level attributes. Each attribute has its own indicator. All
indicators are ranked under limited performance situation. Moreover, the average score of Tekeze
fish value chain sustainability performance is also limited performance. It is analyzed in detail as
follow; the maximum potential score for the governance dimension was 3 indicators*5 points (best
performance) =15. However, the actual score of environmental indicators were 1 moderate (1*3) and
2 limited performance (2*2) = 7. Then, the authors converted this value into percentage, so, the final
score of the governance dimension was 6/15 = 0.40 or 40%, which falls to a limited performance.
Table 3: Assessment of fish value chain sustainability performance in Tekeze dam.
Economical dimension
Added value shares
Chain governance
Fair trade
Market Diversity
Value adding activities
Product loss
Resource use Equity
Social Dimension
Labor condition
Fishing is the best profitable farm activities (i.e revenue exceeds from
production and marketing costs).
36.01% of profit margin was shared by wholesalers while 28.65%, 23.6%
and 11.74% profit margin were shared by retailers, collectors and
farmers, respectively.
Wholesalers are the dominance actor for price setting over fisher men’s
and other traders.
Traders were not paid fair prices for fisher men’s.
It is difficult to get an alternative market route when the existing traders
were stopped their function.
Only sorting and labeling was done by retailers. There were no
processing activities for fish products.
High loss of product due to postharvest handling and logistical
There is a resource allocation problem between Amhara and Tigray
Region fishermen because the dam is located between those regions.
Created job opportunities, especially, the fishery sector under Tekeze
context creates a job opportunities for jobless and landless youth.
The communities’ perception on fish product was not good. The
smallholder farmers assume that fish is not important for food security
like crop or other livestock. The fishery men only capture fish and sell
to traders, but, they could not consume themselves.
Productive labors were engaged in fishing farm.
No gender equality in fish capturing & marketing. At the farm level,
men were engaged both in capturing and marketing, while at the
collector and retailer level, women were engaged in marketing.
80% – 100%
20% – 40%
0% – 20%
20% – 40%
0% – 20%
60% - 80%
0% – 20%
20% – 40%
80% - 100%
20% – 40%
80% - 100%
20% – 40%
Transported by open truck for long distances.
Road from the farm gate area (Tekeze dam) to the wholesaler area was
not well.
Market information
Market information was controlled by wholesalers completely.
Product information
There was no complete and accessible information on product quality
and safety for consumers.
Stakeholder interaction
There was a weak relationship between farmers, input suppliers,
supporters, and traders.
Safety and hygiene
Fish waste was released at loading, unloading, and in the spot market.
It affects the health of people in the market.
Product quality
Low fish product quality due to lack of well equipped storage material
and logistical problems.
Fishery men’s cooperation Cooperative members have relatively stronger bargaining power than
for bargaining power.
private fisher men’s for fish prices.
Trapping techniques
Most fisher men’s used inappropriate trapping techniques.
Emission of air pollutants
Fishing was free from air emissions. It is climate smart agriculture if and
only if there were well equipped storage and transportation facilities.
Waste management
Inappropriate waste management (deposits the fragile fish around the
dam and at spot market center.
Policy framework
There is no integrated fishery sustainable development policy
Conflict resolution
The Amhara and Tigray Region government tried to solve the resource
equity problem.
Sustainability management The Federal government tried to design a sustainable fishery sector
development plan; though it was not applied in action till this study was
Source: Own expert assessment result, 2016
0% – 20%
0% – 20%
0% – 20%
20% – 40%
40% - 60%
40% - 60%
20% – 40%
60% - 80%
0% - 20%
80% -100%
20% – 40%
20% – 40%
40% - 60%
20% – 40%
Major challenges of Tekeze fish value chain
Input supply constraints
The necessary materials used for fishing such as gillnet and hooks are not adequately supplied and
this leads fishermen to use very small mesh size gillnet which come from Sudan.
Lack of transport facility: lack of road from the beach to market place leads fishers to travel long
distance up to 3kilometer by carrying the filleted fish by their shoulder without cooling materials
using jar and kassa which leads the filleted fish spoiled.
