Nippon Foundation





Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is an implementing body of Official Development Assistance for the Government of Japan, providing technical assistance, concessionary loans (Japanese ODA loans) and grant aid.

SAA is implementing projects through JICA Partnership Program (JPP), a program which aims to promote and encourage cooperation activities with local people in developing countries by Japanese development partners such as NGOs, universities, local governments, and public interest corporations as a part of Japanese ODA.

Enhancing Sustainability of Women’s Agro-processing Cooperatives in Rural Ethiopia

Project Title: Enhancing self-sustainability of women’s agro-processing cooperatives in rural Ethiopia

Period: Oct. 2010 – Sep. 2013 (3 years)

Target Area: Oromia Region, Amhara Region, SNNP Region, Ethiopia

Fund Amount: approx. 50,000,000 yen

Background, Purpose of the Project and Role of SAA:

Poor smallholder farmers make up the majority of the Ethiopian population. They engage in subsistence farming and generate little surplus to earn cash income. Every day they face food insecurity and chronic malnutrition. Opportunities to generate income on the farm are very limited, especially for rural women. Thus, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, SAA had been supporting female farmer groups to engage in enterprise development off the farm by helping them to improve their agro-processing techniques to produce marketable products with added value so that they can generate and increase their income. However, while these women’s groups have acquired a certain level of processing skills, they lack critical skills in the management and operation of their enterprises to make them function and grow. Instead, they depend upon local government officials, such as the Home Extension Agents and Cooperative Promotion Organizers, for their management support.

In response to the above situation, the project has identified 5 agro-processing cooperatives from Oromia, 2 from Amhara and 2 from SNNP Regions in which it seeks to strengthen indigenous management skills. The pillars of the project are to: 1) Improve agro-processing skills 2) Impart basic management and operational skills, such as business planning, cost/benefit assessment and accounting, 3) Enhance the awareness toward improvement of livelihood and gender sensitivity among the cooperative members and their families 4) Nurture the attitude of mutual-learning among members of cooperatives and other groups.

By establishing more systematic and holistic capacity-building programs, the project aims to set a model case, which helps to enable more women to participate in cooperative activities, acquire agro-processing skills and run their organization sustainably to improve their livelihood.


Left: Rural woman packaging teff flour Right: Cooperative members learning processing of chili

Promoting crop diversification and advanced technologies in Tigray, Ethiopia – an opportunity to improve farmers’ livelihoods and food security.

Project Title: Promoting crop diversification and advanced technologies in Tigray, Ethiopia – an opportunity to improve farmers’ livelihoods and food security.

Period: July 2011 – July 2015 (4 years)

Target Area: Tigray Region, Ethiopia

Fund Amount: approx. 100,000,000 yen

Background, Purpose of the Project and Role of SAA:

Tigray is one of the poorest regions in Ethiopia. Most of the farming households have not achieved food security, because of marginal climatic conditions. Hence, increasing agricultural productivity will directly improve livelihood conditions, while agro-processing and marketing strategies will result in products of better quality, which could open new opportunities for marketing and income generation.

Previous SAA activities in Tigray have shown that upland rice is well adapted to the environmental conditions of water-logged soils in the region. Within 3 years of introducing rice to the region, the cultivation area grew from 0 to more than 5,000 ha in 2009. This project aims at further promoting rice production and processing but also at introducing other crops with market potential and/or improved production technologies for traditional crops. SAA works in close collaboration with the national agricultural extension service, thereby building capacities, developing cost-effective models for extension delivery, and sustainability of extension activities.

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