Agricultural Growth Program-II (AGP2)

Overview of the Program and Concise Account of the Research Component

 Ethiopia has recorded fast economic growth over the past decade, with an average growth rate of 10.7% per year for the period ranging from 2003/04 to 2011/12. Growth reflected a mix of factors, including agricultural modernization, development of new export sectors, strong global commodity demand and government-led development investments. The GoE is currently implementing the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II) which sets a long-term goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2025. To achieve the set GTP objectives, the country has followed a “developmental state” model with a strong role for the government in many aspects of the economy. Agriculture remained a dominant sector and an important source of economic growth. According to official statistics, over the past 15 years the average agricultural growth rate has been close to 7% per annum. 

Regarding agricultural development investment, concerted efforts have been made by both the GoE and development partners. The Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) is a clear example of this collaborative effort. AGP is a multifaceted investment program supporting agricultural productivity and commercialization focusing on high agricultural potential areas to address some of the key constraints to agricultural growth and thereby contribute to overall economic growth and transformation. It is a program approach and is viewed by Government as the key investment mechanism for development partners and government to collaborate on. The further growth of the agriculture sector is expected to feature prominently in the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II), currently under implementation. The Second Agricultural Growth Program (AGP II) would be aligned with GTP II, thereby contributing to the achievement of targets set for agriculture sector growth. The independent impact evaluations, studies and assessments conducted during the first phase have been used in designing the AGP II to improve implementation and maximize the overall impact of the program. 

The Program Development Objective is “to increase agricultural productivity and commercialization of small holder farmers targeted by the Program and also contributes to dietary diversity and consumption at HH level.”  Alike the preceding Program, AGP II will also give due attention to the increased participation of women and youth. The program contributes to the higher-level goal of sustainable food security and agricultural transformation by developing untapped potential of well-endowed areas. AGP II will operate in 157 woredas selected from 7 national regional states and one city administration of the country which have the highest growth potential, primarily based on agro-ecological conditions and access to markets. The 96 woredas that were benefited from the AGP I interventions will also be the beneficiaries during the AGP II and this will further consolidate past achievements and strengthen capacities built during the second phase. In the second phase of the program, additional 61 woredas are included. The woredas are distributed among the following national regional states and city administration: Amhara, Oromiya, SNNPR, Tigray, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Harari and Dire Dawa city administration. The expansion into the new national regional states and Dire Dawa city administration would consist of two woredas in each of Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella, and one in each of Harari and Dire Dawa. 

To achieve its objectives, AGP II will follow: (a) Comprehensive schemes that would respond to national strategic goals; (b) demand driven and decentralized (participatory) planning approach; (c) focus on selected areas and value chains; (d) considers cross cutting issues particularly, gender, nutrition and climate smart agriculture; (e) sustainable approaches through enhancing capacity of actors in development; (e) mechanisms that enhance complementarities and linkages within and between the different components of the Program, and other aligned programs and projects within MOANR. 

Ethiopia has recorded fast economic growth over the past decade, with an average growth rate of 10.7% per year for the period ranging from 2003/04 to 2011/12. Growth reflected a mix of factors, including agricultural modernization, development of new export sectors, strong global commodity demand and government-led development investments. The GoE is currently implementing the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II) which sets a long-term goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2025. To achieve the set GTP objectives, the country has followed a “developmental state” model with a strong role for the government in many aspects of the economy. Agriculture remained a dominant sector and an important source of economic growth. According to official statistics, over the past 15 years the average agricultural growth rate has been close to 7% per annum. 