Lack of adequate credit service: Financial constraint is the major problem fishers and fisher
cooperatives, which is used for procurement of necessary inputs for fisher cooperatives such as
freezer and car which is equipped with freezer because the perish ability nature filleted fish
fishers are forced to sell the product set by traders . Therefore, to reduce the spoilage of the product
credit service is vital so as to minimize financial constraint to purchase necessary materials (freezer
,cars equipped with freezers) in turn increases the bargaining power of the fishers to be price maker
and will be benefited Even though fisher cooperatives asked to get credit from ACSI they cannot
get the service and are forced to lend money from private borrowers at high interest rate.
Resource equity problem: due to absence of policy framework, rules and regulation on the use fish
resources there is a dispute in the use of fish resources between the two regions(Amhara and Tigray
region) and both regions exploit the fish resource in a computational manner with no limitation of
boundary which leads diminish in diversity of species and stock. During focus group discussion
participants said that Even though a large amount of the Dam is found in Amhara region(90%) but
the beneficiaries are Tigray region fishermen with no any boundary limitation.’’
Poor attention of governing body on management of fish resource: government bodies did not
give attention to the fish resource on how to utilize and manage the resources in a sustainable
Lack of extension service: Fishery cooperatives did not get an appropriate fishing and processing
techniques and utilization of filleted fish.
Lack of road: due to absence of road access from Tekeze Dam to Abergele , Zequala Woreda and
Sahila Woreda fisher cooperatives are forced to store the purchased filleted fish in Yechila town of
Tigray region. During focus group discussion, fisher cooperatives said that because of lack of road
access to Abergele town we are incurring higher operating cost .
Fishing, Handling, processing constraints
 Presence of illegal fishers which uses small sized mesh which traps very small fish which leads
to decreased in fish stock and species diversity.
 Absence of fish processing shade in the beach and the market place which protects the filleted
fish from direct heat to prevent from spoilage.
 Lack of adequate freezer due to financial constraint there was post harvest losses.
Marketing constraint
Fluctuation of fish demand and price: the demand of fish varies from season to season. The demand
and prices of fish increase during fasting time (December, March, April) and the demand and the
price of filleted fish decreases in January, May and September reduces the price up to 5 birr/kilo
Absence of competition among traders:
Among the actors of fish value chain some whole sellers are both producers (by hiring fishers)and
traders and they sell to retailers in Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar city at minimum price than whole
sellers that purchase filleted fish from collectors. This reduces competition among whole sellers and
leads some traders to exit from the fish marketing. Therefore, the market will be controlled by very
small wholesellers and results in a reduction of price at the farm gate.
Opportunities for Tekeze fish Value Chain development
 Availability of different fish species
 Availability of large stock fish resources
Even though in Tekeze dam has potential fish resource, the analysis of the value chain revealed that
the production is constrained by lack supply of fishing inputs such as gillnets, boats, hooks, shade
for processing of the trapped fish ,freezing material and credit service . Moreover, marketing of
Tekeze fish is constrained by shortage of transportation service, lack of accessibility of the road from
the beach to market place and Abergele town, Lack of credit service to purchase freezers and the
necessary materials. The percentage share of the profit margin of fishermen’s accounts only 11.74%
as compared to profit share of wholesalers, retailers and collectors which accounts 36.01%, 28.65%
and 23.4%, respectively. This indicates that fisherymen are not advantageous as traders.
Additionally, the Tekeze Fishermen’s sustainability performance was good and moderate. This
implies that the Tekeze fishing farm activities are needs a significant intervention in all
environmental, social, economical and good governance sustainability dimensions so as to enhance
fish value chain.
According to the conclusion of this study the following recommendations are drawn.
 Fishing materials such as gillnets, boats have to be supplied.
 Credit service should be give for fisher cooperatives
 Appropriate extension service on fishing, processing and consumption should be provided for
 Floor price of producer should be made by concerned bodies.
 Contractual agreement between producers (fisher cooperatives) and buyers have to be signed
and implemented.
 Due attention on road construction from Tekeze to Abergele and Zequala should be given.
 Rules and regulation on the use of Tekeze fish have to be formulated and implemented.
 Attracting Investors on Tekeze fish have to be given due attention so as to made competition
among traders.
 Collectors and wholesalers should be identified and licensed.
 Fishery sector’s sustainability should be given a great attention by designing a sustainable
management plan and implemented.
 Research intervention should be made to know breeding time.
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VOA breaking news, 2016: Prof. Tadesse Dejenie online interview from Mekelle University,
Tigray Region, Ethiopia, May 18, 2016 at 3:00 o’clock news.