Agreements Signed to Establish Three Farm Service Centers in Arsi Zone, Oromia Region
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) Farm Service Center Project (FSCP), under GIZ Ethiopia’s Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector (GIAF)-Ethiopia portfolio, commemorated the launch of three new ventures on September 20, 2016 at the Goethe Institute to establish Farm Service Centers (FSCs) in the Arsi Zone of Oromia Regional State. FSCs are market-based, one-stop-shops that provide high-quality agricultural inputs, services and training to smallholder farmers at affordable prices.
FSCP-GIAF-Ethiopia is partnering with two Ethiopian entrepreneurs and one farmers’ cooperative union to provide grants that are matched by these new FSC owners. The Project leveraged a total of €90,000 for the three grantees of the future Assela, Iteya, and Robe FSCs. These grants help demonstrate the viability of the FSC model as a platform for large-scale partnerships through the supply of a range of high-quality and affordable farm inputs and implements, technical knowledge, and services that link smallholder farmers with new agricultural technologies, innovations and best practices to improve on-farm productivity.
The event was opened by Ato Meseretu Lemma, Input Regulatory and Utilization Process Owner from Oromia Regional Bureau of Agriculture. In his opening speech, he spoke about how these new FSC ventures of the project support the Government of Ethiopia’s effort to build efficient agricultural input market and improve smallholder productivity, food security, and incomes through the development of sustainable, private-sector driven agricultural input supply markets and services. He also noted the need to scale up the FSCs to bring wider impact on the smallholder farmers’ productivity and finalized his speech by promising continued support from Oromia Regional Bureau of Agriculture for future endeavors. “It has always been my dream to stock the highest quality inputs and provide comprehensive consultation services for farmers. Now, with this grant program, I will be able to achieve this dream, diversify and expand the existing quality input stocks that I am currently managing” said Ato Alemu Kebede, owner of ‘Alemu Agricultural Inputs Enterprise’ and grantee, during the event.
More than 60 representatives from government organizations, GIZ, NGOs, private enterprises, and other stakeholders were in attendance at the event, including Federal and Regional Government Officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Oromia Bureau of Agriculture, and Zonal and Woreda Officials from Arsi Zone. Other participants included Prof. Dr. Gerold Rahmann, GIZ-Green Innovation Center (GIC) Program Manager, Mr. Alan Pieper, Chief Operating Officer from CNFA HQ, representatives from other implementers of GIZ-GIC program in Ethiopia, and representatives from the private sector, other CNFA projects in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), EGGA PLC and owners of previously established FSCs, NGOs, media and other stakeholders.