The objective of this sub-component is to strengthen and develop relevant institutions so that they become more demand driven for enhanced productivity and value addition. Activities undertaken under this sub-component are intended to enable favorable opportunities to access technical support and inputs for smallholder farmers. This is expected to transform agriculture from a subsistence mode of production to a more market-oriented production system.
As one of the objectives under this sub-component, the program is focused on establishing and strengthening Agricultural Rural Development Partner Linkage Advisory Councils (ARDPLACs) in AGP woredas. The ARDPLACs are designed to address problems constraining agricultural development at the woreda level and enable participatory need-based service delivery to smallholder farmers.
Secondly, this sub-component works on strengthening key public advisory organizations to improve their service delivery capacity. This includes:
- Agriculture Extension strengthening through improvement of facilities in Farmers Training Centers (FTC); training provision to bridge the skills gap for Development Agents (DAs), woreda and zonal staff; addressing challenges to mobility experienced by DAs and Subject Matter Specialists (SMS); and information technology support to improve linkages with partner organizations.
- Strengthening of Soil Testing Laboratories by building the capacity of soil analysis techniques; provision of analytical equipment, chemicals and training to promote improved fertilizer use based on soil analysis.
- Strengthening Animal Health Services by supporting animal health clinics and health post facilities at the woreda level; human resource development through short to medium term training of staff; and enhance disease surveillance and diagnostic capability of regional laboratories.
Lastly, the institutional strengthening and development sub-component support extends to promoting and building the capacity of new and existing informal farmer groups. This will be achieved through:
- Supporting formation of Common Interest Groups (CIGs) comprised of individuals focused on production of the same commodities. e.g. Cereals, honey processing, beekeeping. With a special focus on bringing women and youth to either form their own groups or join existing ones, CIGs will be instrumental for social mobilization and community level institution building. The formation of such groups is also intended to improve access to public services and facilitate linkages with markets.
- Strengthening farmer organizations by supporting their federation and registration as cooperatives to address important social, economic, or financial needs as a collective. Farmer groups will also be enabled to participate in training and exposure visits.
- Capacity building for agencies supporting farmers’ organizations targeting mainly woreda level agencies to enhance their capacity and skills for training information farmer groups and farmer organizations.
Site: AllAfrica News: Ethiopia