Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Food Security Program

As a result of the Ethiopian government’s ambitious socio-economic development program, agricultural growth and the success of existing Food Security programs, the amount of food-relief beneficiaries in Ethiopia has decreased considerably in recent years. However, 2.7 million Ethiopians still rely on food assistance for their survival, while the lives of another 25 million are considered highly vulnerable to malnutrition. Given the country’s unstable environmental and climatological conditions, it is expected that Food Security will remain a major issue in the coming decades in Ethiopia, and is therefore chosen as one of the priorities of the Dutch Embassy’s development cooperation program. In the long run, a gradual shift (both in activities and resources) is foreseen, from food security to agricultural growth; from agricultural growth to agribusiness aid to transition; and from transition to trade. See also our Food Security website and follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

The current Embassy’s Food Security program entails:

1) Activities to reduce household vulnerability in food insecure areas

The Embassy supports the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). This multi-donor program provides, during a part of the year, food and cash support to 6.9 million people. The aim is to reduce this number significantly through public works activities (like reforestation and soil and water conservation) that contribute to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, asset building and increased market access. In addition, community-based nutrition is supported in selected districts to increase crop diversity and a nutritional diet for vulnerable households. Expected results are: (1) a marked reduction in the number of people dependent on food aid and safety net-related services; (2) a substantially reduced percentage of malnourished children under five years old.

2) Activities to increase agricultural productivity and market access in surplus producing areas

The Embassy provides support to the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP). This Ethiopian Government multi-donor supported program aims at improving the capacity of service providers (especially the extension system) and farmers’ organizations to scale up best practices in production and processing, with special attention for women and youth. In addition, support is provided to the construction, rehabilitation and management of small-scale rural infrastructure (irrigation and roads). In order to improve the effectiveness of the agricultural growth strategy, the Embassy also supports two innovative, aligned projects: (1) to strengthen the capacity for evidence-based up-scaling of best-fit practices (CASCAPE); and (2) to increase the capacity for the design and management of small-scale and micro-irrigation works (Small Scale Irrigation Project). Finally, the Embassy supports the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) which is tasked to remove systemic bottlenecks for agricultural growth.

3) Activities to increase the competitiveness of specific agribusiness subsectors

The Embassy is involved in four agricultural subsectors: horticulture, dairy, seeds and sesame. In these sectors a value chain approach is applied with attention for productivity and quality improvement, creating more added value and export growth. In addition, the capacity of the agribusiness services sector will be strengthened as well as the regulatory and policy environment. To this end, specific public private partnerships are established. The Agri-business Support Facility complements the strategy to support new sector-wide private sector driven initiatives, Ethiopian entrepreneurship and hands-on assistance to Dutch companies. Based on commitments in the past, the Embassy will continue to build in safeguards for sustainable use of natural resources in areas that are under extreme pressure. To this end, river basin management is supported in the Central Rift Valley and Gambella.

Links to related websites