The Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) is rebranding its name to the Agricultural Transformation Institution (ATI), as its mandate to catalyze the transformation of the agriculture sector nears expiry.
The Agency was established in 2010 during the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi under the leadership of Khalid Bomba, a former vice president of JP Morgan, who recently resigned from his post as the head of the then Agency earlier this year. Founded with the help of USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it was created with a mission to address system constraints and developing sustainable value chains.
The entity was created to transform the agriculture sector from a subsistence sector to a market-oriented sector by 2030.
The former agency officially transitioned into an Institute based on Proclamation No. 1263/2021 to better meet the sector’s need for systemic solutions and improved institutional capacity, according to Mandefero Neguise (PhD) CEO of the Agricultural Transformation Institute (ATI).
Currently, the power and duties of the Institute includes supporting the Ministry of Agriculture in strategy development, identifying priority deliverables, policy reforms and food systems, identify systemic bottlenecks, and provide recommendations and follow-up implementation.
According to Mandefero, the ATI has evolved from a think tank into implementation, acting as a system integrator for its strategic programs over the next 10 years.
It will also orient its activities to address key levers for agricultural transformation outlined in the Homegrown Economic Reform Agenda.
“The ATI will increase its support on policy and research, increase focus on the private sector, natural resource management, climate and nutrition. it will also increase its focus from crop commodities in Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, and Tigray to the livestock sector, expanding to Somali, Afar, Harari, Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambela,” said Mandefero.
The ATI was conducting researches for analytical purposes and recommend policies and new initiatives.
“We were not doing what the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) was doing. Instead, we would like to add value and support the research, extension, and marketing systems in the agriculture sector to enhance the transformation,” Mandefro said.
The ATI will operate as a system integrator to build better research, extension, and marketing systems for the sector to contribute to the overall economic growth.
Since its inception, the then ATA has implemented 48 innovative and large-scale strategic projects. It has thus far introduced Direct Seed Marketing, a short Farmer Hotline (8028), and an Input Voucher System in the agriculture sector.