On June 4, 2013, the Commercial Farm Service Program (CFSP), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by CNFA, hosted a signing event between USAID and six grantees. The $240,000 grant will support entrepreneurs and farmers’ cooperative unions in Ethiopia to establish six farm service centers (FSCs) in the Oromia State. The program, funded through USAID’s Innovation Fund for Ethiopian Agriculture (IFEA), seeks to develop innovative projects and opportunities that diversify agricultural sector production and markets, while promoting enterprise development along entire value-chains. The FSCs to be established through the grant will provide a complete range of inputs, services, information and output marketing linkages to Ethiopian smallholders, allowing them to make the step from subsistence to commercial production.
The grantees, who are expected to match $1.5 million in matching funds, will take a direct role in transferring knowledge and technology to smallholder farmers.
The event, which took place at the Jupiter Hotel, hosted 35 participants including Partner International NGO’s, Ethiopian Government Officials and input suppliers. Chief of Party, Tim Bergstrom, along with USAID/Ethiopia Officer Chief of Economic Growth and Transformation, Gary Robbins and Furo Beketa of the Oromia Bureau of Agriculture spoke at the event before introducing the six grantees. The Deputy Chief of Party, Waktola Wakgari, introduced the six grantees to begin the signing ceremony.
After the signing ceremony, the grantees answered questions from the press and indicated that the technical insight and financial support extended to them by USAID and CNFA will help them in achieving agricultural growth objectives in their communities.