Agricultural Growth Program-Agribusiness and Market Development (AGP-AMDe)

Agricultural Investments Key to Ethiopia’s Poverty Reduction, Food Security



The Agricultural Growth Program-Agribusiness and Market Development (AGP-AMDe) program in Ethiopia used a value chain approach to strengthen the agriculture sector, enhance access to finance, and stimulate innovation and private sector investment. The value chains—coffee, sesame, chickpea, honey, wheat, and maize—were identified for their potential to improve both food security and incomes.

This flagship program was part of U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative, which harmonizes hunger- and poverty-fighting efforts in countries with chronic food insecurity and insufficient staple crop production. AMDe, pronounced ahm-da, means “pillar” or “column” in the Amharic language and symbolizes the importance of food security in order to support a household’s well-being. AGP-AMDe’s facilitated value chain approach united Ethiopia’s agricultural stakeholders to work together to create market opportunities and overcome shared obstacles.

  • Strengthened the competitiveness of the six value chains
  • Increased access to finance, thereby encouraging investment, productivity, and trade
  • Improved the enabling environment, working closely with the Ethiopian government
  • Expanded public-private partnership investments to buy down risks and leverage the impact of innovations
  • Reinforced investment and technology transfer to allow the Ethiopian government, farmer cooperative unions, private companies, and smallholder farmers to achieve competitive advantage on both domestic and international markets
  • Helped farmers increase export sales through diverse approaches including industrial processors, testing and grading equipment, modern warehousing, improved varieties of seed, and information technology
  • Collaborated with farmer organizations and companies using an innovative matching-grants approach to select, install, train, and use new technologies that are critical to becoming more efficient and competitive
  • Reached over 750,000 farmers, influenced farm-gate sales worth $100 million, and facilitated approximately $90 million in agribusiness loans
  • Helped farmers achieve export sales worth over $120 million and make investments of $4 million
  • Built lead farmer networks delivering training in agricultural skills, helping farmers with over 150,000 hectares to use improved techniques and management practices
  • Through training and strategic investments, increased the capacity of 51 farmer cooperative unions representing over 2,550 primary cooperatives and 1.9 million members
  • Improved productivity, processing, and marketing of Ethiopian coffee, including the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange’s ability to trace, test, and grade green coffee beans before putting them on the market
  • Used a matching-grants strategy with cooperative unions who invested in warehouses and international standard cleaning machines to increase and diversify sesame export destinations
  • Expanded cooperatives’ production capacity and increased incomes through improved varieties of high-demand chickpea while also reducing post-harvest loss through investments in harvesting and threshing technology
  • Facilitated strategic market linkages to establish a new joint venture with the second largest global honey buyer to invest in modern processing equipment, allowing partners to purchase more from local beekeepers and export more to international markets
  • Partnered with more than 50 wheat farming cooperatives to introduce efficient wheat threshing and warehousing technology to reduce post-harvest losses
  • Implemented a partnership with DuPont Pioneer, Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, and ATA to expand use of improved maize hybrid seed as well as promote Ethiopia’s own improved maize seed and the country’s burgeoning seed suppliers
  • Developed innovative nutrition trainings, a rural household cookbook, and farmer-to-farmer nutrition demonstration films
  • Improved gender equity by increasing women’s participation in farmer cooperative unions–more than 36,000 new female members registered in one year and female representation in some unions increased from 10 percent to 25 percent