The Agricultural Growth Program – Agribusiness and Market Development (AGP-AMDe) is a flagship project under USAID and President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative. AGP-AMDe represents USAID’s largest contribution to the government of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program (AGP). In line with the overall objectives of AGP, the program works to sustainably reduce poverty and hunger by improving the productivity and competitiveness of value chains that offer jobs and income opportunities for rural households.
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AGP-AMDe has four primary components:
- Component 1: Improving the competitiveness of selected value chains
- Component 2: Improving access to finance
- Component 3: Improving the enabling environment of selected value chains
- Component 4: Stimulating increased innovation and investment
AGP-AMDe targets six value chains: chickpeas, coffee, honey, maize, sesame and wheat. All value chains have been identified for their potential to improve both food security and farmer incomes. Additionally, support for improved farming practices through woredas is expected to have a spill-over effect on non-targeted value-chains (e.g., rice). For several value chains, Ethiopia is famed for unique product characteristics. AGP-AMDe is transforming the comparative advantages of these value chains into competitive advantages that benefit all stakeholders, especially smallholder farmers, including women. AGP-AMDe anticipates that more than 1 million smallholder producers will benefit over the program’s five year period. Gross margins for these farmers are expected to double, and losses dramatically cut.
AGP-AMDe’s value chain activities are designed to:
- Strengthen the competitiveness of the selected value chains
- Increase access to finance, thereby encouraging investment, productivity and trade
- Improve the enabling environment, working closely with the Ethiopian government
- Expand public-private partnership investments to buy down risks and leverage the impact of innovations, such as ideas supported through the Innovation and Demonstration Fund, a cost-share grant program.
AGP-AMDe promotes economic growth in all four AGP-selected regions: Amhara (where the project operates in 22 woredas); Oromia (34 woredas); Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (19 woredas); and Tigray (8 woredas).
Project and Activities
The results of AGP-AMDe contribute significantly to USAID’s development objective of Increased Economic Growth with Resiliency in Rural Ethiopia. AGP-AMDe works in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), AGP partners, ATA, Federal Cooperative Agency (FCA) and strategic partners to contribute to the following Intermediate Results:
IR 1: Improved Performance of the Agriculture Sector
AGP-AMDe undertakes activities to strengthen the agricultural production and marketing systems. The project expands access to improved inputs (including seed and fertilizer) and farm technology; introduces effective post-harvest handling that reduces loss; strengthens public and private sector agricultural services; and expands value addition through agro-processing. Interventions in the enabling environment support the emergence of increasingly supportive policies and practice. The project actively coordinates with Empowering New Generations in Improved Nutrition and Economic Opportunities (ENGINE) and Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD) on a number of these initiatives.
IR 2: Improved Private Sector Competitiveness
AGP-AMDe strengthens private sector associations and actors, and builds the capacity of the cooperative sector to operate as successful agribusinesses to the benefit of their members. The project increases access to financial and other services throughout the target value chains; improves the quality, consistency and transparency of marketing systems; expands investments and trade in the value chains using innovation funds; and establishes domestic and export market linkages that serve as successful models for replication.
IR 3: Increased Resiliency to and Protection from Shocks
AGP-AMDe works with financial sector associations and service providers to improve relations within the finance industry, establish and strengthen linkages with the agriculture sector, introduce agricultural financing risk mitigating products, expand microfinance institution (MFI) services and strengthen savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs). The project supports the emergence of an enforceable legal contracts system and improves the flow of agricultural market and production information to enable value chain actors and service providers to make informed decisions.
IR 4: Improved Nutritional Status of Women and Young Children
AGP-AMDe strengthens women’s livelihoods through their targeted inclusion in honey production and marketing, cereals marketing, coffee cupping, and other value chain functions. The project increases food availability and income through the development of target value chains. AGP-AMDe supports the fortification of processed foods through investment. Nutritional information will be integrated into agriculture extension services and disseminated effectively through agro-dealers, frequency modulation (FM) radio and short message service (SMS) messaging.
Site: AllAfrica News: Ethiopia