The Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) is a results-driven organization within the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) that reports to a Transformation Council chaired by the Prime Minister and vice-chaired by the Minister of Agriculture. The ATA seeks to accelerate the transformation of the agricultural sector so that it substantially contributes to the goal of Ethiopia achieving middle-income status by 2025. The ATA accelerates change by working strategically with multiple stakeholders including the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), other federal ministries, the Bureaus of Agriculture of the four large regions, civil society, the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), farmers, and development partners. The ATA, in this way ensures that efforts are aligned, activities are coordinated, and an enabling environment is created so that farmers can benefit from adoption of proven production and post-harvest technologies and market linkages, thereby increasing their yields and income and consequently contributing to the development of their families, their communities, and their country.
The ATA’s efforts to bring transformation is centered around problem solving/diagnostics, identification of systemic bottlenecks, development of strategies in consultation with key relevant stakeholders, and support for implementation of interventions with partners. To fulfill this mission, the ATA combines systemic intervention programs (e.g., soil health, cooperatives) with crop-specific value chain programs (e.g., tef, wheat, sesame) and special initiatives (e.g., technology access and adoption and gender) to enable solutions to be delivered through a systems-based approach.
The mandate of ATA is to address systemic bottlenecks in the agriculture sector by supporting and enhancing the capability of the MoA and other public, private, and non-governmental implementing partners. In doing so, ATA will support the doubling of production of key crops and at least an annual growth rate of 8.1% in the agricultural sector in the next 4 years.
The ATA achieves its objectives through:
- -Clear, inclusive and widely consultative stakeholder engagement throughout the problem solving analysis and implementation support efforts.
- -Rigorous, objective, prioritized recommendations that are fact based and build on the diagnostics and other existing research.
- -Hiring diverse staff in order to bring the best local and international analytic and technical expertise to bear on problem solving, implementation support and capability building.
Projects and Activities
ATA has established three programmatic areas that in combination will address the needs of the agricultural sector and improve the lives of smallholder farmers:
1. Systemic interventions. These programs address national level bottlenecks that, when completed, will benefit all farmers regardless of geography or crop. Systems programs include seeds, soil health, cooperatives, input/output markets, and extension and research.
2. Value chain geographies.
- Value chain programs address the production needs of specific crops that have the greatest potential to impact agricultural growth rates. In consultation with the Transformation Council and the MoA, ATA will initially focus on eight crops that taken together contribute to 60% of the total crop production: tef, wheat, sesame, maize, barley, coffee, sorghum, and chickpea.
- Each value chain has a specific geography, which is defined by where the crop is grown. The ATA partnered with Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, and SNNP regions to identify high-producing areas for the eight focus crops.. The four regions are also where the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) is being implanted.
3. Special initiatives. These programs are cross cutting and address specific areas that are important to the long term success of the systemic and value chain programs. These areas include gender; technology access and adoption; climate change adaptation and environmental sustainability; and measurement, learning, and evaluation.
The ATA supports the implementation of critical aspects of the AGP through three specific areas of collaboration:
- -Strategy and policy linkages – strengthen the linkage between the ATA and AGP in the areas of programmatic overlap to ensure that the ATA’s policy recommendations are informed by input from the AGP woredas and that ATA policy recommendations that are approved by the government in these areas of programmatic overlap;
- -Household irrigation – coordinate and accelerate the scale-up and adoption of household-level irrigation programs, including manual and mechanized pump technologies, in AGP woredas based on comprehensive analysis of productivity and commercial potential, natural resource constraints and other farm-level incentives; and
- -Monitoring and Evaluation – strengthen the monitoring and evaluation capacity of MoA to effectively collect, analyze and develop policy recommendations by leveraging the outputs and learnings from the AGP woredas and supporting the MoA in scaling them to other woredas.
As such ATA’s support to the AGP has focused around the following specific areas of programmatic overlap:
- 1. Strategy and policy linkages:
- -Seed Program
- -Develop 5-year overall seed sector strategy (formal + intermediate + informal) Strengthen enforcement capability of regulatory bodies at Federal and regional levels through institutional review and capacity building
- -Cooperative Program
- -Develop and popularize 5-year cooperative sector development strategy and provide implementation support to the Federal Cooperative Agency
- -Soil Health and Fertility Management Program (including EthioSIS and Fertilizer Blending projects):
- -Endorse and launch 5 year national sector strategy for soil health and fertility
- -Develop soil test based Fertilizer recommendation
- -Establish national soil resource focal body
- -Rollout key Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) practices and promote ISFM
- -Operationalize 4 fertilizer blending plants as business entities under the ownership of selected cooperative unions
- -Setup the Ethiopian Soil Information System (EthioSIS) and develop digital soil map of the entire country
- 2. Household Irrigation (HHI) Program
- -Develop five-year strategy for Household Irrigation
- -Develop HHI service provision models
- -Establish national irrigation pump standards and implement enforcement mechanisms
- -Undertake local capacity gap assessments to manufacture engine/motor pumps
- -Undertake pump supply chain-procurement study and pilot initial implementation of top recommendations
- 3. Monitoring and Evaluation Program
- -Provide regular technical support in the implementation of sector wide M&E system, including building the capacity of the MoA – PPD