U.S. and Israeli Development Agencies Work Together to Support Growth of Small Fruit and Vegetable Farms
June 7, 2012, Addis Ababa: On June 7, representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Israeli Embassy and the Government of Ethiopia signed an MOU in support of the Smallholders Horticulture Program (SHH). The objective of the program is to promote sustainable economic growth in rural areas by strengthening the commercial viability of small fruit and vegetable farm production for products with recognized market potential. Program activities will include supporting and establishing additional nurseries and tissue culture laboratories to meet market demand for quality plant materials; intensifying extension services for Fruit and Vegetable Smallholders (FVSHs); helping FVSHs to build marketing contacts; and other capacity building activities. The program will run from 2012-2015.
This program directly contributes to the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness by strengthening collaboration and partnership among bilateral donors and by encouraging host country ownership and leadership. In particular, it builds on a recent MOU between the U.S. and Israel to increase cooperation on improving food security in Africa. Donor collaboration increases synergy and avoids duplication.
The SHH is a follow-on to a USAID, Israeli Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) and Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture Joint Technical Program in the areas of plant bio-technology, horticulture and water management and irrigation. The Joint Technical Program was implemented by MASHAV in partnership with the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and ran from 2005 and ended in 2012.
The program established five nurseries and upgraded four tissue culture laboratories to enhance Ethiopia’s horticultural production. The program established a group of local experts, through local and overseas training of nursery and laboratory staff and extension agents. In addition, the program provided extension services to smallholder farmers through frequent visits of extension agents to smallholder farms, as well as demonstration and training at the program nurseries.