ATA attaches the livestock sector to its new decade program


Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) has launched the next ten year program that includes the livestock sector and regions, which were not part of the ended program, and ensure all farmers to be commercialized by 2030.
Transformation of Ethiopia’s agriculture sector to one where farmers and pastoralists have market oriented production and productivity and sustainable natural resource development and utilization would be the next ten year strategy that ATA will engage with its partners, says Yifru Tadesse, Senior Director at ATA said.
He added that the livestock sector will be a core sector besides the crop sector and five excluded regions in the first ten year; Afar, Benshangul Gumuz, Gambella, Harari, and Somali will be also included on this coming ten year program.
According to Yifru, over the next 10 years, ATA has the ability to roll out up to 11 strategic programs in total.
For this budget year ATA’s focus will be on four strategic programs, that is; systemic interventions, crop agricultural commercialization Cluster (ACC), livestock ACC, and scale up regions ACC. Under the plan until 2025 systemic interventions, livestock ACC, and scale up regions ACC, horticulture in urban and peri-urban areas, horticulture expansion in the ACC regions, and livestock and crop in food insecure areas will be included on the strategic program, while until the end of 2030 that is the next five year starting from 2026 up to 2030, 11 strategic programs are expected to be included.
Khalid Bomba, CEO of ATA, told Capital that details of the coming ten year strategy will be fully finalized in this budget year.
Mandefro Nigussie, State Minister for Agricultural Development at Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), recalls that previously ATA had come up with high quality outcomes that needed appropriate capacity in terms of human capital and others at MoA to implement it with similar standard, while it was a gap at MoA. He said that in this current implementation period MoA and ATA have jointly taken part in the strategic design. “We have planned our ten year strategy jointly from design stage that will help to scaling up with similar level,” Mandefro told Capital.
“Since we designed jointly we shall catch-up the expertise, and capacity building in gaps will also be undertaken,” he added.
The 10 years evaluation
In the first decade of its program ATA had focused on the crop sector transformation in selected weredas of four regions, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray. According to independent evaluation that was conducted by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) and presented by Maximo Torero-Cullen, Chief Economist and Assistant Director General of FAO, who attended the evaluation and launching of the new program on webinar, it is clear that the past ten year performance of ATA has concluded on promising and well accepted results in related with different aspect of transforming of productivity.
The independent evaluation covered the corporate impacts of the agency’s activities in the country in terms of projects executed, studies conducted, and other impactful activities implemented to drive agricultural transformation, growth, and poverty reduction.
According to the Chief Economist, the support provided by ATA was characterized by a problem-solving approach, swift action, the inclusion of gender-sensitive approaches, and enhanced coordination of stakeholders, covering an extensive amount of land and farmers through scaled-up investments.
Overall findings from the micro analysis of FAO recognized that ATA has achieved many of the outcomes it is being measured against , that is – input use, extension services, and agricultural technology, effective removal of bottlenecks in the rural agricultural economy that have improved the linkages between producers, input markets and agricultural services, and improvements in priority areas are reflected in productivity gains by smallholders for certain priority crops and in market orientation positions.
It added that the likelihood of organic fertilizer use by households producing priority crops rose by 18 percentage points, whereas for chemical fertilizer rose by 23 percent.
“ATA was found to increase the likelihood of agrochemicals use by close to 15 percent, which could be a reflection of rising demand for herbicides in lieu of crop rotation as smallholders tend to rely on less diverse production portfolios,” the evaluation added.
Regarding the economic aspect the Chief Economist uploaded that overall, the total 2012–2019 spending considered in the economy-wide analysis of ATA impacts was USD 138.9 million, with 13.4 percent spent (USD 18.6 million) on support functions and overheads.
“In every year of the period 2013-2019, the level of GDP was on average 0.30 percent (or USD 243 million) higher due to the productivity effect that is triggered by the spending associated with the ATA interventions in the priority areas and crops covered by the FAO’s evaluation,” he added.
“As a whole, the ATA has contributed USD 1.7 billion to the GDP of the 2013-2019 periods. Also, ATA’s interventions have increased private consumption by a total of USD 1.3 billion during the same period,” Torero-Cullen said.
Oumer Hussein, Minister of MoA, said that despite the promising changes we have noticed, the sector is riddled with various problems that challenge the smallholder farmers of Ethiopia and addressing such challenges and commercializing the sector could lead Ethiopia to further exploit its agriculture potential both in crops and livestock.
Khalid said that the success of the ATA is not a sole responsibility of the agency; rather, it has been a combination of collective efforts and contributions regaining from the government, MoA, agriculture bureaus, the community of partners excluding from development partners and others.
Regarding regional performance evaluation, he amplified that different performances in different sectors have been achieved, which is the uniqueness of Ethiopia that of sectors specialized in different regions.
“For instance if you see the achievement of Amhara region it is aligned with teff, wheat was good in Oromia, for fruit tree in SNNP and Oromia and sesame was very good in Tigray. This helps one region to get lessons from another region in this circumstance,” Khalid explained.
Khalid said that the independent study of FAO will boost the trust of financers and international partners to provide more support for the coming ten year program.
ATA was established on the mission to catalyze sustainable development of agriculture value chains and markets, through promoting effective practices and approaches to address systemic constraints and coordinating execution and integration of high impact interventions at the farmer level. ATA has conducted several studies beside directly implemented about 47 agricultural projects.