RURAL households in Ethiopia are to sustainably improve their incomes as well as food and nutrition security following a grant agreement of US$106,54 million. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Ethiopian government signed the Participatory Agriculture and Climate
Transformation Programme (PACT) grant agreement. “The grant comes at a critical time for the country, to build the
resilience of smallholder farmers to multiple shocks and safeguard food and nutrition security,” said Sara Mbago-Bhunu, IFAD Regional Director, East and Southern Africa.
The grant offers IFAD the opportunity to build on its previous work to facilitate farmers’ access to rural finance, technologies and markets and to scale up these interventions. PACT will be implemented over a seven-year period and aims to benefit 750 000 rural people in six regional states.
These are Amhara, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region, Oromia, Sidama, Somali, Southern Nations and Southwestern Ethiopia.The focus is on women (50 percent of project participants), youth (40
percent) and people with disabilities (5 percent). Additional financing to expand the geographic area to the rest of the country is being negotiated with other financiers.
Agriculture accounts for about 45 percent of Ethiopia’s GDP and 90 percent of its exports. It provides employment to approximately 80 percent of the population, the majority who live in rural areas. However, the country’s vulnerability to food insecurity is strongly linked to climate change. Small-scale farmers, who produce the bulk of the country’s food, depend on rainfall to grow their crops.
The PACT grant is funded by IFAD ($78,2 million), the European Union ($17,84 million) and ASAP ($10,5 million). Since 1980, IFAD has invested $829,83 million in 21 rural development programmes and projects in Ethiopia worth a total of $2,3 billion. These have directly benefited around 11,5 million rural households.
– CAJ News