Livestock market information is an integral part of early warning systems. It is helping track changes in terms of trade particularly with regard to comparing trends in grain marketing in order to identify potentially critical food shortage trends. LINKS is a Livestock Information Network and Knowledge System which provides regular livestock prices and volume information on most of the major livestock markets in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania along with information on forage conditions, disease outbreak, conflict and water supply to support decision making at multiple scales.
LINKS livestock market monitoring system is a mechanism through which collection, analysis and dissemination of information needed to help producers, middle men and traders are organized and systematized. This system provides near real time market information which is available on request via SMS text message system, email, WorldSpace radio systems and on the internet. LINKS is a sub-project within the Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program (GL-CRSP) being implemented by Texas A&M University and funded by USAID.
The message: The livelihood of a vast majority of people in East Africa is highly dependent on income from livestock and livestock products. Therefore, the development of reliable and timely livestock market information is vital for the development of the countries in the region and provides a basis for livestock producers and traders to make informed marketing decisions.