Regarding agricultural development investment, concerted efforts have been made by both the GoE and development partners. The Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) is a clear example of this collaborative effort. AGP is a multifaceted investment program supporting agricultural productivity and commercialization focusing on high agricultural potential areas to address some of the key constraints to agricultural growth and thereby contribute to overall economic growth and transformation. It is a program approach and is viewed by Government as the key investment mechanism for development partners and government to collaborate on. The further growth of the agriculture sector is expected to feature prominently in the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II), currently under implementation. The Second Agricultural Growth Program (AGP II) would be aligned with GTP II, thereby contributing to the achievement of targets set for agriculture sector growth. The independent impact evaluations, studies and assessments conducted during the first phase have been used in designing the AGP II to improve implementation and maximize the overall impact of the program. 

The Program Development Objective is “to increase agricultural productivity and commercialization of small holder farmers targeted by the Program and also contributes to dietary diversity and consumption at HH level.”  Alike the preceding Program, AGP II will also give due attention to the increased participation of women and youth. The program contributes to the higher-level goal of sustainable food security and agricultural transformation by developing untapped potential of well-endowed areas. AGP II will operate in 157 woredas selected from 7 national regional states and one city administration of the country which have the highest growth potential, primarily based on agro-ecological conditions and access to markets. The 96 woredas that were benefited from the AGP I interventions will also be the beneficiaries during the AGP II and this will further consolidate past achievements and strengthen capacities built during the second phase. In the second phase of the program, additional 61 woredas are included. The woredas are distributed among the following national regional states and city administration: Amhara, Oromiya, SNNPR, Tigray, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Harari and Dire Dawa city administration. The expansion into the new national regional states and Dire Dawa city administration would consist of two woredas in each of Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella, and one in each of Harari and Dire Dawa. 

To achieve its objectives, AGP II will follow: (a) Comprehensive schemes that would respond to national strategic goals; (b) demand driven and decentralized (participatory) planning approach; (c) focus on selected areas and value chains; (d) considers cross cutting issues particularly, gender, nutrition and climate smart agriculture; (e) sustainable approaches through enhancing capacity of actors in development; (e) mechanisms that enhance complementarities and linkages within and between the different components of the Program, and other aligned programs and projects within MOANR. 

Overview of the program

Program Development Objectives and Indicators

The Program Development Objectives (PDO) of the program are to increase agricultural productivity and commercialization of smallholder farmers targeted by the program and contributes to dietary diversity and consumption at HH level. The project would also contribute to the higher-level objectives of poverty reduction, and climate change mitigation and adaptation through supported climate smart agriculture initiatives.

The PDO indicators are:

  • Percentage increase in yield for selected crops in targeted households (benefiting directly from the project; disaggregated by Male Headed Households (MHH) and Female Headed Households (FHH));
  • Percentage increase in yield for selected animal products in targeted households (benefiting directly from the project; disaggregated by MHH and FHH);
  • Proportion of production sold by targeted households for selected crops (targeted households are benefiting directly from the project; disaggregated by MHH and FHH));
  • Proportion of animal production sold by targeted beneficiaries for selected products (targeted beneficiaries are benefiting directly from the project; disaggregated by male and female (FHH and married female). 
  • Household dietary diversity: increase in average number of food groups consumed at HH level
  • Number of direct project beneficiaries.

 

Project Beneficiaries

The primary target of the project is smallholder farmers, who live in areas located in the AGP2 targeted 157 Woredas. Smallholder farmers are defined by the Central Statistics Agency as farmers living in a village, registered as a resident in Kebele administration, conducting agricultural production activities (crop production, livestock husbandry and agro-forestry) and owning land of variable size. The target number of direct beneficiaries will be 1.6 million. The project will specifically target women farmers with tailor made innovations, activities and technical assistance. The target proportion of female direct beneficiaries (both female head of household and married female) will be 40 percent. The direct beneficiaries will include smallholder farmers benefiting from:

  • training and demonstrations leading to adoption of new technologies;
  • farmers in Common Interest Groups, farmers benefiting from small scale irrigation and HHI including those in Irrigation Water User Associations, 
  • farmers in Farmer Research Extension Groups, 
  • Farmers being linked to the market by the project, farmers using animal health services and farmer members of cooperatives supported by the project;

In addition, the project will reach a significant number of indirect beneficiaries, including household members and farmers benefitting from overall improved public agricultural services and access to some markets.

