The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), which coordinates agriculture and food security initiatives across the country, is a key 2SCALE partner. Joint field activities began in 2013 and have been highly successful. ATA and IFDC (through 2SCALE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing their partnership in March 2015. The goal is to use the 2SCALE agribusiness cluster approach to help smallholder vegetable farmers transition from subsistence to market-oriented production.
Under the agreement, collaboration will begin with the Meki Batu farmer union – already a 2SCALE partner. Meki Batu produces fresh vegetables for markets in Addis Ababa and elsewhere. The agreement also provides a platform for scaling out activities to other vegetable producers under ATA’s Household Irrigation Program covering four regions: Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and SNNPR.
ATA will oversee field activities and ensure buy-in and resources at district and woreda level. Both organizations will work together to train farmer groups and unions, link them with large buyers and develop outgrower schemes. Other activities include disseminating low-cost water pumps for irrigation, promoting mechanization and enlisting horticulture industry experts to overcome specific challenges in production and business development.