Ethiopia is located in East Africa, north of Kenya. The country’s total land area is 1,104,300 sq km: about twice the size of the state of Texas in the U.S., and about the size of Bolivia. The country’s climate is considered tropical monsoon, but varies based on elevation and other topographic factors. Of the total land area, just over 10 percent is utilized for cultivated crops, with less than 0.65 percent of the total area dedicated to permanent crops such as fruit- and nut-bearing trees. Three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia: coffee, grain sorghum and castor bean.
Ethiopia’s population is approximately 85 million. The country’s economy is based on agriculture, accounting for about 45 percent of GDP, and 85 percent of total employment (32 million laborers). The sector faces the dual challenges of frequent drought and limited penetration of modern agricultural technologies. Coffee is a major export crop; other important crops and products include cereals, pulses, oilseed, cotton, sugarcane, potatoes, cut flowers, fish and livestock.
Agricultural output and productivity have increased significantly in the past decade, and GDP growth has recovered from a 2002 drought that led to a 3.3 percent drop in GDP. Nevertheless, the agricultural sector faces major challenges including deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion, land tenure issues and under-resourced research and extension services. The East and Southern Africa Division is responsible for IFDC activities in Ethiopia.
Current IFDC Projects in Ethiopia
- Toward Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship (2SCALE), 2012-2016
2SCALE is improving rural livelihoods, nutrition and food security in Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan and Uganda, with 1.15 million smallholder families ultimately increasing their productivity by 100 percent and their net incomes by 30 percent. A key component is the development of a portfolio of 500 robust and viable agribusiness clusters and value chains to supply food to regional, national and local markets and the least fortunate, also known as base-of-the-pyramid (BoP) consumers.
DONOR: The Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS)
- Agricultural Growth Program - Agribusiness and Market Development Project (AGP-AMDE) in Ethiopia, 2011-2015
The goal of the AGP-AMDE project is the long-term reduction of poverty and hunger through improvements in the productivity and competitiveness of value chains that offer income opportunities for rural households. As a member of the ACDI/VOCA Support for Food Security Activities (SFSA) team, IFDC is helping to build agro-input supply and distribution systems and facilitate farmers’ access to and use of agro-inputs. IFDC is also supporting the development of private sector agribusinesses to produce and market seeds.
DONOR: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Recent IFDC Projects in Ethiopia
- Accelerating Agribusiness in Africa – Bridge (AAA-Bridge), 2011-2012
The AAA-Bridge project was an extension of Strategic Alliance for Agricultural Development in Africa (SAADA-B) activities. The objective of AAA-Bridge was to expand IFDC activities and best practices developed in West Africa, such as the Competitive Agricultural Systems and Enterprises (CASE) solution, Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM), fertilizer deep placement (FDP), fertilizer resource assessments and market information systems (MIS), into other regions of Africa. Specifically, this project expansion was designed to replicate the CASE approach and other aspects of the IFDC agribusiness model in select countries of eastern and southern Africa.
- COMESA Regional Agricultural Inputs Program (COMRAP), 2010-2011
COMRAP responded to rising food prices by increasing agricultural productivity through improved access to finance, training, fertilizer and seeds. Over the course of its implementation, the project targeted three million smallholder farmers in Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. COMRAP was implemented by the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA).
DONOR: The European Union Food Facility Program