Ethiopia has witnessed rapid economic growth with real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014. Enterprise Partners (EP) – an M4P programme managed by DAI Europe – aims to bolster this economic growth over the next six years through integrating the poor, especially women, in sustainable economic enterprises that create jobs and improve incomes.
The programme aims to create 45 000 jobs (75% of which will be held by women) and increase the incomes of 65 000 households by at least 20% through two interrelated strategies of increasing levels of investment in growth-oriented small and medium enterprises, and increasing returns on investment (productivity) in the cotton/textiles, livestock/leather and horticulture sectors. Central to the programme achieving its objectives is increased private sector investment.
To increase private sector investment in agriculture, the Genesis-led agro-industrial component identified that the need for a flexible and contextually appropriate approach to private sector engagement and deal structuring. This resulted in the agro-industrial implementation team adopting a more deliberate, strategic and flexible approach that enabled the development incentives that better aligned the private sector with the programme’s objectives.
For example, in the horticulture sector, EP seeks to improve linkages between local farmers and export markets through enabling an existing market actor to deliver export facilitation services to farmers. Genesis used its market systems analysis to develop a locally appropriate model. The model identified the Ethiopian Horticultural Exporters and Producers Association (EHEPA) and existing commercial farmers as key pilot partners, outlining the facilitation efforts required to restructure the EHEPA operations, to support commercial farmers to individually export as well as provide export facilitation services to other farmers.
This more deliberate focus on private sector led interventions with a clear exit strategy from the onset of implementation will yield systemic and sustainable changes in EP’s target agricultural value chains, ultimately underpinning the programme’s ability to reach its objectives of supporting Ethiopia’s increased pro-poor and inclusive growth.
The project plans to increase the land under horticultural production from 12 000ha to 20 000ha and exports sales from USD56-million to USD100-million.