Project Geographical Coverage and Selection Criteria

In addition to AGP1 weredas, AGP2 is expanded to 61 new weredas of similar agro-ecological conditions. Overall, AGP2 will operate in 157 weredas located in seven regional states and one city administrative council.The distribution of number of AGP2 weredas among regional states is in accordance to the share of population of respective regions considering the 2007 census. Within regional States, new weredas have been selected applying the same criteria used in AGP1 including: 

  • Access to markets (access to cities of 50,000 population or over in less than 5 hours); 
  • Natural resource endowment (including good rainfall distribution and annual average of 700 mm or over); 
  • Suitable rainfall and soil for crop and fodder production; 
  • Potential for development of small-scale irrigation; 
  • Institutional plurality of service providers, including good basis and growth of viable cooperatives and farmer groups and existing partnership engagements with private sector, and 
  • Willingness and commitment to participate (supportive environment; performance of programs/programs supported by other donors).

In addition to the above selection criteria, AGP2 has been responsive to region’s request to consider the weredas covered by the PSNP that have demonstrate high potential for growth. AGP2 also considered Woreda clustering as a criterion for selection to develop synergies for growth as well as weredas capacity to manage the multiple funding. 

 

Program Components

Component I: Public Agricultural Support Services

The objective of this component is to increase access to public agricultural services for smallholder farmers, the program will support:

  • The identification of local priorities for public services through the establishment, operation and strengthening of Agriculture Development Partners Linkage Advisory Councils, and linkages to other planning mechanisms including community consultation and local strategic planning;
  • The strengthening of public services delivery, including for agricultural extension service, animal production and animal health services, crop production and plant health services, natural resource management services, soil fertility management services, and agricultural mechanization; 
  • The scaling up of “best” practices of agricultural technologies and management practices in agricultural production and post-harvest activities. This would include the identification (through a community consultation process), validation and verification of local practices.  

Component II: Agricultural Research

The objective of this component is to increase the supply of demand driven agricultural technologies that directly link to the other components. Under this component, the project will support (i) quick release of pipeline technologies from end stage trials, including crop varieties and management practices, poultry breeds, forage varieties, irrigated crop management, acid soil and Vertisol management, integrated nutrient management, and soil and water conservation technologies; and ii) design and implementation of research activities based on assessment of farmers’ demand in the perspective of AGP2 objectives, AGP2 selected value chain commodities and considering cross cutting issues (nutrition, gender and Climate Smart Agriculture); (iii) Pre-extension demonstration and participatory on-farm technology piloting through FRGs for recommended agricultural technologies and supporting and facilitation of Farmer Research and Extension Groups to enhance adoption and use of agricultural technologies generated by the research systems; (IV) Source technology production, including the production of breeder and pre-basic seeds for major crop varieties selected by the program, multiplication of disease and insect free tissue culture materials, production of source livestock and forage technologies and multiplication of land and water resources technologies; (V) Capacity development: supporting the development of physical and human capacity of the agricultural research system to enhance the capacity of the national and regional research centres to effectively respond to technology needs for selected and priority agricultural commodities and high value crops. 

Component III: Smallholder Irrigation Development

The objective of this component is to increase the access to and efficient utilization of irrigation water by smallholder farmers.  Under this component, the Program will support:

  • Increased availability of irrigated water through: i) the rehabilitation, upgrading and/or improvement of existing Small-scale Irrigation Schemes; ii) establishment of new SSI systems integrated with access roads where necessary; and iii) HHI systems. 
  • Improved water management services through establishing and/or strengthening IWUAs and the introduction of improved irrigated agricultural management. 

