Agriculture remains a critical part of Ethiopia’s economy, accounting for 40 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), 80 percent of exports, and an estimated 75 percent of the country's workforce. Despite significant increases in agricultural output between 1993 and 2018, Ethiopia’s agriculture and food system is not well equipped to support access to healthy diets for its rapidly growing and urbanizing population or to stimulate broad-based economic transformation. Agricultural productivity remains low due to limited private investment, fragmented markets, environmental degradation, and recurrent shocks. These challenges are exacerbated by conflict and the worst drought in recorded history.
Through Feed the Future, we foster private enterprise development in the food and agriculture system in order to increase employment, income, and access to healthy diets. USAID increases access for small and medium-sized agri-food enterprises and smallholder farmers to business development services including finance, improved technologies, mechanization, marketing, and the digital economy. USAID enhances key agriculture value chains to increase incomes and food access among the vulnerable, modeling how private sector investment can increase smallholder productivity, marketing, and innovation. USAID partners with the private sector to overcome barriers to last-mile food supply and agricultural services.
To build resilience, USAID strengthens local capacity to administer land sustainably and employ modern mapping technologies in harmony with longstanding customary land systems. USAID also addresses the root causes of vulnerability through multi-sectoral, integrated interventions in the highlands and lowlands of Ethiopia.
To protect food security gains, USAID strengthens disaster risk reduction and response efforts by improving early action, analytic capacity, local planning and preparedness, and local resource mobilization and coordination. Finally, USAID complements agriculture investments with nutrition promotion, improved health services, and increased access to sustainable water and sanitation services.
Feed the Future Ethiopia Transforming Agriculture works to make Ethiopia’s food and agriculture systems more competitive, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient to increase access to healthy diets, particularly for women and children. To do so, it will increase the availability, affordability (primarily by increasing incomes), convenience, and desirability of safe, diverse, nutritious foods, across the Feed the Future geographic zone of influence.
The Feed the Future Ethiopia Land Governance Activity works to improve governance and policy to enhance land tenure rights for farmers and pastoralists, empowering them to contribute more fully to their families’ and their communities’ economic growth prospects.
Feed the Future Policy LINK: Ethiopia Champions for Food Security works with institutions, civil society organizations, and the private sector to enhance leadership and management capacities, strengthen communication, coordination, and cooperation among institutions, and increase the power of local actors and communities. The efforts promote evidence-based analysis, participatory learning, and knowledge-sharing practices for effective and accelerated food and agriculture policy design and implementation.
Feed the Future Ethiopia Resilience in Pastoral Areas improves local-level disaster risk management (DRM), livestock and crop productivity, income generation, and nutrition and hygiene practices for pastoralist and agro-pastoralist populations.