The Kingdom of the Embassy of the Netherlands launched two Dutch Sector Support Programmes implemented by SNV Ethiopia.
In the presence of His Excellency Sani Redi – State Minister, Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia and H.E. Bengt Van Loosdrecht – Netherlands Ambassador to Ethiopia, Building Rural Income through inclusive Dairy Business Growth in Ethiopia (BRIDGE) and Horticultural Livelihoods, Innovation and Food safety in Ethiopia (Horti-LIFE II) projects have been launched.
The State Minister said that the Ethiopian government is working to transform its agriculture sector which contributes 35.5% of the country’s GDP. He added that the ministry will work to remove bottlenecks and encourage smallholder farmers “to produce surplus products for the industry and market by increasing productivity per hectare, producing high-quality products using improved inputs such as seed and fertiliser and by improved logistics”.
The Ambassador underlined that the two agriculture sector projects are the results of scaling up previous cooperation. Both, BRIDGE and Horti-LIFE II, brought partners from public and private sectors on board. The projects are expected to improve the efficiency of their respective sectors, increase productivity, create more jobs including in rural areas and increase access to an affordable and diversified diet. The projects will also contribute to increased investments in their respective sectors. Furthermore, the projects validate their respective activities through research and documentation to improve implementation using evidence.
These projects will benefit hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers over the next five years. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has invested €40 million for the implementation of BRIDGE and Horti-LIFE II projects. BRIDGE aims to improve the dairy sector performance in Ethiopia, reaching 120,000 dairy farming households, and other sector players through improved milk production, collection, processing and marketing, improved consumption of nutritious foods and an improved enabling environment.
Horti-LIFE II aims to increase rural income, jobs and diet diversity by improving the productivity, diversity and food safety in the horticultural sector in a gender-balanced and nutrition-sensitive way. The target is to reach 100,000 households in 45 districts. The project will also support 60 commercial service providers (agro-dealers; nurseries; marketing), 10 A-TVETs, four universities, two research institutes and two MFIs.