The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced Thursday the launching of a project, dubbed Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity.
According to Ethiopian government officials and representatives of USAID, the project aims at strengthening the agricultural sector as part of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program.
The purpose of Feed the Future initiative is to address issues of malnutrition and extreme poverty. USAID currently operates and supports research activities, nutrition, education and value-chain activities directed at improving resilience, health and prosperity as part of the initiative.
In remarks made during the launching ceremony, USAID’s John Bruce said that Feed the Future Value Chain Activity looks forward to partnering with stakeholders to help speed up transformation and tackle these challenges head on.
“We will be focusing on the private sector as the engine of change. This involves supporting entrepreneurs who are willing to invest in technologies as part of the farming-as-a-business mindset,” he told participants, adding: “Talk to us. Challenge us. We are here to make a difference.”
This USD-60-million value chain activity is part of the USD 581.8 million five-year project being carried out in collaboration with donors. USAID’s latest program is also said to have been designed to improve the nutrition and commercial viability of smallholders by improving the performance of the entire value chain to which they contribute. Over the course of the next five years, USAID will work with stakeholders to improve the production, processing and marketing of maize, chickpea, coffee, livestock, dairy and poultry. The activity will will be implemented in Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR and Tigray, regions included in the Agricultural Growth Program.
The program will be implemented by Fintrac, Inc., which has experience working in Ethiopia. Previously, it undertook the Agribusiness and Trade Expansion program and later the Capacity to Improve Agriculture and Food Security activity.
By Yonas Abiye