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Ethiopia’s economy is dependent on agriculture, which contributes 43 percent of the GDP and 90 percent of exports. However, just eight percent of land is irrigated, and crop yields from small farms are below regional averages. Market linkages are weak, and the use of improved seeds, fertilizers and pesticides remains limited. Despite these challenges, agriculture-led economic growth that is linked to improved livelihoods and nutrition can become a long-lasting solution to Ethiopia’s chronic poverty and food insecurity.
Through Feed the Future, we are helping vulnerable households participate in economic activities and generate demand for products. Agricultural investments improve the competitiveness of value chains such as maize, wheat, coffee, sesame, chick pea, honey, livestock and dairy. These activities bring jobs and income opportunities for rural households. We also strengthen small- and medium-sized enterprises by providing access to credit and technical support.
USAID Ethiopia’s Feed the Future Strategy focuses on three core components: agricultural growth-enabled food security, linking the vulnerable to markets, and fostering a regulatory environment and private sector conducive to economic growth.
USAID supports the Government of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program, which operates in more than 90 woredas (districts), stimulating agricultural growth and rural transformation to aid vulnerable parts of the country. In addition, USAID also works with the Government of Ethiopia to improve the enabling environment to support private sector growth and investment in agriculture through the G-8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.
The Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) is one of the largest safety net programs in the world. The PSNP is a major component of Government of Ethiopia’s Food Security Program and plays a critical role in building the resilience capacity of chronically food insecure communities to shocks and climate change. PSNP’s objective is to prevent the depletion of household assets, to stimulate markets and improve access to services, and to rehabilitate and enhance the natural environment through labor-based public works. The program has a target caseload of more than seven million beneficiaries in 318 woredas (districts) throughout Ethiopia. USAID is the largest bilateral donor to PSNP, contributing 20 percent of the budget for 2010-2014. The design phase for the future generation of PSNP and Household Asset Building Program (HABP) officially started in June 2013. USAID Ethiopia, with eight other donor partners, is actively engaged in jointly shaping the vision for the next generation program together with the Government of Ethiopia.
Last updated: March 10, 2014