Feed the Future Farm Service Center Project
The three-year Feed the Future Ethiopia Farm Service Center Project, scheduled to end late 2017, in partnership with USAID and CNFA, provides technical support to the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) in establishing 20 Farm Service Centers (FSCs) throughout the Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, and SNNPR regions of Ethiopia. This is a follow-on project to the successful USAID Commercial Farm Service Program, which piloted CNFA’s Farm Service Center Model in Ethiopia for the first time.
CNFA’s Farm Service Center Model is a market-based, private sector model that applies matching grants and training methodology to establish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that deliver farm supplies and services. FSCs are often located in larger townships and serve as rural development centers that meet the needs of private farmers in their communities. These centers provide a range of agricultural inputs (crop protection materials, fertilizers, feed and seeds), machinery services, veterinary services and products, marketing assistance for agricultural outputs, training and information, and access to credit.
By increasing Ethiopia’s network of Farm Service Centers, the Feed the Future Farm Service Center Project further strengthens the bargaining power of an apex wholesale buying entity, EGAA Agricultural Input Suppliers PLC, which streamlines and aggregates the inventory needs of all Farm Service Centers from top-tier multinational suppliers. EGAA, in turn, strengthens the ability of Farm Service Centers to provide a consistent supply of high-quality branded inputs at low-cost by negotiating for wholesale pricing discounts from international input suppliers, the benefits from which are passed along to smallholder farmers.
The growing network of retail Farm Service Centers has a positive impact on thousands of smallholder farmers across Ethiopia, and increases the viability and food security of the entire region. Activities ensure that the full impact of this transformation is captured as data by supporting ATA’s monitoring and evaluation information systems, in addition to developing strategies to continually integrate lessons learned. Furthermore, the Project ensures that its gender integration and environmental mitigation measures are fully incorporated in the roll-out of all new Farm Service Centers.