Component IV: Agriculture Marketing and Value Chains

The objective of this component is to increase the commercialization of agricultural products through increased smallholder farmers access to input and output markets. Under this component, the Program would support: 

  • The promotion and distribution of agricultural inputs, specifically seed through support to Community Based Seed Production groups and the scale up of Direct Seed Marketing and strengthening the input tracking system and strengthening the input and output marketing regulation and certification;
  • Farmer’s organizations, including formal farmer organizations (Unions, Primary Cooperatives) and informal, commercially oriented farmer groups (informal groups establishment would be focused on women and youth groups). The project would support business plan preparation and implementation, including through the provision of equipment and inputs to qualifying groups. Service providers, including the Cooperative Agency, would receive capacity support. Improved access to credit (both rural savings and credit cooperatives and micro-finance Institutions would be facilitated. 
  • The strengthening of selected livestock and crop value chains, to be identified through a market analysis process and consistent with commercialization clustering, including a range of activities including technical assistance to cooperatives and market buyers (including processors and exporters), linkages between VC participants, including from importing markets (such as participation in trade shows); competitive matching grants and innovation grants. This sub-component to be financed through a parallel financing mechanism funded by USAID; and
  • Market infrastructure development and management, including (i) construction and modernized management of public market centers at wereda level; (ii) where clear rationale and exit strategy for public sector investment is demonstrated, to support the construction of warehouses, storage and grading facilities; and (iii) foot bridges which address critical market access bottlenecks for communities. 

Component V: Project Management, Capacity development, Monitoring, and Evaluation

The objective of this component is to ensure the timely implementation of the Program according to its core principles and PDO, effective monitoring and evaluation of results, including results related to crosscutting issues, and a consistent and effective approach to capacity development. Under this component, the Program would support: 

  • Project management and coordination, 
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning, 
  • Capacity Development Support Facility, to improve the quality of capacity development   

        interventions; and strengthen the institutional capacity of implementation agencies. 

  • Mainstreaming gender, nutrition and Climate Smart Agriculture 

3.Aspects of Agricultural Research Component

 

Limited availability of appropriate agricultural technologies, inadequate capacity in multiplying source technologies and limited on-farm pre-extension demonstration of technologies are the key problems hindering productivity of the sector. Thus, the objective of the component is to increase the supply of demand-driven agricultural technologies which directly link to the other components of the program. The research component has the following sub-components 

Technology Adaptation and Generation: This sub-component aims at adapting and generating improved agricultural technologies to enhance productivity and market orientation of small scale farmers. It is composed of two main groups of activities: (i) supplementary funding to advanced level research activities to speed up the release of in-pipeline technologies and management practices that are directly used as input by the other development oriented components of the program; and (ii) supporting medium term (maximum of three years) demand driven technology adaptation and generation activities which will be anchored on agricultural production problems identified through exploratory surveys during the first year of the project. 

Pre-extension demonstration of released technologies 

The objective of this component is to enhance the adoption of improved agricultural technologies through a participatory approach involving farmers in demonstrations and popularization of new technologies. Activities supported by the program will include: (i) Technology pre-extension demonstration and popularization; (ii) Establishing and strengthening of Farmers' Research Groups.  

Source Technology Production: The objective of this sub-component is to support the production of breeder and pre-basic seeds and planting materials and animal breeds for further multiplication and on farm technology pre-extension demonstration. The major activities supported by the program include: (i) Production of breeder and pre-basic seeds of major crop species targeted by the program; (ii) Multiplication of disease and insect free tissue culture materials; (iii) Production of source livestock (with particular focus on dairy heifers and day-old chicks) and seed/planting materials of forage varieties, (iv) multiplication of land and water resource technologies.

Capacity development: This sub-component will focus on physical resource and skill enhancement for research institutes to effectively deliver the research program based on a detailed human and physical needs assessment of key federal and regional research Institutes researching on the selected crops, livestock and NRM commodities. Identified investment areas include (yet based on prior need assessment): (i) Physical capacity; (ii) Equipment and facilities; and (iii) short term human capacity development activities