Wageningen UR will contribute to the Bilateral Ethiopian Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade (BENEFIT) Partnership that will reach more than 3 million smallholder farmers. Wageningen UR president Louise Fresco visits Ethiopia on 15 and 16 December to attend the kick-off of the 30 million Euro programme.
Ethiopia has the potential to become a major producer and exporter of agricultural goods. However, the agricultural and agribusiness sector needs support if it is to develop the ability to realise this potential. Wageningen UR will continue to contribute to this potential through the BENEFIT Partnership.
Food and incomes
The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, has approved a four year, 30 million Euro programme, to be implemented by Wageningen UR in collaboration with Ethiopian partners. The BENEFIT Partnership aims to improve the production and availability of food, as well as stimulate and develop sustainable income and trade among rural households in Ethiopia.
The BENEFIT Partnership will reach over 3 million smallholder farmers and support over 2,500 cooperatives and small and medium scale enterprises. The Partnership will also facilitate direct investment from more than twenty Dutch and international companies and train almost 2,000 research and extension staff. Working in the area of policy dialogue and advocacy, the Partnership will establish and strengthen over fifteen commodity platforms, private sector associations and strategic networks. Together with key stakeholders, the Partnership will also develop evidence based policy options to solve strategic bottlenecks in the agricultural sector in Ethiopia.
Food security programmes
The BENEFIT Partnership unites four different integrated food security programmes Wageningen UR is involved in. Firstly, the Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD Ethiopia) project, which supports the development of a vibrant, pluralistic and market oriented seed sector in the country. Second, the capacity building for scaling up of evidence-based best practices in agricultural production (CASCAPE) project, which improves agricultural productivity through promoting evidence-based best agricultural practices. Third, the new Ethiopian-Netherlands Trade Facility for Agribusiness (TAG), which supports private sector development and trade in Ethiopia. And fourth, the Sesame Business Network (SBN) support project, which supports stakeholders of the SBN in developing competitive, sustainable and inclusive sesame value chains in Ethiopia.
Wageningen UR will coordinate the programme. BENEFIT works in very closely cooperation with multiple Ethiopian organisations, including ministries, universities, research institutes, private sector organisations and associations, farmer organisations and civil society groups. Next to this, several other Dutch and international partners are involved in the partnership