Photo Credits: AGRA
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: August 17, 2022 – AGRA has provided three documents to officials from the Government of Ethiopia that emerged from joint programs in Ethiopia. The documents support the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) in investment prioritization and implementation of three flagship programs. These programs are designed to promote local production, marketing and consumption of four critical agricultural items; wheat, rice, oil seeds and animal feed. The flagship programs were designed through a consultative process spearheaded by AGRA and the Ethiopian Government and involved private sector, civil society, and development partners. The flagship documents have been designed in accordance with the governments’ policies to reduce the import of commodities by enhancing local production, which is one of the focus areas of the Government of Ethiopia.
The three flagship documents titled – the National Wheat Flagship program (NWFP), the National Rice Flagship Program (NRFP), and the Oil Seeds and Animal Feed Production Flagship Program (OSAP) will support investment and implementation of the country’s vision leading towards food sovereignty and security.
During the event, AGRA also provided three additional knowledge products. Two books from a market-led integrated value chain development program implemented in 30 woredas focusing on maize, wheat, teff and haricot bean value chains, and a booklet outlining AGRA’s experience on targeted secondment of Technical Experts to the Ministry of Agriculture. These knowledge products aim at informing the design of future investments and interventions in the sector.
“The knowledge documents we are handing over today are instrumental to Ethiopia’s agricultural development and were requested by the Ministry of Agriculture. AGRA as a demand-driven institution could not be an initiator, rather a supporter” said H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and current AGRA Board Chair.
He continued…“The flagship documents are both implementation and resource mobilization tools. AGRA will continue providing the support needed for quick implementation through our existing consortia, which are equipped to enhance integrated delivery of critical services to farmers through the effective coordination of private investments”. According to H.E Oumer Hussein, the Minister of Agriculture in Ethiopia, ‘with increasing urbanization there has been an increase in domestic demand for imported rice in the country’. This is the reason why the government is giving rice special attention.
“The production of these knowledge products, emerging from national and international experiences would enhance our rice development program, and help achieving our aspired goal of reducing imported rice and improving food security” Honorable Oumer said. Ethiopia now produces only just 12% of its annual rice needs, compared to 56% in 2011.
From the perspectives of wheat, the NWFP responds to the widening gap between production and consumption. Wheat consumption in the country has grown at the rate of 6% p.a. in the last decade leading to increased reliance on imports. In 2020 alone, Ethiopia imported $320million worth of wheat. In addition, the OSAP was designed to increase the domestic production of edible oils, from the current 2% to at least 50% by 2028. The country spent approximately US$740 million in 2020 to import over 1.2 billion metric tons of various edible oils, adding pressure to the already existing forex shortage. This flagship also concomitantly increasing the local production of animal feed, using the byproducts from edible oil production.
AGRA has also developed a flagship coordination and implementation modality plan that includes technical support for strategic direction, policy development and budget planning to help the government in successfully implementing the programs.