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A five year program to improve the nutrition and commercial viability of smallholders by improving the performance of the entire value chains has been launched in Ethiopia. The program called Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity is aimed at eliminating extreme poverty by developing value chains across the agriculture sector.
It is stated that over the course of the next five years, USAID’s activity will work with stakeholders to improve the production, processing and marketing of maize, chickpea, coffee, livestock, dairy, and poultry. The activity will operate in Amhara; Oromia; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples; and Tigray that are included within the Agricultural Growth Program areas.
“We are planning a series of regional launches in Tigray, Amhara, SNNPR and Oromia Regions in August to kick start implementation. The emergence of new challenges such as the Fall Armyworm pest affecting maize crops requires us to mobilize resources quickly,” said Ian Chesterman Chief of Party, USAID.
It is also state that the program will have three sub-purposes. This includes increasing nutrition sensitive productivity of target vale chains inclusive of women and youth through transferring climate-smart good agricultural practices, scaling up input supply systems and expanding use of technologies and enhancing training and extension services.
It also plans to strengthen market systems and trade through mainstream access and organization of market systems, supporting investments in on-farm and community based postharvest handling and storage systems as well as integrating small holder supply into commercial value chains and processing.
Thirdly, it aims to improve the enabling environment to accelerate agricultural transformation through the expansion of market intelligence and evidence based analysis of key constraints, strengthening the capacity of stakeholder institutions and improving cooperation for policy implementation and monitoring.
“Over the next few weeks, we will conduct a baseline survey as well as value chain analyses of the maize, chickpea, coffee, dairy, meat and live animal sectors. We will also conduct a cost benefit analysis of household-level poultry activities to determine if this should be included in our scope of work from 2018 onwards. These surveys and analyses, together with intensive discussions at the regional level, will help refine priorities specific to each region and adapted to local conditions,” Chesterman said. The project has a budget of USD 60 million.