INVESTORS AND PARTNERS
THE BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), with headquarters in Seattle, Washington, is a family foundation driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family. It is dedicated to increasing opportunity and equity for those most in need. It is the largest private foundation in the world, with a current endowment of US$ 36.3 billion, and 2010 grant payments of US$ 2.6 billion.
BMGF’s Agricultural Development initiative works with a wide range of partners to provide millions of small farmers in the developing world with tools and opportunities to boost their yields, increase their incomes, and build better lives for themselves and their families. The foundation is working to strengthen the entire agricultural value chain from seeds and soil to farm management and market access so that progress against hunger and poverty is sustainable over the long term.
SAA has received a grant from BMGF as a part of its Agricultural Development initiative and is implementing a 4-year project in Ethiopia.
Strengthening Agricultural Extension Delivery in Ethiopia
Project Title: Strengthening Agricultural Extension Delivery in Ethiopia
Period: September 22, 2010 – September 21, 2014 (4 years)
Target Area: 10 regions, 18 woredas in Ethiopia
Fund Amount: approx. 7,149,533 USD
Background, Purpose of the Project and Role of SAA:
The SAA project with BMGF began in late 2010, with an initial grant of US$ 5.7 million, which was amended in late 2011 to US$ 7.15 million. The 4-year project calls for SAA to work jointly with Oxfam America (OA) to support the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to build a more effective institutional model of extension aimed at promoting farm enterprise diversification and increasing food security and additional sources of income, especially for groups that have not been well served by extension in the past (women, youth, very poor farmers, and agro-pastoralists).
The MoA oversees project implementation while OA strengthens the infrastructure of FTCs and supports the mobility and communication skills of the development agents (DAs) being placed at each Farmer Training Center (FTC) to educate farmers on improved agricultural technology.
For its part, SG 2000 employs a value chain approach to introduce a range of diversified and innovative agricultural technologies and approaches to the FTCs, builds DA capacity and introduces revenue generation activities through a loan guarantee fund, so that FTCs can eventually cover their operational costs. SAA also encourages the participation of the private sector by persuading input dealers and farmers’ cooperatives to participate in extension service delivery and improve market access for smallholder farmers.
The project is being implemented in all of Ethiopia’s regional states – at 215 FTCs in 18 townships (woredas) – and is strengthening the professional capacity of 645 DAs, 180 Subject Matter Specialists (SMSs) and some 215,000 arm families. The best practices from this integrated pilot project involving SAA and OA, will be scaled up by the government, to be used in other agricultural development areas of the country.The GOE plans to establish FTCs in 18,000 villages (called Kebele), each staffed by three development officers. Woreda Extension Resource Centers are being established in 9 Woredas to serve as information and knowledge management centers to support all the FTCs that operate in that township.
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